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.
If you are fan of The Monkees' 1987 album, Pool It! (and even if you are not), this edition of the Nesmith, Tork, Goffin & King podcast will be sure to please! Listen as host Mark Kleiner inquires about the seemingly long-lost second version of "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere" with the song's co-writer Dick Eastman and chats with '80s Monkees manager David Fishof about record label interest for Pool It! Mark also speaks with former Rhino Records graphic artist Lisa Sutton, who discusses the album cover photo session, and finally, there's a revealing interview with the LP's producer, Roger Bechirian.
But wait, there's more! Mark also debuts the previously unheard demo for "Heart and Soul," the first single issued from Pool It!
The long-running British monthly music magazine, Record Collector, highlighted The Mike & Micky Show album in its April 2020 issue:
Below you can find more reviews of the album, and be sure to check back for updates!
Dolenz called a planned July return to touring for him and Nesmith "optimistic." "I think everybody's waiting for some sort of a drug … or vaccine. I'll be honest, I don't think I'm going to be too crazy about going out unless something of that nature happens."
Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith's upcoming summer tour has received a high recommendation in the April 2020 issue of Rolling Stone in a section titled "Rolling Stone Recommends," featuring their top pop culture picks, including films, music, podcasts, and documentaries:
Micky and Michael's latest concert tour, "An Evening With The Monkees," originally set for April 2020, has been rescheduled for this coming July and September as a result of the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus.
This article, submitted by longtime friend of the Live Almanac Al Bigley (who is also co-host of the Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion podcast), features a conversation with The Monkees during a West Coast promotional tour for their 1968 feature film, Head. Peggy King reports in the December 7, 1968 edition of the Oakland Tribune on The Monkees' feelings about the end of their NBC television series, including what King calls their "famous Flying Saucer episode," Michael Nesmith's ruminations of future Monkees activities, discussion of a double album (that never came to fruition), filming the TV special that became 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, and more. A highly recommended read for Monkees fans!
This photo of The Monkees, previously seen on social media and various online outlets, was seemingly taken during this Oakland Tribune interview:
And don't forget to listen to the latest episode of the Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion!
Micky Dolenz talks about coronavirus, "The Mike & Micky Show" live album, and more in new round of interviews (UPDATED 6/12/2020)
With the tour currently on hold, Dolenz is home like the rest of us, waiting to see what happens with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Given my normal lifestyle, I have been living out of my suitcase for years and this is the first time in I don’t know how long that I unpacked my suitcase completely and brought it back into the garage,” he said. “So, I’ve been going through drawers I haven’t looked at in years and spending some fun time at home. And I love cooking, so taking some classes on the internet and cooking every night. I’m also planting my garden, and this year I might actually be around for the harvest.”
The Micky D Cocktail
* 2 ounces Tito’s Vodka
* "An insinuation" of St. Germain
* A muddled orange in shaker . . . strain into a rocks glass
* Drink and smile
UPDATE #2: 4/17/2020:
UPDATE #1: 3/20/2020:
Thanks to 7a Records, you can listen to the very first audio samples from Micky Dolenz Live in Japan, coming this May! A big thank you to both Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee for providing this exclusive preview to The Monkees Live Almanac.
US customers can pre-order the CD + DVD edition from Amazon and Deep Discount, while UK customers can pre-order the CD + DVD from Amazon.
The 180 gram splatter vinyl LP is also available to pre-order in the US from Amazon and Deep Discount, and in the UK from Amazon.
Now, enjoy snippets of "Goin' Down," "Mary, Mary", "Randy Scouse Git," "Shades of Gray," "You Just May Be The One," "I Wanna Be Free," "Sunny Girlfriend," "Pillow Time," "I'm Your Man," "Tomorrow," and "To Be Or Not To Be."
ORIGINAL BLOG POST:
This spring, 7a Records will release Micky Dolenz Live in Japan on May 8 in the United Kingdom and May 15 in the United States as a lavishly packaged CD + DVD digi-sleeve set, including a 24-page booklet packed with informative liner notes written by Mark Kleiner and many previously unseen pictures. The DVD will include a concert filmed during the 1982 tour, and Live in Japan will also be released as a special limited edition pressing on 180 gram splatter vinyl.
Micky Dolenz traveled to Japan in early 1982 to give his first ever tour as a solo performer, towards the end of a massive Monkees resurgence that had been sparked there in the fall of 1980 when "Daydream Believer" was used in a Kodak commercial. Micky's Japanese concerts marked the closest thing he had ever done (up to that point) to a solo concert tour. While he had performed extensively in 1975 and 1976 with Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, he had seldom set foot on the concert stage post-Monkees 'on his own.'
Dolenz employed a Japanese group of musicians for his backup band, hiring an outfit called Marlboro. The '82 tour provided a revealing look into what he himself, only fifteen years removed from the original Monkees phenomenon, may have considered the crème-de-la-crème of the group's catalog. While the practice of playing deep cuts for diehard fans has become more common in recent years, at this early juncture Micky makes some captivating choices, including 1969’s "Pillow Time," written by his mother Janelle Scott, along with two standout Michael Nesmith compositions from The Monkees' third album Headquarters, "Sunny Girlfriend" and "You Just May Be The One." Also included are the Davy Jones staple "I Wanna Be Free," "Shades of Gray," and what might be the first-ever concert performance of "Zor and Zam." Everything concludes with Micky's then-current Japan-exclusive single "To Be Or Not To Be" b/w "Beverly Hills."
The CD + DVD version includes five bonus tracks, featuring the debut release of "I'm Your Man" from Micky's performance at the 1978 World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo, along with "Tomorrow" from the West End play Bugsy Malone, which Dolenz directed.
Check out a preview of Micky Dolenz Live in Japan below, and take a look at the full track listing of the CD, DVD, and LP courtesy of The Second Disc. Thanks to 7a Records, the Live Almanac was given an advanced preview of Mark Kleiner's liner notes, which are superb. And stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for audio samples from Live in Japan coming soon!
Live in 2021