In 1987, The Monkees released their first album of all new material since 1970. Pool It! arrived in August of that year from Rhino Records, preceded by the LP's first single and music video, "Heart and Soul," which made its mark on select channels and Nickelodeon (but famously not MTV).
The article below, "The Monkees: All New Tracks to Satisfy the Faithful," was originally published in Pulse!, a magazine that was available at Tower Records locations in the '80s. It includes comments from the album's producer, Roger Bechirian. Thanks to Keith Combs who shared the article on Facebook a while back, and I thought it would be nice to archive it in the Live Almanac's Pool It! category. Thanks, Keith!
This ad for Pool It! and "Heart and Soul" was included in the same issue of Pulse!:
While we're on the subject, here's a rare behind the scenes photo of Peter, Micky, and Davy during filming of the "Heart and Soul" video in Los Angeles in July 1987:
Finally, earlier this fall Henry Diltz shared this outtake from the Pool It! album cover photo session on his Facebook page:
What is the Monkeemobile all about? What was the idea behind this iconic vehicle? And eventually, what happened to the Monkeemobile?
Monkees archivist talks about deluxe vinyl set of group's debut album, revised book, and much more on "Zilch"
"Heart and Soul," the first single from The Monkees' album Pool It!, was issued in July 1987. This clipping originates from an unknown source, and was originally published in August 1987.
Exhausted by the events of 2020? Fear not. Monkees fans have something to anticipate in the new year! Andrew Sandoval, Monkees archivist, author, and producer, has confirmed that an updated edition of his 2005 book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation, is set for publication in spring 2021. Long considered the ultimate source for the most complete story of The Monkees' television, theatrical, recording, live concert, and public appearance career, the book has not been simply updated, it has been thoroughly rewritten! Andrew spoke with the Live Almanac this week to provide insight into his latest project.
"In 2019, I decided to revise my book: The Monkees Day-By-Day Story. I began the process of working on the years from 1971-2019, filling in details and researching the eras I did not cover in the original book. I had hoped to make some corrections and updates in the original book text and move forward." But then Andrew revealed a tidbit that will be sure to pique the interest of Monkees fans worldwide, one that ultimately altered the vision of the project itself.
"My plans changed dramatically with the discovery of more than 2,000 pages of documents covering the years 1965-1970. When I approached integrating these into the original text, I realized the book would need to be completely rewritten. So much of what I understood in my original research about The Monkees' formation and struggle for musical independence was completely changed through my new discoveries."
Andrew continued to expound on just how different the revamped edition of his tome will be upon its release. "New recording information, shooting dates for the series, personal appearances, and literally hundreds of unpublished images will be included. A special emphasis is placed on the later years from 1969-1971. However, the biggest expansion of information is in the year 1967 (as well as the pre-Monkees years). I look forward to sharing more when I have definitive details."
Since the publication of Andrew's book fifteen years ago, Monkees fans have often expressed a desire to see an updated version that dives into the '70s all the way through the current day. Andrew explained why the initial era of the group remained his first priority. "I began rewriting the entire text from Peter's birth in 1942 through The Monkees' final contractual movements in 1971. What has developed is the most unique picture of their original incarnation. I had to make a choice timewise if I should be chasing celebrity tennis match dates of the 1970s or documenting how the Monkees became a group. I felt the latter was more important in the long run."
But rest assured, telling the complete story of The Monkees through the ensuing decades remains on the horizon. "I will tackle the later years in a separate volume sometime in the future," Andrew told the Live Almanac.
Andrew's first Monkees-related project came to fruition in 1990 when he acted as co-producer (along with Bill Inglot) for 1990's Missing Links Volume Two collection, which also featured liner notes penned by Sandoval. Since then, he has produced numerous Monkees releases for Rhino Records, including CD reissues, multiple box set treatments of Monkees music, and DVD and Blu-ray collections of the group's 1960s television series and feature film, Head. He is responsible for The Monkees' triumphant return to the concert stage in 2011 and went on to produce subsequent tours for the group throughout the last decade, as well as the "The Mike & Micky Show" that was a hit at venues in North America, Australia, and New Zealand in 2018 and 2019. Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz were set to return to the road in the spring of 2020, but COVID-19 altered those plans.
When speaking with the Live Almanac, Andrew also relayed details about the proposed layout of the book, his plan for publishing it, and more. "The book will be completely redesigned with all new photos and graphics. The original book's photos will mostly not be carried over. I am currently completing the text and it will go into print sometime in November. Printing will likely take three to four months, so the book will be available in early spring."
And this time around, readers will be able to purchase the finished product directly from Andrew, rather than at your local bookstore or online outlet. "The book will only be available directly from me via mail order. I do not know of the price yet because the book is still growing in size. There will be no digital version of the book. It will not be available through Amazon. I will be shipping internationally. The books will be deluxe hardbacks, numbered, and signed."
"I am aware that a lot of people enjoyed my original book and were able to find it used or at a reduced price," Andrew said. "I am not presently in a position to offer my work in this way, though I do know it limits my audience. The new book will be available for pre-order when I have a definitive page count, price, and delivery date."
While we all anxiously await Andrew's book, be sure to listen to his wonderful internet radio show, Come to the Sunshine, and check back with The Monkees Live Almanac for future updates!
For years, Micky Dolenz has spoken about his admiration for Michael Nesmith, including his song catalog stretching from the Monkees era all the way through Nez's varied solo output. And their well-known camaraderie was on full display during the recent "Mike & Micky Show" tours. "Way back in the day when we were in the recording studio, Nez and I fell into this wonderful harmonic vocal blend I called 'The Everly Monkees,' as exemplified by the beautiful song 'Me & Magdalena,'" Micky wrote in the liner notes of the The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show. "On the set of The Monkees TV show, we would fall into some ad-lib riff and totally crack each other up. We often joked about one day having 'The Mike & Micky Show'!"
Those 2018-2019 dates were a critical and commercial success, performing to audiences in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Although Micky and Michael's most recently scheduled tour has twice been postponed due to COVID-19, Rolling Stone delivered some welcome news today that Micky Dolenz will record an album covering the works of his longtime friend and musical partner Michael Nesmith. "I've always been a huge fan of his songs,” Micky told Rolling Stone. "He's just so prolific."
According to Rolling Stone, recording has not commenced for Dolenz Sings Nesmith and there's no firm track listing, but Christian Nesmith, Michael's oldest son, will be producing the project while Monkees manager and historian Andrew Sandoval will be handling A&R duties. 7a Records, the British-based label fronted by Glenn Gretlund and well-known to fans for its Monkees-related releases over the last several years, will issue the album.
Read more from Rolling Stone: Dolenz Sings Nesmith will be packed with songs Nez wrote throughout his long career, including Monkees classics
UPDATE 11/23/2020: Micky is currently recording the album in Los Angeles, and 7a's Glenn Gretlund has informed the Live Almanac that a tentative release date is set for March 2021.
Micky Dolenz speaks with Forbes.com about Frank Zappa, playing drums, missing Davy & Peter, and more
And listen to Iain Lee and Glenn Gretlund from 7a Records as they discuss their latest project on the Zilch podcast. Click the image below to listen!
Thanks much to Bill Weimer for submitting this vintage piece examining The Monkees' 1968 album, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees, as published in the June 23, 1968 issue of the Chicago Tribune. Some clichés abound, but author Robb Baker provides an interesting examination of the group's fifth million-seller.
Listen to The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees courtesy of The Monkees' official YouTube channel:
Asking that musical question: Did Colgems intend to reissue The Monkees' catalog in late 1969/early 1970?
Ed Reilly is a first generation Monkees fan, collector, and author who co-published one of the principal books about The Monkees during the group's 1980s revival. Ed is also known for his long running column in (the now defunct) Monkee Business Fanzine. Entitled "Star Collector," Ed would break down a wide range of Monkees memorabilia, including everything from toys, trading cards, records, and much more. In 1986, Ed co-produced the Monkees convention in Philadelphia that summer.
In the article linked below, published last week on Monkee45s, Ed examines possible intentions of The Monkees' label, Colgems, during the waning days of the group in its original incarnation. Check it out!
"The primary purpose of the SoCal Music Hall of Fame is to honor, promote and commemorate California's musical heritage. Micky Dolenz of The Monkees is more than worthy of this coveted recognition."
Earlier this year, San Francisco's Sketchfest paid tribute to The Monkees by hosting Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith, who took part in a panel discussion with author Paul Myers. First held in 2002, Sketchfest has grown into a nationally recognized comedy festival that mixes national headliners, local favorites, and the best up-and-coming groups from throughout North America for a month of sketch, improv, stand-up, and alternative comedy. Micky and Michael's conversation with Myers from January 12 at Marines' Memorial Theatre will be available to rent online later this month.
According to Sketchfest, proceeds will go toward "helping to keep our small business afloat, to the performers featured, and to select charities and fundraisers for fellow independent artists and venues in our comedy community."
Watch the trailer below, and a big thanks to Neil D. for alerting the Live Almanac about this opportunity to watch Micky & Nez!
Peter Mills, author of The Monkees, Head, and the '60s, recently reviewed The Mike & Micky Show on his blog, Pete Sounds:
Adam Schlesinger, who produced The Monkees' 2016 album Good Times! along with the group's first-ever holiday collection Christmas Party (2018), passed away on April 1, 2020 at age 52 from complications of COVID-19.
"As many of you are aware, Adam had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and although he had been making some small improvements over the last few days, Adam's condition was critical and he was ultimately unable to recover from COVID-19 complications," read a statement on April 2 provided to CNN. "He was truly a prolific talent and even more so, a loving and devoted father, son and friend."
Adam was a member of the bands Fountains of Wayne and Ivy, along with the supergroup Tinted Windows, whose song "This Is The Day" was featured in There's Something About Mary. His notable achievements also included TV and film songwriting, which stretched from That Thing You Do to Music and Lyrics to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Fountains of Wayne was perhaps best known for the early 2000s hit single "Stacy's Mom," which was nominated for a Grammy. Schlesinger was also an Emmy-winning songwriter for the CW musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a show for which he composed more than 100 songs. He received an Oscar nomination for writing the title song to That Thing You Do, directed by Tom Hanks, as well as two Tony nominations for his work on the musical adaptation of John Waters' film Cry-Baby in 2008. In addition to his songwriting, Schlesinger produced recordings for such musical artists as They Might Be Giants, America, and Robert Plant.
Good Times!, The Monkees' first album of all new material since 1996's Justus, was produced by Schlesinger and included his own composition, "Our Own World," along with a song co-written with Micky Dolenz, a send-up of an oft-used phrase utilized by Dolenz over the years, "I Was There (And I'm Told I Had a Good Time)." The album peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 in June 2016.
Schlesinger appeared onstage with The Monkees in New York City during the group's 50th Anniversary Tour, performing "I Was There" and "Steppin' Stone."
Micky Dolenz remembered Adam in an interview with WCBS FM. "He was such a great guy, a gentleman, and funny, and so smart. And obviously an incredible producer, writer, performer. I wrote a song with him on Good Times! I just can't believe it. That's by far the closest person to me that's been affected [by COVID-19] and I think about him all the time. What a loss."
Schlesinger was effusive in his praise of Dolenz in a 2016 interview with Fast Company when talking about the recording sessions for Good Times! "Micky was a real workhorse, and I think he did more hours in the studio than all the other guys, in total, because he sang most of the songs. He was a real trooper, and his voice is incredible – in most cases, when you’re working with older singers, you’re having to transpose things lower, and in Micky’s case, we’re actually having to transpose things higher, because he’s got this incredible range."
Adam's collaboration with The Monkees on Good Times! was seemingly a high point in his career. "They were all incredibly easy and fun to work with," he told Fast Company. "Everybody has the attitude of 'let us know what we can do to help - here are some ideas, take them or leave them.' They're very collaborative."
The Monkees' official website paid tribute to Adam Schlesinger after the announcement of his death, while also highlighting his work on Good Times! "Even the most optimistic Monkees fan couldn’t have guessed just how wonderful an effort Schlesinger would help put together. It wasn't just a comeback album, it was an instant classic that was – without question – the best thing the band had released since the '60s."
Ben Gibbard, lead vocalist and guitarist of Death Cab For Cutie, whose song "Me & Magdalena" proved to be a highlight from Good Times!, also commemorated Adam.
"I never got to meet Adam," Gibbard relayed during an at-home live stream concert after Schlesinger passed. "We had a lot of connective tissue - a lot of friends in common - but we never had a chance to meet. But I owe him a huge debt of gratitude because he was integral in picking 'Me & Magdalena' for The Monkees to record four years ago."
"I always thought as one does in life that you have plenty of time to say thank you, or I love you, or to give somebody a compliment or what have you, but that day obviously did not come," said Gibbard. "From the bottom of my heart, I'm so grateful to him for helping me realize a lifelong dream, which was to write a song that would be recorded by The Monkees, a band I grew up listening to."
Adam Schlesinger returned to the producer's chair for The Monkees on Christmas Party in 2018. Schlesinger co-wrote one of the standout tracks on the holiday collection, "House of Broken Gingerbread," with novelist Michael Chabon.
Adam was survived by his two daughters, Sadie and Claire, his girlfriend Alexis Morley, his parents Barbara and Stephen Schlesinger, and his sister Lauren.
Listen to the latest podcasts from Rhino, NPR's Fresh Air, Zilch, Nesmith, Tork, Goffin & King, and Rolling Stone as they honor the life and accomplishments of Adam Schlesinger.
Thanks a lot to longtime Live Almanac contributor Al Bigley for submitting this article where Nez opens up about the end of The Monkees while also discussing the group's 1968 feature film, Head, still under the working title of Changes, and much more.
The Monkees are the featured story in the upcoming June 2020 issue of Goldmine. The magazine is available via Amazon Kindle, but as of this posting, Amazon still lists the May edition as the most current. Goldmine's website happens to be offering their May issue (featuring Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on the cover) as a complimentary digital download. Keep an eye on these links for future availability. And thanks to Scott Nelson for advising the Live Almanac about The Monkees' latest entry in Goldmine!
UPDATE 4/27/2020: The June 2020 issue featuring The Monkees is now available to purchase digitally via the Kindle edition on Amazon.
UPDATE 5/28/2020: The issue is now available as a complimentary download! And you can read the featured interview with Micky Dolenz on Goldmine's website.
Live in 2021
Coming Soon from 7a Records