Actor and comedian Rip Taylor, known for his flamboyant personality and showering himself and others with confetti, who made countless appearances on television, film, and in nightclubs, passed away on October 6. Monkees fans will remember Taylor as a multiple episode guest star on The Monkees, appearing prominently in second season highlights "Monkees on the Wheel" (as the distressed casino manager) and "The Frodis Caper" (as the diabolical Wizard Glick).
Taylor was also spotted in The Monkees' 1969 NBC television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, during the "Listen to the Band" segment.
The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter eulogized Taylor, while also noting his appearances with The Monkees.
"In 1967, Taylor showed up as a sobbing casino manager on an episode of The Monkees. 'Oh, officer, thank goodness you're here,' he says to a police detective called to investigate a rigged roulette wheel. 'I just found this wire attached to the wheel. And whenever I'd shift my stick, the house would lose a bet. Could you die?'"
-The Hollywood Reporter
On March 25, 1968 the last original episode of The Monkees aired on NBC. "The Frodis Caper" was written by Micky Dolenz and Dave Evans, and in his debut behind the camera, directed by Micky. Taylor portrayed Wizard Glick, who was out to control people's minds through a hypnotic eye broadcasted on television sets. "This is my attempt to address the manipulation of the American mind by the media," Dolenz relayed in a 2003 DVD commentary for the episode. "Hooray, The Monkees save the world from the evil machinations of the media . . . I guess it didn’t work, though, did it?"
Rip Taylor was 88.
The latest episode of Zilch spotlights one of the Live Almanac's favorite albums, Instant Replay! Settle back and listen to David "Ghosty" Wills, Melinda Gildart, Jeff Gehringer, and host Jeff Hulit navigate Side 1 of the 1969 LP, the first to be issued after Peter Tork had left The Monkees. And to top it all off, this episode is sponsored by Wine Down Nashville and its proud proprietors, Amy and John Billings. Enjoy, and don't forget to check out all things Instant Replay in the archives of The Monkees Live Almanac!
Record Store Day was founded in 2007 and has become an annual tradition that takes place every April and on Black Friday in November. With a stated purpose of celebrating the culture of the independently owned record store, bands and labels will press unique items that are distributed exclusively to shops participating in the event. Thanks to Rhino Records, The Monkees made their Record Store Day debut with multiple releases in 2016, which are collected in the archives of The Monkees Live Almanac.
Upon its arrival late last year, Christmas Party became The Monkees' first-ever holiday album, featuring classics like "The Christmas Song," "Silver Bells," and "Wonderful Christmastime" alongside brand new material. And now, the good times continue as Rhino will issue Christmas Party Plus!, a package that highlights Monkees holiday songs past and present, on November 29 for Record Store Day 2019. This special release will include two 7" singles on color vinyl (one red/one green), all housed in a gatefold sleeve and limited to 5,000 copies.
The first record features two versions of the lead single from Christmas Party, "Unwrap You At Christmas." It will be heard here in its radio mix, and is accompanied by a previously unissued demo version by XTC's Andy Partridge, a longtime Monkees devotee who also penned this chestnut for the group.
The second record will include the classic performance of "Riu Chiu" (originally seen on "The Monkees' Christmas Show" episode in 1967), and is partnered with "Christmas Is My Time Of Year," which appears in its original 1976 mix for the first time in decades.
Be sure to check out Record Store Day's website to locate participating stores near you! And all things Christmas Party, including music videos, reviews, photos from the recording sessions, and more, can be found in the archives of the Live Almanac.
“Unwrap You At Christmas (Radio Mix)"/ "Unwrap You At Christmas" –Andy Partridge (featured vocal by Holly Partridge)
"Riu Chiu (Original TV Version)"/ "Christmas Is My Time Of Year (1976 Mix)"
And here's some footage from the recent run of concerts by Nez and the First National Band Redux at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, California, thanks to Lisa Duclo:
"It Was Fifty Years Ago Today," a tribute to The Beatles' White Album, co-starring Micky Dolenz, Christopher Cross, and Todd Rundgren, is currently on the road, stopping this evening in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with plenty of more shows to come! Micky and company recently discussed the tour, their love of The Beatles, and more with The Maine Edge.
UPDATE 10/5/2019: Media Mikes reviewed the show and noted the set list from the Kansas City, Missouri performance, and Forgotten Hits provided a recap of the tour's stop in St. Charles, Illinois.
UPDATE 10/9/2019: The Glorious Corner has reviewed the performance at Connecticut's Ridgefield Playhouse, noting Micky's performances of "Rocky Racoon," "I'm So Tired," and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road."
Micky Dolenz recounts watching "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" with daughter Ami while paying tribute to iconic TV show personality
Since 2015, 7a Records and its proprietors Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee have been producing Monkees-related projects, most recently issuing vintage and brand new live recordings by Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Michael Nesmith. Earlier this week, 7a announced their latest release, Cosmic Partners: The McCabe's Tapes, a previously unreleased concert recorded on August 18, 1973 at McCabe's in Santa Monica, California. Featuring Michael Nesmith and a group of supporting musicians, including his longtime friend and musical partner, legendary pedal steel player Red Rhodes, the recording has been remastered by Christian Nesmith.
This long lost performance originates from a mini-concert tour that was in support of what was to be Nesmith's final album for RCA, Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash. Nez is accompanied during this one-of-a-kind show by a rhythm section featuring Danny Lane on drums and Colin Cameron on bass, along with Rhodes on pedal steel, and they deliver performances of an array of Nesmith classics including "Joanne," "Silver Moon," "Some of Shelly's Blues," and "Grand Ennui."
Cosmic Partners is being issued this November on compact disc with a 24-page booklet featuring previously unseen photographs and liner notes by Michael Nesmith. It will also be available as a limited edition 12" vinyl picture disc (1,000 copies).
And now, thanks to 7a Records, you can listen to the very first audio sample from Cosmic Partners! A big thank you to both Glenn and Iain for providing this exclusive preview to The Monkees Live Almanac. US customers can pre-order the compact disc from Amazon and Deep Discount, while UK customers can pre-order the CD from Amazon or Keymailrecords. The picture disc vinyl LP is also available to pre-order in the US from Amazon and Deep Discount, and in the UK from Keymailrecords.
Now, enjoy the sounds of Nez, Red, and company from Cosmic Partners: The McCabe's Tapes, from 7a Records!
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE BY 7A RECORDS FOR "COSMIC PARTNERS: THE McCABE'S TAPES"
THE PRESS RELEASE
7a Records is delighted to announce the release of their third Michael Nesmith album. Recorded at McCabe's in Santa Monica, CA, on August 18th, 1973, "Cosmic Partners: The McCabe's Tapes" is a rare and previously unreleased concert recording featuring Nesmith and a small coterie of fellow musicians, including long time recording partner and pedal steel player Red Rhodes. Released as a lavishly packaged CD set with a 24 page booklet with previously unseen pictures and liner notes by Michael Nesmith. This recording is from a mini concert tour that was in support of what was to be Nesmith's final record on the RCA label, Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash. Consisting of a rhythm section featuring Danny Lane on drums and Colin Cameron on bass, and the legendary O.J. "Red" Rhodes on pedal steel, this would be the last performance of its kind and the beginning of an almost Homeric journey for Nesmith. On the heels of an inordinately successful Monkees TV show, the hangover from overnight celebrity, and the disappointments that so often follow such ascents, this forgotten and almost lost board mix in all its unvarnished glory (remastered here by Christian Nesmith, Michael's oldest son) stands as a ready witness to the spirit of a man full of heartache, a performer bruised by the claws of the star-maker machine, and an artist whose songs have become touchstones for our lives. What you hear is exactly as it happened with no overdubs or audio mumbo jumbo. The perfection you hear is totally for real.
"It Was Fifty Years Ago Today," a tribute to The Beatles' White Album, co-starring Micky Dolenz, Christopher Cross, and Todd Rundgren, is currently in rehearsals and will debut this Saturday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The articles linked below take a closer look inside the presentation of the upcoming tour, songs you can expect Micky to sing, along with notable quotes about potential future projects and releases. And if you are attending one of these special shows, be on the look out for longtime Monkees touring guitarist and musical director, Wayne Avers, who will be playing in the band!
Will 'The Monkees Present the Mike & Micky Show' return? Absolutely, Dolenz enthuses, although there’s "nothing on the books" at the moment.
New York Independent: Micky Dolenz, Todd Rundgren, Christopher Cross to Slay Beatles White Album in 50th Anniversary Tour
This is Dolenz’s second high-priority project this year.
The first was his first-ever teaming with fellow Monkee Michael Nesmith on a worldwide tour last year. The trek was interrupted after Nesmith suffered health issues, but resumed this year.
Before the end of the year expect to see a live recording via Rhino Records.
Following the [White Album] tour, look for a Dolenz-fronted reprise of his 'A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock & Roll' show in New York City.
Bettors Insider: Monkee-ing around with the Beatles: Micky Dolenz and friends rock ‘White Album’ tribute
Dolenz added that as far as he’s concerned, when it comes to rock drummers, no one supersedes [Ringo] Starr.
"Ringo was the greatest," he insisted. "I mean, my God, he almost defined rock drumming in the ‘60s."
Dolenz isn't giving away his selections yet and will only say "I'm very happy with what I ended up with." His own view of The White Album meanwhile, is it "was pretty unique in many ways. It was very diversified, as you know, so it's hard to say. There was so much good stuff. Frankly I was just always a big Beatles fan. I loved every album and listened to them religiously."
"The Monkees were preparing to go on tour in England in 1967, and I went over by myself, first, to do some early press junkets," says Dolenz. "One of the publicists who worked with both us and the Beatles thought it might be great to get a photo of me together with them, as there had been some bullshit competition between us that never truly existed. Something stupid."
McCartney must have caught wind of this, and wound up calling Dolenz personally, and invited him over for dinner. "Just he and I — and our handlers — having a casual chat. I ran into him a few years ago during his rehearsal for Coachella, and he remembered everything about the dinner… down to watching television."
Exclusive: Tom Hanks’ “Mister Rogers” Movie Gets Companion Album Featuring Rocker Wife Rita Wilson, Plus Micky Dolenz, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.
Singer, songwriter, and pioneer, Michael Nesmith, will visit the GRAMMY Museum for an intimate discussion on his celebrated career and recent work, moderated by Scott Goldman. Following the discussion, Nesmith will perform live. Starting in the Texas folk scene in 1963, Nesmith quickly blossomed into a brilliant tunesmith during his time on the Emmy award-winning The Monkees. His melodic, country-tinged songs were regularly featured on the band’s multi-million selling albums and singles, but he heard a greater creative calling to find his own voice as a record maker. During 1968, Nesmith ventured to Nashville and formed the band the First National Band (pedal steel virtuoso Red Rhodes, bassist John London, and drummer John Ware). After being signed to RCA by A&R man Felton Jarvis, the band released a few critically acclaimed albums, including Magnetic South (1970), followed by Loose Salute (1970) and Nevada Fighter (1971), which spun off the chart hits “Joanne,” “Silver Moon,” “Nevada Fighter” and “I’ve Just Begun To Care (Propinquity).” In January 2018, Michael Nesmith sold out The Troubadour in West Hollywood, performing his First National music for the first time in four decades. Songs like “Different Drum” (a Top 20 hit for Linda Ronstadt & The Stone Poneys), “Some of Shelly’s Blues” (covered by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), and The Monkees’ classic, “Papa Gene’s Blues” filled the room with warmth and splendor. Nesmith will once again perform this music and share stories from his recent autobiography, Infinite Tuesday, while on tour in October 2019.
UPDATE 10/2/2019: Here is video of the performance portion from Michael's appearance last night at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The set list included "Different Drum," "Joanne," "Some of Shelly's Blues," "Silver Moon," and "Papa Gene's Blues." Nez was backed by the First National Band Redux.
And earlier today, the Grammy Museum tweeted about Michael's appearance:
Michael Nesmith & The First National Band Redux to appear at California musical festival in October (UPDATED WITH LINK TO VIDEO FOOTAGE)
Sunday, October 6, 2019: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Music Festival / Lindley & Marx Meadows in Golden Gate Park / San Francisco, California
This is a free event - no tickets are required
UPDATE 10/9/2019: Michael and the First National Band's show is now archived and ready to view on the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass website.
The wonderful team who oversees Peter Tork's official Facebook page has just announced that "Peter Tork: A Celebration of Life & Community" will take place on Sunday, October 20, 2019 at Club 66 in Edgewood, Maryland (near Baltimore) to honor the memory of Peter. Details can be found below, and stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for more information about this special event.
A CELEBRATION: Peter loved his Torkees fanbase and was proud of the wonderful community and friendships that developed as a result of people traveling to see him perform in Monkees and Shoe Suede Blues shows. He was always concerned about the well-being of his fans, friends and loved ones. When thinking about the time he would no longer be on this earth, Peter often said that he would not want any glitzy or flashy events, nor sad or solemn ceremonies. He wished, instead, that people would simply gather in a comfortable place to remember him in fellowship, enjoy good food, listen to music, and share fun memories. We'd like to honor Peter by giving him his wish... and we invite you to help us.
In a gathering similar to his beloved Fan Parties, we welcome you to join us on Sunday, October 20, 2019 @ 1:00-5:00pm ET at Club 66, Edgewood MD (near Baltimore) for Peter Tork: A Celebration of Life & Community, as we enjoy one more visit with our favorite Blues Boy in celebration of his life and deep love and appreciation for all of you! This laid-back, casual celebration will include a buffet lunch, the showing of a never-before-seen-in-public video of a Shoe Suede Blues concert on a big screen (featuring Peter, Arnold "AJ" Jacks, Joe Boyle, and Sturgis Cunningham), lots of Peter Tork/Shoe Suede Blues music, time to chat and reflect on good memories, and a few other activities.
We have chosen Club 66 for this celebration because it was Peter's favorite place to play, as well as the host to most of the band's fan parties. The owners, staff, and members of the Club were always so supportive and welcoming to Peter & SSB, and the vibe so electric there, that the band truly considered it their "home away from home." If the timing would have worked out, Peter had even hoped to host a CD Release Party for "Relax Your Mind" at the Club. Because of all this, we couldn't think of a more appropriate place to bring people together to celebrate, remember and heal.
We are aware that Micky Dolenz will be performing in the “It Was Fifty Years Ago Today” tour in Bethlehem PA on October 19th, and in Washington DC on October 20th. Edgewood MD is located between these two locations, approximately 2.5 hours from Bethlehem and 1.5 hours from DC. We have adjusted the timing of our gathering to make it possible for fans to attend as many of the happenings as they wish to, without causing a conflict.
Please email our team at fiorepro85[at]hotmail[dot]com for ticket information and additional details. We hope you will be able to join us in celebrating Peter and being a part of his world! ~ptfb team #ShineOn #WeAreOne #PeaceLoveAndTork
(Photo: Sherri Hansen)
In 2016, Patrick Zappi penned a three-part series, "Reimagining The Post-Peter Albums." And now Patrick has contributed another piece to The Monkees Live Almanac, featuring a retrospective playlist of Peter Tork's musical career that not only includes his time in The Monkees, but also highlights Peter's work as a solo artist, his musical partnership with James Lee Stanley, and his stint in Shoe Suede Blues.
"Come On In: The Best of Peter Tork (1966-2016)" by Patrick Zappi
Since 1966, the press and purported "serious" music critics have reveled in stories about The Monkees and their musical prowess. But after the group's triumphant 45th Anniversary Tour in 2011, progressive journalists have reassessed The Monkees' musical catalog and many now choose to celebrate this cast of actors, singers, and musicians and their metamorphosis into an authentic recording and touring project.
As longtime fans already know, and contrary to urban legend, the individual members of The Monkees all played multiple instruments with varying degrees of skill. Peter Tork cut his teeth in the early 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene, gigging with the likes of a then unknown Stephen Stills in The Buffalo Fish and jamming onstage with Mama Cass in her pre-Mamas and Papas project, The Mugwumps. Tork was a multi-instrumentalist who mastered the banjo, guitar, bass, piano, and even the French horn with exuberance. His stunning instrumental contributions are undisputed highlights of the Monkees catalog: the beloved piano lick from "Daydream Believer," the ominous organ solo on "Words," the breezy harpsichord on "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," the propulsive banjo on "You Told Me," the aggressive bass on "You Just May Be The One," the majestic piano on "Shades Of Gray," the rolling keyboards on "The Door Into Summer," the tense electric piano solo on "Pleasant Valley Sunday," and the famous guitar-intro to his own composition, "For Pete's Sake," which became the closing theme for The Monkees television series in its second season. The list goes on and on!
Peter's singing and songwriting however, were met with a different response. With a questionable pitch and a lovable but infrequently utilized voice, Peter became the Ringo Starr of The Monkees, an ace in the hole who was lucky to score a single lead vocal on any given album. In his heyday, Tork was an inspired but seemingly frustrated songwriter. Overshadowed by the prolific and somewhat dominant Michael Nesmith (who just happened to title Peter's signature composition "For Pete's Sake"), some of Peter's quirky, folksy, and bluesy gems were initially left unreleased until The Monkees' incredible resurgence in 1986 that ultimately opened the studio vaults. After that unprecedented commercial resurgence, Tork was able to spread his wings as a solo artist, exploring his folk roots with longtime friend and musical partner James Lee Stanley, tackling the roadhouse blues with the tongue-in-cheek titled band Shoe Suede Blues, and finally bringing his peculiar vision to life with 1994's Stranger Things Have Happened.
In February of this year, we lost Peter Tork to a longtime battle with cancer, but his music survives. The following is a retrospective of his career for fellow fans to enjoy. As Peter wrote, "To say that you can dig it, is to make your soul to fly . . . to heaven."
"Pleasant Valley Sunday" (With James Lee Stanley, Two Man Band, 1996)
"Peter Percival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky" (The Monkees, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., 1967)
"Your Auntie Grizelda" (The Monkees, More Of The Monkees, 1967)
"Words" (The Monkees, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., 1967)
"Shades of Gray" (The Monkees, Headquarters, 1967)
"Cripple Creek" (The Monkees, Live 1967)
"Alvin" (The Monkees, Originally Unissued, 1968)
"Tear the Top Right Off My Head" (The Monkees, Originally Unissued, 1968)
"Come On In" (The Monkees, Originally Unissued, 1968)
"Seeger's Theme" (The Monkees, Originally Unissued, 1968)
"Lady's Baby" (The Monkees, Originally Unissued, 1968)
"Prithee" (The Monkees, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, 1969)
"Can You Dig It" - Peter's lead vocal originally unissued (The Monkees, 1968)
"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again" (The Monkees, Head, 1968)
"MGBGT" (The Monkees, B-side to "Heart & Soul," Live 1986)
"Gettin' In" (The Monkees, Pool It!, 1987)
"Since You Went Away" (The Monkees, Pool It!, 1987)
"Milkshake" (With Micky Dolenz & Michael Nesmith, Stranger Things Have Happened, 1994)
"Sea Change" (Stranger Things Have Happened, 1994)
"Giant Step" (Stranger Things Have Happened, 1994)
"Tender Is" (Stranger Things Have Happened, 1994)
"I Believe You" (The Monkees, Justus, 1996)
"I Remember Christmas" (With James Lee Stanley, A Beachwood Christmas, 2003)
"Saved by the Blues" (Shoe Suede Blues, Saved by the Blues, 2003)
"Slender Tender and Tall" (Shoe Suede Blues, Saved by the Blues, 2003)
"She Belongs To Me" (Shoe Suede Blues, Cambria Hotel, 2007)
"Vagabond John" (Live 2012)
"Little Girl" (The Monkees, Good Times!, 2016)
"Wasn't Born to Follow" (The Monkees, Good Times!, 2016)
"Early Morning Blues and Greens" (The Monkees, Live 2013)
"For Pete's Sake" (Shoe Suede Blues, Cambria Hotel, 2007)
"Daydream Believer" (With James Lee Stanley, Once Again, 2001)
"Higher and Higher" (Stranger Things Have Happened, 1994)
Micky Dolenz "really looking forward to" White Album tribute tour with Todd Rundgren and other stars
Among the White Album songs Dolenz will be performing are “Rocky Raccoon” and “Yer Blues,” plus two or three more. He says “Rocky Raccoon” stands out for him because it was “one of the songs I would sing my little kids as a lullaby.” As for his own songs, he says he’ll probably be singing the Monkees hits “I’m a Believer” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”
Paris Stachtiaris interviews legendary Monkees and rock music photographer Henry Diltz about Woodstock
Monkees fans are likely to recall the name Paris Stachtiaris, co-host of Headquarters ("The only radio show in America dedicated to The Monkees") that originally aired on 90.3 WBAU-FM, the radio station of Adelphi University in Long Island, New York, from 1987 to 1990. Cassette tapes of the program, which featured interviews with Monkees luminaries like Chip Douglas, Ward Sylvester, Jim Frawley, Coco Dolenz, Lester Sill, Monte Landis, Gerry Goffin, the individual Monkees themselves, and others, were frequently traded among fans in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
And now in 2019, Paris is back, with co-host Ben Brown, producing a special in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock that will air Labor Day Weekend on HCS internet radio. Paris and Ben's premier guest is the renowned rock photograher Henry Diltz, the official lensman of Woodstock who also has photographed The Monkees extensively since the 1960s. Paris has informed the Live Almanac that he is planning to play Rhino's recently released (and now sold out) 38-disc box set, containing nearly every note played at Woodstock, during the special.
The Woodstock Radio Special will air on HCS internet radio beginning Friday, August 30 at 5:00 PM through Monday morning, September 2, and you can preview the interview with Henry from the special right now! And don't miss a selection of Henry's photographs from Woodstock, courtesy of his website.
Thanks to Paris for keeping everyone informed about his latest project, and be sure to check out the archives of the Headquarters radio program here at The Monkees Live Almanac!
The Monkees Live Almanac is happy to pass along the news that Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval is currently working on a revised edition of his exhaustive book on The Monkees, originally published fourteen years ago. Andrew recently announced through various social media channels that he hopes an updated edition of The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation is ready for publication in late 2020.
Andrew's first Monkees-related project came in 1990 when he acted as co-producer (along with Bill Inglot) for 1990's Missing Links Volume Two collection, which also featured liner notes penned by Sandoval. Since then, he has produced numerous Monkees projects for Rhino Records, including CD reissues, multiple box set treatments of Monkees music, and DVD and Blu-ray collections of the group's 1960s television series and feature film, Head. He is responsible for The Monkees' triumphant return to the concert stage in 2011, and produced subsequent tours for the group in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, as well as the "The Mike & Micky Show" that was a hit at venues in North America, Australia, and New Zealand throughout 2018 and 2019.
Years of research and dedication resulted in Andrew's 2005 tome on The Monkees. In it, the band's recording sessions, live concerts, filming dates, public appearances, and much more from 1965-1970 were all richly documented. Considered to be the primary resource for anything and everything Monkees, Mojo said Day-by-Day was "The only Monkees book you need . . . Essential reading and a poignant primer in how the template was set for today's shooting stars . . . as close as you'll get to the official word . . . an engaging document of one of the '60s most important phenomena."
While we all anxiously wait for a revised edition of his book, be sure to listen to Andrew's internet radio show, Come to the Sunshine, and check back with The Monkees Live Almanac for future updates!