Thanks a lot to longtime Live Almanac contributor Al Bigley for submitting this article where Nez opens up about the end of The Monkees while also discussing the group's 1968 feature film, Head, still under the working title of Changes, and much more.
"I thank you. The banjo thanks you."
- Peter Tork
Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Shank Hall / May 4, 1997
The Monkees are the featured story in the upcoming June 2020 issue of Goldmine. The magazine is available via Amazon Kindle, but as of this posting, Amazon still lists the May edition as the most current. Goldmine's website happens to be offering their May issue (featuring Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on the cover) as a complimentary digital download. Keep an eye on these links for future availability. And thanks to Scott Nelson for advising the Live Almanac about The Monkees' latest entry in Goldmine!
UPDATE 4/27/2020: The June 2020 issue featuring The Monkees is now available to purchase digitally via the Kindle edition on Amazon.
UPDATE 5/28/2020: The issue is now available as a complimentary download! And you can read the featured interview with Micky Dolenz on Goldmine's website.
"If it sometimes plays like a victory lap, it's one that's well-deserved, and while this isn't the stuff to win them new converts, The Mike & Micky Show proves no one was wrong for loving this band and their music, and longtime fans will certainly enjoy it."
If you are fan of The Monkees' 1987 album, Pool It! (and even if you are not), this edition of the Nesmith, Tork, Goffin & King podcast will be sure to please! Listen as host Mark Kleiner inquires about the seemingly long-lost second version of "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere" with the song's co-writer Dick Eastman and chats with '80s Monkees manager David Fishof about record label interest for Pool It! Mark also speaks with former Rhino Records graphic artist Lisa Sutton, who discusses the album cover photo session, and finally, there's a revealing interview with the LP's producer, Roger Bechirian.
But wait, there's more! Mark also debuts the previously unheard demo for "Heart and Soul," the first single issued from Pool It!
The long-running British monthly music magazine, Record Collector, highlighted The Mike & Micky Show album in its April 2020 issue:
Below you can find more reviews of the album, and be sure to check back for updates!
Dolenz called a planned July return to touring for him and Nesmith "optimistic." "I think everybody's waiting for some sort of a drug … or vaccine. I'll be honest, I don't think I'm going to be too crazy about going out unless something of that nature happens."
The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show, featuring performances from the duo's concerts recorded throughout March 2019, has debuted on the April 18, 2020 edition of Billboard! Many thanks to John Hughes of Rhino Records for emailing the Live Almanac with all of the chart numbers found below.
The album opens at #178 on the Billboard 200, which ranks the most popular albums of the week, as compiled by Nielsen Music, based on multi-metric consumption (blending traditional album sales, track equivalent albums, and streaming equivalent albums).
Billboard Top Album Sales
The Mike & Micky Show has also landed at a lofty #13 on the Top Album Sales chart, which measures the week's top-selling current albums across all genres, based on physical and digital download sales data only (no streaming included).
Even more impressive, the album has debuted at #2 on the Top Internet Albums chart, which ranks physical albums ordered through Internet merchants, and #3 on the Current Pop Albums chart.
Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith's upcoming summer tour has received a high recommendation in the April 2020 issue of Rolling Stone in a section titled "Rolling Stone Recommends," featuring their top pop culture picks, including films, music, podcasts, and documentaries:
Micky and Michael's latest concert tour, "An Evening With The Monkees," originally set for April 2020, has been rescheduled for this coming July and September as a result of the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus.
This article, submitted by longtime friend of the Live Almanac Al Bigley (who is also co-host of the Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion podcast), features a conversation with The Monkees during a West Coast promotional tour for their 1968 feature film, Head. Peggy King reports in the December 7, 1968 edition of the Oakland Tribune on The Monkees' feelings about the end of their NBC television series, including what King calls their "famous Flying Saucer episode," Michael Nesmith's ruminations of future Monkees activities, discussion of a double album (that never came to fruition), filming the TV special that became 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, and more. A highly recommended read for Monkees fans!
This photo of The Monkees, previously seen on social media and various online outlets, was seemingly taken during this Oakland Tribune interview:
And don't forget to listen to the latest episode of the Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion!
Micky Dolenz talks about coronavirus, "The Mike & Micky Show" live album, and more in new round of interviews (UPDATED 6/12/2020)
With the tour currently on hold, Dolenz is home like the rest of us, waiting to see what happens with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Given my normal lifestyle, I have been living out of my suitcase for years and this is the first time in I don’t know how long that I unpacked my suitcase completely and brought it back into the garage,” he said. “So, I’ve been going through drawers I haven’t looked at in years and spending some fun time at home. And I love cooking, so taking some classes on the internet and cooking every night. I’m also planting my garden, and this year I might actually be around for the harvest.”
The Micky D Cocktail
* 2 ounces Tito’s Vodka
* "An insinuation" of St. Germain
* A muddled orange in shaker . . . strain into a rocks glass
* Drink and smile
ALERT!! Join a live chat with Micky Dolenz & Michael Nesmith at 5 pm ET (UPDATE: Watch the full session now on YouTube)
On the day of the release of their brand new concert album, The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show, Micky and Michael will take part in a live Q&A session with fans, hosted by The Monkees' official Facebook page while also streaming on YouTube (see below).
The duo will be remembering Adam Schlesinger, the producer of the group's last two albums, Good Times! (2016) and Christmas Party (2018), who passed away this week from complications related to coronavirus, and much more, at 5 pm ET and 2 pm PT.
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.
In this sequel to Long Title: Looking for the Good Times; Examining the Monkees Songs, One By One, authors Michael A. Ventrella and Mark Arnold look at the careers The Monkees had outside of the TV show and the band: From Micky’s early appearances as "Circus Boy" through Peter’s financial and legal problems to become a respected performer with his band Shoe Suede Blues, to Davy’s frustration with record labels and his many solo albums for his fans, to Michael’s evolution from country rock founder to the creator of MTV and video technology ahead of many others. They look at the various reunion concerts, the movies and plays, and the ups and downs of their varied careers, all with insight and humor.
Below is commentary found on the back cover of Headquartered: A Timeline of the Monkees Solo Years, courtesy of Dean Friedman:
"Some people are so ignorant as to imagine that The Monkees are not a 'real' band. That’s crazy! That’s like saying that lemon meringue pie is not 'real' food. They’re both an inspired synthesis of disparate wholesome, delicious, natural ingredients combined, orchestrated and executed with expert skill and sublime results. What this book makes irrefutably clear is that all four Monkees were consummate professionals – talented musicians and skilled performers, all – producing strong, creative, original, yet inexplicably unheralded, music recordings and video content before, during and after their frenzied 'Monkees' moment. Never underestimate a 'pop star.' There’s always more to them than you could ever imagine. This book proves it. I will always love lemon meringue pie. And I will always love The Monkees."
UPDATE #2: 4/17/2020:
UPDATE #1: 3/20/2020:
Thanks to 7a Records, you can listen to the very first audio samples from Micky Dolenz Live in Japan, coming this May! A big thank you to both Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee for providing this exclusive preview to The Monkees Live Almanac.
US customers can pre-order the CD + DVD edition from Amazon and Deep Discount, while UK customers can pre-order the CD + DVD from Amazon.
The 180 gram splatter vinyl LP is also available to pre-order in the US from Amazon and Deep Discount, and in the UK from Amazon.
Now, enjoy snippets of "Goin' Down," "Mary, Mary", "Randy Scouse Git," "Shades of Gray," "You Just May Be The One," "I Wanna Be Free," "Sunny Girlfriend," "Pillow Time," "I'm Your Man," "Tomorrow," and "To Be Or Not To Be."
ORIGINAL BLOG POST:
This spring, 7a Records will release Micky Dolenz Live in Japan on May 8 in the United Kingdom and May 15 in the United States as a lavishly packaged CD + DVD digi-sleeve set, including a 24-page booklet packed with informative liner notes written by Mark Kleiner and many previously unseen pictures. The DVD will include a concert filmed during the 1982 tour, and Live in Japan will also be released as a special limited edition pressing on 180 gram splatter vinyl.
Micky Dolenz traveled to Japan in early 1982 to give his first ever tour as a solo performer, towards the end of a massive Monkees resurgence that had been sparked there in the fall of 1980 when "Daydream Believer" was used in a Kodak commercial. Micky's Japanese concerts marked the closest thing he had ever done (up to that point) to a solo concert tour. While he had performed extensively in 1975 and 1976 with Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, he had seldom set foot on the concert stage post-Monkees 'on his own.'
Dolenz employed a Japanese group of musicians for his backup band, hiring an outfit called Marlboro. The '82 tour provided a revealing look into what he himself, only fifteen years removed from the original Monkees phenomenon, may have considered the crème-de-la-crème of the group's catalog. While the practice of playing deep cuts for diehard fans has become more common in recent years, at this early juncture Micky makes some captivating choices, including 1969’s "Pillow Time," written by his mother Janelle Scott, along with two standout Michael Nesmith compositions from The Monkees' third album Headquarters, "Sunny Girlfriend" and "You Just May Be The One." Also included are the Davy Jones staple "I Wanna Be Free," "Shades of Gray," and what might be the first-ever concert performance of "Zor and Zam." Everything concludes with Micky's then-current Japan-exclusive single "To Be Or Not To Be" b/w "Beverly Hills."
The CD + DVD version includes five bonus tracks, featuring the debut release of "I'm Your Man" from Micky's performance at the 1978 World Popular Song Festival in Tokyo, along with "Tomorrow" from the West End play Bugsy Malone, which Dolenz directed.
Check out a preview of Micky Dolenz Live in Japan below, and take a look at the full track listing of the CD, DVD, and LP courtesy of The Second Disc. Thanks to 7a Records, the Live Almanac was given an advanced preview of Mark Kleiner's liner notes, which are superb. And stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for audio samples from Live in Japan coming soon!
Live in 2021