From the late '80s to the early '90s, I was a member of The Monkees/Boyce & Hart Photo Fan Club, which was a long-running Monkees newsletter published at that time by Jodi Hammrich and Shari S. Cain. In their September/October 1987 issue, The Monkees' sold-out performance at Pier 84 in New York City on August 20, 1987 was reviewed by Elayne Wechsler. The detailed recap of the show also included a look at the 1987 North American tour's opening act, Weird Al Yankovic.
After reuniting in 1986 and undertaking worldwide tours through 1987, The Monkees were relatively out of the limelight in 1988. Peter Tork reemerged late that year with a short solo tour that included multiple shows at The Speakeasy in New York City. I vividly recall these concerts being advertised in fan club newsletters like The Monkees/Boyce & Hart Photo Fan Club and Monkee Business Fanzine, and later seeing Michael G. Bush's photos from the Speakeasy.
Beginning in the late 1970s and right up to The Monkees' phenomenal 1986 comeback, Peter had played numerous club dates in and around New York City as a solo artist and with his bands The New Monks and The Peter Tork Project, as documented in an essay on this blog by Fred Velez in 2017. Looking back, it's interesting to see how Peter seamlessly transitioned from playing stadiums, arenas, and amphitheaters in 1986 and 1987 while returning to the more intimate setting of New York City clubs in 1988. During these shows, he was backed by Jerry Renino (who was a member of The Peter Tork Project as well as The Monkees' backing band from 1989-2002), Michael Levine (electric fiddle), and Mal Stein (drums).
The March 1989 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine covered Peter's late 1988 concerts, which also included stops at The Town Crier in Pawling, New York and The Iron Horse in Northampton, Massachusetts:
As mentioned in the above article from Monkee Business Fanzine, Peter's shows at the Speakeasy were recorded for a live album that ultimately was never released. However, thanks to Scott Erickson, select samples of those live recordings were heard for the very first time in a recent post on the Live Almanac's blog.
Heather Sciacca recently uploaded her photos from one of Peter's shows at The Speakeasy in New York City on the Torkees Discussion Group on Facebook. Thanks, Heather!
Finally, here is video footage of Peter's appearance at The Speakeasy in New York City (which is now a comedy club) on November 26, 1988, courtesy of Jennifer Winkle:
And here are some photos from the ceremony that I had never seen previously, courtesy of Lisa Duclo:
In 1989, The Monkees returned to Europe for the first time since 1967 for a tour that brought a sell-out crowd to nearly every venue along with a huge wave of publicity surrounding their activities. Most of the shows centered around the United Kingdom with dates in England, Scotland, and Wales. A concert was also held in Amsterdam, Holland on April 21, portions of which were broadcast live on European radio. The Amsterdam show was also filmed and later screened on Holland television in May.
An acoustic set was a highlight of all of The Monkees' 1989 concerts in the UK, North America, and Japan. Listen below to Davy Jones take the lead on "When Love Comes Knockin' (At Your Door)" during the set while Peter Tork sings "Take a Giant Step."
Thanks a lot to the fantastic Written In Our Hearts Facebook page for allowing the Live Almanac to share this rare photo of Peter, Davy, and Micky rehearsing for their appearance on the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards. If you haven't stopped by Written In Our Hearts, be sure to follow their page!
The trio performed "Daydream Believer" and "I'm a Believer" on the September 5, 1986 telecast while The Monkees were experiencing a newfound success during their 20th Anniversary Reunion Tour:
A big thanks to Jeff Gehringer for sharing his personal photos of The Monkees receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 10, 1989, along with some shots from the post-ceremony press conference at the Sheraton-Universal Hotel.
Thank you very much to Jeff Gehringer for sharing these great photos of Davy Jones and Monte Landis at the 1986 Los Angeles Monkees convention. Monte, of course, is well known to Monkees fans, appearing in seven different episodes of the television series, perhaps most notably in "The Devil and Peter Tork."
A special event occurred on June 28, 1989 when all four Monkees were guests on The Mark & Brian Show on KLOS-FM in Los Angeles, California. The quartet sang "Papa Gene's Blues" and "Daydream Believer" live on the air with Peter playing acoustic guitar. Michael was present to hype his concert appearance with Micky, Davy, and Peter at the Universal Amphitheatre on July 9, an event that would coincide with The Monkees receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the next day.
Here's a photo from the KLOS appearance that I have never seen before, courtesy of the Live Almanac's friends at Written In Our Hearts on Facebook:
Michael G. Bush is well known to Monkees fans as he photographed the group's concert tours in the 1980s and 1990s. Michael has enjoyed a long career in photography since the late 1970s, and has shot superstars like The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Queen, The Who, The Bee Gees, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Santana, James Brown, Paul McCartney, and David Bowie. He also organized the 1988 Monkees convention in Chicago, Illinois. On a personal note, I used to anticipate Michael's catalogs and flyers announcing his latest photos of The Monkees, most of which came with an update about the activities of the group at the time.
In this August 1988 interview with Paris Stachtiaris on the Headquarters radio program, Michael discusses his photography career, the schedule for the '88 Chicago convention, how he became involved with The Monkees, fellow photographer Henry Diltz, and more. Also during this episode, you'll hear some live audio from The Monkees' 1987 summer tour and great sound bites courtesy of Davy Jones.
In the December 1987 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine, Monkees photographer Michael G. Bush wrote about the fun-filled finale of the 1987 tour at Harrah's in Lake Tahoe, Nevada:
The Monkees would, however, go on to play one more show in 1987 in front of a massive crowd at Zoofest, held at Lowry Park in Tampa, Florida: