Thanks to David Marcone for the heads-up!
This is the eleventh in a series of guest articles (and in this instance, a podcast) that have been submitted to The Monkees Live Almanac in celebration of the group's 50th Anniversary.
Earlier this year, the host of the Where's That Sound Coming From? podcast, Brian Marchese, contacted me after I had solicited contributions from guest authors to celebrate The Monkees' 50th Anniversary. Brian was knocking around a few ideas, and after several starts and re-starts, he settled on a podcast presentation that proposes an "alternate" history of The Monkees, largely centered around the group's fifth LP, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees. Here's Brian's description of the podcast:
Truth is at least as strange as fiction. Fact intertwines with my flights of fancy in this episode. At its core is an analysis of the fifth album The Monkees SHOULD have released. I was asked to contribute something to the excellent blog, Monkees Live Almanac, back in May of this year to help celebrate the band's 50th Anniversary. I thought about it intermittently for two months, wrote it sporadically over the course of the next two months, and recorded/produced it in fits and starts over the last two months. And here it is.
Monkees fans are really going to enjoy this podcast, and the Live Almanac would like to say a big thank you to Brian for all of his hard work and dedication in presenting this project!
Be sure to visit the Where's That Sound Coming From? podcast on Facebook, too!
"Who could have expected a comeback this great? Mike Nesmith gets to show off all the mileage on his country-fried pipes in this superb road-weary ballad, written to order by a lifelong Monkees fan, Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard." -Rob Sheffield
Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart's "Gonna Buy Me a Dog" played a key role in the episode, and this article highlights an attempt Michael Nesmith made at the song when he produced a backing track for it on July 7, 1966 at RCA Hollywood. That session featured multiple guitarists including Peter Tork, along with Wrecking Crew aces Glen Campbell, James Burton, Al Casey, and Jim Helms. The bassist was Bill Pitman, while Hal Blaine played drums and Billy Preston handled organ duties.
Nesmith's backing track never received a vocal and went unheard until 2006 when it was released on a deluxe edition of The Monkees' debut album. Boyce & Hart later cut their own (drastically different) version, and it was this take that was ultimately included on The Monkees.
The Monkees Tour Facebook page posted the following information about the poll:
The voting starts today for "The 2016 Coolest Song of the Year 10th Annual Listener's Poll" from syndicated radio show (Sirius XM channel 21) “Little Steven's Underground Garage.” The Monkees' "Birth of an Accidental Hipster" is one of the nominees as it was chosen to be The Coolest Song in the World for the week of May 22, 2016 - show #738.
Fans may vote for their favorite "Coolest Song" once every 24 hours. The voting ends on December 24th at 12pm EST.
The “Coolest Song of 2016” winner will be announced on January 2nd, during Kid Leo's "Coolest Songs of 2016 Revisited Annual Year End Review" show on Sirius XM-21 where Kid Leo will play all 50 "Coolest Songs" of 2016.
Good Times! Plus! is available today as part of a special Record Store Day release by Rhino Records for Black Friday. The four song EP, pressed on 10" red opaque vinyl and limited to 2,500 copies, includes the four non-album songs that were previously only available via iTunes and exclusive retail CDs in both the US and Japan. Be sure to check out Record Store Day's official website for participating stores.
Thanks much to Chris Coyle, who picked up his copy earlier this morning, for sharing these photos with the Live Almanac!
The Monkees closed the North American portion of their 50th Anniversary Tour last night in Englewood, New Jersey at the Bergen Performing Arts Center. Here's some footage from the show, courtesy of Cindy Ferrier:
"Mary, Mary," "Circle Sky," "Porpoise Song," and "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again":
The evening's set list:
Listen to the Band
Last Train to Clarksville
That Was Then, This Is Now
Your Auntie Grizelda
She Makes Me Laugh
A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You
The Girl I Knew Somewhere
You Bring the Summer
Shades of Gray
Me & Magdalena
Papa Gene's Blues
Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)
Randy Scouse Git
For Pete's Sake
Sometime in the Morning
Higher and Higher
Let's Dance On
Porpoise Song (Theme From "Head")
Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?
Pleasant Valley Sunday
I'm a Believer
The Monkees' 50th Anniversary Tour, featuring Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork (along with special appearances by Michael Nesmith), opened on May 18 in Clearwater, Florida. After 51 concerts and many miles traveled, the tour will play its final two North American dates this weekend:
Saturday, November 19 - Lincoln, Rhode Island / Twin River Event Center
Sunday, November 20 - Englewood, New Jersey / Bergen Performing Arts Center
The Monkees Live Almanac would like to extend best wishes to Micky, Peter, and the band as they begin to close out what became a monumental year for The Monkees. But, hey, it's not over quite yet! Later this month, The Monkees will travel to Australia and New Zealand for the group's first concerts in the region since 1988. Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for full coverage!
The Monkees' debut single, "Last Train to Clarksville," written and produced by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 5, 1966.
Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval wrote about the July 25, 1966 session at RCA Hollywood for the song (which also included work on the first version of "I Can't Get Her Off My Mind") in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
This ad for the single appeared in the September 3, 1966 issue of Billboard (courtesy of Monkee45s.net):
Here's video footage of all four Monkees performing "Last Train to Clarksville" live at Wembley in London, England in March 1997:
The single's B-side was the stellar Gerry Goffin & Carole King track "Take a Giant Step":
Micky Dolenz Live!
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart returns
50th Anniversary Editions