"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)
7a Records has revealed that a digital single, "Different Drum" / "Propinquity", will be issued on April 23 as a preview of Micky's forthcoming album, Dolenz Sings Nesmith, a collection of songs featuring Micky paying tribute to the songbook of Michael Nesmith. The single can now be pre-ordered from Amazon and iTunes in the US (and in the UK, too), with an official release date set for April 23. Check out the YouTube video below for extended snippets of the songs and more!
Neko Chohlis first met Micky Dolenz when the two attended college together in Los Angeles in the early 1960s. From that friendship with Micky, Neko became involved in the Monkees project, traveling with the group throughout 1967, and later providing artwork for Monkees albums and picture sleeves (seen below). Today, Neko is known for his work as an abstract artist.
Recently Neko was a guest on Plastic EP Live TV where he gave a fascinating interview that included his recollections of meeting Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Jimi Hendrix while on tour with The Monkees, his dealings with Colgems Records, how Davy Jones befriended Jan Berry (of Jan and Dean fame) after Berry's auto accident, his previously unknown contributions to The Monkees' 1968 single, "D.W. Washburn," and much more!
Join host Joe Russo as he launches a brand new video podcast, The Monkees Pad, with his first guest, Monkees historian, author, and producer Andrew Sandoval. Listen to the duo discuss a variety of "deep dive" Monkees topics and Andrew's forthcoming book about the group, The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story, accompanied by exclusive video footage! Stay tuned for more from The Monkees Pad by following the podcast on Facebook.
7a Records is pleased to announce the release of Dolenz Sings Nesmith – Micky Dolenz's first new solo studio album in nine years. The album is comprised of songs Michael Nesmith wrote throughout his career, all beautifully reimagined. Produced by Nesmith's son, Christian Nesmith, this is the album Monkees fans have waited years to hear.
Dolenz got the idea for the album a long time ago. As Micky says "I think I first mentioned it to Nez years ago, I don’t know where the idea came from, maybe from my friend Harry Nilsson and his Nilsson Sings Newman album. I thought to myself, 'Wow, Dolenz Sings Nesmith.'" The new album, which was recorded between September 2020 and February 2021, features songs written throughout Nesmith’s long career, including many from the critically acclaimed Michael Nesmith & The First National Band albums, as well as a few Monkees deep cuts. And who better to produce the album than Nesmith's son, Christian Nesmith, who has done an incredible job in coming up with fresh and completely new arrangements for all of the songs.
The global release date for Dolenz Sings Nesmith is May 21, 2021.
(Courtesy of 7a Records)
The Track Listing
Take a look at this fascinating video just published on YouTube where Andrew Sandoval takes us inside the recording session of a classic Davy Jones track from The Monkees' 1969 album, Instant Replay. And, don't forget to reserve your copy of Andrew's upcoming book!
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!
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.
The Monkees' legendary 1967 single, "Daydream Believer," is featured prominently in the trailer for WandaVision, the upcoming streaming television miniseries created for Disney+ based on the Marvel Comics characters Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch and Vision.
Check out the trailer for WandaVision below, coming to Disney+ this January:
The final episode of the first season of The Monkees, "Monkees on Tour," was a documentary that chronicled the group's appearance at Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona on January 21, 1967 during their earliest live performances:
Earlier this year, San Francisco's Sketchfest paid tribute to The Monkees by hosting Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith, who took part in a panel discussion with author Paul Myers. First held in 2002, Sketchfest 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 Michael's conversation with Myers from January 12 at Marines' Memorial Theatre will be available to rent online later this month.
According to Sketchfest, proceeds will go toward "helping to keep our small business afloat, to the performers featured, and to select charities and fundraisers for fellow independent artists and venues in our comedy community."
Watch the trailer below, and a big thanks to Neil D. for alerting the Live Almanac about this opportunity to watch Micky & Nez!
On October 1, 1968, The Monkees were greeted rapturously as they arrived in Japan to perform a series of live concerts in that country for the very first time. One of these historic shows was filmed (most likely during the two day, three-concert stay at Budokan Hall in Tokyo on October 3 and 4, 1968) and later broadcast on Japanese television. The audio recording and video footage, however, has never been officially released. The audio (straight from the video) has long existed as a bootleg (complete with Japanese voice introductions before each song), but much to the chagrin of Monkees fans, the video footage is presumed lost or destroyed.
Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval has confirmed that multiple attempts have been made to find the missing video footage. "It was definitely broadcast and there has been communication with TBS [Tokyo Broadcasting System] in Japan to retrieve anything they had," he wrote on Facebook in 2017. "We asked many times and have been told they have nothing. Unless they made a film print of the video, it is unlikely it survived."
I first acquired a cassette tape of this particular concert in the late 1980s that ultimately relayed a sprightly and resolute performance by The Monkees, exhibiting just how far these four individuals with disparate musical backgrounds had come to achieving a "group" sound in a relatively short amount of time.
For years, Monkees fans have clamored for some sort of official release of this concert, even if it was just the audio portion as it seems the video footage has seemingly been lost to time. In the latest twist of this long-sought after piece of Monkees history, Live Almanac contributor Justin Rakowski has commenced a project to restore the original Japanese concert bootleg. In an effort to present the cleanest audio possible while also removing the invasive voice introductions before every song, Justin has "demixed" the audio. For those that aren’t familiar with "demixing," Justin relayed some details to the Live Almanac. "It’s essentially the process of using specific programs that can run a algorithm on a mono track and separate out individual signals like vocals, guitars, bass, and drums," Justin said. "The inherent problem with the Japan concert is not only the mono mix but the narrator that talks over the beginning of each song."
Justin talked more about the challenges of his project. "Obviously the parts where the announcer talks is the hardest area to fix. It's easier when the announcer is not talking over The Monkees' performances. Even when there is commentary over the instrumental beginning of each song, I can remove the announcer, but the music underneath sounds like someone is playing with the volume knob so the music cuts in and out, leaving some bars with no recoverable information. So what I’ve done is flown in other parts of the song in to fix those areas."
And now, here are the initial results of Justin's experiment! While we're all doing our best to hunker down during this international health crisis, take a listen to Justin's work and keep your fingers crossed that the video of this concert finally emerges!
UPDATE 4/16/2020: Justin has completed this project and has uploaded the entire 1968 Japanese concert. Thanks again, Justin! (Individual clips still appear below.)
The Monkees Live in Japan 1968 - Complete Show (Stereo Demix)
"Last Train to Clarksville" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"I Wanna Be Free" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"Johnny B. Goode" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"D.W. Washburn" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"It's Nice To Be With You" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"I'm a Believer" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
"Salesman" (Live in Japan 1968 - Stereo Demix)
For "Salesman," Justin has offered up something special:
"Enjoy this 'what if' video using my newly demixed track of 'Salesman' synced up with edits of the 8mm Australia tour footage posted by Iain Lee's RareMonkees YouTube page."
Earlier this month, a teaser from the upcoming concert album The Mike & Micky Show Live arrived when "Last Train to Clarksville" was issued on YouTube, as a digital download, and via streaming services. And now, a live version of "The Door Into Summer," a classic track from The Monkees' fourth album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., has been released on all platforms. You can watch video of the performance below!
The Mike & Micky Show Live will be issued on compact disc and via streaming and digital services on April 3. A 2-LP vinyl edition is slated for release on July 10. You can pre-order now! And don't forget, in most markets, every ticket purchased for Michael and Micky's summer tour, "An Evening With The Monkees," includes your choice of a CD or digital copy of The Mike & Micky Show Live.
As a teaser for the upcoming concert album The Mike & Micky Show Live, a brand new video dropped today on The Monkees' official YouTube channel. Watch Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and their band as they perform The Monkees' 1966 chart-topper, "Last Train to Clarksville," recorded live in 2019. The performance has also been issued as a digital single and is available via streaming services like Spotify.
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:
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!"
UPDATE 3/5/2020: Due to current concerns surrounding health issues in the United States and abroad, Micky's New York City charity appearances on March 20 and 21 have been postponed. Stay tuned for an announcement of rescheduled dates in the future.
The July 15, 1967 issue of music industry trade magazine Cash Box featured an ad for The Monkees' double-sided smash single, "Pleasant Valley Sunday"/"Words":