Longtime Monkees fan Mark Kleiner, whose name you might recognize from the stellar liner notes that have accompanied various releases by 7a Records, has premiered a new podcast entitled Nesmith Tork Goffin & King. If you are curious about the origins of the podcast's name, check out a recent interview with Mark on Canadian morning television:
You can listen to the debut episode of the podcast below, which features remarks from Peter Tork's brother, Nick Thorkelson, an interview with Dick Eastman, who along with Bobby Hart penned the 1986 Monkees reunion track "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere," the rarely heard demo of that Hart/Eastman song, along with much more:
Episode 2, "Escape from L.A.," dives deep into Peter Tork's early 1970s activities, including his affiliation with the Fairfax Street Choir. You'll also hear a live performance of "Sometime in the Morning" from the early 1986 "Sound of The Monkees" tour featuring Peter and Davy Jones:
Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval is the author of The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation and has overseen the group's concert tours since 2011. Today on Facebook, Andrew talked about his latest production, a live album highlighting Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith's current show, recorded in March and June 2019:
On April 3, Rhino Records will release The Mike & Micky Show Live on compact disc and vinyl just as Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz return to the road in Vancouver, British Columbia. Featuring live performances from the duo's concerts in 2019, the CD edition is currently available for pre-order, but only in the United Kingdom.
Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for more updates coming soon!
UPDATE 2/22/2020: John Hughes of Rhino Records has confirmed that the track listing seen on the Rhino page linked above is incorrect and will soon be updated. He also noted that both the CD and vinyl editions of The Mike & Micky Show Live will feature the same 25 tracks with no variants.
And as of today, customers in the United States can now pre-order The Mike & Micky Show Live on Amazon.
In 1979, Micky Dolenz partnered with Chrysalis Records to release "Love Light"/"Alicia" as a single in the United Kingdom. According to The Monkees: A Manufactured Image, the first 1,000 copies were pressed with a picture sleeve, and the B-side happens to be a Dolenz original. Both songs were featured on the 7a Records CD edition of Micky Dolenz - The MGM Singles Collection, and they are now available to stream or download on most major media platforms:
This past Saturday, Liverpool Tours and Charles Rosenay sponsored "The Peter Tork Memorial Convention" in New Haven, Connecticut to commemorate Peter's birthday month and the one year since his passing. Michael Nesmith remembered Peter in a special video that was screened at the event and published on the Videoranch YouTube channel:
An official tribute video was also produced for the convention, featuring appearances by Micky Dolenz, Bobby Hart, Valerie Kairys Venet, Wayne Avers, John Billings, Sandy Gennaro, Fred Velez, Ed Reilly, Rich Dart, and many more:
Monkees fans set to gather in Connecticut to honor Peter Tork (UPDATED with convention schedule & Governor's proclamation)
The Peter Tork Memorial Convention for Monkees Fans will take place on Saturday, February 8 in North Haven, Connecticut. Check out this previous Live Almanac blog post for more details and to purchase tickets!
UPDATE 2/1/2020: Thanks to convention producer Charles Rosenay for sharing the official schedule of the event with The Monkees Live Almanac:
UPDATE 2/3/2020: The Governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont, has officially proclaimed the date of the convention, February 8, as "Peter Tork and The Monkees Day" in the State of Connecticut:
No! I don't think we belong in the R&R HOF. Never have --- and never will --- until the curators change their markers.
SF Sketchfest, a comedy festival currently underway in San Francisco, paid tribute to The Monkees yesterday afternoon as Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith participated in a Q & A session led by author Paul Myers:
For the last couple of years, Micky Dolenz has participated in events to benefit Make-A-Wish where fans have had the opportunity to sing with Micky karaoke-style. And now, Micky brings his efforts to Broadway for two special nights at The Iridium this March! Below you'll find a description of the event courtesy of the venue as well as links to purchase tickets.
"Remember when you were younger, going to concerts and the lead singer of the band pulled a fan on stage to sing? Did you ever wish you were that fan? Now you can be! Micky Dolenz of the legendary Monkees has a brand new show where YOU become the rock star! Singing along with Micky, living out your rock star fantasy. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will remember for the rest of your life! And if you're too shy for the spotlight, come enjoy the show as a fan with a general admission ticket. You'll still be part of the fun and excitement, as Micky breaks between songs to tell a story or raffle off prizes and memorabilia. And it all benefits a great cause, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, near and dear to Micky's heart. PLUS a very special guest appearance by songwriter and Herman’s Hermit, Vance Brescia, singing 'That Was Then, This is Now' with Micky, the Monkees' #1 chart topping song written by Vance!"
After a flurry of albums with the First and Second National Bands in the early 1970s, Michael Nesmith began to broaden his artistic scope. In 1972, Nez formed Countryside Records, a subsidiary of Elektra Records, to produce and promote country and western artists including Red Rhodes, Tom Holbrook, Steve Fromholz, and Garland Frady. One of Michael's most noteworthy projects from this era included his collaboration with British musician and singer-songwriter Ian Matthews on the album Valley Hi. Matthews had previously been a member of the folk rock band Fairport Convention, and Nez acted as producer for his 1973 LP on Elektra.
Valley Hi is noteworthy for Matthews' version of "Seven Bridges Road," a song later made famous by The Eagles on their 1980 album Eagles Live. Rhino Records highlighted the track earlier this week in an article entitled "5 Things You May Not Have Known About Mike Nesmith" while celebrating Michael's recent birthday:
He produced, sang, and played on Ian Matthews’ version of "Seven Bridges Road." Written by Steve Young and arguably made most famous by the Eagles, Nesmith recorded Matthews’ version of the song in 1973 for Matthews’ VALLEY HI album, and if you listen to that version first and then listen to the Eagles’ version, what you will notice is that the tempo and arrangements are pretty much identical. Like, to the degree that Nesmith later said of that similarity, "Son of a gun if Don or somebody in Eagles didn’t lift [our] arrangement absolutely note for note for vocal harmony. If they can’t think it up themselves [and] they’ve got to steal it from somebody else, better they should steal it...from me, I guess."
Matthews also covered Nesmith's classic "Propinquity" on Valley Hi.
And now, this period of Michael Nesmith's career and his work with Ian Matthews has been examined in much greater depth by Peter Mills, author of The Monkees, Head, and the '60s, in his new blog Pete Sounds. Peter relayed to the Live Almanac that he had to leave an abundance of material for his book on the cutting room floor, but now fans can enjoy his research about this often overlooked period of Nesmith history. Click the image below to visit Peter's blog!
Thanks to Brian Marchese for alerting the Live Almanac about his latest podcast, featuring a unique interview with Michael Nesmith:
"Episode 23 of Where's That Sound Coming From? has been a long time coming, basically due to life getting a bit derailed. But I hope you'll agree that it was worth the wait. What we have here is not your average interview with Michael Nesmith. This is sort of grad-level Nez. Spirituality. Metaphysics. Creativity. Psychedelics. Turning away from the darkness of that era. Not a word about The Monkees. No MTV. No Country Rock Pioneer. No Liquid Paper. Have you noticed that most bios and interviews with Nez seem to gloss over The Prison (1974) and his life at the time? As a long time fan of Nez, The Prison for a long time was this mysterious work that I kept trying and failing to get into. Eventually I realized I wasn’t hearing the original work - I was hearing the touched up version Nez released in the 90s. A few years ago I finally heard the 1974 original, and it all came together. Plus, I sensed a psychedelic influence which turned out to be accurate. In this podcast, my long-winded intro is followed by Nez onstage in 1975 telling the plot of The Prison, and finally, the main course: my conversation, recorded in April 2019. Stuff gets very deep, very spiritual, puzzling, funny and always fascinating. Enjoy."
Please note that additional dates are likely to be added to Micky's 2020 tour schedule. Meet and Greet packages are available for select shows.
February 8: Micky Dolenz with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra / Tucson, Arizona
February 9: Micky Dolenz with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra / Tucson, Arizona
February 12: Katharine Hepburn Center / Old Saybrook, Connecticut
February 13: The Center For Arts Natick / Natick, Massachusetts
February 14: Palace Theatre / Manchester, New Hampshire
February 21: My Father's Place Supper Club / Rosyln, New York (3pm show)
February 21: My Father's Place Supper Club / Roslyn, New York (7pm show)
February 22: Sellersville Theater / Sellersville, Pennsylvania (3pm show)
February 22: Sellersville Theater / Sellersville, Pennsylvania (8pm show)
March 20: Sing Along With Micky Dolenz @ The Iridium / New York, New York
March 21: Sing Along With Micky Dolenz @ The Iridium / New York, New York
March 27: Beatles on the Beach @ Theater at Old School Square / Delray Beach, Florida
May 9: Fermilab Ramsey Auditorium / Batavia, Illinois
Micky is also performing with Michael Nesmith this April in "An Evening With The Monkees Featuring Mike Nesmith & Micky Dolenz." Click the image below for dates, cities, and ticket links:
And, Micky's schedule of personal appearances is expanding for 2020!
The music of The Beatles will be celebrated at the International Beatles Festival in Delray Beach, Florida in March 2020. Micky Dolenz is scheduled to appear at the event, performing live and participating in a Q&A session:
March 27, 2020: Micky Dolenz Live in Concert at Beatles on the Beach / Theater at Old School Square, Delray Beach, Florida
March 28, 2020: Micky Dolenz Beatles on the Beach Q&A Session / Theater at Old School Square, Delray Beach, Florida
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.
Paris is back in 2019 with co-host Ben Brown, and the duo produced a special in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock that aired on Labor Day Weekend on HCS internet radio. Most recently, Paris and Ben spoke with Bobby Hart:
Along with his songwriting partner Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart is responsible for penning some of The Monkees' most enduring songs, including "Last Train to Clarksville," "Steppin' Stone," and "Valleri." Arriving with determination and drive to the nascent Monkees project, the duo wrote and produced the soundtrack to the pilot episode, including singing the lead vocals, which were later replaced once the show was formally cast with Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter. Despite conflicts with Don Kirshner, the show's music supervisor, Boyce and Hart were retained, and with the help of their backing band, The Candy Store Prophets, Boyce & Hart went on to produce many of the early Monkees recording sessions. Their influence eventually waned once Kirshner was sacked and The Monkees gained control over their musical output in early 1967. However, each original Monkees album, with the exception of Head, contains Boyce & Hart tunes.
Tommy and Bobby went on to have a successful recording career on their own, making guest appearances on television shows and contributing scores to movie soundtracks. In the mid-1970s, they teamed up with Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, a project which led to concert tours, new music, and a television special. Boyce & Hart were celebrated with a full-length documentary in 2015 (co-produced by Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval), and that same year, Bobby published his autobiography. Paris and Ben intend to have Bobby back on their program to discuss more about The Monkees, Boyce & Hart, the Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart era, and much more.
Thanks to Paris for keeping everyone informed about his latest projects, and be sure to check out the archives of the Headquarters radio program here at The Monkees Live Almanac!
Denver Pop Culture Con is produced and presented by Pop Culture Classroom, the non-profit dedicated to fostering a love of learning through the use of comics and pop culture. Nez and Micky are two of many celebrities scheduled to meet and greet fans at the expo on July 3-5, 2020. Tickets are on sale now!
"To create their 50th-anniversary LP Good Times!, the Monkees turned creative control over to lifelong fans of the group, like producer Adam Schlesinger and songwriters like Rivers Cuomo, Paul Weller, and Noel Gallagher. The result is, improbably enough, the greatest album of the 2010s by a Sixties band, highlighted by the achingly gorgeous love ballad 'Me & Magdalena,' by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard. The voices of Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz blend together as perfectly as they did in the Sixties. And now with decades of wisdom and tough loss underneath their glossy exterior (beloved members Peter Tork and Davy Jones are no longer with us), they somehow mean more than ever." —Andy Greene
UPDATE 12/24/2019: Rolling Stone contributing editor Rob Sheffield placed "Me & Magdalena" on his personal "Best Songs of the 2010s" list:
"The Monkees had a beautiful resurgence with Good Times — their first record written and produced by actual Monkees fans, which must be why it was their best since the Sixties. 'Me and Magdalena' is a country-roads ballad, written for them by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard: Mike Nesmith flexes his weathered Texas twang, in Magnetic South mode, while Micky Dolenz hits the high harmonies. They sound like they’ve waited years for this moment — and they’re not the only ones."
Last week, in celebration of Record Store Day Black Friday 2019, Rhino Records issued Christmas Party Plus! featuring Monkees holiday songs past and present. The two 7" singles are pressed on colored vinyl (one red/one green) and housed in a gatefold: "Unwrap You At Christmas (Radio Mix)"/"Unwrap You At Christmas (Andy Partridge Demo)" along with "Riu Chiu"/"Christmas Is My Time Of Year (1976 Mix)."
Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares scanned his copy and shared it with the site. Thanks, Ben!
Earlier this afternoon, Rolling Stone magazine's website published an interview with Michael Nesmith conducted by Andy Greene. In it, Nez speaks openly about a wide array of topics and people, including the post-Monkees days with Red Rhodes, his relationships with Peter Tork and Davy Jones, touring with Micky Dolenz in early 2020, the scope of The Monkees' legacy today, the recently issued Cosmic Partners live album from 7a Records, and much more:
UPDATE: Rolling Stone followed-up their interview with Nez by putting the spotlight on the opening track of his 1972 album, And the Hits Just Keep on Comin':
This January, SF Sketchfest in San Francisco will pay tribute to The Monkees with a Q & A session featuring both Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith. First held in 2002, the San Francisco-based event 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 Nez are scheduled to be in conversation with author Paul Myers on Sunday, January 12, 2020. Click the link below for more information and to purchase tickets: