The MONKEES: 1965- 1971

Monkees 1966

Monkees 1966

“Folk & Roll”
The Monkees: 1965 -1971
“BUZZ” Newspaper Article Mar- Apr 2015 (#48-MoN)
By: RLSchwinden aka MrZer0

When I was a toddler back on W. 18th St. in Sioux City, Iowa my 3 favorite shows were (according to my mother) were “Batman” “Lost In Space” & “The Monkees” now I didn’t much care for the slapstick comedy of the show but I did LOVE the Music, “Last Train To Clarksville” “Steppin Stone” “Words” “Love Is Only Sleeping” & “Valleri” 1 of my very 1st 45 Singles was “Steppin Stone” so here’s a brief history & an excerpt from my for coming book on ‘The MONKEES’ so for my 4th Anniversary Article I will cover my 1st Favorite group: The MONKEES.

> 1965: Madness; Spirited Ben Franks Types <

It all started with ‘The BEATLES’ film “Hard Day’s Night” producers Bert Schneider (Berton; 5 May 1933, NYC – 12 Dec 2011) & Bob Rafelson ( Robert; 21 Feb 1933 NYC) ran ads in 2 Hollywood papers for a casting call for new TV show with the working title of “The Inevitables” ultimately it came down to these 4 guys (in this order) Davy Jones (David Thomas Jones; 30 Dec1945: Manchester UK – 29 Feb 2012: Stuart, FL) on Lead Vocals, Percussion & Guitar, Jones was signed to “Colpix Records” & released 3 singles & 1 LP before this project,

Micky Dolenz (George Michael Dolenz; Jr. 8 Mar 1945 LA. CA.) on Drums & Lead Vocals, who had recorded a single with ‘The Missing Links’, Michael Nesmith (Robert Michael Nesmith; 30 Dec 1942: Houston, TX.) on Guitar & Vocals, who was also signed to ‘Colpix’ & released 5 singles before becoming a member & finally Peter Tork (Peter Halsten Thorkelson; 13 Feb 1942 Washington D.C.) on Bass, Keyboards & Guitar, Tork was a member of ‘The Mugwumps’ in NYC, there was a 5th runner up, Bill Chadwick (10 May 1942 L.A. CA) who did stay on with the “Monkees” project until sometime in 1969, Chadwick played with Nesmith in ‘The Survivors’ in 1965.

> 1966: Gonna Make Me A Brand New Start <
Back in the olden days a 45 Single was released before the full LP was released, The Monkees’ 1st single was “Last Train To Clarksville b/w Take A Giant Step” with a Picture Sleeve released in Aug ’66 & was a #1 Billboard Hit, followed by the 1st LP ‘(Meet) The Monkees’ in Oct ’66, primarily a “Boyce & Hart” LP with their band the “Candy Store Profits” none the less this stands as 1 of my Top 10 Records. Boyce in my 1986 Interview: “Yes, it’s true, but I had a 20 year gag contract”

Their 2nd single was the “Double A- Side” “I’m A Believer b/w (I.N.Y.) Steppin Stone” also with a Picture Sleeve & another #1 hit in Nov ’66 & also received “Record of the Year” the 1st of 5 songs written by: Neil Diamond, “Steppin Stone” hit #20 on the charts. In the studio the boys leave around 8 unreleased songs in addition to many alternate recordings of some other songs.

As far as the TV Show they released 16 Episodes from: Sep- Dec ’66, my favorite being Episode #3 “Monkee Vs. Machine” from 26 Sep ’66 as it discuss’ future change, just for the sake of changing. The group (as they were hired for the cast of a TV show that actually became a performing “Live” band) performed 8 Concerts from Sep -Dec ’66, here is the Setlist from:

26 Dec ’66 Mon.
in Denver, CO. @ The Colisuem
Last Train to Clarksville
She’s So Far Out She’s In (Non-LP Nesmith on Vocal)
You Just May Be the One
I Wanna Be Free
Mary, Mary
(I Prithee) Do Not Ask For Love (Non-LP Dolenz Vocal)
Sweet Young Thing
I Can’t Get Her Off My Mind
(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone
East Virginia (Tork’s Solo Folk Spot)
You Can’t Judge a Book By the Cover (Nesmith coving Bo Diddly)
The Joker (Jones Solo Broadway Spot)
I Got a Woman (Dolenz covering James Brown)
If I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate (Non-LP Tork Vocal)
Take a Giant Step
I’m a Believer

> 1967: Through The Endless Days & Nights <
While on tour, Musical Director of the band, Don Kirschner released their 2nd LP without the knowledge of the band, ‘More Of The Monkees’ was released in Jan ’67, a real Hodgepodge of songs geared solely @ 12 year old girls. Nesmith especially & to a lesser extent Tork were outraged by this move, to make matters worse Kirschner released The 3rd single also without their consent, the Non-LP 45 “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You b/w Girl I Knew Somewhere” the “A-Side” another N. Diamond song, hit #2 on the charts in Mar ’67, however the “B-Side” was written & performed by the band, & hit #39 on the charts.

The band revolted against Kirschner, & lead by Nesmith began to record & write their own material for their 3rd LP ‘Headquarters’ & is released in May ’67, although no 45 Single was released in the USA, in Europe “Alternate Title (Randy Scouse Git b/w Forget That Girl” was released in May ’67 & hit #2 on the charts. The band’s next single another double “A -Side” was “Pleasant Valley Sunday b/w Words” released in Jul ’67 both songs hit the charts @ #3 & #11 respectively, followed by their 4th LP ‘Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.’ In Nov ’67, a play on the members zodiac signs, this one followed in the same vein as the last one where most of the songs were performed by the band, only this time augmented by some studio musicians.

This has to be my 2nd favorite MONKEES LP. The next single is “Daydream Believer b/w Goin Down” with Picture Sleeve & again, another #1 hit on the charts, in fact in 1966 & 1967 most of the #1 Spots on the chart were dominated by ‘The Rascals’ & ‘The Monkees’ it’s worth noting “Goin Down” is one of the few songs credited to the whole band, & strangely a Non-LP song? Even though they released 3 LPs in ’67 they leave around 13 songs unreleased, even more alternate recordings of songs they did release.

Even though ‘The Beatles’ released “Sgt. Pepper’s” in ’67, the year belonged to ‘The Monkees’ with 3 LPs & filming & releasing 31 Episodes of the TV Show, from Jan- Dec ’67 my favorite from (season #1) being Episode #26 “Monkees Get Out More Dirt” from 3 Apr ’67, why you may ask, are you kidding me, Julie Newmar (Catwoman) & from later that year (season #2) Episode #47 “Christmas Show” 25 Dec ’67 as a kid I used to love Christmas time. The band finished up the 1st tour & went on their “Summer Of Love Tour” performing 42 Concerts from: Jan- Aug ’67, they made a stop here in St. Paul & the guys did 2 different guest DJ stints on KDWB – AM. Here’s the Setlist from;

4 Aug 1967 Fri.
St. Paul, MN @ Auditorium Arena

Last Train to Clarksville
You Just May Be the One
The Girl I Knew Somewhere
I Wanna Be Free
Sunny Girlfriend
Your Auntie Grizelda
Forget That Girl
Sweet Young Thing
Mary, Mary
Cripple Creek (Tork Folk Solo)
You Can’t Judge a Book By the Cover (Nesmith)
Gonna Build a Mountain (Jones Solo Spot)
I Got a Woman (Dolenz)
I’m a Believer
Randy Scouse Git
(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone

Tork from a 1994 Interview I conducted: “Why, didn’t I do more folk songs back then, I don’t know,I’m not sure why”

> 1968: Have You Noticed The Color Of The Sun <
Having had a banner year in ’67 things started to cool in ’68, I have speculated for a long time, artists that become this popular have about an 18 month lifespan. They release 11 TV Episodes of the TV show, before being canceled in Mar ’68, my favorite being Episode #52 “Devil & Peter Tork” where Tork accidently sells his soul to the Mr.Zer0 for the ability to play the harp. The 1st 45 Single of the year is “Valleri b/w Tapioca Tundra”on 17 Feb ’68 charting @ #3 & #34 for the “A & B” sides, followed by their 5th LP ‘Birds, Bees & Monkees’ in Apr ’68,

the last 1 to be released in “Mono” & a shift for this release is it has “The Monkees” as producers, as the guys are primarily back to performing “Lead Vocals” & picking their own songs & essentially producing them. Having way more time to record in the studio & the proposal of a the album to be 2 LPs with 1 side per MONKEE singing up to 6 or 7 songs in Tork’s case they leave 27 songs unreleased & even more alternate recordings left unreleased. Nesmith was the 1st to release a Solo LP while still in the band ‘Wichita Train Whistle Sings’ in Jul ’68 with the single “Don’t Cry Now b/w Tapioca Tundra”.

Hart from a 1993 Interview I conducted “We had some good songs we wrote for them, so even when they got control of the project, they still fell back on our material” The TV Show is not renewed for a 3rd season by both the band & the network. Strangely they release the Non-LP single “D.W. Washburn b/w It’s Nice To Be With You” with a Picture Sleeve, charting @ #19 & #51 respectively. I feel this song was chosen as it was similar in style to the ‘Lovin Spoonful’. The band do not tour the US in ’68 instead to look to the east & perform 13 Concerts from May- Oct ’68 with a full concert being videotaped in Tokyo & broadcast on television, an audio (only) recording still survives.

3 Oct ’68 Thurs
in Tokyo, Japan @ Budokan Hall
Last Train to Clarksville
I Wanna Be Free
D.W. Washburn
Sunny Girlfriend
Daydream Believer
Cuddly Toy
It’s Nice To Be With You
Mary, Mary
Cindy (Tork Folk Solo)
Peter Percival Patterson’s Pet Pig Porky
Johnny B. Goode (Nesmith covering Chuck Berry)
Gonna Build a Mountain (Jones solo)
I Got a Woman (Dolenz solo)
I’m a Believer
(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone

With the TV Show over & little touring in ’68 the guys shift focus to film their 1st & only motion picture; titled “Changes” Jones wrote a “Theme” song for it, but ultimately it went unused. The film released as “Head” on 6 Nov 1968, the film itself is a psychedelic trip poking fun at ‘The Monkees’ themselves for being a manufactured band. Their 6th LP ‘Head (soundtrack)’ in Dec ’68, many do realize it was the common practice in ’68 & ’69 to interlope dialog from the film in between the music or songs for films of that time,

this being 1 of them as there are only 7 songs on the LP, a single is released “Porpoise Song b/w As We Go Along” with Picture Sleeve, this happened to only chart @ #62 the “A” side is a full minute & a half shorter than the LP version. Jones recorded a “Felxi Disc” with picture sleeve to promote the film; however this was only released in Japan.

The group signed up for a 3 TV Special deal in fall of ’68, & so they started filming the 1st special in Dec , once again this hour long show is a psychedelic trip poking fun at the group for being manufactured, perhaps because their film fared so poorly, they thought they should give another stab it the theme. However this 1 is made up, largely from UN-released songs some performed live in the TV studio, no soundtrack would be released from this show, this would be the last time the 4 members would perform together until 18 years later, their last song … “Listen To The Band”.
Tork has decided he has had enough & leaves his contract 4 years early in Dec ‘68; he has formed the band ‘Release’ with his then girlfriend Ren Stewart, Riley Wildflower & Wendy Erdman.

The “Trio” of Jones, Dolenz & Nesmith makes their 1st public appearance on the TV Show “Hollywood Squares” in Dec ’68 to finish out the year.

> 1969: In A Year Or Two <
Starting off the new year as a “Trio” I might point out this is how I have the clearest memory of them, on TV & on Records, the trio appear on “Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” on 5 Feb ’69 performing their new release a 3 year old song “Teardrop City b/w Man Without A Dream” with Picture Sleeve, released on 8 Feb ’69, this song only charted @ #56, a week later their 7th LP ‘Instant Replay’ was also released in Feb ’69, this LP was done much in the same style as the 1st LP, a ‘Boyce & Hart with Nesmith’ production. A little later on 22 Mar ’69 the “Trio” appeared on ‘The Raiders’ TV show”Happening’69”.

Due to post production & television scheduling ’33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee’ was aired on 14 April 1969 up against the “Academy Awards” so much like “Head” it was largely ignored. The show had the now “Not Current Quartet” as Tork left just after filming finished, performing about 13 unreleased songs, with almost no real dialog from the band members themselves, to drive the point home they were merely “Puppets” in the “Music Machine” Dolenz & Nesmith have said “We got it, it was the rest of the world that didn’t”

With a new single about to be released the “Trio” appear on the “Joey Bishop Show” on 24 April ’69 the next 45 “Someday Man b/w Listen To The Band” with picture sleeve is released 26 Apr ’69, the songs chart @ #81 & #63 respectively. The Label feeling interest in the band is now waning, a ’Greatest Hits’ LP is released on 9 Jun ’69. The guys appear on the “Tonight Show w/ Johnny Carson” on 16 Jun ’69 to plug the LP, during the day Dolenz & Jones are interviewed on a local TV show “Walking In New York” sometime in Jun ’69 Later on19 Jul ’69 they appear on the”Johnny Cash Show” plugging the new “Hits” LP by performing the unreleased song “Nine Times Blue”?

In an interview I conducted with Jones in 1991 “Towards the end, I wrote & recorded a lot of songs with William (Chadwick,) to be used on our records, they (producers) ended up passing them over for other ones that had been done before”

The group starts filming ads for “Kool- Aid” “Nerf” & “Post Cereals” in Sep ’69 for the upcoming return of the TV show in reruns. The next 45 “Mommy & Daddy b/w Good Clean Fun” with Picture Sleeve, is released 6 Sep ’69, to coincide with the CBS re-runs on 13 Sep ’69. Their 8th LP ‘Present’ (2nd as a trio) is released on 1 Oct ’69, to promote the LP they appear on “Laugh In” on 6 Oct ’69, so it seems they were really good about timing TV appearances with their recent releases. It appears Jones love to work the most as he made many solo appearances without the other 2, such as “Music Scene” on 22 Dec ’69 with their backing back ‘The Goodtimers’ performing another unreleased Nilsson song “Together” the ’69 tour consisted of 37 Concerts from Mar- Dec ’69. Very little documentation exists from this tour so here is the Setlist from 1 of 2 known 1969 tour recordings this 1 is from:

10 May ’69 Sat.
in Wichita, KS @ Convention Hall

I’m a Believer
Pleasant Valley Sunday
Tapioca Tundra
I Wanna Be Free
Show Me (Dolenz covering Joe Tex)
A Man Without a Dream
Daydream Believer
Goin’ Down
Someday Man
Listen to the Band
Don’t Wait For Me
Get On Up (Dolenz covering The Esquires)
For Once in My Life (Jones covering Stevie Wonder)
Johnny B. Goode (Nesmith)
Believer Blues (Dolenz & Jones singing lead)

From an Interview I conducted with Dolenz in 1992 “We were doing a lot of R&B on that last tour, because we really dug that music scene at the time … So HOW old were you, to know that?”
A 2nd year of no TV show leaves plenty of time for the studio so some 21 recorded songs go unreleased, as well as many alternate recordings of released songs. After the final show of the tour in Dec ’69 Nesmith let it be known he was leaving the group & the rest of the 3 years left on his contract.

> 1970: Do You Believe This Is Forever <
As the new decade kicks off the LP ‘Golden Hits’ is released through “Mail Order Only” from Post Cereals in Jan ’70, this is the “Rarest” of all the original Monkees’ LPs, comprised from 12 Cardboard Singles taken off the backs of Post Cereal boxes. The guys do their final work as a “Trio” on 14 Apr ’70 they film some “Kool-Aid” commercials to air with the reruns on CBS, then Nesmith is no longer a MONKEE.

In Apr ’70 Jones was on the show “Evening With …” where he perform several unreleased Chadwick songs including “Talking To The Wall” & “Something To Show For It All” from an interview I conducted with Chadwick in 1990; “I was chosen to write, record & produce a TV show for David in ’69, I think it was called “An Evening With … David Jones” it aired on syndicated TV in Spring ’70 he sang 6 or 7 of my songs” The following week Dolenz was on the same syndicated show “Evening With …”

where Jones came out at the end to plug their new record. Jones: “Micky & I have a new record coming out soon called “Monkees Two” because The Monkees are just Micky & myself now, get it? Monkees Two, as in 2 of us” The final 45 single”Oh My My b/w I Love You Better” with Picture Sleeve is released
in Apr ’70. Not having much time in the studio in ’70 only 3 songs go unreleased.

The new “Duo” manage to make a few appearances on 15- 17 May ’70 in Philadelphia, Pen. @ Roosevelt Mall for the “Free Rock Concert” a 2nd was on 13 Jun ’70 in Cleveland, OH, where they also appeared on the local TV Show “Upbeat” they showed their new “Music Video” “Oh My, My” directed by Dolenz. The 9th & final LP ‘Changes’ is released in Jun ’70, essentially an Andy Kim record with Dolenz’s Lead Vocals dubbed in. Jones did a interview for Australian TV in Summer ‘70, announcing the end of ‘The Monkees’ as a group. Ironically the final concert appearance of The Monkees happened again as a “Trio” of Jones, Dolenz & Tork, who performed on 21 Nov ’70 in Van Nyes, CA. @ Valley REC Center for the “Freaky, Foxy, Funky Revival” & then the group was no more …

> 1971: All Through The Darkness <

To mark the end of the group ‘Barrel Full Of Monkees’ a double hits LP was released in Jan ’71, followed by the ‘Dolenz & Jones’ 45 Single “Do It In The Name Of Love b/w Lady Jane” released in Apr ’71. The final marker per se. In Feb 1986 the “Trio” of Jones, Dolenz & Tork reunited, recorded & toured until Sep ’89. There were several CDs released at this time worth mentioning:

“Live ’67” 1987 a “Live Concert” recording from the 1967 US Tour
“Missing Links” 1987 16 Unreleased or Alternate Recordings from 1966- 69
“Missing Links 2” 1990 19 Unreleased or Alternate Recordings from 1966- 69
“Missing Links 3” 1996 24 Unreleased or Alternate Recordings from 1966- 69

I feel it’s worth mentioning I some involvement with 2 other books on ‘The Monkees’ & 1 on ‘Michael Nesmith’ & this is an excerpt from my (unreleased) book “Here We Come” so there it is, my celebration of my 4th year in writing Articles for “BUZZ” & “Mr. Zero’s Inc”
We’ll be back, in a minute … MrZer0

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2 comments on “The MONKEES: 1965- 1971
  1. Cindy Bryant says:

    Always a wealth of knowledge. A pleasure to read your articles.

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