This past November, the 50th anniversary of Head was commemorated at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and featured special guests Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith. Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval hosted a Q&A session with Micky and Michael after the sold-out screening, which also included a slideshow created by Andrew that showcased photographs taken by legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. The slideshow revealed many never before seen photos from The Monkees' appearance at Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah while filming the "Circle Sky" sequence for the movie Head, screenshots which can be seen below. (The slideshow can be viewed in its entirety at Michael Nesmith's Videoranch Facebook page.)
On May 17, 1968, The Monkees finished their first and only motion picture, Head, with the filming of the "Circle Sky" concert scene in front of four thousand fans at the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah. They performed "Circle Sky" several times for the cameras and also did a handful of other special requests.
Patio Gardens, a venue housed inside the Farmington, Utah amusement resort Lagoon, was the original location for the filming of "Circle Sky." The venue was changed at the last minute to the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City for logistical reasons, despite fans already waiting in line at Patio Gardens. To make amends, The Monkees delivered a 30-minute set later that evening in front of a crowd of five thousand at Patio Gardens. This particular show was not filmed or recorded, and a setlist has yet to surface. The two Utah-based concerts in May 1968 would constitute the last live performances by all four Monkees in the United States until 1986.
This past November, the 50th anniversary of Head was commemorated at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood and featured special guests Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith. Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval hosted a Q&A session with Micky and Michael after the sold-out screening, which also included a slideshow created by Andrew that showcased photographs taken by legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz. The final part of the slideshow revealed many never before seen photos from The Monkees' performance at Lagoon's Patio Gardens, screenshots which can be seen below. (The slideshow can be viewed in its entirety at Michael Nesmith's Videoranch Facebook page.)
A special thanks goes to the Live Almanac's friends at Written In Our Hearts for inspiring this post based on screenshots they had previously shared from the Diltz slideshow!
Micky Dolenz speaks to Rolling Stone about "Christmas Party," Michael Nesmith’s heart surgery, touring, and Peter Tork
Rolling Stone makes it official: The Monkees to release first holiday album, "Christmas Party," on October 12 (UPDATED X2)
Two years after the triumph of Good Times!, The Monkees are set to release Christmas Party, their first-ever collection of holiday music. The album, produced by Adam Schlesinger (who also oversaw Good Times!), will feature newly recorded versions of classic Christmas songs including "Silver Bells," "The Christmas Song," and "Wonderful Christmastime" along with brand new songs written for the group by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo ("What Would Santa Do"), Andy Partridge of XTC ("Unwrap You At Christmas"), R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of The Minus 5 ("Christmas Party"), and Schlesinger with novelist Michael Chabon ("House of Broken Gingerbread"). Covers of Wizzard's yuletide classic "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Big Star's "Jesus Christ" will also be heard on the album.
Christmas Party includes new vocals by Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork, plus the late Davy Jones’ voice - taken from vintage recordings - also appears on two songs. It will be available for purchase on compact disc and as a digital download on October 12. A vinyl edition is in the works but will not be issued until early 2019. The first single, set for an October release, will be Andy Partridge's "Unwrap You At Christmas," and a lyric video will be produced to promote the track.
Along with producer Schlesinger, Cuomo and Partridge are returning to the Monkees fold as they were the songwriters responsible for the two lead singles from Good Times!, "She Makes Me Laugh" and "You Bring the Summer." Two of Michael Nesmith's sons also acted as co-producers (Christian on "The Christmas Song" and Jonathan on "Snowfall").
Davy's tracks on Christmas Party were originally recorded in 1991 with former Monkees producer Chip Douglas. Schlesinger worked with the master tapes as given to him by Douglas, creating new instrumentation around Davy's vocals.
Target will carry an exclusive bonus tracks edition of Christmas Party on October 19 (a week after the release of the standard edition), featuring two additional songs:
1) "Ríu Chíu" (group version as heard on the 1967 "Christmas Show" episode with improved audio from its previous CD appearance on the 2007 deluxe edition of Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.)
2) "Christmas Is My Time Of Year" (the one-off 1976 Christmas single recorded by Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork and produced by Chip Douglas - this will mark its first official appearance on a Monkees album)
Here is the official track listing of Christmas Party, and you can listen to the LP's executive producer John Hughes (of Rhino Records) and Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval breakdown each song on the latest episode of Zilch.
"Unwrap You At Christmas" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"What Would Santa Do" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"Mele Kalikimaka" (Lead vocal: Davy)
"House Of Broken Gingerbread" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"The Christmas Song" (Lead vocal: Michael)
"Christmas Party" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"Jesus Christ" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"Silver Bells" (Lead vocal: Davy)
"Wonderful Christmastime" (Lead vocal: Micky)
"Snowfall" (Lead vocal: Michael)
"Angels We Have Heard On High" (Lead vocal: Peter)
"Merry Christmas, Baby" (Lead vocal: Micky)
Stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for all the latest news and information surrounding Christmas Party and more!
Peter Tork's "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again" was one of the many highlights found on the soundtrack to The Monkees' 1968 feature film, Head. Originally recorded and intended for release on The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees, "Long Title" featured contributions from Peter's longtime friend Stephen Stills, Buffalo Springfield's Dewey Martin, and Greenwich Village pal Lance Wakely. Peter's guitar work on this track stands as some of his finest.
The track appeared in the film Head during the Michael Nesmith birthday party scene:
This is a really nice article from the June 1995 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine that discusses Peter Tork singing the "Star Spangled Banner" in Portland, Maine for the (Double-A baseball team) Portland Sea Dogs on their opening night.
A little note on Chris: I connected with him online in 2000 or so. In 2001 I began a small project, writing brief summaries for each Monkees tour and embellishing the information with set lists and reviews. Brad Waddell at Monkees.net was kind enough to publish my work on his website that year, and Chris was a big help in collecting variations of set lists from different tours, reviewing the summaries I had written, etc. It ultimately took a decade for this website to be created, but the genesis of it all started during that time with assistance from Chris.
"Mike & Micky Show" in 2019
"And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'" Tour