The final episode of the first season of The Monkees, "Monkees on Tour," was a documentary that chronicled the group's appearance at Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona on January 21, 1967 during their earliest live performances:
On April 3 Rhino Records issued The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show, featuring performances from the duo's concerts recorded throughout March 2019, on compact disc and via streaming services. A 2-LP vinyl edition will be available on July 10. The Live Almanac highly recommends this very worthwhile document of a unique era in Monkees history, and a big thanks to longtime site contributor Ben Belmares for sharing the scans of the CD package seen below!
The former Monkeesmixography website, which classified every Monkees track by mix/master/remaster, and more, is being converted into a book by Craig Smith and Derek Miner. Mixing Links: The Monkees on Disc doesn't have a release date, but fans can now review another excerpt that was recently revealed on their website! Featured in this update is "Goin' Down," originally issued as the B-side to "Daydream Believer" in October 1967. And don't forget to follow Mixing Links on Facebook!
"Goin’ Down" started life as a jam following a take of "She Hangs Out" on June 21, 1967. Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork played electric guitar with a rhythm section of "Fast" Eddie Hoh on drums and producer Chip Douglas on bass. The original tracking was recorded to 4-track tape, though it is most likely the recording was transferred to 8-track for later overdubs. The brass parts were recorded September 15, 1967, both a 12-piece accompaniment (which may have been recorded to just one mono track!) plus saxophone and trumpet solos. It is unclear if the vocals were added before or after this instrumentation.
Thanks to John at Monkee45s.net for the images seen above!
Earlier this year, San Francisco's Sketchfest paid tribute to The Monkees by hosting Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith, who took part in a panel discussion with author Paul Myers. First held in 2002, Sketchfest has grown into a nationally recognized comedy festival that mixes national headliners, local favorites, and the best up-and-coming groups from throughout North America for a month of sketch, improv, stand-up, and alternative comedy. Micky and Michael's conversation with Myers from January 12 at Marines' Memorial Theatre will be available to rent online later this month.
According to Sketchfest, proceeds will go toward "helping to keep our small business afloat, to the performers featured, and to select charities and fundraisers for fellow independent artists and venues in our comedy community."
Watch the trailer below, and a big thanks to Neil D. for alerting the Live Almanac about this opportunity to watch Micky & Nez!
Pandemic forces second postponement of Nesmith/Dolenz tour; summer shows are rescheduled for spring 2021 with additional dates expected
In late 2019, it was announced that Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz would return to the concert stage for a tour dubbed "An Evening With The Monkees," with dates scheduled to be played throughout April 2020. But when the coronavirus pandemic landed on the shores of North America, the April tour was postponed until summer 2020.
And now, with the pandemic continuing to uproot people's daily lives and much more, "An Evening With The Monkees" has once again been delayed, this time until the spring of 2021. But good news! Additional dates will be added to the tour in the coming weeks.
Below you can find the revised tour schedule along with links to purchase tickets. The Monkees Live Almanac hopes everyone stays safe and healthy!
March 18: Commodore Ballroom / Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
March 21: Moore Theatre / Seattle, Washington
March 23: The Crest Theatre / Sacramento, California
March 24: San Jose Civic / San Jose, California
March 26: Fox Performing Arts Center / Riverside, California
March 27: The Magnolia / El Cajon, California
March 28: Celebrity Theatre / Phoenix, Arizona
April 1: Tobin Center For The Performing Arts / San Antonio, Texas
April 2: Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater / Austin, Texas
April 3: Majestic Theatre / Dallas, Texas
April 12: Schermerhorn Symphony Center / Nashville, Tennessee
Here is the official announcement posted a couple of hours ago on The Monkees Tour Facebook page:
The following venues and cities, which were previously scheduled dates on the tour, are no longer listed as part of the current itinerary:
Verizon Theatre / Grand Prairie, Texas
Iron City / Birmingham, Alabama
(The Monkees Tour Facebook page says the following about Birmingham: "It is possible that show will be rescheduled in 2021; we are awaiting word from the venue of our new date.")
IP Casino Resort & Spa / Biloxi, Mississippi
(The Monkees Tour Facebook page says the following about Biloxi: "It is possible that show will be rescheduled in 2021; we are awaiting word from the venue of our new date.")
Golden Nugget Grand Event Center / Lake Charles, Louisiana
Peter Mills, author of The Monkees, Head, and the '60s, recently reviewed The Mike & Micky Show on his blog, Pete Sounds:
Adam Schlesinger, who produced The Monkees' 2016 album Good Times! along with the group's first-ever holiday collection Christmas Party (2018), passed away on April 1, 2020 at age 52 from complications of COVID-19.
"As many of you are aware, Adam had been hospitalized with COVID-19 and although he had been making some small improvements over the last few days, Adam's condition was critical and he was ultimately unable to recover from COVID-19 complications," read a statement on April 2 provided to CNN. "He was truly a prolific talent and even more so, a loving and devoted father, son and friend."
Adam was a member of the bands Fountains of Wayne and Ivy, along with the supergroup Tinted Windows, whose song "This Is The Day" was featured in There's Something About Mary. His notable achievements also included TV and film songwriting, which stretched from That Thing You Do to Music and Lyrics to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Fountains of Wayne was perhaps best known for the early 2000s hit single "Stacy's Mom," which was nominated for a Grammy. Schlesinger was also an Emmy-winning songwriter for the CW musical comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a show for which he composed more than 100 songs. He received an Oscar nomination for writing the title song to That Thing You Do, directed by Tom Hanks, as well as two Tony nominations for his work on the musical adaptation of John Waters' film Cry-Baby in 2008. In addition to his songwriting, Schlesinger produced recordings for such musical artists as They Might Be Giants, America, and Robert Plant.
Good Times!, The Monkees' first album of all new material since 1996's Justus, was produced by Schlesinger and included his own composition, "Our Own World," along with a song co-written with Micky Dolenz, a send-up of an oft-used phrase utilized by Dolenz over the years, "I Was There (And I'm Told I Had a Good Time)." The album peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 in June 2016.
Schlesinger appeared onstage with The Monkees in New York City during the group's 50th Anniversary Tour, performing "I Was There" and "Steppin' Stone."
Micky Dolenz remembered Adam in an interview with WCBS FM. "He was such a great guy, a gentleman, and funny, and so smart. And obviously an incredible producer, writer, performer. I wrote a song with him on Good Times! I just can't believe it. That's by far the closest person to me that's been affected [by COVID-19] and I think about him all the time. What a loss."
Schlesinger was effusive in his praise of Dolenz in a 2016 interview with Fast Company when talking about the recording sessions for Good Times! "Micky was a real workhorse, and I think he did more hours in the studio than all the other guys, in total, because he sang most of the songs. He was a real trooper, and his voice is incredible – in most cases, when you’re working with older singers, you’re having to transpose things lower, and in Micky’s case, we’re actually having to transpose things higher, because he’s got this incredible range."
Adam's collaboration with The Monkees on Good Times! was seemingly a high point in his career. "They were all incredibly easy and fun to work with," he told Fast Company. "Everybody has the attitude of 'let us know what we can do to help - here are some ideas, take them or leave them.' They're very collaborative."
The Monkees' official website paid tribute to Adam Schlesinger after the announcement of his death, while also highlighting his work on Good Times! "Even the most optimistic Monkees fan couldn’t have guessed just how wonderful an effort Schlesinger would help put together. It wasn't just a comeback album, it was an instant classic that was – without question – the best thing the band had released since the '60s."
Ben Gibbard, lead vocalist and guitarist of Death Cab For Cutie, whose song "Me & Magdalena" proved to be a highlight from Good Times!, also commemorated Adam.
"I never got to meet Adam," Gibbard relayed during an at-home live stream concert after Schlesinger passed. "We had a lot of connective tissue - a lot of friends in common - but we never had a chance to meet. But I owe him a huge debt of gratitude because he was integral in picking 'Me & Magdalena' for The Monkees to record four years ago."
"I always thought as one does in life that you have plenty of time to say thank you, or I love you, or to give somebody a compliment or what have you, but that day obviously did not come," said Gibbard. "From the bottom of my heart, I'm so grateful to him for helping me realize a lifelong dream, which was to write a song that would be recorded by The Monkees, a band I grew up listening to."
Adam Schlesinger returned to the producer's chair for The Monkees on Christmas Party in 2018. Schlesinger co-wrote one of the standout tracks on the holiday collection, "House of Broken Gingerbread," with novelist Michael Chabon.
Adam was survived by his two daughters, Sadie and Claire, his girlfriend Alexis Morley, his parents Barbara and Stephen Schlesinger, and his sister Lauren.
Listen to the latest podcasts from Rhino, NPR's Fresh Air, Zilch, Nesmith, Tork, Goffin & King, and Rolling Stone as they honor the life and accomplishments of Adam Schlesinger.
Michael Nesmith's Videoranch is now taking pre-orders for the upcoming 2-LP vinyl release of The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show, and as an added bonus Nez will personally sign your copy of the album!
Michael will also be chatting live with Jodi Ritzen on Sunday, May 17 at 8 pm ET. Tune in live on Jodi's Facebook page for this special event!
Thanks a lot to longtime Live Almanac contributor Al Bigley for submitting this article where Nez opens up about the end of The Monkees while also discussing the group's 1968 feature film, Head, still under the working title of Changes, and much more.
"If it sometimes plays like a victory lap, it's one that's well-deserved, and while this isn't the stuff to win them new converts, The Mike & Micky Show proves no one was wrong for loving this band and their music, and longtime fans will certainly enjoy it."
The long-running British monthly music magazine, Record Collector, highlighted The Mike & Micky Show album in its April 2020 issue:
Below you can find more reviews of the album, and be sure to check back for updates!
Dolenz called a planned July return to touring for him and Nesmith "optimistic." "I think everybody's waiting for some sort of a drug … or vaccine. I'll be honest, I don't think I'm going to be too crazy about going out unless something of that nature happens."
The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show, featuring performances from the duo's concerts recorded throughout March 2019, has debuted on the April 18, 2020 edition of Billboard! Many thanks to John Hughes of Rhino Records for emailing the Live Almanac with all of the chart numbers found below.
The album opens at #178 on the Billboard 200, which ranks the most popular albums of the week, as compiled by Nielsen Music, based on multi-metric consumption (blending traditional album sales, track equivalent albums, and streaming equivalent albums).
Billboard Top Album Sales
The Mike & Micky Show has also landed at a lofty #13 on the Top Album Sales chart, which measures the week's top-selling current albums across all genres, based on physical and digital download sales data only (no streaming included).
Even more impressive, the album has debuted at #2 on the Top Internet Albums chart, which ranks physical albums ordered through Internet merchants, and #3 on the Current Pop Albums chart.
Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith's upcoming summer tour has received a high recommendation in the April 2020 issue of Rolling Stone in a section titled "Rolling Stone Recommends," featuring their top pop culture picks, including films, music, podcasts, and documentaries:
Micky and Michael's latest concert tour, "An Evening With The Monkees," originally set for April 2020, has been rescheduled for this coming July and September as a result of the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus.
This article, submitted by longtime friend of the Live Almanac Al Bigley (who is also co-host of the Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion podcast), features a conversation with The Monkees during a West Coast promotional tour for their 1968 feature film, Head. Peggy King reports in the December 7, 1968 edition of the Oakland Tribune on The Monkees' feelings about the end of their NBC television series, including what King calls their "famous Flying Saucer episode," Michael Nesmith's ruminations of future Monkees activities, discussion of a double album (that never came to fruition), filming the TV special that became 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, and more. A highly recommended read for Monkees fans!
This photo of The Monkees, previously seen on social media and various online outlets, was seemingly taken during this Oakland Tribune interview:
And don't forget to listen to the latest episode of the Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion!
ALERT!! Join a live chat with Micky Dolenz & Michael Nesmith at 5 pm ET (UPDATE: Watch the full session now on YouTube)
On the day of the release of their brand new concert album, The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show, Micky and Michael will take part in a live Q&A session with fans, hosted by The Monkees' official Facebook page while also streaming on YouTube (see below).
The duo will be remembering Adam Schlesinger, the producer of the group's last two albums, Good Times! (2016) and Christmas Party (2018), who passed away this week from complications related to coronavirus, and much more, at 5 pm ET and 2 pm PT.
On October 1, 1968, The Monkees were greeted rapturously as they arrived in Japan to perform a series of live concerts in that country for the very first time. One of these historic shows was filmed (most likely during the two day, three-concert stay at Budokan Hall in Tokyo on October 3 and 4, 1968) and later broadcast on Japanese television. The audio recording and video footage, however, has never been officially released. The audio (straight from the video) has long existed as a bootleg (complete with Japanese voice introductions before each song), but much to the chagrin of Monkees fans, the video footage is presumed lost or destroyed.
Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval has confirmed that multiple attempts have been made to find the missing video footage. "It was definitely broadcast and there has been communication with TBS [Tokyo Broadcasting System] in Japan to retrieve anything they had," he wrote on Facebook in 2017. "We asked many times and have been told they have nothing. Unless they made a film print of the video, it is unlikely it survived."
I first acquired a cassette tape of this particular concert in the late 1980s that ultimately relayed a sprightly and resolute performance by The Monkees, exhibiting just how far these four individuals with disparate musical backgrounds had come to achieving a "group" sound in a relatively short amount of time.
For years, Monkees fans have clamored for some sort of official release of this concert, even if it was just the audio portion as it seems the video footage has seemingly been lost to time. In the latest twist of this long-sought after piece of Monkees history, Live Almanac contributor Justin Rakowski has commenced a project to restore the original Japanese concert bootleg. In an effort to present the cleanest audio possible while also removing the invasive voice introductions before every song, Justin has "demixed" the audio. For those that aren’t familiar with "demixing," Justin relayed some details to the Live Almanac. "It’s essentially the process of using specific programs that can run a algorithm on a mono track and separate out individual signals like vocals, guitars, bass, and drums," Justin said. "The inherent problem with the Japan concert is not only the mono mix but the narrator that talks over the beginning of each song."
Justin talked more about the challenges of his project. "Obviously the parts where the announcer talks is the hardest area to fix. It's easier when the announcer is not talking over The Monkees' performances. Even when there is commentary over the instrumental beginning of each song, I can remove the announcer, but the music underneath sounds like someone is playing with the volume knob so the music cuts in and out, leaving some bars with no recoverable information. So what I’ve done is flown in other parts of the song in to fix those areas."
And now, here are the initial results of Justin's experiment! While we're all doing our best to hunker down during this international health crisis, take a listen to Justin's work and keep your fingers crossed that the video of this concert finally emerges!
UPDATE 4/16/2020: Justin has completed this project and has uploaded the entire 1968 Japanese concert. Thanks again, Justin! (Individual clips still appear below.)
The Monkees Live in Japan 1968 - Complete Show (Stereo Demix)
"Last Train to Clarksville" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"I Wanna Be Free" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"Johnny B. Goode" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"D.W. Washburn" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"It's Nice To Be With You" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"I'm a Believer" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"Salesman" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
For "Salesman," Justin has offered up something special:
"Enjoy this 'what if' video using my newly demixed track of 'Salesman' synced up with edits of the 8mm Australia tour footage posted by Iain Lee's RareMonkees YouTube page."
Earlier this month, a teaser from the upcoming concert album The Mike & Micky Show Live arrived when "Last Train to Clarksville" was issued on YouTube, as a digital download, and via streaming services. And now, a live version of "The Door Into Summer," a classic track from The Monkees' fourth album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., has been released on all platforms. You can watch video of the performance below!
The Mike & Micky Show Live will be issued on compact disc and via streaming and digital services on April 3. A 2-LP vinyl edition is slated for release on July 10. You can pre-order now! And don't forget, in most markets, every ticket purchased for Michael and Micky's summer tour, "An Evening With The Monkees," includes your choice of a CD or digital copy of The Mike & Micky Show Live.
Live in 2021