No! I don't think we belong in the R&R HOF. Never have --- and never will --- until the curators change their markers.
SF Sketchfest, a comedy festival currently underway in San Francisco, paid tribute to The Monkees yesterday afternoon as Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith participated in a Q & A session led by author Paul Myers:
For the last couple of years, Micky Dolenz has participated in events to benefit Make-A-Wish where fans have had the opportunity to sing with Micky karaoke-style. And now, Micky brings his efforts to Broadway for two special nights at The Iridium this March! Below you'll find a description of the event courtesy of the venue as well as links to purchase tickets.
"Remember when you were younger, going to concerts and the lead singer of the band pulled a fan on stage to sing? Did you ever wish you were that fan? Now you can be! Micky Dolenz of the legendary Monkees has a brand new show where YOU become the rock star! Singing along with Micky, living out your rock star fantasy. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will remember for the rest of your life! And if you're too shy for the spotlight, come enjoy the show as a fan with a general admission ticket. You'll still be part of the fun and excitement, as Micky breaks between songs to tell a story or raffle off prizes and memorabilia. And it all benefits a great cause, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, near and dear to Micky's heart. PLUS a very special guest appearance by songwriter and Herman’s Hermit, Vance Brescia, singing 'That Was Then, This is Now' with Micky, the Monkees' #1 chart topping song written by Vance!"
After a flurry of albums with the First and Second National Bands in the early 1970s, Michael Nesmith began to broaden his artistic scope. In 1972, Nez formed Countryside Records, a subsidiary of Elektra Records, to produce and promote country and western artists including Red Rhodes, Tom Holbrook, Steve Fromholz, and Garland Frady. One of Michael's most noteworthy projects from this era included his collaboration with British musician and singer-songwriter Ian Matthews on the album Valley Hi. Matthews had previously been a member of the folk rock band Fairport Convention, and Nez acted as producer for his 1973 LP on Elektra.
Valley Hi is noteworthy for Matthews' version of "Seven Bridges Road," a song later made famous by The Eagles on their 1980 album Eagles Live. Rhino Records highlighted the track earlier this week in an article entitled "5 Things You May Not Have Known About Mike Nesmith" while celebrating Michael's recent birthday:
He produced, sang, and played on Ian Matthews’ version of "Seven Bridges Road." Written by Steve Young and arguably made most famous by the Eagles, Nesmith recorded Matthews’ version of the song in 1973 for Matthews’ VALLEY HI album, and if you listen to that version first and then listen to the Eagles’ version, what you will notice is that the tempo and arrangements are pretty much identical. Like, to the degree that Nesmith later said of that similarity, "Son of a gun if Don or somebody in Eagles didn’t lift [our] arrangement absolutely note for note for vocal harmony. If they can’t think it up themselves [and] they’ve got to steal it from somebody else, better they should steal it...from me, I guess."
Matthews also covered Nesmith's classic "Propinquity" on Valley Hi.
And now, this period of Michael Nesmith's career and his work with Ian Matthews has been examined in much greater depth by Peter Mills, author of The Monkees, Head, and the '60s, in his new blog Pete Sounds. Peter relayed to the Live Almanac that he had to leave an abundance of material for his book on the cutting room floor, but now fans can enjoy his research about this often overlooked period of Nesmith history. Click the image below to visit Peter's blog!
Thanks to Brian Marchese for alerting the Live Almanac about his latest podcast, featuring a unique interview with Michael Nesmith:
"Episode 23 of Where's That Sound Coming From? has been a long time coming, basically due to life getting a bit derailed. But I hope you'll agree that it was worth the wait. What we have here is not your average interview with Michael Nesmith. This is sort of grad-level Nez. Spirituality. Metaphysics. Creativity. Psychedelics. Turning away from the darkness of that era. Not a word about The Monkees. No MTV. No Country Rock Pioneer. No Liquid Paper. Have you noticed that most bios and interviews with Nez seem to gloss over The Prison (1974) and his life at the time? As a long time fan of Nez, The Prison for a long time was this mysterious work that I kept trying and failing to get into. Eventually I realized I wasn’t hearing the original work - I was hearing the touched up version Nez released in the 90s. A few years ago I finally heard the 1974 original, and it all came together. Plus, I sensed a psychedelic influence which turned out to be accurate. In this podcast, my long-winded intro is followed by Nez onstage in 1975 telling the plot of The Prison, and finally, the main course: my conversation, recorded in April 2019. Stuff gets very deep, very spiritual, puzzling, funny and always fascinating. Enjoy."
Please note that additional dates are likely to be added to Micky's 2020 tour schedule. Meet and Greet packages are available for select shows.
February 8: Micky Dolenz with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra / Tucson, Arizona
February 9: Micky Dolenz with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra / Tucson, Arizona
February 12: Katharine Hepburn Center / Old Saybrook, Connecticut
February 13: The Center For Arts Natick / Natick, Massachusetts
February 14: Palace Theatre / Manchester, New Hampshire
February 21: My Father's Place Supper Club / Rosyln, New York (3pm show)
February 21: My Father's Place Supper Club / Roslyn, New York (7pm show)
February 22: Sellersville Theater / Sellersville, Pennsylvania (3pm show)
February 22: Sellersville Theater / Sellersville, Pennsylvania (8pm show)
March 20: Sing Along With Micky Dolenz @ The Iridium / New York, New York
March 21: Sing Along With Micky Dolenz @ The Iridium / New York, New York
March 27: Beatles on the Beach @ Theater at Old School Square / Delray Beach, Florida
May 9: Fermilab Ramsey Auditorium / Batavia, Illinois
Micky is also performing with Michael Nesmith this April in "An Evening With The Monkees Featuring Mike Nesmith & Micky Dolenz." Click the image below for dates, cities, and ticket links:
And, Micky's schedule of personal appearances is expanding for 2020!
The music of The Beatles will be celebrated at the International Beatles Festival in Delray Beach, Florida in March 2020. Micky Dolenz is scheduled to appear at the event, performing live and participating in a Q&A session:
March 27, 2020: Micky Dolenz Live in Concert at Beatles on the Beach / Theater at Old School Square, Delray Beach, Florida
March 28, 2020: Micky Dolenz Beatles on the Beach Q&A Session / Theater at Old School Square, Delray Beach, Florida
The July 15, 1967 issue of music industry trade magazine Cash Box featured an ad for The Monkees' double-sided smash single, "Pleasant Valley Sunday"/"Words":
Thanks a lot to Ronald Vazquez for sharing this photograph taken during The Monkees' appearance at Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis, Missouri on August 5, 1967. Check out Nez with a Rickenbacker!
Be sure to stop by and look around the fantastic Written In Our Hearts Facebook page where they recently shared this undated photograph of Davy Jones onstage in the 1960s:
In the May 2019 issue of Uncut, Kristin Hersh, singer-songwriter and musician best known for her time in the alternative rock band Throwing Muses, revealed some of her favorite music selections. At the top of Kristin's list is the platinum album, Then & Now...The Best of The Monkees, issued at the height of The Monkees' 20th Anniversary Tour in 1986. Thanks to Live Almanac contributor Renny Simno for sharing!
Thanks a lot to David Lillicot for sharing some clippings and articles from his personal collection, all centered around The Monkees' tour of Australia in September 1968.
These ads promote The Monkees' appearances at Sydney Stadium on September 21 and 28, 1968:
David also had the opportunity to interview Davy Jones in a piece published in UK music magazine NME in 1968. Davy talks about the movie Head, songwriting, and more:
Monkees fans are likely to recall the name Paris Stachtiaris, co-host of Headquarters ("The only radio show in America dedicated to The Monkees") that originally aired on 90.3 WBAU-FM, the radio station of Adelphi University in Long Island, New York, from 1987 to 1990. Cassette tapes of the program, which featured interviews with Monkees luminaries like Chip Douglas, Ward Sylvester, Jim Frawley, Coco Dolenz, Lester Sill, Monte Landis, Gerry Goffin, the individual Monkees themselves, and others, were frequently traded among fans in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Paris is back in 2019 with co-host Ben Brown, and the duo produced a special in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock that aired on Labor Day Weekend on HCS internet radio. Most recently, Paris and Ben spoke with Bobby Hart:
Along with his songwriting partner Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart is responsible for penning some of The Monkees' most enduring songs, including "Last Train to Clarksville," "Steppin' Stone," and "Valleri." Arriving with determination and drive to the nascent Monkees project, the duo wrote and produced the soundtrack to the pilot episode, including singing the lead vocals, which were later replaced once the show was formally cast with Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter. Despite conflicts with Don Kirshner, the show's music supervisor, Boyce and Hart were retained, and with the help of their backing band, The Candy Store Prophets, Boyce & Hart went on to produce many of the early Monkees recording sessions. Their influence eventually waned once Kirshner was sacked and The Monkees gained control over their musical output in early 1967. However, each original Monkees album, with the exception of Head, contains Boyce & Hart tunes.
Tommy and Bobby went on to have a successful recording career on their own, making guest appearances on television shows and contributing scores to movie soundtracks. In the mid-1970s, they teamed up with Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, a project which led to concert tours, new music, and a television special. Boyce & Hart were celebrated with a full-length documentary in 2015 (co-produced by Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval), and that same year, Bobby published his autobiography. Paris and Ben intend to have Bobby back on their program to discuss more about The Monkees, Boyce & Hart, the Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart era, and much more.
Thanks to Paris for keeping everyone informed about his latest projects, and be sure to check out the archives of the Headquarters radio program here at The Monkees Live Almanac!
Japan experienced the first rebirth of The Monkees in the 1980s even before Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork reunited for the mega-successful 20th Anniversary Tour of North America in 1986. When "Daydream Believer" was used in a Kodak commercial in Japan in 1980, Monkeemania was rekindled as the group's television show returned to the airwaves and Monkees albums were reissued, causing them to chart in that country once again. Demand for The Monkees was so high in Japan that Davy, Micky, and Peter (with The New Monks) all toured there individually between 1981 and 1982, playing to extremely enthusiastic audiences.
Thanks to Iris at Iris' Little Monkees Corner for sharing these 1981 clippings of Davy and Peter in Japan!