Between October 3 and 4, 1968, The Monkees performed three shows at the famed Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Thank you very much to Monkees author and collector Ed Reilly for sharing this photo!
7a Records, the label that specializes in Monkees solo-related projects and more, recently announced that a couple of their titles are now available to stream and download on over 70 different platforms. And on top of that, vinyl lovers rejoice! Peter Tork's 1994 solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, is coming soon on limited edition green vinyl.
Here's a rundown of 7a's latest activities:
In late 1980 Peter Tork formed a band called The New Monks, and shortly thereafter the group recorded a single, "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone"/"Higher and Higher." Last year, both songs were featured as bonus tracks on 7a's CD and vinyl editions of Peter's Stranger Things Have Happened album.
And now, for the first time, the single is officially available to stream or download:
Back in 2019, 7a revived Davy Jones' long out-of-print early 1980s live albums that were recorded and issued in Japan. Stream or download Davy Jones Live in Japan now:
Don't forget that this collection can still be purchased on compact disc and as a triple vinyl LP, and both of these versions contain exclusive bonus tracks.
In 1994, James Lee Stanley's Beachwood Records released Peter Tork's first ever solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, featuring several notable guest musicians and friends including Stanley, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Laurence Juber (Paul McCartney & Wings), Mackenzie Phillips, and Timothy B. Schmit (The Eagles). Last year, 7a celebrated Stranger Things with an expansive compact disc reissue while also pressing a limited edition splatter vinyl.
Fans can now pre-order 7a's latest incarnation of the album, this time on transparent green vinyl, which is set for release on September 10:
In a recent email to subscribers, Andrew Sandoval, author of The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story, provided a detailed update on the shipping status of his new book, which is now expected to arrive in early September. As an added bonus, Andrew takes us back to the fall of 1966 with a compelling account of the initial recording session for The Monkees' signature hit single, "I'm a Believer."
Andrew's message appears below, and there's still time to pre-order a copy of Day-By-Day!
Greetings Beatland Readers!
As July 1966 ended, only Don Kirshner was sure of the Monkees’ success. When his trusted record makers – Snuff Garrett, Mickie Most, Carole King & Gerry Goffin – fell away, he remarkably switched gears to pull together an exceptional album – The Monkees – in just four weeks. And should the resulting release have any kind of success, he also had twelve songs (“All The King’s Horses”; “The Kind Of Girl I Could Love”; “I Don’t Think You Know Me”; “So Goes Love”; “I Won’t Be The Same Without Her”; “You Just May Be The One”; “I Can’t Get Her Off Of My Mind”; “Mary, Mary”; “Of You”; “(I Prithee) Do Not Ask For Love”; “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”; “Whatever’s Right”) already in progress to comprise a second album.
“Everybody seemed enthusiastic, except Mike Nesmith. [He had] a big attitude right from the beginning and he said at one point, ‘I’m a producer too, and that ain’t no hit.’ So, it was like, ‘Oooo.’ To break the tension I made what I thought was an obvious joke. I said, ‘Well, Mike, it’s not finished. You’ve got to picture this with the strings and the horns.’ Which I thought there wasn’t going to be strings and horns [on it, but he would understand that] and he goes, ‘Well, maybe it could be something with strings and horns.’ Then he realized everybody laughed and the relationship goes down from there.”
It is unknown if allowing Nesmith to sing at all was a bit of psychological theater staged by Kirshner and Barry to get what they ultimately wanted (Micky on lead vocals). Either way, Donnie would later learn he was playing with fire if his intention was indeed to play Nesmith. “We got in the studio,” recalled Davy in May 1967, “and Mike didn’t sing it the way Donnie wanted him to sing it and Donnie asked Mike to sing it a certain way and Mike didn’t sing it that way. And during a break Mike just split; he just left…He wasn’t taken off lead. He chose to be taken off himself by leaving.”
Fans of The Monkees' album Pool It! are sure to enjoy this lively and revealing discussion about the group's 1987 LP, led by Mark Kleiner (host of the Nesmith, Tork, Goffin & King podcast who has also penned superlative liner notes for various 7a Records releases) and his longtime friend and former Monkees pen pal, Lee Baber. Watch and listen as Mark and Lee welcome guests like producer Roger Bechirian (who expresses his desire to undertake a remix of the album), session guitarist Mark Christian, songwriters Michael Levine ("Since You Went Away") and Tom Teeley ("Don't Bring Me Down"), Monkees collector Ed Reilly, and graphic designer Delana Bettoli.
Thanks also goes to Mark Kleiner for sharing this photo of The Monkees taken by Rick Barham during filming of the music video for "Heart and Soul," the lead single from Pool It! Rick acted as the gaffer during the video's production.
Dave Evans was a screenwriter on The Monkees television series. He is responsible for the episodes "Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers," "Don't Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth," "Too Many Girls," "I Was a Teenage Monster," "Find The Monkees," "Alias Micky Dolenz," "The Christmas Show," and "Monkees Race Again." He also co-wrote "The Frodis Caper" with Micky Dolenz.
Watch episode 3 of The Monkees Pad Show, as Dave speaks with host JR about his personal friendships with each of the Monkees, writing episodes like "The Frodis Caper," his interactions with Charles Manson, working with Bob Rafelson & Bert Schneider, and much, much more!
The deadline is fast approaching to officially pre-order your copy of Andrew Sandoval's 740 page opus, The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story. And don't forget: the various editions of Day-By-Day will be produced in limited combined quantities. There is no plan to keep this book in print perpetually and an electronic version will not be offered. Pre-order now via Beatland Books!!
In the meantime, check out the latest news update from Andrew about Day-By-Day and much more, and then be sure to view the official unboxing video for the three distinct versions of the book, which also happens to feature a very interesting soundtrack!
Andrew has also previously provided two other updates about Day-By-Day, accompanied by exclusive photographs, through the Beatland Books email list. These are must reads! (UPDATED 9/21/2021 to include latest information)
Peter Mills is the author of the exceptional 2016 book, The Monkees, Head, and the '60s, and a friend of the Live Almanac. A while back, Peter relayed that he had to leave an abundance of material for his book on the cutting room floor, including an examination of Michael Nesmith's work with Ian Matthews in the early 1970s.
And now, Peter is sharing more of his shelved research, this time focusing on one of The Monkees' most iconic songs, "Goin' Down." Enjoy Peter's essay, linked below:
Last December, 7a Records presented its first-ever Peter Tork-related project when the label re-released Peter's 1994 solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, on compact disc and vinyl. The review below, written by Martin Hutchinson of Eighth Day magazine, was recently shared by 7a's Facebook page.
The Monkees are photographed below during a break in filming "It's a Nice Place to Visit," which ultimately became the first episode of the second season of their Emmy award-winning television show.
"The Girl I Knew Somewhere" has long been considered one of the most significant songs in The Monkees' canon. It was first attempted at RCA Hollywood on January 16, 1967, a significant day in Monkees history as it marked their first true "group" recording session and helped fuel an already bourgeoning internal power struggle between The Monkees and Don Kirshner.
Written by Michael Nesmith, and featuring Peter Tork's whimsical harpsichord performance, the song went through different iterations in the recording studio, including lead vocals from both Nesmith and Micky Dolenz. On its own merits, it reached the Billboard Top 40 as the flipside of "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" and was featured prominently on The Monkees' television show.
Check out this recent piece by Stephen Lewis where he examines what is probably the Live Almanac's favorite Monkees song, and enjoy a few different versions of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" in the videos below!
(Master backing track)
In an intriguing conversation with Andy Greene from Rolling Stone published today on the magazine's website, Andrew Sandoval discusses his upcoming book, The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story, how is understanding of the group, particularly their struggles with Don Kirshner, changed after extensive new research, the likelihood that Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith's fall tour could act as a "farewell," and more:
7a Records has re-released Peter Tork's 1994 solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, on compact disc and vinyl, along with bonus tracks! Below is the latest review of the set, courtesy of The Beat, that was posted on 7a's Facebook page.
Monkees fans, here he comes! Andrew Sandoval, Monkees historian, author, producer, and manager, has officially announced the brand new edition of his classic book, The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story, set for publication in June 2021. Long considered the ultimate resource for the most complete examination of The Monkees' television, recording, theatrical, live concert, and public appearance career, Day-By-Day has not been simply updated, it has been thoroughly rewritten, redesigned, and expanded!
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO RESERVE YOUR COPY BY MARCH 22, 2021:
Rebirth of a Classic: Out of Print for More Than a Decade, The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story Returns!
In December, 7a Records presented its first-ever Peter Tork-related project when the label re-released Peter's 1994 solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, on compact disc and vinyl. The CD version includes a whopping 9 bonus tracks and a 32-page color booklet with sleeve notes. The vinyl, limited to just 600 copies, features 6 bonus tracks and is pressed on 180 gram Neon Magenta Splatter vinyl.
In the latest issue of Record Collector, the album received three stars (out of four) in a review by Daryl Easlea, seen below courtesy of 7a's Facebook page.
The Monkees completed production for their first and only motion picture, Head, with the filming of the "Circle Sky" concert scene at the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah on May 17, 1968. They performed the Michael Nesmith original (seen below in video, complete with graphic images from the Vietnam War) several times for the cameras and the assembled crowd of four thousand fans.
Monkees Farewell Tour
Dolenz sings Nesmith