This past November, the 50th anniversary of Head was commemorated at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and featured special guests Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith. Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval hosted a Q&A session with Micky and Michael after the sold-out screening, which also included a slideshow created by Andrew that showcased photographs taken by legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. The slideshow revealed many never before seen photos from The Monkees' appearance at Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah while filming the "Circle Sky" sequence for the movie Head, screenshots which can be seen below. (The slideshow can be viewed in its entirety at Michael Nesmith's Videoranch Facebook page.)
On May 17, 1968, The Monkees finished their first and only motion picture, Head, with the filming of the "Circle Sky" concert scene in front of four thousand fans at the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah. They performed "Circle Sky" several times for the cameras and also did a handful of other special requests.
Patio Gardens, a venue housed inside the Farmington, Utah amusement resort Lagoon, was the original location for the filming of "Circle Sky." The venue was changed at the last minute to the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City for logistical reasons, despite fans already waiting in line at Patio Gardens. To make amends, The Monkees delivered a 30-minute set later that evening in front of a crowd of five thousand at Patio Gardens. This particular show was not filmed or recorded, and a setlist has yet to surface. The two Utah-based concerts in May 1968 would constitute the last live performances by all four Monkees in the United States until 1986.
This past November, the 50th anniversary of Head was commemorated at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and featured special guests Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith. Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval hosted a Q&A session with Micky and Michael after the sold-out screening, which also included a slideshow created by Andrew that showcased photographs taken by legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. The final part of the slideshow revealed many never before seen photos from The Monkees' performance at Lagoon's Patio Gardens, screenshots which can be seen below. (The slideshow can be viewed in its entirety at Michael Nesmith's Videoranch Facebook page.)
A special thanks goes to the Live Almanac's friends at Written In Our Hearts for inspiring this post based on screenshots they had previously shared from the Diltz slideshow!
In June 2017, The Monkees Live Almanac reported about a new listing on Amazon for the long-awaited Monkees book by Gary Strobl, Henry Diltz, and Harvey Kubernik. Entitled The Monkees: From Reel to Real, the online retailer advertised a release date of September 18, 2017. When speaking with Omnibus Press (the publisher of Reel to Real) last summer after the book appeared on Amazon, the Live Almanac was able to attain more information, including that the publication date had actually been delayed to 2018.
Unfortunately, one year later, it can now be reported that The Monkees: From Reel to Real is experiencing another postponement. Today I spoke with Matthew from Omnibus Press, and he was kind enough to take time to update fans about the book. "October 2019 is the current pub date," Matthew relayed to the Live Almanac. "The book is a mighty tome and we are putting in the work to make sure that this is the best book it can be. Rest assured it will be worth the wait when it arrives. We’re obviously very keen for the fans to know that we’re taking the book seriously and are determined to bring everyone a book about the Monkees that will stand as their definitive story."
The Monkees Live Almanac will continue to report more information about this project as it becomes available. And a special thanks to Matthew at Omnibus Press for providing the latest updates on the publication of Reel to Real.
Earlier this week, The Monkees Live Almanac reported about a new listing on Amazon for the long-awaited Monkees book by Gary Strobl, Henry Diltz, and Harvey Kubernik. Entitled The Monkees: From Reel to Real, the online retailer advertised a release date of September 18, 2017. The Live Almanac can now confirm that the book has been delayed to 2018.
Sophie, a representative from Omnibus Press (the publisher of Reel to Real) was highly enthused about the project while also explaining the postponement. "We're thrilled to be publishing this title," she told the Live Almanac. "The pub date is actually being put back so we can incorporate some new material. It's likely to be delayed until September of next year, though we may publish in the spring. It's going to be a truly beautiful thing, so I hope you'll forgive the new date!"
Be sure to stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for further updates.
Gary Strobl is a lifelong Monkees fan and collector who has been compiling a book on The Monkees since 1983, conducting research and amassing numerous amounts of interviews through the years. Strobl, in collaboration with noted rock and Monkees photographer Henry Diltz, and journalist Harvey Kubernik, announced in May 2013 that a deal had been signed to publish their work. And now, it looks like Gary and company's long-awaited book on The Monkees will become a reality!
Amazon now shows a listing for The Monkees: From Reel to Real from Omnibus Press, with a release date of September 18, 2017. The online retailer provides the following description for the 496 page hardcover book:
In 1965 America launched its assault on The Beatles - a blueprint boy band called The Monkees who against all the odds triumphed with their music, their personalities and their zany half-hour TV shows. The quartet of Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith spent three years in a blazing spotlight before disintegrating into a mess of recriminations and ill-feeling. With contributions from all the major players in the Monkees' saga - including the four Monkees themselves - Reel To Real is an oral history of the group that follows their adventures through to their eventual split. Along the way we learn how they came together, the background to their movie Head! and the financial chaos that loomed with the realization that the only ones who didn't make any money out of The Monkees were The Monkees themselves.
Thank you very much to Dan McKenzine for giving the heads-up to the Live Almanac about the Amazon listing. Stay tuned for more details!
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of The Monkees' performance at the Hollywood Bowl on June 9, 1967, the group's official Facebook page posted these wonderful images by Henry Diltz.
Diltz will be on hand to provide color commentary between songs, reminiscing about his hippie days in the canyon, where talented musicians converged from all over North America in the sprawling homes of “Mama” Cass Elliot, the den mother they considered the Gertrude Stein of folk-rock; Frank Zappa, who lived for a time in the grand log cabin that once belonged to cowboy actor Tom Mix; and the Monkees’ Peter Tork, whose hillside home had orange walls and huge picture windows.
Spot Henry in the reflection of Micky's sunglasses!
Micky traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii on December 26, 1967 to vacation at Monkees producer Chip Douglas's parents' house. This article was originally published in the April 1968 issue of Tiger Beat.
The July 1995 issue of Television Chronicles magazine featured an extensive article written by Bill Groves about The Monkees television series, and also included an interview with legendary rock and Monkees photographer Henry Diltz.
A photo from this session appeared in the 1969 Monkees tour program:
The Monkees Live Almanac would like to wish a very happy birthday to rock and Monkees photographer extraordinaire Henry Diltz, who was born on this day in 1938 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Henry is also a musician, and is perhaps most famously known for being a member of the Modern Folk Quartet. While a member of MFQ, Diltz became interested in photography, met The Monkees, played on some of their recording sessions, and took numerous photographs of the group. Henry was the official photographer at Woodstock, as well as the Monterey Pop Festival, and has photographed numerous album covers, including Morrison Hotel (The Doors) and the debut LP from Crosby, Stills & Nash.
This blog has an entire category dedicated to Henry, with plenty of great stories and articles. Oh, and Henry, if you are reading, how about a photo book centered around your rare photographs of The Monkees to celebrate the group's 50th Anniversary next year?!
Check out Henry Diltz (on banjo), Chip Douglas (on bass), and company performing on the music variety show in 1965. That's Monkees session drummer Eddie Hoh on drums.
They are performing "Come On In," a song Peter tackled in 1968 as a member of The Monkees:
"One day in 1968 in Laurel Canyon I made myself some special Virgo love beads. There were seven blue and seven white with one red one at the very end. I wore them the next day on The Monkees film set and right away Davy Jones asked me if I would make some for him. Then the camera man wanted some. Holy cow, these were my special personal love beads! Soon the teenybopper magazines were advertising Monkees Love Beads and selling packets... 'string em yourself.' At least they never knew about the one red bead at the end..."
In a recent Facebook post, Henry Diltz recalled the Gene Clark Group, featuring Chip Douglas, who would later become The Monkees' producer in the recording studio:
"The Gene Clark group outside the Whiskey A Go Go in 1966 (my first year photographing). L to R: Chip Douglas (a.k.a. Douglas Hatlelid), my bandmate from the MFQ, Bill Rinehart, guitarist and surfer, Gene Clark, former Byrd, Joel Larsen, drummer and driver. A short-lived but cool group."
Read about Henry's travels with The Monkees during their 1967 summer tour in this article from the November 1967 issue of Tiger Beat. (Click each image to enlarge.)
This message appeared today on Henry's Facebook page:
"California Dreamin': The Sounds of Laurel Canyon 1965-1977" was held at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on May 9, 2014. The panel consisted of 7 members of the music industry who discussed "The remarkably rich sounds of Laurel Canyon and the sheer number of songwriters, bands, producers, artists, engineers, and record company people who have lived and worked out of Laurel Canyon." Grammy Museum executive director Bob Santelli noted the impetus behind the event. "We felt it was important to tell that story, right here in our hometown. Laurel Canyon was as much a mindset as it was a music scene," Santelli said.
The panelists were:
1. Henry Diltz - Rock Photographer
2. Joel Larson - Grass Roots
3. Micky Dolenz - The Monkees
4. Danny Hutton - Three Dog Night
5. Gail Zappa - Frank Zappa's wife
6. Harvey Kubernik - Music journalist
7. Art Podell - The New Christy Minstrels