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":
Earlier this fall Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee of 7a Records announced their latest release, Cosmic Partners: The McCabe's Tapes, a previously unreleased concert recorded on August 18, 1973 at McCabe's in Santa Monica, California. Featuring Michael Nesmith and a group of supporting musicians, including his longtime friend and musical partner, legendary pedal steel player Red Rhodes, the recording has been remastered by Christian Nesmith.
This long lost performance originates from a mini-concert tour that was in support of what was to be Nesmith's final album for RCA, Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash. Nez is accompanied during this one-of-a-kind show by a rhythm section featuring Danny Lane on drums and Colin Cameron on bass, along with Rhodes on pedal steel, and they deliver performances of an array of Nesmith classics including "Joanne," "Silver Moon," "Some of Shelly's Blues," and "Grand Ennui."
Cosmic Partners will be released in the United States this Friday, November 22, on compact disc with a 24-page booklet featuring previously unseen photographs and liner notes by Michael Nesmith. It will also be available as a limited edition 12" vinyl picture disc (1,000 copies). Customers in the United Kingdom can purchase the set right now!
Check out a full preview of "Grand Ennui" from Cosmic Partners, courtesy of the Videoranch YouTube channel.
"She Makes Me Laugh" was the lead single from The Monkees' album Good Times! and was premiered on Rolling Stone magazine's website on April 28, 2016.
Accompanied by a lyric video that featured scenes from Monkees comic books produced by Dell in the 1960s, the video recently passed 1 million views on YouTube.
At the time of the song's release, Rivers Cuomo, lead vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, and songwriter of the rock band Weezer, who composed "She Makes Me Laugh," talked about The Monkees' influence on his career:
Last year, The Monkees released Christmas Party, the group's first collection of holiday songs. This past September, the album made its debut on vinyl. And now, an official trailer for the LP was just uploaded on The Monkees' YouTube channel!
Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz will bring their celebrated concert show back to the stage on April 26, 2020 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee! Dubbed "An Evening With The Monkees Featuring Mike Nesmith & Micky Dolenz," tickets go on sale on Friday, November 15 at 10 a.m. A pre-sale is currently underway.
Special VIP packages will be offered for the Nashville show, consisting of one premium reserved ticket, access to soundcheck with Nez and Micky, a signed hardcover copy of the tour book, a commemorative VIP laminate, priority entry into the venue, and first access to the merchandise tables.
The symphony's website also includes the following teaser:
Every ticket purchased online for The Monkees includes your choice of a CD or digital copy of the new album, The Monkees Present: The Mike & Micky Show LIVE, released on 4/3/2020. You’ll receive instructions via email on how to redeem your album after ticket purchase.
Murmurs of a live album documenting the recent "Mike & Micky Show" tours throughout 2018 and 2019 have long been prevalent, but please note that to date there has been no official confirmation of a release from The Monkees or Rhino Records.
Stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for MORE information coming soon!!
After releasing Justus, an album of all-new material in late 1996, The Monkees began work on an original one-hour prime time TV special in January 1997, and it eventually aired in the United States on ABC on February 17, 1997.
The special included re-recorded versions of some of The Monkees' greatest hits in medley form, and producer Misha Segal recently posted what appears to be the master recording of the medley (which has never been officially issued) on YouTube. The video included the following description by Segal:
"One of my very fun projects in the late 90s. It was The Monkees Reunion and I was asked to be music director. Peter and I became especially good friends until his recent, unfortunate passing."
And here's some footage from the recent run of concerts by Nez and the First National Band Redux at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, California, thanks to Lisa Duclo:
"It Was Fifty Years Ago Today," a tribute to The Beatles' White Album, co-starring Micky Dolenz, Christopher Cross, and Todd Rundgren, is currently on the road, stopping this evening in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with plenty of more shows to come! Micky and company recently discussed the tour, their love of The Beatles, and more with The Maine Edge.
UPDATE 10/5/2019: Media Mikes reviewed the show and noted the set list from the Kansas City, Missouri performance, and Forgotten Hits provided a recap of the tour's stop in St. Charles, Illinois.
UPDATE 10/9/2019: The Glorious Corner reviewed the performance at Connecticut's Ridgefield Playhouse, noting Micky's performances of "Rocky Racoon," "I'm So Tired," and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road."
UPDATE 10/25/2019: Parklife DC recapped the final show of the first leg of the tour at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., and also included a full rundown of the set list. The tour resumes on November 30 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
Live in 2021