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.
"Early Morning Blues and Greens," written by Jack Keller and Diane Hildebrand, originally appeared on The Monkees' third LP, Headquarters, in 1967. Peter was known to be fond of the song and delivered an inspired rendition of it with Shoe Suede Blues on their 2013 album, Step by Step:
The Monkees' version featured a lead vocal by Davy Jones with Peter providing the harmony vocal:
Peter talked about the March 1967 recording sessions for the song in Andrew Sandoval's book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
"Early Morning Blues and Greens" made its live concert debut on The Monkees' 2012 tour, and here Peter performs the song at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey in July 2013:
Last night, "The Mike & Micky Show" stopped at The Paramount in Huntington, New York. Thanks to Monkees archivist and tour producer Andrew Sandoval for sharing the evening's set list!
Micky Dolenz also happened to be celebrating a birthday yesterday. Prior to the performance of "Randy Scouse Git," Andrew presented Micky with a cake and a special birthday gift. He shared a photo of the gift and the story behind it on his Facebook page:
Live Almanac reader Andrew Lenahan recently acquired a Headquarters LP at a thrift store, and inside was a ticket stub from The Monkees' appearance at the Hollywood Bowl! The Monkees performed in front of a sold-out audience of over 17,000 at the historic venue on June 9, 1967. Just one day after this triumph, the group recorded "Pleasant Valley Sunday" at RCA Hollywood.
Micky, Michael, and the band continued rehearsals today at Videoranch, and you can listen to a run- through of "You Told Me" below. Don't forget to check out yesterday's piece in Rolling Stone about the upcoming tour along with more rehearsal footage (including "Auntie's Municipal Court"!).
In an August 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Peter Tork spoke about his composition "Can You Dig It," a highlight from the soundtrack of The Monkees' 1968 feature film, Head:
"This started as a set of changes I wrote in college and didn't know what to do with. Then one afternoon on the set of The Monkees we were making the TV show and I had my guitar in my dressing room. The basic lyrics came to me and these changes I had stored in the back of my brain spring forth and dictated that kind of vaguely Spanish/North African harmonic sense. I was writing about the great unknown source of all. It was perfect for the Head soundtrack."
Here's "Can You Dig It" as it appeared in Head:
Micky Dolenz sang the officially released version of the song, but Peter also recorded a vocal for it that finally saw the light of day in 1994 on Rhino's CD release of the Head soundtrack:
Peter demoed the song, without vocals, during sesssions for The Monkees' third LP, Headquarters:
"Can You Dig It" made its first live appearance in a Monkees concert during the group's 1987 summer tour with Peter handling lead vocals and Micky on drums:
Here, Peter, Micky, and Michael perform "Can You Dig It?" at the State Theatre Regional Arts Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey on November 30, 2012:
Now available from Friday Music is Headquarters: Stack-O-Tracks on 180 gram clear vinyl. The LP features the instrumental backing tracks for each song from The Monkees' third album.
Thank you very much to Ben Belmares for providing scans of his copy that arrived today.
Recently on the Videoranch Facebook page, a fan named Barry asked Michael the following question: "Who is Mr. Bob Dobalina in the track 'Zilch'?" Here was his response:
In an August 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Nez spoke about the opening track of The Monkees' third album, 1967's Headquarters:
"When I joined The Monkees they kept saying, 'You gotta write a pop song.' This is one of the two I wrote, along with 'The Girl I Knew Somewhere.' I was really happy with the way it turned out, and it came out on the only album we ever made by ourselves, which was Headquarters. When I say 'we,' I mean the four principal actors. Peter put a great banjo on it and it came to life.
"People think it was amazing that four guys hired for a TV show could actually form a band, but I don't see it that way. It's not that amazing when you think of the tenor of the times. You put any four guys in a room in the 1960s and you had a band, all the way from The Grateful Dead to Buffalo Springfield. It isn't that amazing that four people in a group would start singing and playing together, especially since they were hired to perform that as actors."
Monkees Farewell Tour
Dolenz sings Nesmith