Last night in Madison, Wisconsin at Overture Center for the Arts, Micky Dolenz and his band concluded a string of limited engagement shows meant to honor the legacy of The Monkees.
"Micky Dolenz Celebrates The Monkees," produced by Monkees historian and author Andrew Sandoval, opened on April 5 at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee (where The Monkees performed live in 2013 and also filmed an appearance with Johnny Cash in 1969). The Live Almanac covered the Nashville debut, complete with video footage, photographs, set list, and a look at the tour merchandise.
Joining Micky onstage for these special shows were members of The Monkees' touring band, featuring Coco Dolenz, Wayne Avers, John Billings, Rich Dart, Pete Finney, Alex Jules, and Emeen Zarookian.
At each stop, Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork were honored with individual video and song tributes, and the set list included numbers that haven't been aired in some time, with "Valleri" (performed in the style of the first recorded version), "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)," "Saturday's Child," "Can You Dig It," "Sometime in the Morning," "No Time," "Let's Dance On," "D.W. Washburn," and "That Was Then, This Is Now" all making appearances. During the pre-show, fans were treated to rare and unique audio selections playing over the house speakers, carefully curated by producer Sandoval in playlists that varied from city to city.
The promotional materials for the "Celebrates The Monkees" shows also advertised rare photos and film from Micky's personal archives. Some of the highlights projected on the screen behind the band included footage of The Monkees rehearsing at the Hollywood Bowl in 1967, Micky, Davy, and Michael atop the RCA Building, filming a Kool-Aid commercial and more all from 1969, home movies, outtakes from the 1986 video shoot for "That Was Then, This Is Now," and The Monkees inside the recording studio.
Micky will return to the road later this month, performing concerts and making various personal appearances throughout the summer. Check out Micky's current itinerary to see if he is coming to your town!
In the meantime, enjoy some performances below from different cities on Micky's "Celebrates The Monkees" tour (tribute videos screened for Michael, Davy, and Peter can be seen in the Akron, Ohio footage) and don't forget the Live Almanac's previous coverage of opening night in Nashville, Tennessee.
April 6: Richmond, Kentucky @ EKU Center for the Arts
April 8: Nashville, IN @ Brown County Music Center
April 9: Cincinnati, OH @ The Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center
April 11: Wheeling, West Virgina @ The Capitol Theatre (more)
April 12: Akron, Ohio @ Goodyear Theater
Thanks to the Monkees Forever YouTube channel for providing the complete show in Akron, Ohio. Watch the tribute videos for Michael Nesmith (11:50) and Davy Jones (29:00) below, as well as footage of The Monkees rehearsing at the Hollywood Bowl (45:10):
The tribute video for Peter Tork begins at 14:10:
April 15: Riverside, IA @ Riverside Casino & Golf Resort
April 16: Madison, WI @ Overture Center for the Arts
The wait is over. The Monkees: The Complete Series, housed in a lenticular box and including 10 Blu-ray discs, a booklet, as well as a bonus 45, is once again available via the official Monkees online store.
The set features all 58 episodes of The Monkees (newly remastered in HD from the original negatives for the very first time), the group's 1968 feature film Head (with never-before-seen outtakes), and the 1969 television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, along with a wide array of bonus materials.
Previously unreleased mixes of both "Star Collector" and "Goin' Down" appear on the bonus 7" record. 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 of "Goin' Down." Both versions of these well-known Monkees songs were heard exclusively on the soundtrack of the second season of The Monkees.
UPDATE 4/22/2022: The Blu-ray set is now out of stock. Shoppers are being asked to subscribe to an email list to receive a back in stock notification.
UPDATE 4/27/2022: The Blu-ray set has been removed from the online Monkees store.
UPDATE 4/29/2022: The online Monkees store now lists the Blu-ray set as "currently not available."
A brand new hoodie and T-shirt celebrating the Monkees Blu-ray collection also debuted today and can be purchased online while supplies last:
Earlier today it was announced that The Monkees will grace the cover of the upcoming March 2022 issue of MOJO. Featuring an interview with Micky Dolenz and a piece by David Fricke, look for it in bookstores soon. You can also purchase a copy online or select the digital download option.
MOJO offered previews of the issue on their website:
"As the world mourns Michael Nesmith, MOJO celebrates the ’60s phenomenon who transcended prefab pop – and the solo flights of their coolest member. His legacy: country-rock, MTV, that hat and more."
"In honor of the recently departed Michael Nesmith – the cool muso heart of the Monkees – and with the help of an exclusive new Micky Dolenz interview, we celebrate the group once dubbed the Prefab Four and explore the insanity of their ’60s rise and fall."
In the summer of 1967, The Monkees hit the road for a concert tour that stopped in nearly 30 cities in the United States and England, a tour that also boasted the Jimi Hendrix Experience as the opening act during its earliest dates. The footage below, filmed at unknown locations, shows the energy and excitement exuded by The Monkees during their live shows at this particular time in their career. It should be noted that the footage found in the first video has been synced with audio recordings from the '67 concerts.
As a bonus, here's a promotional clip for "Randy Scouse Git" that aired on the July 6, 1967 episode of the British music program Top of the Pops (showing footage filmed on June 29, 1967 as The Monkees arrived in London and later held their first official group press conference).
"Randy Scouse Git," written by Micky Dolenz and appearing on The Monkees' third album, Headquarters, had been issued as a single in the United Kingdom and ultimately peaked at #1 on the charts there (albeit under the name "Alternate Title").
The "Randy Scouse Git" promo clip had been unseen since its original airing until it was included as a bonus feature on The Monkees: The Complete Series (Blu-ray).
During the 1960s, The Monkees filmed several commercials as a quartet and also as a trio. At one point, Kellogg's sponsored The Monkees television show and Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter starred in a series of Rice Krispies commercials. The ads were shot while The Monkees were filming on location as well as on the set of their TV show. Davy and Michael were also featured in an ad for Yardley's Black Label cologne.
When The Monkees debuted in reruns on CBS in the fall of 1969, Kool-Aid acted as a sponsor. With Peter no longer a member of the group, Micky, Davy, and Michael filmed a variety of clips for Kool-Aid in the desert outside of Palm Springs, California and, in early 1970, at an amusement park in San Diego, California.
The video below compiles all of these classic Monkees commercial spots:
This July, the vinyl-only label Run Out Groove released The Monkees' eponymous debut album as an expanded deluxe limited edition double LP featuring previously unissued songs and new mixes. For this presentation, Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval, along with mastering engineer Kevin Grey, cut lacquers from the analog stereo tapes for the first time since its original pressing in 1966.
Run Out Groove's version of The Monkees arrived on two 180 gram records, featuring a gatefold jacket and never-before-seen photos and new liner notes by Sandoval. And now, you can check out this Run Out Groove exclusive below, courtesy of longtime Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares.
Between October 3 and 4, 1968, The Monkees performed three shows at the famed Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Thank you very much to Monkees author and collector Ed Reilly for sharing this photo!
7a Records, the label that specializes in Monkees solo-related projects and more, recently announced that a couple of their titles are now available to stream and download on over 70 different platforms. And on top of that, vinyl lovers rejoice! Peter Tork's 1994 solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, is coming soon on limited edition green vinyl.
Here's a rundown of 7a's latest activities:
In late 1980 Peter Tork formed a band called The New Monks, and shortly thereafter the group recorded a single, "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone"/"Higher and Higher." Last year, both songs were featured as bonus tracks on 7a's CD and vinyl editions of Peter's Stranger Things Have Happened album.
And now, for the first time, the single is officially available to stream or download:
Back in 2019, 7a revived Davy Jones' long out-of-print early 1980s live albums that were recorded and issued in Japan. Stream or download Davy Jones Live in Japan now:
Don't forget that this collection can still be purchased on compact disc and as a triple vinyl LP, and both of these versions contain exclusive bonus tracks.
In 1994, James Lee Stanley's Beachwood Records released Peter Tork's first ever solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, featuring several notable guest musicians and friends including Stanley, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Laurence Juber (Paul McCartney & Wings), Mackenzie Phillips, and Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles). Last year, 7a celebrated Stranger Things with an expansive compact disc reissue while also pressing a limited edition splatter vinyl.
Fans can now pre-order 7a's latest incarnation of the album, this time on transparent green vinyl, which is set for release on September 10:
In a recent email to subscribers, Andrew Sandoval, author of The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story, provided a detailed update on the shipping status of his new book, which is now expected to arrive in early September. As an added bonus, Andrew takes us back to the fall of 1966 with a compelling account of the initial recording session for The Monkees' signature hit single, "I'm a Believer."
Andrew's message appears below, and there's still time to pre-order a copy of Day-By-Day!
Greetings Beatland Readers!
As July 1966 ended, only Don Kirshner was sure of the Monkees’ success. When his trusted record makers – Snuff Garrett, Mickie Most, Carole King & Gerry Goffin – fell away, he remarkably switched gears to pull together an exceptional album – The Monkees – in just four weeks. And should the resulting release have any kind of success, he also had twelve songs (“All The King’s Horses”; “The Kind Of Girl I Could Love”; “I Don’t Think You Know Me”; “So Goes Love”; “I Won’t Be The Same Without Her”; “You Just May Be The One”; “I Can’t Get Her Off Of My Mind”; “Mary, Mary”; “Of You”; “(I Prithee) Do Not Ask For Love”; “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”; “Whatever’s Right”) already in progress to comprise a second album.
“Everybody seemed enthusiastic, except Mike Nesmith. [He had] a big attitude right from the beginning and he said at one point, ‘I’m a producer too, and that ain’t no hit.’ So, it was like, ‘Oooo.’ To break the tension I made what I thought was an obvious joke. I said, ‘Well, Mike, it’s not finished. You’ve got to picture this with the strings and the horns.’ Which I thought there wasn’t going to be strings and horns [on it, but he would understand that] and he goes, ‘Well, maybe it could be something with strings and horns.’ Then he realized everybody laughed and the relationship goes down from there.”
It is unknown if allowing Nesmith to sing at all was a bit of psychological theater staged by Kirshner and Barry to get what they ultimately wanted (Micky on lead vocals). Either way, Donnie would later learn he was playing with fire if his intention was indeed to play Nesmith. “We got in the studio,” recalled Davy in May 1967, “and Mike didn’t sing it the way Donnie wanted him to sing it and Donnie asked Mike to sing it a certain way and Mike didn’t sing it that way. And during a break Mike just split; he just left…He wasn’t taken off lead. He chose to be taken off himself by leaving.”
Fans of The Monkees' album Pool It! are sure to enjoy this lively and revealing discussion about the group's 1987 LP, led by Mark Kleiner (host of the Nesmith, Tork, Goffin & King podcast who has also penned superlative liner notes for various 7a Records releases) and his longtime friend and former Monkees pen pal, Lee Baber. Watch and listen as Mark and Lee welcome guests like producer Roger Bechirian (who expresses his desire to undertake a remix of the album), session guitarist Mark Christian, songwriters Michael Levine ("Since You Went Away") and Tom Teeley ("Don't Bring Me Down"), Monkees collector Ed Reilly, and graphic designer Delana Bettoli.
Thanks also goes to Mark Kleiner for sharing this photo of The Monkees taken by Rick Barham during filming of the music video for "Heart and Soul," the lead single from Pool It! Rick acted as the gaffer during the video's production.
Annabel Jones, Talia Jones Rosten, and Sarah Jones McFadden are featured in the latest issue of Sidelines Magazine. The ladies share stories about their dad and his love of horses, discuss the establishment of the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation, and more in this interview with Kimberly Gatto:
Dave Evans was a screenwriter on The Monkees television series. He is responsible for the episodes "Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers," "Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth," "Too Many Girls," "I Was a Teenage Monster," "Find The Monkees," "Alias Micky Dolenz," "The Christmas Show," and "Monkees Race Again." He also co-wrote "The Frodis Caper" with Micky Dolenz.
Watch episode 3 of The Monkees Pad Show, as Dave speaks with host JR about his personal friendships with each of the Monkees, writing episodes like "The Frodis Caper," his interactions with Charles Manson, working with Bob Rafelson & Bert Schneider, and much, much more!
The deadline is fast approaching to officially pre-order your copy of Andrew Sandoval's 740 page opus, The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story. And don't forget: the various editions of Day-By-Day will be produced in limited combined quantities. There is no plan to keep this book in print perpetually and an electronic version will not be offered. Pre-order now via Beatland Books!!
In the meantime, check out the latest news update from Andrew about Day-By-Day and much more, and then be sure to view the official unboxing video for the three distinct versions of the book, which also happens to feature a very interesting soundtrack!
Andrew has also previously provided two other updates about Day-By-Day, accompanied by exclusive photographs, through the Beatland Books email list. These are must reads! (UPDATED 9/21/2021 to include latest information)
Peter Mills is the author of the exceptional 2016 book, The Monkees, Head, and the '60s, and a friend of the Live Almanac. A while back, Peter relayed that he had to leave an abundance of material for his book on the cutting room floor, including an examination of Michael Nesmith's work with Ian Matthews in the early 1970s.
And now, Peter is sharing more of his shelved research, this time focusing on one of The Monkees' most iconic songs, "Goin' Down." Enjoy Peter's essay, linked below:
The Monkees' kicked off their 1969 concert tour, the first as a trio after Peter Tork left the group in late 1968, at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, BC, Canada on March 29, 1969. These photos of Davy, Michael, and Micky are courtesy of Photos by Vlad:
The Monkees are photographed below during a break in filming "It's a Nice Place to Visit," which ultimately became the first episode of the second season of their Emmy award-winning television show.
Last month The Monkees Pad video podcast debuted and was a resounding success, welcoming its first-ever guest, Monkees historian and author Andrew Sandoval. Now host Joe Russo has returned in Episode 2, featuring none other than Chip Douglas!
Long revered by Monkees fans, Douglas acted as producer of two of the group's most acclaimed albums, Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., along with some of their best single sides, including "Daydream Believer," "Goin' Down," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Words," and "The Girl I Knew Somewhere." Joe's brand new interview is all the more special since Chip has granted relatively few interviews in recent years. Highlights include an inside look at the recording sessions for Headquarters, original video, plus an exclusive airing of an unreleased vintage Davy Jones recording, "Bright Sunny Day."
Listeners can look forward to a "Part 2" of the interview where Chip discusses his work on the Pisces album and much more. For now, enjoy Joe's conversation with Chip Douglas below, and don't forget to follow The Monkees Pad podcast on Facebook. You can also read more about Chip in the archives of The Monkees Live Almanac.
In an intriguing conversation with Andy Greene from Rolling Stone published today on the magazine's website, Andrew Sandoval discusses his upcoming book, The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story, how is understanding of the group, particularly their struggles with Don Kirshner, changed after extensive new research, the likelihood that Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith's fall tour could act as a "farewell," and more:
In Memoriam: Michael Nesmith
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart returns
Dolenz sings Nesmith - The E.P.
50th Anniversary Editions
Micky Dolenz Live!