Five days short of the 20th anniversary of their television show's 1966 debut on NBC, Michael Nesmith joined Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork for an encore performance on the last night of a three night stand for The Monkees in Los Angeles on September 7, 1986. Due to ongoing business commitments, Nesmith, who led the Pacific Arts Corporation at the time, was unable to commit to the group's 20th Anniversary Tour. He had been privately and publicly supportive of the reunion and had expressed interest in joining the trio when their schedules permitted. The appearance of all four original Monkees performing on the same stage for the first time since 1968 generated a lot of publicity and was widely covered by news outlets. MTV was present for the show and filmed the encore.
The Monkees sang “Listen To The Band” first, with Nez handling lead vocals, and closed with a rousing version of “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” complete with Nesmith handling the lead guitar riff that he had performed on the original studio version nineteen years earlier.
"Having the four of us together on stage again was one of the great highlights of my life," said Davy Jones after the momentous reunion. "We were all a bit tearful in the end."
At the height of their popularity, The Monkees' eclectic concert show featured a large screen behind the band that flashed photos of the group and more, including images of civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama, along with anti-Vietnam War messages. These projections were controversial enough to gain attention from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States, which opened a file on The Monkees in early 1967. The images screened during Monkees concerts were dubbed by the FBI as "subliminal messages" that "constituted left wing innovations of a political nature."
A heavily redacted version of the FBI's file on The Monkees was released over a decade ago. Micky Dolenz recently submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to view the file in uncensored fashion, but his efforts proved unsuccessful. As a result, a lawsuit against the FBI on Dolenz's behalf was filed by Mark S. Zaid, an expert in Freedom of Information Act litigation.
Micky's action against the FBI received widespread coverage in the press, and was the leading story throughout the day on Rolling Stone magazine's website on August 30, 2022. Read more about Micky's action below:
Monkees fans watching the August 1, 2022 episode of the hit AMC series Better Call Saul were treated to a surprise when the acoustic version of Michael Nesmith's "Tapioca Tundra," a relative deep track from the vaults that was first heard on the 2010 deluxe edition box set of The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees produced by Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval, appeared during a key scene of the television blockbuster.
"Tapioca Tundra" was originally issued in its official mix as the B-side to "Valleri" in 1968, where it peaked at #34 on the Billboard Hot 100. Nez resurrected the song after rejoining The Monkees on the concert stage in 2012, revealing its meaning during interviews and live performances:
Thomas Schnauz, who acts as a writer and producer on Better Call Saul, is a longtime Monkees devotee who spoke of his love for the group after seeing Nesmith and Micky Dolenz perform in Los Angeles at the Greek Theatre during the Monkees Farewell Tour in November 2021, which turned out to be the duo's final show:
Dolenz and Schnauz are friends, and Micky acknowledged the song's placement in the episode on Twitter:
Schnauz spoke to TV Guide about the episode that featured "Tapioca Tundra" and discussed the origins of the song's inclusion:
Better Call Saul Writer-Director Thomas Schnauz on How Gene's 'Emotional Struggle' Influenced Those Breaking Bad Cameos
As a director on another AMC classic, Breaking Bad, Schnauz utilized another Monkees classic, "Goin' Down," in 2012:
The Monkees Pad Show has returned with a very special episode that features the final interview with a member of The Monkees' extended family, Keith Allison.
On November 17, 2021, Mr. Allison passed away from natural causes in California at the age of 79. Keith was a friend of Michael Nesmith's from Texas who acted as a session musician on several Monkees recordings, including "Auntie's Municipal Court," "Zor and Zam," "D.W. Washburn," "Rosemarie," the studio version of "Circle Sky," and "Through the Looking Glass."
Mr. Allison composed "Auntie's Municipal Court" with Nez, and this enduring track from The Monkees' fifth album, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees, was performed at every stop on the 2021 Monkees Farewell Tour. "I came up with the intro and I played two guitars on the track - one tuned down a full step," recalled Allison in an interview with Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval. "We broke for lunch and Mike had written most of the lyrics. He said, 'I'd better call Micky [Dolenz],' and he came down from Horseshoe Canyon and did the vocal right then and there. We finished the whole thing in one afternoon."
Ultimately enjoying a prolific career in music, Mr. Allison appeared on recordings by Sonny & Cher, Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers, Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, and many others. Keith also toured with Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart in the mid-1970s and played on the group's eponymous album.
Enjoy this interview with Keith Allison via the link below, and be sure to follow The Monkees Pad Show on Facebook and Twitter!
Last night in Madison, Wisconsin at Overture Center for the Arts, Micky Dolenz and his band concluded a string of limited engagement shows meant to honor the legacy of The Monkees.
"Micky Dolenz Celebrates The Monkees," produced by Monkees historian and author Andrew Sandoval, opened on April 5 at the famed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee (where The Monkees performed live in 2013 and also filmed an appearance with Johnny Cash in 1969). The Live Almanac covered the Nashville debut, complete with video footage, photographs, set list, and a look at the tour merchandise.
Joining Micky onstage for these special shows were members of The Monkees' touring band, featuring Coco Dolenz, Wayne Avers, John Billings, Rich Dart, Pete Finney, Alex Jules, and Emeen Zarookian.
At each stop, Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork were honored with individual video and song tributes, and the set list included numbers that haven't been aired in some time, with "Valleri" (performed in the style of the first recorded version), "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)," "Saturday's Child," "Can You Dig It," "Sometime in the Morning," "No Time," "Let's Dance On," "D.W. Washburn," and "That Was Then, This Is Now" all making appearances. During the pre-show, fans were treated to rare and unique audio selections playing over the house speakers, carefully curated by producer Sandoval in playlists that varied from city to city.
The promotional materials for the "Celebrates The Monkees" shows also advertised rare photos and film from Micky's personal archives. Some of the highlights projected on the screen behind the band included footage of The Monkees rehearsing at the Hollywood Bowl in 1967, Micky, Davy, and Michael atop the RCA Building, filming a Kool-Aid commercial and more all from 1969, home movies, outtakes from the 1986 video shoot for "That Was Then, This Is Now," and The Monkees inside the recording studio.
Micky will return to the road later this month, performing concerts and making various personal appearances throughout the summer. Check out Micky's current itinerary to see if he is coming to your town!
In the meantime, enjoy some performances below from different cities on Micky's "Celebrates The Monkees" tour (tribute videos screened for Michael, Davy, and Peter can be seen in the Akron, Ohio footage) and don't forget the Live Almanac's previous coverage of opening night in Nashville, Tennessee.
April 6: Richmond, Kentucky @ EKU Center for the Arts
April 8: Nashville, IN @ Brown County Music Center
April 9: Cincinnati, OH @ The Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center
April 11: Wheeling, West Virgina @ The Capitol Theatre (more)
April 12: Akron, Ohio @ Goodyear Theater
Thanks to the Monkees Forever YouTube channel for providing the complete show in Akron, Ohio. Watch the tribute videos for Michael Nesmith (11:50) and Davy Jones (29:00) below, as well as footage of The Monkees rehearsing at the Hollywood Bowl (45:10):
The tribute video for Peter Tork begins at 14:10:
April 15: Riverside, IA @ Riverside Casino & Golf Resort
April 16: Madison, WI @ Overture Center for the Arts
The wait is over. The Monkees: The Complete Series, housed in a lenticular box and including 10 Blu-ray discs, a booklet, as well as a bonus 45, is once again available via the official Monkees online store.
The set features all 58 episodes of The Monkees (newly remastered in HD from the original negatives for the very first time), the group's 1968 feature film Head (with never-before-seen outtakes), and the 1969 television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, along with a wide array of bonus materials.
Previously unreleased mixes of both "Star Collector" and "Goin' Down" appear on the bonus 7" record. The former is an alternate mono mix and the latter is a mono vocal mix, featuring Micky Dolenz singing live in the TV studio to the backing track of "Goin' Down." Both versions of these well-known Monkees songs were heard exclusively on the soundtrack of the second season of The Monkees.
UPDATE 4/22/2022: The Blu-ray set is now out of stock. Shoppers are being asked to subscribe to an email list to receive a back in stock notification.
UPDATE 4/27/2022: The Blu-ray set has been removed from the online Monkees store.
UPDATE 4/29/2022: The online Monkees store now lists the Blu-ray set as "currently not available."
A brand new hoodie and T-shirt celebrating the Monkees Blu-ray collection also debuted today and can be purchased online while supplies last:
7a Records announces 50th anniversary edition of Nesmith's lone Second National Band album (UPDATED)
7a Records just announced a special 50th Anniversary Edition of Michael Nesmith's fourth album for RCA Records, Tantamount to Treason Volume 1. It will be made available on both compact disc and 180 gram aqua splatter vinyl on June 17, 2022.
Originally released in 1972, Tantamount is the only album Nez recorded with the Second National Band, which included O.J. "Red" Rhodes (pedal steel), Michael Cohen (keyboards and Moog), Jack Ranelli (drums), José Feliciano (congas), and Johnny Meeks (bass).
The First National Band, which had backed Michael on his initial solo efforts (Magnetic South, Loose Salute, and Nevada Fighter), disbanded in 1971. Red Rhodes was the only FNB member to soldier on with Nez. The album also features a contribution from Bill Chadwick ("Talking to the Wall").
7a Records also recently announced a 50th Anniversary Edition of Michael's 1974 album And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'.
Read more about the reissue of Tantamount To Treason Volume 1 and its updated cover art below, courtesy of 7a's official press release. Pre-orders are now available via Deep Discount and Amazon worldwide.
We are proud to announce the 50th Anniversary Edition of "Tantamount To Treason, Volume One" by Michael Nesmith & The Second National Band - released on June 3rd. The 1972 album has been remastered, expanded with bonus tracks and given a brand new cover painting by Wilson McLean, who also painted the original album sleeve. The CD comes with a 32 page booklet, including extensive liner notes, previously unpublished photos and lyrics to all of the songs. The Vinyl is presented in a gatefold sleeve and is pressed on 180g Aqua coloured splatter Vinyl. The bonus tracks have never previously been released on vinyl. You can pre-order the album here:
By late 1971, Michael Nesmith found himself confronted with dissenting opinions of his First National Band releases on RCA Records. Though critics generally lauded the music, radio audiences and the record buying public became less interested in the material with each subsequent release. Contemplating his next move under his RCA contract, Nesmith made some significant changes to his approach in recording new material, which would ultimately yield Tantamount to Treason, Volume One. Gone would be a supporting “band” in the sense of a collective partnership of musicians. Rather, an eclectic group of session musicians would be gathered to lay down what were arguably Nesmith’s most free-form, jazz-influenced and psychedelic country tracks of his career.
UPDATE 5/30/2022: The latest issue of Uncut features a rave review of 7a's 50th anniversary edition of Michael Nesmith's Tantamount To Treason Volume One. Thanks to Glenn Gretlund for sharing it on 7a's Facebook page:
Dolenz Sings Nesmith - The E.P. was released yesterday and immediately landed on the US iTunes charts! Available on 10" colored vinyl, compact disc, and via all digital platforms, the extended play features four songs from the sessions that yielded Micky Dolenz's critically acclaimed 2021 solo album Dolenz sings Nesmith (produced by Michael's son, Christian), including "Soul-Writer's Birthday," a previously unreleased Michael Nesmith composition that Nez originally copyrighted in October 1967 but never recorded.
Congratulations to 7a Records for another stellar release, and don't forget to pre-order 7a's newest undertaking, a 50th anniversary edition of Michael Nesmith's classic 1972 album, And the Hits Just Keep on Comin'.
Michael Nesmith's friend, photographer and videographer Ed Heffelfinger, recently shared this video footage of "Listen to the Band" and "Circle Sky" recorded live during a June 8, 2018 performance of "The Mike & Micky Show" in Stockton, California at Bob Hope Theatre. Thanks, Ed!
7a Records announced today that a special 50th Anniversary Edition of Michael Nesmith's album, And The Hits Just Keep On Comin', will be released on both compact disc and colored vinyl on May 13, 2022.
The LP, Michael's fifth effort for RCA Records, was originally issued in 1972. It has been remastered and expanded with four bonus tracks. The CD edition comes with a 28-page color booklet, featuring extensive liner notes and previously unpublished photos. The vinyl edition comes in a gatefold sleeve and is pressed on 180 gram honey colored vinyl.
Read more about the anniversary edition of Hits below, courtesy of 7a's official press release, and pre-orders are now available via Deep Discount!
By 1972 both Nesmith and his then record company RCA were dismayed at Nesmith’s lack of commercial success, following his early 1970 departure from The Monkees. Nesmith took the opportunity to blatantly poke fun at the situation he found himself in, titling his new album - that certainly would not yield a Top 40 hit – And the Hits Just Keep on Comin'. The album was a departure from his previous solo records, as it featured just Nesmith on acoustic 12-string guitar and the excellent Red Rhodes on pedal steel guitar, no other musicians were involved. The approach was simple, but it exposed a beauty in the poetry of Nesmith’s lyrics which was matched perfectly by Rhodes’ inspired playing. And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ became Nesmith’s most critically acclaimed album and it is today generally viewed as an iconic ground-breaking marvel in the annals of country-rock music. To mark the album’s 50th anniversary, 7A Records have remastered the album and included four bonus track that will see their first ever release on vinyl. The album is released on CD with a 28 page color booklet featuring extensive liner notes and previously unseen photos, as well as on 180g colored vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.
UPDATE 6/1/2022: The latest issues of Record Collector and Mojo feature glowing reviews of 7a's 50th anniversary edition of Michael Nesmith's And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'. Thanks to Glenn Gretlund for sharing both on 7a's Facebook page.
On June 18, 2018, "The Mike & Micky Show" stopped at Sony Center for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Ontario. Check out excellent footage from this concert below that recently appeared on YouTube, and thank you to Tom B. for alerting the Live Almanac about these videos!
The tributes continue to pour in for Michael Nesmith, this time from UK-based magazine Shindig!, which features Nez on the cover of its current issue:
7a Records recently delivered exciting news for Monkees fans when it announced Dolenz Sings Nesmith - The E.P. was set for release on March 18, 2022 on 10" colored vinyl and via all digital platforms. The extended play disc, featuring four songs from the sessions that yielded Micky Dolenz's critically acclaimed 2021 solo album Dolenz sings Nesmith (produced by Michael's son, Christian) includes "Soul-Writer's Birthday," a previously unreleased Michael Nesmith composition that Nez originally copyrighted in October 1967 but never recorded.
And now, due to popular demand, a compact disc version of the EP will also be made available on the release date. Pre-order links for US and UK customers can be found below, including the option to obtain an autographed copy from Micky's official online store.
Rounding out the track list on Dolenz Sings Nesmith - The E.P. are some of Michael's most celebrated songs, two of which were originally recorded during the Monkees era and later featured on Michael's RCA solo albums ("The Crippled Lion" and "Some of Shelly's Blues"), and "Grand Ennui," the opening track from Nevada Fighter, the third and final album released by Nez and The First National Band.
Monkees historian, author, and producer Andrew Sandoval is joined by John Billings and Alex Jules, members of The Monkees' touring band, in a special episode of Zilch dedicated to the memory of Michael Nesmith. Listen to the show, hosted by Ken Mills, below:
There's fresh news today from 7a Records as the label has announced Dolenz sings Nesmith - The E.P., coming March 18, 2022 on 10" colored vinyl and via all digital platforms. Last year's Dolenz sings Nesmith album featured Micky Dolenz reimagining select tracks from the songbook of his longtime friend and bandmate, Michael Nesmith, and was met with critical acclaim. The EP includes "Soul-Writer's Birthday," a song Nez copyrighted in 1967 but never recorded.
Check out 7a's press release for Dolenz sings Nesmith - The E.P. below, along with links to pre-order the vinyl version.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
7A Records announces the release of a brand new 10" EP by Micky Dolenz featuring four Nesmith compositions, including the first ever release of 'Soul-Writer’s Birthday.' "Dolenz Sings Nesmith - The EP" will be released on March 18.
UPDATE 2/11/2022: Have a listen to the vinyl test pressing of Dolenz sings Nesmith - The E.P. courtesy of 7a Records:
Earlier today it was announced that The Monkees will grace the cover of the upcoming March 2022 issue of MOJO. Featuring an interview with Micky Dolenz and a piece by David Fricke, look for it in bookstores soon. You can also purchase a copy online or select the digital download option.
MOJO offered previews of the issue on their website:
"As the world mourns Michael Nesmith, MOJO celebrates the ’60s phenomenon who transcended prefab pop – and the solo flights of their coolest member. His legacy: country-rock, MTV, that hat and more."
"In honor of the recently departed Michael Nesmith – the cool muso heart of the Monkees – and with the help of an exclusive new Micky Dolenz interview, we celebrate the group once dubbed the Prefab Four and explore the insanity of their ’60s rise and fall."
In his latest piece for Rolling Stone, senior writer Andy Greene goes behind the scenes of the Monkees Farewell Tour and reveals his last interactions with Michael Nesmith:
*** UPDATE 1/10/2022 ***
Hello readers of the Monkees Live Almanac,
I understand the passion that surrounds a variety of topics discussed in Mr. Greene's article linked above, and the public comments left on this blog post to date reflect those passions. However, it is my desire to keep this forum from becoming overly personal in comments made about one person or the next. As a result, I deleted several comments.
Thank you for your consideration and understanding.
Micky Dolenz Live
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart returns