Live Almanac reader Andrew Lenahan recently acquired a Headquarters LP at a thrift store, and inside was a ticket stub from The Monkees' appearance at the Hollywood Bowl! The Monkees performed in front of a sold-out audience of over 17,000 at the historic venue on June 9, 1967. Just one day after this triumph, the group recorded "Pleasant Valley Sunday" at RCA Hollywood.
The former Monkeesmixography website, which classified every Monkees track by mix/master/remaster, and more, is being converted into a book by Craig Smith and Derek Miner. Mixing Links: The Monkees on Disc doesn't have a release date, but fans can now review an excerpt that was recently revealed on their website! You can also listen to their recent guest appearance on the SMISHSMASHCAST podcast.
In an August 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Micky Dolenz spoke about The Monkees' first single and #1 hit, "Last Train to Clarksville":
"It's about a guy going off to war. Frankly, it's an anti-war song. It's about a guy going to Clarksville, Tennessee, which is an army base if I'm not mistaken. He's obviously been drafted and he says to his girlfriend, 'I don't know if I'm ever coming home.' Considering that it was a Monkees song and the first one, I was always surprised that the record company even released it unless it just went right over their head.
"I don't recall recording it because there was just so much going on at that time. I was recording two or three songs a night after filming the TV show all day. [Co-writer] Bobby Hart tells me I went in to sing one night. He says that I'd learned the song and routined it. We'd done the keys and all that stuff. There was a bridge part of that song. You know the bit where I go 'di da di di da di da?' Well, there were words to that. I said, 'Bobby, I just can't sing that.' I just couldn't learn it in time. He said okay. 'Well, we need to get it done so just go, 'di da di di da di da.'
"I have a very fond memory of hearing it on the radio for the first time on KHJ, a big station out here at the time. Davy [Jones] and I were renting a house up in the Hollywood Hills. We were pulling up to this big, beautiful rented house in Beverly Hills when they went, 'Here they are, the Monkees' 'Last Train to Clarksville.' We pulled over and just had the biggest grins on our faces."
Fans of the old Monkeesmixography website, which classified every Monkees song by mix/master/remaster, and more, are in for a real treat. Craig Smith and Derek Miner have converted the online guide into a new book, Mixing Links: The Monkees on Disc. No release date has been announced, but for now, you can visit the project's website or join their group on Facebook.
Craig and Derek recently appeared on SMISHSMASHCAST with Eric Miller and Megan Stemm-Wade to discuss the upcoming book. Be sure to listen to Part 1 below!
The latest entry on The Monkees Live Almanac's YouTube channel is audio from the group's tour of Japan in 1968.
The Monkees visited Australia and Japan in September and October 1968. In Japan, one of the concerts was filmed (most likely during the two day, three concert stay at Budokan Hall in Tokyo on October 3 and 4, 1968) and later broadcast on Japanese television. The audio recording and video footage, however, has never been officially released. The audio (straight from the video) does exist as a bootleg, but the video footage is presumed lost or destroyed.
Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval has confirmed that multiple attempts have been made to find the missing video footage. "It was definitely broadcast and there has been communication with TBS [Tokyo Broadcasting System) in Japan to retrieve anything they had," he wrote on Facebook in 2017. "We asked many times and have been told they have nothing. Unless they made a film print of the video, it is unlikely it survived."
Interestingly enough, in an earlier, separate video posting of "Cuddly Toy" from this same concert on the Live Almanac's YouTube channel, "Rock Channel Archives" left the following comment:
"The concert was videotaped and wasn't broadcast until Monkeemania hit for a 2nd time in 1983. After that one airing, the video tape was labeled "re-use" and has never been seen again. This according to Mr. Udo who is like the Dick Clark of Japan. This audio is a cassette copy from broadcast TV."
The comment above refers to the resurgence in popularity of The Monkees in Japan in the early 1980s. Japan experienced the first rebirth of The Monkees in the '80s even before Micky, Davy, and Peter 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 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 in the early '80s that Micky, Davy, and Peter all toured the country individually between 1981 and 1982, playing to near-hysterical audiences.
If the comment left by Rock Channel Archives is indeed accurate, it could explain the origins of the Japanese 1968 audio, which has circulated throughout Monkees tape trading circles since the '80s. (I first acquired a copy from a tape collector in the late 1980s.)
Below is the audio recording of The Monkees live in Japan in 1968 that has survived, and please note there are breaks between each track:
This afternoon, Micky Dolenz appeared at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to sing the "Star Spangled Banner" before the start of the Phillies-Nationals game. Thanks to Jodi Ritzen for live streaming Micky's performance on Facebook:
Read the full article by Steve Marinucci on Billboard.com at the link posted below:
Micky Dolenz Talks The Monkees' Canceled Concerts Due to Mike Nesmith Illness: 'We're All Praying for Him'
The Monkees' Micky Dolenz says he doesn't know the full details of the health problems that caused his fellow Monkee Mike Nesmith to call off their tour close to its end, but he says Nesmith felt very badly about having to end the trek, which got raves from fans.
“Frankly, I don't know,” he says in a phone interview with Billboard when asked about further details. “But I talked to him the day he left. He sounded a little bit under the weather, a little weak. He was obviously apologizing profusely. And I said, 'Hey, buddy. Don't worry about it. We'll adjust.'”
One thing that could likely come out of the already completed dates of The Mike & Micky Show tour is a live album. “We recorded a bunch of shows. I think every show. And these days, you know, that's pretty easy to do on your frigging laptop. So I do know that it's in hand. I was thrilled with the reviews and the reaction that we got. And the music sounded wonderful. And Nez was actually in very good voice. I was too, frankly, if I do say so myself. So hopefully it's going to sound pretty cool.”
The Monkees Live Almanac is going on a two week vacation! I am currently at the beach enjoying some beautiful weather and sunshine. It's been a busy month around the site with the opening of "The Mike & Micky Show" back on June 1 in Chandler, Arizona. As we all know, the tour progressed through a dozen other cities before unfortunately coming to an early close in Philadelphia on June 21 as a result of Michael Nesmith falling ill before that evening's performance. All together, the final four dates of the tour were ultimately postponed. More importantly, I know I can speak for all Monkees fans in saying that we wish Nez a speedy recovery and some rest and relaxation.
"The Mike & Micky Show" provided Monkees fans with one of the more unique concert events in the group's history. Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith delivered a wholly fresh show complete with a set list full of deep cuts that exceeded expectations, a crack band, and some fresh arrangements, too. If more information becomes available about rescheduled dates while I'm on vacation, or any other pertinent Monkees-related news arises, I will share all of those updates here on the blog.
If you are a SiriusXM subscriber, tune in tonight to hear Micky and Michael join Dwight Yoakam on his Greater Bakersfield show. This appearance was taped back in the spring, and Part 1 aired on June 20.
As we begin the summer months, a reminder that Micky Dolenz will be appearing at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 1 to sing the "Star Spangled Banner" before the start of the Phillies-Nationals game at 1:35pm. Tickets are now on sale, and Jodi Ritzen is offering a special package where you can spend the game with Micky and his family inside the Bill Giles suite, complete with food and drink and autograph opportunities. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I can say from many personal experiences that Citizens Bank is a great ballpark to enjoy a baseball game!
Micky will also be appearing at Northeast Comic & Collectibles Extravaganza in Boxboro, Massachusetts on July 6-8, while attending a special screening of Head in nearby Arlington on July 6. Micky doesn't have any solo concerts on the books until August. And a special congratulations to the Dolenz family as Micky's new grandson, Huxley Elliott Brenner, was born to parents Emily (Dolenz) Brenner and husband William.
Have you checked out the wealth of bonus tracks on the new reissues of Michael Nesmith's RCA albums from the early 1970s? Brian Marchese wrote an essay to guide you through these gems! Don't forget about the trilogy of First National Band albums available on colored vinyl from Sundazed, too. And if you are looking to do some summer reading, Michael's Infinite Tuesday is now available in paperback.
Peter Tork has maintained somewhat of a low profile lately, but his latest album with Shoe Suede Blues, Relax Your Mind, a tribute to Lead Belly, is now available on compact disc at CD Baby. You can also download Relax Your Mind on CDBaby, BandCamp, Amazon, and iTunes.
The daughters of Davy Jones (all girls, as Davy was fond of joking), Talia Jones Roston, Sarah Jones McFadden, Jessica Cramer Jones, and Annabel Jones, recently announced the formation of Along Came Jones Media that will work to preserve Davy's legacy. Stop by the organization's website to sign up for exclusive news updates, and like their page on Facebook.
And don't forget about the recent and future releases by our friends at 7a Records. Their current Davy Jones single, "Rainbows," is now available, and pre-orders are being accepted for Michael Nesmith & The First National Band Redux Live at The Troubadour. There's also Micky Dolenz & The Metropole Orchestra: Out of Nowhere on both compact disc and vinyl.
Although things will be more quiet than usual around the blog over the next couple of weeks, the Live Almanac's Twitter and Facebook feeds will continue to be updated, so be sure to follow the site on those platforms!
As always, thanks for supporting The Monkees Live Almanac.
The latest release from 7a Records features two long lost tracks by Davy Jones. "Rainbows" was written and produced by Chip Douglas (who was also at the helm for The Monkees' Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. LPs along with singles like "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer," and "Goin' Down") and recorded by Davy in 1981. The song has long circulated in tape trading circles of Monkees/Davy fans, but this single marks its first official release.
"You Don't Have To Be A Country Boy To Sing A Country Song" was written by Davy and Tommy Boyce (who co-wrote some of The Monkees' biggest hits with Bobby Hart) and appeared as the B-side to "(Hey Ra Ra Ra) Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse," the official theme song for the 50th birthday celebration of Mickey Mouse. That single was released by Warner Brothers in 1978 in England only, and neither side has ever been officially issued on compact disc or been made available digitally. 7a previously provided fans with a sneak preview of the A-side.
This release is available as a 7" red vinyl single, and only 500 copies have been pressed. Of note, after speaking with 7a co-founder Glenn Gretlund earlier this week, only 50 copies remain in their stock. Deep Discount had the best pricing option, but they are currently sold out! (Check back later, however, for ordering options.) There are still limited quantities available from Amazon. And for UK customers, Amazon UK has the single listed but it's currently out of stock. Clearly this item is in demand, so be sure to get your copy soon!
The ever dependable Ben Belmares has supplied the Live Almanac with scans of his copy of the single below. As always, Ben, thank you! And another thanks must go to both Iain Lee and Glenn Gretlund at 7a Records for working so hard to preserve the legacy of the works of the individual Monkees. Don't forget to follow 7a Records on Facebook and Twitter. And you can read more about 7a's past releases in the archives of the Live Almanac.
Earlier this month, Michael Nesmith's 1970s-era albums for RCA Records appeared suddenly on various platforms, and more surprisingly, each album was chock-full of bonus tracks. As we all send our best wishes to Nez, take a look at Brian Marchese's brand new essay that examines the bonus content on these latest issues of Michael's RCA output.
The Best of the Previously Unreleased Michael Nesmith 1970-73 Tracks That Were Recently Released Without Any Announcement...
The last four dates of “The Monkees Present: The Mike & Micky Show” tour have been officially postponed.
This afternoon at the Keswick Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, site of what was to be this evening's sold-out performance by Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz, tour manager Andrew Sandoval addressed approximately 40 pre-show VIP attendees a little after 5pm and announced Michael was ill and that he was returning to Monterey, California to see his personal physician. The remaining shows in Philadelphia, New York, New York, Huntington, New York, and Red Bank, New Jersey, according to Andrew, will be rescheduled for January 2019.
I am leaving Philadelphia at the moment. More information later. The Monkees Live Almanac would like to extend well wishes to Nez for a speedy recovery!
UPDATE 6/21/2018 @ 7PM: Andrew Sandoval shared the following message on Facebook about the postponement of the remaining shows on the tour:
I was in the lobby at the Keswick Theatre this afternoon when Andrew addressed the fans gathered for the VIP soundcheck experience. Andrew handled what was obviously a very challenging situation with grace and poise. And the fans, while disappointed, were grateful to Andrew for coming to speak with everyone and vocally expressed their concern for Nez. A special thanks goes to the accommodating staff at the Keswick Theatre.
UPDATE #2 @ 8:30PM: Thank you to John Hughes of Rhino Records for submitting the following statement to The Monkees Live Almanac:
"Michael Nesmith had a minor health issue today in advance of his tour date in Philadelphia tonight. He visited a local medical facility and, although the issue was not serious, was advised to rest for the next week, so unfortunately the remaining four dates on The Monkees Present: The Mike & Micky Show tour have been postponed until a later date. Nesmith has been dismissed from the hospital and is traveling back to his home in Carmel Valley. He is in good spirits and thanks all the fans for their support and understanding. He looks forward to getting back on the stage again soon."
UPDATE #3 @ 9PM: Andrew Sandoval posted on Facebook for the second time this evening to dispute an article published by TMZ about Michael's condition:
TMZ later updated its original piece to clarify errors in their reporting.
UPDATE #4 @ 9:15PM: Various statements about the postponement of the final four shows have been shared on social media from Videoranch, the official Monkees Facebook page, and Peter Tork:
UPDATE #5 @ 9:40PM: Kyler Schwartz posted a photo on Facebook from inside the Keswick Theatre in Philadelphia after tonight's cancelation. VIP attendees were ultimately permitted to enter the theatre to use the restroom if needed. Band members John Billings and Rich Dart were mingling with fans inside. By the time I went to take a picture of the stage, the backdrop had already been removed and the stage was beginning to be cleared by the crew.
UPDATE #6 @ 10PM: The mainstream press are reporting about Michael's health issue and the postponement of the remaining dates on the tour:
UPDATE #7 on 6/25/2018:
UPDATE #8 on 6/26/2018: Micky Dolenz, in an interview with Billboard, speaks about Michael Nesmith, the postponement of the final four "Mike & Micky Show" dates, the potential for a live album from the tour, and more:
Micky Dolenz Talks The Monkees' Canceled Concerts Due to Mike Nesmith Illness: 'We're All Praying for Him'
UPDATE #9 on 6/29/2018: Michael's daughter, Jessica, posted the following message on her Facebook page:
UPDATE #10 on 7/3/2018:
UPDATE #11 on 7/12/2018: Michael's oldest son, Christian, posted the latest information about Nez on Facebook while also confirming that the previously announced First National Band fall tour will still take place: