On July 18th, 1966 at RCA Hollywood, Michael Nesmith acted as producer during a recording session that resulted in several of my favorite Monkees songs. Beginning at 8pm that evening and working until midnight, Nez was assisted by engineer Hank Cicalo while leading members of the Wrecking Crew (including Glen Campbell) along with his fellow Monkee, Peter Tork, through multiple takes of "I Won't Be The Same Without Her," "Sweet Young Thing," and the first version of "You Just May Be The One."
Andrew Sandoval documented the session in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation, and for this blog post, we'll place the spotlight on Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "I Won't Be The Same Without Her":
Before the start of their extensive tour across North America, Micky, Davy, and Michael were guests on Glen Campbell's variety show on February 5, 1969. The trio performed "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer," and "Salesman" live and lip-synced "Tear Drop City" (their brand new single at the time) after a series of comedy sketches. Those sketches are outrageously dated and a bit over the top, but it's still a fun watch and one of the few surviving pieces of footage of The Monkees as a trio in 1969. Plus, you get to catch a glimpse of Davy's ultra-cool customized Gretsch bass.
Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart's "Gonna Buy Me a Dog" played a key role in the episode, and this article highlights an attempt Michael Nesmith made at the song when he produced a backing track for it on July 7, 1966 at RCA Hollywood. That session featured multiple guitarists including Peter Tork, along with Wrecking Crew aces Glen Campbell, James Burton, Al Casey, and Jim Helms. The bassist was Bill Pitman, while Hal Blaine played drums and Billy Preston handled organ duties.
Nesmith's backing track never received a vocal and went unheard until 2006 when it was released on a deluxe edition of The Monkees' debut album. Boyce & Hart later cut their own (drastically different) version, and it was this take that was ultimately included on The Monkees.
Micky, Davy, and Mike were guests on Glen Campbell's variety show, airing on February 5, 1969. The trio performed "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer," and "Salesman" live and lip-synced "Tear Drop City" (their brand new single at the time) after participating in comedy sketches. The entire Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour appearance will be included on the bonus disc of the upcoming Monkees Blu-ray set.
In the latest Zilch podcast, Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval and Rhino producer John Hughes preview the upcoming Monkees Blu-ray set and reveal for the first time in-depth details about its contents. The duo discuss the restoration process of The Monkees' television series, recent film discoveries (promised to shock even the most hardcore Monkees fan, and including the full uncut performance of "Listen to the Band" from 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee), outtakes from Head, and more. Andrew also relays that a promo video for "Randy Scouse Git" produced by Top of the Pops in the United Kingdom has been discovered (unseen since its original airing in 1967), and that it will be one of the many bonuses included in the package (along with The Monkees' appearances on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and The Johnny Cash Show in 1969).
There's much more information to be heard from this interview, and I've tweeted some highlights on the Live Almanac's Twitter account. Click on the image below for this must-listen podcast! And thanks to the Zilch team for a job well done.
UPDATE 11/3/2015: You can now read a detailed overview of this interview with Monkees Blu-ray producers
Andrew Sandoval and John Hughes.
Version One, recorded in July 1966 and produced by Nez, showcased ace session players like James Burton, Glen Campbell, and Hal Blaine. Peter is also featured in the mix, playing guitar. This version was only heard on the TV show during the first season, and didn't see an official release until 1990's Missing Links, Volume 2.
The second version, from the group's third LP, Headquarters, features The Monkees on the backing track and was produced by Chip Douglas.
A big thanks to David Cox for giving the Live Almanac a heads up about a Glen Campbell music video that featured a Monkees reference. From David:
I found another hidden gem. Glen Campbell made a few great videos for his farewell album called 'Ghost on the Canvas.' Near the end of the video he is seen using the revered Gretsch Monkees model guitar. If that wasn't enough, a close look at some of the shots reveals it has been autographed by Micky Dolenz. Great artist, great song, and nice tip of the hat.
Remember, Glen Campbell was a session musician on several Monkees songs, including "Mary, Mary." You can see the Monkees Gretsch guitar starting at 2:42. Thanks, David!
"I love The Monkees because I dug the music." - Glen Campbell
Micky, Davy, and Michael were guests on Glen Campbell's variety show on February 5, 1969. The trio performed "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer," and "Salesman" live and lip-synced "Tear Drop City" (their brand new single at the time) after a series of comedy sketches. Their appearance was taped on January 26, 1969.