The Monkees Live Almanac is very saddened by today's news that Peter Tork has passed away. Thanks, Peter, for all of the great memories.
Songs, a 12-CD collection that brings together Michael Nesmith's works for both RCA and Pacific Arts, is scheduled to be released by UK-based Edsel Records on April 5, 2019.
The box set, however, is not a complete representation of Michael's solo output as the following albums are not included: The Wichita Train Whistle Sings, Live at the Palais, The Michael Nesmith Radio Special, Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (soundtrack), Live at The Britt Festival, Rays, and The Ocean.
Four RCA-era bonus cuts are included in the track listings ("Rose City Chimes," "First National Dance," "Cantata & Fugue in C&W," "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette") and 7a Records co-founder Iain Lee has penned liner notes for the booklet.
In June 2018, Michael Nesmith's 1970s RCA albums were issued digitally with previously unheard bonus tracks.
Amazon provides the following description of the box set:
As a member of the first-ever manufactured group, Michael Nesmith needs little introduction. Aside from his ground-breaking projects in the field of music video and film production, he has enjoyed a solo career since he left the Monkees that has encompassed many styles of music, but has always been supported by his wonderful songwriting, alongside some very astute choices of songs he has covered. Nez signed to RCA in 1970 and in quick succession made three albums with The First National Band, which featured pedal steel guitarist extraordinaire O.J. 'Red' Rhodes. All three featured, in the main, his own compositions (including some he had tried out in Monkees sessions) plus some interesting covers, including both well-known country songs and songs by the likes of Harry Nilsson and Eric Clapton. Alongside the contemporary output of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers, these albums form the foundation of Country Rock. Nesmith continued in this vein with three more albums for RCA in 1972 and 1973, the ironically-titled "…And The Hits Just Keep on Comin'" containing his own version of "Different Drum," a huge hit for Linda Ronstadt back in 1967. He formed his own production company, Pacific Arts, in 1975, the first release being "The Prison," "a book with a soundtrack," with songs to compliment the reading experience. A second example of this, "The Garden," was issued in 1994. 1977 saw the release of "From A Radio Engine To The Photon Wing," which featured the hit single "Rio." The video for this was instrumental in the birth of MTV. Moving away from country rock, follow-up albums further showcased Nesmith's songwriting, accompanied by songs by Cole Porter and others. This box set is the first time that Michael Nesmith's solo albums from both his RCA and Pacific Arts periods have been brought together in one compendium. The albums are in CD-sized facsimiles of the original sleeves, along with a booklet that compiles all the credits and liner notes from those sleeves. There are also four bonus tracks across the RCA albums. Booklet notes by broadcaster Iain Lee.
TICKETS ON SALE AUGUST 1, 2019:
Instant Replay, The Monkees' seventh album and the first to be released in the post-Peter Tork era, was issued by Colgems Records on February 15, 1969:
January 15-17: Fallsview Casino Resort / Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
April 14: Southwest Florida Event Center / Bonita Springs, Florida
May 4: Haugh Performing Arts Center / Glendora, California
Micky is also performing with Michael Nesmith this March and June in The Monkees Present: The Mike Nesmith & Micky Dolenz Show.
Keep checking back for updates!
Last week, the Live Almanac covered the January 22 performance by Michael Nesmith and pedal steel extraordinaire Pete Finney at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California. Michael and Pete performed a series of shows this month that highlighted the 1972 album And The Hits Just Keep On Comin' that was recorded by Nesmith and Red Rhodes.
Sherri Hansen has now shared her set of photos from the show at the Coach House with the Live Almanac. Thanks, Sherri!
Sherri also shared her video footage:
Thank you very much to Kevin Barry for sharing his photos and videos from Michael Nesmith and Pete Finney's performance last evening at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California. Nez and Pete will conclude this current round of shows highlighting the 1972 Nesmith album And The Hits Just Keep On Comin' in Mill Valley, California tomorrow night at the sold-out Sweetwater Music Hall.
The set list in San Juan Capistrano was the same as Tuesday night's show at the legendary Troubadour in West Hollywood. Notably, both Micky Dolenz and Chip Douglas were in attendance at the Troubadour.
James Frawley was a monumental figure in the success of The Monkees televison show, directing 28 episodes of the series. In 1967, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for "The Royal Flush." He was nominated again a year later for another episode, "The Devil and Peter Tork."
Frawley appeared on The Monkees several times over, including the second season episode "Monkees Blow Their Minds" as 'Rudy Bayshore' and as himself in "The Monkees in Paris." He also voiced the dummy 'Mr. Schneider' along with other uncredited voiceovers. His success continued after working with The Monkees, producing and directing numerous television shows and movies, including The Muppet Movie in 1979. Jim died in Arizona on Tuesday at age 82.
Here is a list of Monkees episodes that were directed by Jim Frawley:
Micky Dolenz remembered Frawley in a post on Facebook:
Last week, Micky Dolenz performed a series of sold-out performances at Avalon Theatre at Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Check out a report from the show along with some photos:
You can view Micky's set list from these shows here and here, thanks to Scott Catton. You'll note that Micky performed "Kicks," a track The Monkees covered during their 1986 recording sessions for Then & Now...The Best of The Monkees. Micky added the song to his solo show in 2018.
Michael Nesmith, along with Pete Finney on pedal steel, continue their mini-tour tomorrow evening at the famed Troubadour in West Hollywood, California as they highlight Michael's 1972 album, And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'. Here's a review of opening night in Seattle:
And don't forget about Michael's recent conversation with the Los Angeles Times:
Finally, thanks to Tracy Robison for sharing his video footage of Nez and Pete from the second stop of their tour in Grants Pass, Oregon at the Rogue Theater:
By Justin Rakowski
Salt Lake City – December 6, 1969. As The Monkees walked off stage, nothing would ever be the same. At least in terms of their original run as a quartet, that was unceremoniously reduced to a trio earlier in the year. Apart from a few contractual obligations, Michael Nesmith was no longer a Monkee. This left Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones to continue on in some capacity. In addition to making a few promotional appearances under the guise of The Monkees throughout 1970, Micky and Davy undertook what would be the final Monkees album of the original Colgems era. Released in June of 1970, Changes unfortunately did nothing to bolster their fading popularity. While the single "Oh My My" barely cracked the Billboard Hot 100, Changes failed to grab the attention of what remaining fans they had and did not chart in its initial production run.
As decades passed and different waves of Monkees reunions cropped up, leading to more positive reevaluations of their career and musical output, Changes still held a somewhat “black sheep” quality when compared to The Monkees' other Colgems records. Growing up in the 1990s, I was too young to remember the massive resurgence in popularity the group experienced during their 20th Anniversary in 1986. Luckily, I discovered the "Pre-Fab Four" through Nick at Nite reruns during the mid-90s, leading me to hunt down every album released through the Rhino Records reissues on CD. Even as a young Monkees fan, Changes carried a stigma like no other Monkees LP had and initially I barely gave it a listen. Over the course of the ensuing years, my appreciation of the album grew slightly, but it still never reached the level of importance as their other albums.
In 2012, I met the woman who I would fall in love with and ultimately marry a few short years later. On one of our first dates, I discovered that she was quite familiar with a good number of Monkees songs, albeit the ones that were featured on the show, as she too watched the Nick at Nite reruns. Naturally, I gave her copies of all their albums, excited to see which one she would hold dear to her heart. After making her way through everything, I was shocked to find that she adored Changes and had memorized the lyrics to every song featured on the album in only a few short days. Her love for the album was contagious and I now started to listen with a different set of ears and appreciate it for what it was – a solidly written and performed set of catchy bubblegum songs that acted as a perfect bookend to a period that started with an album (The Monkees) that was essentially a solidly written and performed set of catchy bubblegum songs.
Through all of this, as many Monkees fans know, the multitrack recordings for all of the Jeff Barry-produced songs from the 1970 sessions are missing. Unfortunately this also includes two tracks, "Which Way Do You Want It" and "Ride Baby Ride," that were recorded but ultimately left off the final pressing of Changes. Given all these facts, we’ve been told time and time again that a Super Deluxe set of the album would be impossible given the lack of content. Once a Super Deluxe set of Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd. is released in the coming years, the journey that Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval started nearly a decade ago will have ended. As a fan of both The Monkees and Andrew, I am incredibly grateful for the amount of dedication from them to bring us such wonderful sets and can’t wait to have a shelf with all the Super Deluxe sets next to each other, providing us with perhaps the most complete auditory history of a band’s output. But, the set will feel quite lonely if Changes isn’t there in some capacity to bookend everything as it did almost 50 years ago when it was first issued.
With all of that in mind, I propose a solution. When the time comes to make a decision on the merits of a Super Deluxe set of Changes and the missing tracks that still have not been found, here is a track listing that could fill three CDs and properly tell the story of The Monkees' Colgems-era output, including Davy’s final contractual obligation for Colgems that resulted in his self-titled album released on Bell Records in 1971. With that being said, I present you with…
CHANGES (SUPER DELUXE EDITION)
23. Oh My My (Mono Promo Film Mix)
24. 99 Pounds (Stereo Remix)
25. Midnight Train (Demo)
26. I Never Thought It Peculiar (No Strings and Backing Vocals)
27. I Never Thought It Peculiar (Mono Mix without Overdubs)
28. I Never Thought It Peculiar (Mono Mix with Overdubs)
29. I Never Thought It Peculiar (Stereo Remix)
30. Time And Time Again (Take 1)
31. Time And Time Again (Mono Mix)
32. Time And Time Again (Stereo Mix)
33. Post Cereals "Monkees Cereal Box Records" Commercial
34. Kool-Aid "Nerf Ball" Commercial
35. Kool-Aid "Buzzer" & "Snake In A Can" Commercial
36. Together (Davy Jones With Sam & The Goodtimers - Live on Music Scene - December 22, 1969)
37. Interview With Davy Jones on Music Scene (December 22, 1969)
38. Oh My My (Live At The Palace Theater - Cleveland, Ohio - July 27, 1997)
39. Midnight Train (Live At The Mayo Performing Arts Center - Morristown, New Jersey - Aug. 27, 2015)
BONUS VINYL 45
"Acapulco Sun" EP by The Monkees
Oh My My
Do You Feel It Too?
Thank you very much to Justin Rakowski for submitting his essay to The Monkees Live Almanac! I would also like to acknowledge John McCutcheon's wonderful website Monkee45s for some of the scans seen above.
While prepping this piece for the Live Almanac's blog, I contacted longtime Monkees fan, collector, and author Ed Reilly to see if he could share some unique Changes-era pieces from his collection to complement Justin's work. The items below come from Ed's collection - thanks, Ed!
Bell Records released the original Monkees albums in Japan throughout 1973 and 1974:
This past Thursday night in Seattle, Washington, Michael Nesmith, along with pedal steel guitarist Pete Finney and special guest Ben Gibbard, performed the first in a series of shows highlighting his classic 1972 album, And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'. Here is the set list, thanks to Andrew Sandoval:
Two Different Roads
Tomorrow & Me
Some of Shelly's Blues
Keys To The Car
The Upside Of Goodbye
With Special Guest Ben Gibbard
Papa Gene's Blues
The Crippled Lion
Nine Times Blue
Thanks a lot to Ben Belmares for sharing his scans of The Monkees Greatest Hits, the 1976 compilation that Rhino Records has just reissued on orange vinyl as part of their "Start Your Ear Off Right" promotional campaign. Thanks again, Ben!
By 1976, Arista Records had inherited The Monkees' music catalog from Colgems (later Bell Records) and proceeded to release The Monkees Greatest Hits. This Arista collection was in reality a repackaging of Re-Focus, an earlier Monkees compilation produced by Bell in 1972. Arista's Greatest Hits featured the same track listing as Re-Focus but with brand new cover art, and could be purchased as an LP, cassette, or 8-track.
As Monkees albums were hard to come by in the mid-1970s, and possibly due to other factors like the return of the group's TV show in syndication and the activities of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, Greatest Hits sold well and peaked at #58 on the Billboard chart in 1976. It was later certified Gold in 1986 and Platinum in 1991, and remained in print through the 1980s when it first appeared on compact disc.
And now in 2019, The Monkees Greatest Hits is being treated to yet another release, this time by Rhino Records as part of their annual "Start Your Ear Off Right" campaign. Available exclusively at participating music shops beginning on January 8, Greatest Hits has been pressed on orange vinyl and is limited to 4,500 copies.
Recently on Facebook, Michael Nesmith talked about his upcoming tour with pedal steel guitarist Pete Finney that will highlight his 1972 album, And The Hits Just Keep On Comin', and more:
Here is a message from the stream. The show you are about to see is a show Red Rhodes and I put together in 1974 based loosely on the “Hits” album (And the Hits Just Keep On Comin’, 1972) we had just made. The record was different from the live show by a difference so subtle I hadn’t noticed, until night after night of playing, on one of those nights, we got airborne.
For me this music is the most fun to play especially when Red would hit the secret switch. Magic. Untethered to space and time. Riding the space unconfined.
Then, sadly Red was gone, and with him, his little secret switch. So it appeared that after the few shows we did in England, and a few in the States, the career of the First National Band would end. To say I wandered a few years is an embarrassing understatement -- but I did, always waiting for the little switch.
I found it after playing a short tour with Pete Finney. I found out he had the switch, too. Turns out, all steel-players do --- some use it, some don’t. The switch comes bound to the steel-player and then includes whatever instrument they are playing so the sound is unique to their musical swirl.
Come ride those swirls with Pete Finney and me and let him slide us away to this land and time where we all play.
Don't miss Nez and Pete this January! And in the event you haven't heard, Ben Gibbard & Scott McCaughey will be the duo's special guests on opening night in Seattle! Ben is the lead vocalist and guitarist of Death Cab For Cutie who also wrote "Me & Magdalena" for The Monkees' 2016 album, Good Times! Scott is a respected singer/singwriter whose band The Minus 5 released Of Monkees and Men in 2016, described as "an imaginative tribute to the Monkees’ legacy in music and popular culture." Scott also co-wrote the title track with Peter Buck (R.E.M.) from The Monkees' new holiday album, Christmas Party, and was closely aligned with R.E.M. as an auxiliary musician in the studio and on stage with the group from 1994 until their their breakup in 2011.
Here's a complete list of tour dates and ticket links for Michael Nesmith and Pete Finney in January 2019:
January 17: Neptune Theatre / Seattle, Washington
January 19: The Rogue Theater / Grants Pass, Oregon
January 20: Sofia Center For The Arts / Sacramento, California
January 22: Troubadour / West Hollywood, California
January 24: The Coach House / San Juan Capistrano, California
January 26: Sweetwater Music Hall / Mill Valley, California
As part of the current NPR series, "1968: How We Got Here," author Petra Mayer examines The Monkees' one and only feature film as it celebrates its 50th anniversary:
I would like to wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and say thank you for your continued support of The Monkees Live Almanac! The banner seen above, created by Al Bigley of The Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion podcast, features a photo of The Monkees that appeared in a late 1967 issue of Ladies Home Journal.
This particular photo was utilized on a 5" x 7" fold-open Christmas card in 1967. Inside the card was the inscription "Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me." According to Marty Eck's book, The Monkees Collectibles Price Guide, this card is believed not to have been mailed en masse and was only sent to a small group of people.
Have a great holiday, everyone!
"The Mike & Micky Show" 2019 Tour