The Monkees, reduced to a trio after Peter Tork's departure, appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson on June 17, 1969 (their visit being taped the previous day). They sang two songs, "Daydream Believer" and "Goin' Down," and were backed by their 1969 touring band, Sam & The Goodtimers. Here's the audio of their performance, courtesy of the Live Almanac's YouTube channel:
Between songs, Carson conducted an interview with The Monkees, a segment that seemingly grew cringeworthy as Micky talked about things like Robitussin cough syrup and holograms. Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval documented the event in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
Videotape of this appearance no longer exists. In the 1960s, NBC infamously erased old programming because tape was expensive, a move that later infuriated Carson after he asked for classic clips for a retrospective show and nothing was available. "No one was doing reruns, there was no home video, there was no cable TV, there was no other outlet," Carson's nephew Jeff Sotzing said in a 2012 interview. "There were only 3 television source outlets; ABC, CBS, NBC, that was it — they didn’t have any place to re-run them." It was after this occurrence that Carson requested that his shows be permanently archived. Sotzing went on to say that less than 1% of Tonight Show material from 1962 to 1972 has been accounted for, and to date, The Monkees' appearance is not part of the small amount of footage from that era to have survived.
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