The group poses with the co-founder of Rhino Records in this photograph originally published in the December 1996 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine:
Thanks to Jeff Gehringer (who scanned this one before I got to it!) for submitting this article featured in USA Today on November 18, 1996. At the time of its publication, Justus had been released and The Monkees were preparing for a Los Angeles club concert to promote the album.
This comes from Harold Bronson's book, Hey, Hey, We're The Monkees. For easier reading, click on each image and then click on it again.
This photo was taken on November 16, 1996, just days before the Los Angeles club gig to promote the release of Justus.
The December 1997 issue of Guitar World magazine featured an extensive piece on The Monkees entitled "Monkees in the Middle." This is a rarely discussed article that I don't believe has been previously available online.
Published in the aftermath of the 1997 UK tour which saw Michael Nesmith depart the group, the article features comments from a clearly disgruntled Davy Jones, who doesn't hold back his feelings at the time about Michael, the UK tour, the Justus recording sessions and more.
A wide variety of other topics are also covered: the auditions; Raybert; Boyce & Hart; Jimi Hendrix; The Monkees and the counterculture; Frank Zappa; Head; Don Kirshner; Peter's friendships with Roger McGuinn, Cass Elliott, Stephen Stills and Jim Morrison; the television series; the group's recording career and more.
Personal thought: It seems wholly unimpressive on the author's part that he misspells Micky's name in this piece (over and over!). You'll probably note a few other small details that are off the mark as well. And his total misfire when assessing the albums Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. and Head tends to leave one's head spinning. Despite these nit-pickings, parts of the article document a seemingly tumultuous time in Monkees history in the late 1990s and is presented for that purpose.
(Click on each image and then click on it again to enlarge.)
Below is the missing part of the article that should be between
pages 208 and 209. Thanks to Maggie McManus, former editor of Monkee Business Fanzine, who contacted Guitar World back in 1997 to retrieve for fans the missing section from the magazine.
. . . counterculture chic. They just couldn't.
The Monkees' reaction to psychedelia was, typically, a mixed one. Jones, for the most part, wasn't very impressed: "I never went to Woodstock or to the Monterey Pop Festival especially. Because I thought it would be all stoned out hippies, smoking dope and free love. And I didn't want to be showing my willie in the middle of a field."
Tork was the Monkee who got the deepest into hippiedom, embracing pacifism, spirituality and other standard hippie belief systems. His early friendship with the members of the Buffalo Springfield put him in good standing with the hip Sunset Strip social scene. He was friendly with Cass Elliot of the Mamas and Papas (someone else he knew from the old Greenwich Village folk scene) and with Janis Joplin. "I have fond memories of jamming with [Byrds leader] Jim [Roger] McGuinn," he says, "and just hanging out with Crosby and Stills. Jim Morrison came to my house drunk as a lord one night and was leering at all the women through the kitchen window outside. 'Hey, baybee.’"
Ambivalent and internally divided as ever, the Monkees began work on their first (and only) feature film, Head, in 1968. It has since become something of a cult classic. A true curio of cinematic history, the obliquely plotted movie occupies a genre niche all its own: a queasy mixture of Sixties art film, Beatles-eque romp and "acidploitation" freak out a la Peter Fonda's The Trip. Rafelson and Schneider were at the helm once again. But their co-producer/co-writer on Head was none other than Jack Nicholson, Rafelson's friend, who was then just at the start of his stellar film career. "We all went up to Ojai [a small, arty town an hour out of L.A.] and sat around for a weekend just talking into a tape recorder for hours and hours," Dolenz recalls: "Just rapping and going off into strange places. Jack took the tapes away and out of that, basically came the movie Head, which I'm very proud of."
Head is basically the Monkees' attempt to make a heavy Sixties statement, their opportunity to delve into all the controversial themes they'd been forbidden to touch on their TV show: the Vietnam War, the vicious cycles of corporate media and capitalist society in generally--all that lovely hippie shit. The film is also laced with a self-mocking sense of humor. Although they attribute much of this vein to Rafelson's dark sensibility, Head is essentially the Monkees attempting to join the counterculture by denouncing themselves as "plastic." In what is arguably the film's best cameo, Frank Zappa leads a cow across a soundstage while advising Davy Jones to work on his singing. To this day, Jones seems to harbor a certain resentment about the scene: "That was completely Bob Rafelson--Mr. Cynic--and Bert Schneider--Mr. Whacko. They have me do this little song and dance and then, in a sense, dampen my flame by having Frank Zappa standing there saying. 'Well, that was very white, man. Mooooooo. Not very good, was it?' But Frank was okay. We had him on another program. Frank was full of the fun of the fair. He knew what it was all about. It wasn't a personal putdown. He understood what we did."
The way Tork and Dolenz remember it, The Monkees weren't snubbed by their fellow musicians. That was more of a media pursuit. Like Tork, Dolenz socialized with the hippest rock stars of the day, including the Beatles and Hendrix. "The Beatles never had a harsh word to say," Tork recalls. "Janis Joplin never bad-mouthed us. When Jimi Hendrix was asked directly about all that, he said, 'Well, Peter and Mickey are sweet guys.' The people who bad-mouthed us were people who were not sure if they had careers of their own." "And the press," adds Dolenz. "Rolling Stone still hates us, to this day."
By 1968, the Monkees were feeling the musical consequences of starting out as a fictitious garage band, rather than a real one. There was no common vision. They hadn't originally banded together out of a shared love for a particular style of music, the way most...
The deluxe edition of Justus will be released by Friday Music on May 28, 2013 and is available for pre-order at Amazon. This review of the album appeared in the October 1996 issue of Goldmine. Click to enlarge!
Friday Music's website is now displaying a promotional piece for their Justus CD/DVD deluxe edition.
"Friday Music is once again very honored to announce the continuation of The Monkees Friday Music Deluxe Edition Series with the first time CD & DVD release of their 1996 masterwork Justus. Mastered by Joe Reagoso (The Monkees/Elvis Presley/Brian Wilson) from the original analog Rhino Records tapes at Friday Music Studios, this legendary release is also for a very short time being offered with a limited edition first time ever DVD of the super rare Rhino Home Video."
There is no firm date listed for its release, but the site allows you to add it to your shopping cart and purchase it. Nothing alerts you that it isn't ready for shipping right now, so either it is available or one can assume it will be shipping shortly. (I did not complete the order so I'm not sure of any steps beyond the process of adding it to your cart. Please contact me if you purchased it and have more details.) For what it's worth, Amazon.com shows no listing for the deluxe edition as of this blog post.
According to their website, the Justus package will include "a colorful CD folder, Monkees memorabilia, interesting liner notes and new interview commentary from Micky Dolenz."
I'll post more details, including a firm release date, once they are available.
UPDATE 4/3/13: Friday Music's Facebook page lists a May 28, 2013 release date for their Justus deluxe CD/DVD package.
This poster was sent to record stores for display during the fall of 1996, right before the album was issued on October 15.
Courtesy of our friends at Monkees Bootlegs comes this incredible footage from the 1996 Justus recording sessions.
In 1996, The Monkees released a new album, Justus, featuring Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter together on record for the first time since the 1960s. Issued by Rhino on October 15, 1996, the album generated mixed reviews and sales.
Randy Lewis of the Los Angeles Times provided one of the more favorable reviews of Justus:
"Maybe they started out 30 years ago as an entity fabricated to cash in on Beatlemania, but as we all know, the Monkees evolved into a respectable pop-rock band. This reunion adds a fitting coda to that story, bringing Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Peter Tork back into the studio together for the first time in 28 years, and finding them sounding remarkably spry.
"The snappy pop songs of yore are supplanted by less instantly memorable originals, Dolenz earnestly handles the lion’s--or is it gorilla’s?--share of the lead vocals. The album demonstrates enough persuasive social commentary--mostly courtesy of thinking-Monkee Nesmith (his “Admiral Mike” is a worthy variation on Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry” broadside at the news media)--attitude and musical muscle (grinding guitars, crashing drums) to make this homecoming an honorable one for the ‘90s. Who’da thunk it?"
The song that closes Justus, "It's Not Too Late," was written by Davy Jones and is boosted by an exuberant group performance. Davy had recorded the song a couple years prior with a different arrangement and also sang it live on TNN's Prime Time Country in early 1996. It never became a staple of Monkees concert set lists, though it was performed sporadically during the 30th Anniversary Tour.
Still no word on the Justus CD/DVD deluxe edition (though Friday Music still advertises it on their website), but they do have a few other Monkees products that are hitting the market.
Justus has been released on 180 Gram audiophile clear vinyl by Friday Music. The 1996 Monkees album has never previously been available on vinyl. The LP is being advertised as a limited edition release and includes a gatefold album cover featuring photos from the recording sessions and lyrics. The album is also available for purchase on Amazon.
I've had a few emails and/or blog comments about Friday Music and the status of the vinyl releases for Instant Replay and Justus, as well as the Justus CD/DVD deluxe edition. Their website advertises all of these products, but gives little other information. A while back, it was announced that these products would be available this summer. I'll update the blog as needed on these items.
Micky will soon be on the road with the Happy Together tour. Check out the dates here. Tickets are now available for the shows Mike is performing in the UK. No word on any U.S. appearances.
Here are the latest updates to the site. You'll also notice that I've rearranged some of the tops of the tour pages.
1. 1968 Far East Tour (new pictures in the gallery from the Sydney press conference...first time I have ever seen these! Thanks, Tom.)
2. Salt Lake City '68 (new photos in the gallery)
3. 1989 European Tour (the summary was revamped and pictures were added to the photo gallery)
4. 1989 North American/Japanese Tour (new pictures in the gallery plus new information in the tour summary)
5. 1989 Universal Amphitheatre (photos added to the gallery)
Any suggestions or comments? Please contact me here.
Justus was released in late 1996 and was recorded and produced by all four members of The Monkees. Via their Facebook page, Friday Music will this summer issue what they are calling a deluxe edition Justus CD/DVD package. No further details as of right now as to what bonus tracks will be included or what the content of the DVD will include.
Friday Music had previously announced a vinyl release of Justus for this summer.
As announced recently by Friday Music (and don't forget to see my earlier blog post from this morning below):
COMING THIS SUMMER:
This is what is slated for the near term, but there are more surprises we are working on right now too…..stay tuned.
THE MONKEES-Instant Replay 180 Gram Vinyl/Gatefold Cover (FIRST TIME GATEFOLD COVER AND AUDIOPHILE VINYL RELEASE)
THE MONKEES-Justus 180 Gram Vinyl/Gatefold Cover (FIRST TIME ON VINYL! FIRST TIME AUDIOPHILE VINYL RELEASE)
Joe Reagoso, Friday Music
Monkees Farewell Tour
Dolenz sings Nesmith