7a RECORDS PRESS RELEASE
7a Records are proud to present "This Stuff Never Gets Old", a brand new Limited Edition EP featuring four previously unreleased Peter Tork recordings. The EP will be released on CD and on pale blue Vinyl on November 17. The CD is limited to 500 copies and the vinyl is limited to 800.
1. This Stuff Never Gets Old
2. Sea Change
3. Vagabond John
In early 1968 The Monkees' fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., was released in Japan with an alternate cover in comparison to the United States pressing. The July 2022 issue of Shindig!, in their "Vinyl Art" column, profiled this unique cover of Pisces as it was originally issued in Japan, featuring the work of Japanese graphic artist Keiichi Tanaami.
Thank you to longtime Live Almanac contributor and Monkees fan Renny Simno for sharing this piece with the site!
Model Products Corporation is prepping a 1/25 scale kit of the Monkeemobile, with an anticipated release date of December 31, 2022. You can pre-order from Monsters in Motion or CultTVman. Thank you very much to Live Almanac reader Bill Weimer for sharing this news with the site.
And don't forget to check out more about the Monkeemobile in the archives of the Live Almanac!
7a RECORDS PRESS RELEASE
We are proud to announce the release of Davy Jones’ “Manchester Boy – Personal File” on October 14. Available on CD and Vinyl, the album features rare demos, outtakes and self-penned songs made between the 1960s-1980s. 7a Records has spent a lot of time and effort on remastering the recordings and all songs make their first ever appearance on vinyl.
UPDATE 9/16/2022: Today, 7a Records issued a digital single, "Man We Was Lonely"/"King Lonely the Blue", to promote the upcoming release of Manchester Boy - Personal File. Listen to the tracks below courtesy of YouTube. The new single is also available on all digital download and streaming services.
David Alexander, a member of The Monkees' touring band and team going back to the 1990s, and who also performed individually with both Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz, has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Monkees fans will likely recall Dave's big smile as he manned the keyboards for numerous Monkees/solo concerts and special events.
A chance encounter with Davy Jones in 1993 eventually led to Dave being asked to join Davy on a tour of Japan in early 1995. Dave went on to work as a stage manager for The Monkees during their mid-1990s tours and was fortunate enough to travel to the United Kingdom in 1997 when all four Monkees played a series of concerts there in promotion of their Justus album. He later appeared onstage with The Monkees in the early 2000s, returning in 2012 after the death of Davy Jones.
Dave was a devoted Beatles fan and member of the Beatles tribute band Glass Onion. He spoke highly of his time spent with The Monkees. "What matters to me is the family that I accrued over the years. That's what being in the Monkees is really like to me," he told Fred Velez in 2013. "It's a real family affair. Sure, it has its business aspects to it every now and then. But, for the most part, it all turns out to be an incredible family, with everything that every family has. Its quirks, its weird times, but mostly the good times. I absolutely love them all."
The latest episode of Zilch includes a dedication to Dave Alexander. Listen below:
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:
This past spring, BearManor Media published Love Is Understanding: The Life and Times of Peter Tork and The Monkees, authored by Sergio Farias. EU Today previewed the book, noting that it "enlightens readers not only on the authentic talents of Peter Tork - both as a musician and as an actor - but also the significant role his group The Monkees played in pop music and in television comedy." Read more:
Love Is Understanding is available now in hardback, paperback, and digital editions from BearManor and Amazon.
Friday Music is commemorating the 55th anniversary of The Monkees' third straight #1 album, Headquarters, with a limited edition release of the group's classic 1967 LP on both red and blue translucent vinyl, in mono no less! Available today from Friday Music, these sets can also be purchased via Deep Discount.
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:
During the month of August, CBS Mornings is profiling a host of artists in a series entitled "Mornings Mixtape." Beginning on August 1, the longtime sunrise television program will speak with various performers including Hanson and Ashanti. "We’re looking at the musical artists who have stood the test of time and created songs that you just can’t get out of your head, in a good way," host Nate Burleson shared with The Music Universe.
Micky Dolenz will be the subject of the August 16, 2022 edition of "Mornings Mixtape," seen below with host Anthony Mason. Get ready to watch the segment live or set your DVRs now!
Anthony Mason's interview with Micky Dolenz on CBS Mornings will now air on August 22, 2022.
Below is the full segment featuring Micky from this morning's broadcast, and CBS News also published a recap article.
Since its launch in 2015, 7a Records has earned its superior reputation amongst Monkees fans for its commitment to delivering Monkees solo-related projects on compact disc, vinyl, and DVD, products that are always enshrined in deluxe packaging while paying extraordinary attention to the smallest of details. In 2021, 7a delivered perhaps its most accomplished project to date, the critically and commercially successful Dolenz sings Nesmith, an album that featured Micky Dolenz reimagining select tracks from the songbook of his longtime friend and bandmate, Michael Nesmith.
This year alone, 7a, with Glenn Gretlund at the helm, has reissued a pair of classic albums from Michael Nesmith's canon, Tantamount to Treason Volume 1 along with And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'. Just last week, the eponymous album by Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, long out of print, arrived as a 2-CD and 2-LP collection, remastered from the recently discovered master tapes and featuring a live concert recorded during the group's stop in Tokyo in 1976.
Later this summer, 7a will deliver yet another entry in their ever growing catalog. Demoiselle, a collection of demos recorded by Micky Dolenz between 1981 and 1992 that was privately released by Dolenz on compact disc in 1998, will arrive on August 12, 2022 in expanded, remastered form on both red gatefold vinyl and CD, featuring three bonus tracks, a new running order, and a 32-page booklet with extensive liner notes (CD version only). Some of the demos heard on Demoiselle were later unearthed and formally recorded by The Monkees on their 1996 album, Justus ("Never Enough," "Dyin' Of A Broken Heart," "Regional Girl"), while "Beverly Hills" had been featured as the B-side to Micky's 1982 Japanese single, "To Be Or Not To Be."
On July 8, "My Heart is Failing Me" and "Piston Power" were issued by 7a Records as a digital single and teaser for the upcoming expanded edition of Demoiselle:
G.H. Harding provided more insight into the history, production, and background of Demoiselle in a feature for Times Square Chronicles:
Monkees fans fondly recall Bill Chadwick from his many associations with The Monkees as a songwriter, TV show extra, studio musician, and confidant of the group throughout its initial run in the 1960s.
Bill was a regular along with Michael Nesmith and John London at the famous Ledbetter's club in Los Angeles and the Troubadour in Hollywood during the pre-Monkees era. The three were soon part of a folk group called The Survivors that was assembled by Randy Sparks, who also founded The New Christy Minstrels. Bill auditioned for The Monkees in 1965, making it past the initial round of interviews and being one of the few to participate in an actual screen test with Bob Rafelson.
Despite not being chosen, Bill contributed to the Monkees project through multiple avenues. His song, "Of You," was recorded at one of the earliest Monkees recording sessions in the summer of 1966. Bill's other songwriting credits for the group include "If I Knew," "French Song," "Time and Time Again," "You and I," "If You Have the Time," "How Can I Tell You," and "Zor and Zam." Bill also contributed backing vocals and instrumentation on many Monkees tracks. He went on to become a lighting director and tour manager for The Monkees and photographed the group extensively throughout the late 1960s.
In the 1970s, Bill's song "Talking to the Wall" was recorded by Michael Nesmith and the Second National Band for their 1972 album Tantamount To Treason Volume 1.
Bill recently announced a new project, Time and Again Gallery, which will feature archival vintage photographs of The Monkees and other pop culture icons for purchase. A message and video from Bill can be found below, and be sure to follow Time and Again on Facebook and visit the website!
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!
Monkees fans in Pennsylvania and surrounding areas: a special treat is coming to a drive-in theater near you!
On Sunday, August 14, 2022, Mahoning Drive-In Theater in Lehighton, Pennsylvania is hosting "Mahoning Monkeemania," a one night only celebration of The Monkees that will include screenings of two episodes of The Monkees television series along with the group's 1968 feature film, Head.
Check out the press release below, show your interest on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to reserve your tickets early!
Thanks much to Mark Nelson, the general manager of The Mahoning Drive-In Theater, for alerting the Live Almanac about this unique event.
Mahoning MONKEE-MANIA (Monkees Fan Event + HEAD on 35mm)
Here they come… on the big screen!
In 2000, Davy Jones self-published Daydream Believin', an update to his well-received 1987 autobiography They Made a Monkee Out of Me.
Throughout the late 1980s, Davy undertook numerous book signing tours and made multiple television appearances to promote his original book, and that tradition continued when Daydream Believin' arrived in the first year of the new century.
Last month, the publisher Book's Mind reissued Daydream Believin' in both paperback and hardcover editions, featuring a new introduction by Ann Moses, the editor of Tiger Beat from 1966–1972 who wrote countless stories about The Monkees during their heyday.
Links to order your copy can be found below, and don't forget to follow Davy's official Facebook page!
In 1975, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork gathered together to consider several offers to reunite The Monkees. "We met up at my house, up in the Hollywood Hills," Micky told Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval in a previously published interview. "I think it was William Morris [agency] or something expressed an interest in putting the act back together. Everybody was very enthusiastic about it on the surface. You know, 'Oh great, great idea,' but when it got down to the nitty-gritty there were too many conflicting feelings and attitudes. Actually I remember it being really exciting. We all got together for the first time in quite a few years in the same room and there was a hell of a buzz."
Despite friendly discussions between the ex-Monkees during this time period, the group ultimately did not reform. "They wanted to do something different and new," said Jones of Nesmith and Tork to Steve Hoffman in September 1976. "They forgot the audience has been waiting out there for The Monkees to return." However, Micky and Davy were interested in teaming up once again and instead turned to Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart was the idea of Christian DeWalden, a music publisher, producer, and friend of Bobby Hart. Boyce & Hart were responsible for writing and producing some of The Monkees' greatest hits ("Last Train to Clarksville," "Steppin' Stone," "Valleri"), and had a successful recording career of their own. The foursome created a new act and toured as The Great Golden Hits of The Monkees - The Guys Who Wrote 'Em and the Guys Who Sang 'Em. Their concert show combined Monkees classics, new material, and Boyce & Hart hits. "It was based on the idea of having the guys who wrote a lot of songs and the guys who sang them perform together," Davy explained in 1975. "So we talked about it and agreed and went into rehearsals for three weeks, and then we went to St. Louis and pulled 22,000 kids in two shows." The Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart act would record and perform together through 1976.
This July, 7a Records will officially re-release the recorded legacy of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. The UK-based label, headed by Glenn Gretlund, will deliver a 2-CD and 2-LP deluxe edition of the group's 1976 studio album originally issued by Capitol Records, along with Concert in Japan, taped in Tokyo that same year, which was ultimately released in that country in 1981 (and later on compact disc by the label Varese Sarabande in 1996).
Both albums are remastered from the original tapes. The CD edition will include a 40-page booklet with brand new liner notes and previously unseen photographs, while the LP edition will be housed in a gatefold sleeve on green, yellow, and black "quad" vinyl.
Various media outlets have reported on 7a's revival of the long out of print Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart albums, the latest in a very busy year for the label:
Second Disc: I Remember the Feeling: 7a Records Reissues Studio and Live Albums from Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart
Here's a sneak peak at the rear covers for the vinyl and compact disc editions:
Earlier this week, MeTV announced its annual "Summer of Me" event, and Monkees fans will be happy to hear that The Monkees television series will be featured occasionally throughout the summer during the channel's "Sunday Block Party" programming. Read more about the "Summer of Me," follow the Sunday Block Party schedule, and find MeTV in your area.
UPDATE 7/5/2022: The Monkees makes its first appearance on MeTV's Summer Block Party schedule this Sunday, July 10 beginning at 12pm ET:
Earlier this month, the vinyl-only label Run Out Groove released The Monkees' second album, More of the Monkees, as an expanded deluxe limited edition double LP featuring bonus tracks and deluxe packaging. For this release, Monkees historian and author Andrew Sandoval, along with mastering engineer Kevin Grey, cut lacquers from the original stereo analog tapes.
More of the Monkees was originally issued in January 1967 on Colgems and became one of the best selling Monkees albums (certified quintuple platinum by the RIAA). It was the longest to stay at #1 on the Billboard chart (eighteen weeks), and it contains The Monkees' biggest hit single, "I'm a Believer," which was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks.
Run Out Groove's version of More of the Monkees arrived on two 180 gram records, featuring a gatefold jacket, never-before-seen photos, and new liner notes by Sandoval. And now, you can check out this Run Out Groove exclusive below, courtesy of Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares.
Copies of the limited edition transparent green vinyl version are long sold out, but the standard black vinyl is available via Amazon.
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
Micky Dolenz Live
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart returns