In an interview with New Musical Express before The Monkees' 1969 tour, Michael discussed the state of the group at that time:
"It's not a question of us shaking off the old Monkees' image. We've nothing to escape from. What we did then was valid and honest. I'm not ashamed of it. The reason our next single is "Tear Drop City,' which was recorded around the time of 'Clarksville,' is that it's almost a concession on our part to certain people. It's one from the archives of Monkee music, one with Peter. You can call it a corporate swan song. And I'm sure it'll be commercially very profitable.
"It was no surprise when Peter left. There were no arguments. About eight or nine months ago we discussed it, and I agreed that the time was right. There were probably other things he would rather do than be a Monkee. So it was no shock. It is a fact that Peter's leaving has had the reverse effect, in that it has brought us together more: we lean on each other more, and now we believe we can develop each of our talents within the context of The Monkees."