The expansive Monkees Blu-ray set, along with the deluxe editions for Instant Replay and The Monkees Present, and more are 20% off through July 4th at 11:59pm PST. Discounts will be applied at checkout. Click the image below to browse!
In 2010, Head was included in a Criterion Collection box set, America Lost & Found: The BBS Story, which highlighted the films of Bob Rafelson & Bert Schneider and Steve Blauner. This poster was created to promote the DVD and Blu-ray releases, as well as a screening of Head at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival in New York.
Call it a Pleasant Valley Monday! We're pleased to announce that The Monkees THE COMPLETE SERIES on Blu-ray is once again coming off the assembly line and is ready to ship right to your door. We've resolved the prior shipping issues that caused a small number of boxes to arrive with minor damage, so order with confidence.
The new Monkees Blu-ray collection includes a bonus 45 featuring previously unreleased mixes of both "Star Collector" and "Goin' Down." The former is an alternate mono mix and the latter is a mono vocal mix, featuring Micky Dolenz singing live in the TV studio to the backing track. Both versions of these well-known Monkees songs were heard exclusively on the soundtrack of the second season of The Monkees. You'll also note the nod to Colgems, The Monkees' original record label.
Late this afternoon replacement packaging for my Monkees Blu-ray box set arrived from Rhino Records. As everyone knows, many customers who purchased the collection were dismayed to find imperfections with the box housing the 10 Blu-ray discs, booklet, and bonus 45 single, including ripped placeholders and even reports of the lenticular cover becoming unglued. John Hughes of Rhino Records, who co-produced the Blu-ray project, quickly acknowledged these problems on Facebook, saying "We hear you and we are working on a plan to make any damages right. Please be patient with us for the next couple of weeks while we work this out."
I received a couple of emails yesterday from Monkees fans who had been issued shipping notices from UPS along with reports of actual deliveries of the replacement box. So, if you alerted Rhino about a concern, new boxes are on the way! Rhino Records is to be commended for rectifying this unfortunate occurrence in such quick fashion.
If your Blu-ray packaging suffered damage, please contact Rhino directly to inform them of your issue. In the meantime, hopefully everyone is enjoying the results of the dedication exhibited by Hughes, Andrew Sandoval, Dan Wingate, and others who made this Blu-ray collection a reality!
Thanks to Brian Marchese of Where's That Sound Coming From? for this brand new interview with Monkees archivist and tour producer Andrew Sandoval. Andrew talks extensively about his work on the new Monkees Blu-ray collection along with Rhino's packaging issues, how he got his start in the music business, working with Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter, and much more. Listen to Part 1 of 2 below:
Thanks to Chris Coyle who shared his email from Rhino's customer service department after contacting them about his damaged Blu-ray box. Here is the response:
Thank you for your email.
I am very sorry to hear about the damage to your box set.
We are currently coordinating replacement packaging.
I will update you as soon as possible, regarding our progress.
In the meantime, please reply with the following information:
Your order number
A photo displaying the damage to your box set
I apologize again for the damage and thank you for your continued patience.
If you have any questions, please let me know.
The Monkees Support
An open letter to Monkees fans:
I am overwhelmed by the response to The Monkees BluRay box set, literally. I cannot keep up with the IMs, kind or otherwise.
I need to be clear in the most polite way that I do not work for Rhino and I cannot be of any real help in your customer service issues with them of any variety. I do not have any real advice or special number to call. Please contact them directly.
To be clear, my business with Rhino is project by project and has been for the better part of our 27 year relationship. I feel terrible that I cannot be of more help and or answer every question, but my day & night job is producing The Monkees' concert tours and we have more dates this year than any year that I have been privileged to work with them. I am extraordinarily proud of their continued activity and stature as significant music makers.
I come to Facebook, much like you, as an escape from my work. However, some have found it rude that I do not answer every IM, I simply cannot and will not. Again, I am truly sorry. I am proud of The Monkees' BluRay set and particularly the incredible work of Dan Wingate (you can thank him for all the 33 1/3 outtakes and upgrade) and John Hughes for shouldering a mountain of issues - they are my co-producers and this set would not have been as great without them.
I want to close by saying how grateful I am for your support in my various projects, especially The Monkees. It is an incredible year in their history and I hope that we can all put that in perspective in the way we communicate with one another.
UPDATE 11/18/2017: Today on the Steve Hoffman Music Forums, Andrew further addressed concerns brought forth by some fans regarding the Monkees Blu-ray set:
I will address a couple of BluRay issues now that some time has passed:
1) The Jerry Lee Lewis part was excised because the publishing of the song was in dispute between two parties (neither of them Sony or Rhino). I suggested that Rhino put the money is escrow until the dispute between these parties was resolved, but they countered that they were opening themselves up to a lawsuit - which is true. They said either take the TV special off the box, or edit out the few seconds of that song. When I explained that the special was essential and so was this song, they rolled their eyes - it was a legal issue that I had no control over.
2) Rhino had good intentions about including the repeat songs in the set, but they assumed they could just dub in the tracks from the stereo album masters. When I explained that the mixes and edits were unique, and we could only do this if the material was found through Sony, we went back to Sony and there was no willingness on their part to allow us to review every source they had to find these or if they even still had them. FYI - the rerun versions are not labelled, which is why they randomly showed up in syndication and on the Japanese laser disc. Frankly, Sony only had one obligation: that was to deliver to Rhino the 58 shows with original music selections. Sony own the rights to syndicate the shows and with such a small number of episodes, their chances of making back the money of their restoration are slim. Each show cost about $5000 to transfer and that was before clearances of the songs. Rhino hasn't sold that many sets, so they aren't making back their money either. That makes any further projects very difficult.
Every additional song from the reruns required a new publishing clearance, and that was something that Rhino did not understand from the outset. We had many calls and discussions about this - the more I drilled down into the details of the 1969/70 reruns with the people at Rhino & Sony, the more they found it necessary to tune me out. Sony didn't have the hours to deal with these requests, they were on a deadline to deliver the HD versions of the show. Rhino's business and publishing people had no idea from the outset what the myriad of variations were in this property - this was one of dozens of projects they had to clear and they had to choose their battles.
They did generously allow me to transfer my personal 35mm's of the rerun songs and Ed Reilly also loaned me all of his 16mm film reels - neither of us were paid to do this. We did this to preserve what we could of the show. I also purchased other film outtakes and donated them to the project - I was happy to see these legitimately and professionally presented. That was payment enough.
3) The packaging: I had no involvement in the design or concept of the packaging. I saw a sample of it and that was it. I assumed that Rhino knew what they were doing. Hey, I didn't like the Good Times packaging either - but it was a hit record and the cover was just one element in a complex and delicate project. My main goal was getting Sony & Rhino to agree to the investment on restoring the show which was about $250k - that took several years. I know for $200 you expected more, and I am sorry, I did not get involved in that end of things. Most of my dealings with Rhino on this set were by phone or email, I did not have access to their customer service, nor could I provide replacements parts. I personally own 3 sets of the box, and 2 of them have issues that I have never gotten fixed - I haven't had the time. Unfortunately, I am the last person for a speedy resolution given the few hours I visit Rhino every year - I honestly do not have an office there and I am only allowed in the building when called for a meeting or appointment. They have security and technically I am a former employee. I know this is obvious to most people here, but for some it was not. I think that they imagine I am getting money for every box sold or I had some financial incentive with the preorders - I only did the promo and hype because I didn't want Rhino to regret their investment after so many years of waiting and watching the film elements degrade. Bottom line - Rhino owed you fixed boxes, I hope everyone got them.
4) I wanted to address a few of these things personally at the time, but they piled up and when I lurked in to see what was going on, I too got upset. My message to fans was after getting some quite troubling personal and private notes, that I will not share. You may judge that I should have been there more for people, that it was my obligation after sharing my excitement for the project publicly. I understand your point of view, but I did as much as I could under the circumstances. A few fans made it quite clear that I owed them and they owned me - they bought my book, so therefore I was obligated to answer every question they had. If I honestly did not know the answer, they could become quite aggressive and insulting. I too have watched a very small group of people on the road become aggressive and mean with The Monkees and it breaks my heart. So many great people out there, but some fans feel they own this thing and the people involved. It makes me feel bad when I see this, because it switches from love to hate very quickly and it is shocking.
Maybe this explains a few things, whatever the case, you may now go back to MOTM.
As previously reported, many customers who ordered the Monkees Blu-ray collection have received damaged boxes upon delivery. As a result, the following message has been posted on the ordering page of the Blu-ray set at Monkees.com:
As fans have started to receive their Blu-ray sets, we're getting reports that some of the boxes may be getting damaged during shipping. The weight of the 10 discs may be causing the sides of the box to rip when jostled from side to side during transport.
We have shipped out all of the pre-orders so that those fans that have been waiting a very long time can get start enjoying the set while we come up with a solution to take care of the damages.
We are putting a temporary hold on future shipments while we work this out. Please feel free to reserve your copy, but know any orders placed now will ship when we come up with a swift solution to this issue.
If you have received a box that was damaged in transport, please let us know using the form here – in the meantime, please enjoy the new HD transfers!
Over the course of the last two days, fans have started to receive their Monkees Blu-ray sets after being shipped by Rhino Records earlier this week. Initial reviews of the content, including the results of the extensive restoration efforts undertaken on The Monkees television series, Head, and more, have been overwhelmingly positive. The 10 disc collection also boasts a detailed booklet and an incredible amount of unique bonus material, including previously unseen outtakes from Head, the TV show, the "Listen to the Band" jam from 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, the September 1966 KHJ train ride, and more.
However, customers have taken to Facebook and other platforms in large numbers to discuss frustrations concerning imperfections with the packaging, including ripped placeholders, missing discs (particularly Season One, Disc Two), and even reports of the lenticular cover becoming unglued. In response, John Hughes of Rhino Records, who co-produced the Monkees Blu-ray collection, posted the following on Facebook earlier today:
What we know:
Looks like the boxes may be damaged during shipping. The weight of the 10 discs may be causing the sides of the box to rip when jostled from side to side during transport.
We hear you and we are working on a plan to make any damages right. Please be patient with us for the next couple of weeks while we work this out. We could stop shipments until we have a solution, but we feel getting the actual discs (yay!) into fans' hands is more important (after all the excruciating delays).
As always, I will keep you all up to date, but I do ask for your patience. In the meantime, grab the 33 1/3 disc and watch the "Edited Version" listed on the menu for a special treat...
Many fans have relayed that they have contacted Rhino to express their dissatisfaction while also sending pictures of the damaged packaging and inquiring about replacements. Be assured that Rhino Records is aware of all of these issues and are currently working on a solution to everyone's concerns, which are understandably frustrating.
Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for further updates, and in the meantime, enjoy all of the great content inside the box!
Check out this video that was just published on The Monkees' official YouTube channel:
Check out the video on The Monkees Live Almanac's Facebook page! And if you need to catch up on the forthcoming Monkees Blu-ray release (due July 8), visit the Live Almanac's archives.