Today's featured shows: the inaugural Monkeemania special & the unaired syndication demo
In 1987, Paris Stachtiaris and John Di Maio began a weekly Monkees radio program on 90.3 WBAU-FM, the radio station of Adelphi University on Long Island, New York. Paris was the Program Director at WBAU and was interested in producing a Monkees radio special. After discovering that John, the station's Music Director, was also a Monkees fan, the two went on to produce Monkeemania, a three hour specialthat debuted on August 19, 1987. The show would coincide with The Monkees' performance at Jones Beach Theatre in New York, and there were never any plans to expand the project after its airing. Featured guests on Monkeemania included author Eric Lefcowitz, Vance Brescia (who wrote the 1986 Monkees Top 20 hit "That Was Then, This Is Now"), author Glenn A. Baker (whose interview was previously posted), Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, Peter Tork Fan Club President Charlotte Irons, and Peter Tork himself.
After a very enthusiastic response, John convinced Paris to undertake a weekly program. Entitled The Monkees Hour, the new radio showfeatured Monkees music (including material that hadn't been officially released at the time), sound bites from the TV show, and interviews with a host of Monkees notables. Newsday in New Yorkpublished a glowing review of the program, but Columbia Pictures (who owned the rights to the Monkees trademark during this time period) didn't share in the goodwill. The university later received a cease and desist order from Columbia.
I'm excited to announce that Paris Stachtiaris has kindly shared programs from his archives, all of which will appear on the Live Almanac's blog. First up are the interviews that were featured on the August 1987 Monkeemania special. And then there's the syndication demo show that never aired. Eventually deciding against a career in radio, Paris ultimately didn't shop the demo to other markets. But now you can listen to this unaired show for the very first time here on the Live Almanac! Featuring a great interview with Bobby Hart, he covers a lot of ground, including the early years of the Boyce & Hart team; working with Don Kirshner; the Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart era; and more. You will also hear Boyce & Hart's version of "P.O. Box 9847" and Peter performing a live version of his solo song "Vagabond John."
A big thank you to Paris for continuing to take the time to transfer copies of his archives to me. I share his enthusiasm in having these shows be available again. I'd also like to thank Al Bigley, who designed the radio-themed banner you see above. Future editions of the The Monkees Hour/Headquarters can also be found on the radio program's page here at the Live Almanac. Enjoy!