The Monkees

The Monkees in 1968 (left to right): Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith and Davy Jones

The Monkees were a four-person band who appeared in an American television series of the same name, which ran on NBC from 1966 to 1968. The Monkees were formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California and disbanded in 1970. Several reunions of the original lineup have taken place. The first reunion lasted from 1986-1989, and a second regrouping took place between 1996-1997. The Monkees last worked together for a brief period in 2001.

History of the series

The television show first aired on September 12, 1966 on the American NBC television network and lasted for two seasons and 58 episodes; its final primetime episode ran on September 9, 1968. Modeled on the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night, The Monkees featured the antics and music of a fictional pop-rock group which, due to the necessities of the program and the massive success of the records, became a real pop-rock group.

The four young men who became The Monkees were British-born David ("Davy") Jones (percussion/vocals), George Michael ("Micky") Dolenz (drums/vocals), Michael Nesmith (guitar/vocals), and Peter Tork (bass/keyboards/vocals). They were cast after ads were placed in trade publications calling for actors to play "4 insane boys" on a new television series. 437 hopeful actors and musicians auditioned for the parts; a then relatively unknown Stephen Stills was shortlisted for a role, but was eventually knocked out because of his bad teeth, with Peter Tork finally winning the role Stills had hoped to get. Rumors have circulated that Charles Manson also auditioned, but these rumors have been shown to be false.

Nesmith and Tork were both already professional musicians, but Dolenz and Jones were better known as actors. All four were trained in both improvisational comedy and performing musically as a group before the pilot episode was filmed, so that they could look and act like a cohesive band even though it was only their voices being used on the initial recordings.

As a television show, The Monkees used techniques rarely seen on television—characters breaking the fourth wall and talking to the camera and sometimes even to people off-camera in the studio, fantasy sequences, jump cuts, and at least once a week a musical romp which might have nothing to do with the story line. In fact, many of the episodes included what now look very much like video clips: short, self-contained films featuring one of the songs from a Monkees album.

The Monkees were put together by a number of people who went on to later success. The show was produced by Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson, who later produced the film Easy Rider ; Rafelson went on to direct such films as Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens. The 1965 pilot episode was co-written by Paul Mazursky and the late Larry Tucker, who later co-wrote the movie Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, which Mazursky directed; he went on to direct such films as Harry and Tonto and Down and Out in Beverly Hills.

The Monkees' 2 main commercial sponsors were Kellogg's and Yardley Cosmetics of London; they alternated every week. The Monkees were seen in humorous commercials for Kellogg's Rice Krispies, which were seen at the end of biweekly telecasts of The Monkees TV show on NBC; they also made an ad for Black Label Aftershave by Yardley.

The Monkees won two Emmy Awards in 1967: Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy (James Frawley).

Trademarks

"The Fairy Tale"
  • Stock footage
  • Davy falls in love
  • Peter gets in trouble
  • Musical romps
  • Last minute interviews
  • Drag
  • Authority resistance
  • Adaptation of classic literature (e.g. "The Fairy Tale")
  • Multiple roles
  • Criminals with short hair and business suits
  • Subtle social commentary (e.g. C.I.S. on "The Spy Who Came In From The Cool" and "Monkee Chow Mein" and Disneyland on "Monstrous Monkee Mash" and "The Wild Monkees")

Season One

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Monkee See, Monkee Die
  3. Monkee Vs. Machine
  4. Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers The success of the First Season lands The Monkees on the cover of TV Guide, January 1967
  5. The Spy Who Came In From The Cool
  6. Success Story
  7. Monkees In A Ghost Town
  8. Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth
  9. The Chaperone
  10. Here Come The Monkees (original pilot episode)
  11. Monkees A La Carte
  12. I've Got A Little Song Here
  13. One Man Shy (a.k.a. "Peter And The Debutante")
  14. Dance, Monkees, Dance
  15. Too Many Girls (a.k.a. "Davy And Fern")
  16. Son Of A Gypsy
  17. The Case Of The Missing Monkee
  18. I Was A Teenage Monster
  19. Find The Monkees (a.k.a. "The Audition")
  20. Monkees In The Ring
  21. The Prince And The Pauper
  22. Monkees At The Circus
  23. Captain Crocodile
  24. Monkees A La Mode
  25. Alias Micky Dolenz
  26. Monkee Chow Mein
  27. Monkee Mother
  28. Monkees On The Line
  29. Monkees Get Out More Dirt
  30. Monkees In Manhattan (a.k.a “The Monkees Manhattan Style”)
  31. Monkees At The Movies
  32. Monkees On Tour

Season Two

Michael, Micky, David and Peter inbetween takes on the second season episode "Hitting the High Seas", October 1967.
  1. It's A Nice Place To Visit
  2. The Picture Frame (a.k.a. "The Bank Robbery")
  3. Everywhere A Sheik, Sheik
  4. Monkee Mayor
  5. Art, For Monkees' Sake
  6. I Was A 99Lb. Weakling
  7. Hillbilly Honeymoon (a.k.a. "Double Barrell Shotgun Wedding")
  8. Monkees Marooned
  9. Card Carrying Red Shoes
  10. The Wild Monkees
  11. A Coffin Too Frequent
  12. Hitting The High Seas
  13. Monkees In Texas
  14. Monkees On The Wheel
  15. The Christmas Show
  16. Fairy Tale
  17. Monkees Watch Their Feet
  18. Monstrous Monkee Mash
  19. The Monkees' Paw
  20. The Devil & Peter Tork
  21. Monkees Race Again (a.k.a. "Leave The Driving To Us")
  22. The Monkees In Paris (a.k.a. "The Paris Show")
  23. Monkees Mind Their Manor
  24. Some Like It Lukewarm (a.k.a. "The Band Contest")
  25. Monkees Blow Their Minds
  26. Mijacogeo (a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper")

Beyond television

After the television show was cancelled, Rafelson directed the four Monkees in a feature film, Head, executive-produced by Schneider and co-written and co-produced by Rafelson with a then relatively unknown actor named Jack Nicholson. The film, created and edited in a stream of consciousness style, featured cameo appearances by movie star Victor Mature and musician Frank Zappa. It was filmed in Screen Gems Studios and on location in California, Utah and The Bahamas from February 11 to May 21, 1968 and premiered in New York City on November 6 of that year. Sadly, it was not a commercial success; this was in part because Head, being an antithesis of The Monkees TV show, comprehensively demolished the group's carefully-groomed public image, as evidenced by the following stanzas from Rafelson and Nicholson's "Ditty-Diego" (recited at the start of the film by The Monkees), which ruthlessly parodies Boyce and Hart's "Monkees Theme":

Hey hey we are The Monkees
You know we love to please
A manufactured image
With no philosophies
Promotional poster for the movie Head, starring The Monkees, 1968
We hope you love our story
Although there isn't one
That is to say there's many
That way there is more fun
You told us you like action
And games of many kinds
You like to dance we like to sing
So let's all lose our minds!
We know it doesn't matter
'Cause what you came to see
Is what we'd love to give you
And give it one, two, three!
But it may come three, two, one, two
Or jump from nine to five
And when you see the end in sight
The beginning may arrive!
For those who look for meanings
In form as they do fact,
We might just tell you one thing
But we'd only take it back
Not back like in a box back
Not back like in a race
Not back so we can keep it
But back in time and space!
You say we're manufactured
To that we all agree
So make your choice and we'll rejoice
In never being free!
Hey hey we are The Monkees!
We've said it all before!
The money's in, we're made of tin
We're here to give you more!

But over the intervening years Head has developed a cult following for its innovative style and anarchic humor, and the soundtrack album (long out of print but now available in an expanded CD version) is counted among their best recordings. Members of The Monkees, Nesmith in particular, cite Head as one of the crowning achievements of the band.

From TV to stage

Critics of The Monkees complained that they were a made-for-TV knockoff of The Beatles (although John Lennon was a fan of the show), and that The Monkees were a group chosen by a casting director.

The massive success of the series and its spin-off records had created intense pressure to mount a touring version of the group by late 1966. Against the initial wishes of the producers, Dolenz, Jones, Nesmith and Tork went out on the road. The results were far better than anyone had a right to expect, and wherever they went they were greeted by scenes of fan hysteria not seen since The Beatles. This gave the four stars increased confidence in their battle for creative control over the music used in the series.

The Monkees had complained that the producers would not allow them to play their own instruments on their records. Their frustrations were increased by the fact that they were all accomplished musicians in their own right. This campaign eventually forced the series' musical coordinator Don Kirshner to let them have more participation in the recording process (against his strong objections), which included Nesmith producing his own songs and band members making some instrumental contributions. Led by Nesmith, the band eventually rebelled against Kirshner, who was later fired, and beginning with their third album, Headquarters, the four Monkees did play most of the parts on the rest of their record albums.

The Monkees' Headquarters album cover, 1967

Kirshner was reported to have been incensed by the group's rebellion and swore never to repeat his mistake. This experience led directly to his later ventures The Archies and Josie and The Pussycats, which were animated series — the "stars" existed only on an animation cel and obviously could not demand creative control over the records issued under their name.

When the group toured Britain in 1967 there was a major controversy over the supposed revelation that the group did not play on their own records, and the news made the front pages of several UK and international music papers, with the group derisively dubbed "The Pre-Fab Four". Nevertheless, they were warmly welcomed by many top British stars including The Beatles, who knew them to be skilled musicians and sympathised with their wish to have more control over their music.

Many now feel that the controversy unfairly targeted The Monkees and conveniently ignored the fact that almost all the leading British and American groups — up to and including The Beatles — habitually used sessions players on their recordings, and that this practice had always (until then) passed without comment.

Supporters of the group also point out that producers and Kirshner had the good taste to use some of the best songwriters of the period, including Neil Diamond, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Harry Nilsson and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, as well as using top-ranking Los Angeles session musicians on the records. The Monkees also deserve credit for helping bring America's attention to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, who they took on as an opening act during their 1967 concert tour, even though Hendrix quit after only a few shows. Reports circulated at the time that he had been removed from the tour after complaints from the conservative women's group Daughters Of The American Revolution. This was later proved false and it has since been revealed that the story was concocted for publicity purposes by the Australian journalist and music writer Lillian Roxon, who had been accompanying the tour with her friend, the Australian singer Lynne Randell, who was one of the supporting acts and who was romantically involved with Jones at the time.

The Monkees had several international hits — which are still heard on oldies stations — including "I'm a Believer", "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone", "Daydream Believer", "Last Train to Clarksville" — and even a number of social criticism songs, the best known of which is probably "Pleasant Valley Sunday".

Six albums were produced with the original lineup (four of which went to Number 1 on the Billboard chart), which was supplemented by a series of successful world concert tours. But tensions within the group were increasing, and Tork quit shortly after the band's Far East tour in late 1968, but not before completing work on their 1969 NBC television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee. Three more albums would follow while Tork, in December 1968, and then Nesmith, in March 1970, left the group, leaving only Dolenz and Jones to record as The Monkees. Eventually, Jones too departed, leaving Dolenz as the sole remaining recording Monkee, and so marked the end of the first phase of The Monkees' recording career.

At the same time, The Monkees TV series enjoyed a resurgence on Saturday Afternoon television for four seasons (September 13, 1969 to September 2, 1972 on CBS and September 9, 1972 to August 25, 1973 on ABC); after which, its 58 episodes were sold to local markets for syndication in September 1975.

Revival

The reunited Monkees in 1987

In 1986, a Monkees TV show marathon on the video music channel MTV re-launched The Monkees, sparking worldwide interest by both original fans and their children, who flocked to see The Monkees in sold-out shows. Nesmith was forced to sit out most of these reunion projects because of prior commitments to his bustling Pacific Arts video production company. Spurred on by massive MTV promotion, the reunited trio quickly became one of the hottest acts of 1986, with their original albums selling in the millions and a new greatest hits collection reaching platinum status. To show his support, Nesmith appeared onstage with Dolenz, Jones and Tork twice, both times in Los Angeles, in 1986 and 1989. He also appeared with the band in a 1986 Christmas medley music video for MTV and took part in a dedication ceremony at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where The Monkees received a star in 1989.

The sudden revival of The Monkees in 1986 helped move the first Monkees single since 1970, "That Was Then, This Is Now", into the American Top 20. A new album by the touring trio, Pool It!, quickly followed and met with moderate success. From 1986 to 1989, The Monkees would conduct major concert tours in the United States, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and Europe.

Michael Nesmith rejoins his bandmates in Los Angeles, 1989

In the 1990s, The Monkees continued to create new musical material, eventually recording an album which all four members performed and produced; this became Justus in 1996. The trio of Dolenz, Jones and Tork reunited again for a successful 30th anniversary tour of American amphitheaters in 1996, while Nesmith joined them onstage in Los Angeles to promote the new songs from Justus. For the first time since the initial reunion in 1986, Nesmith returned to the concert stage full-time for a tour of the United Kingdom in 1997, and two sold-out concerts at Wembley Arena in London highlighted the success of the band in the 1990s. The full quartet also appeared in an ABC television special (written and directed by Nesmith) in 1997, spoofing the original series that had made them famous. However, once the revival craze died down, so did Michael Nesmith's interest in the group, and the Monkees disbanded once again. In fact, Davy Jones has gone on record to say another reunion of The Monkees as a complete unit "will never happen again." The remaining three Monkees (Dolenz, Jones and Tork) tour sporadically, most recently in 2001.

Impact of The Monkees

The Monkees in 1967

The Monkees, selected specifically to appeal to the youth market with their manufactured personae and carefully produced singles, can be seen as the original precursor to the modern proliferation of studio and corporation-created bands, or the modern boy band. However, The Monkees differ from typical modern boy bands in several respects. The Monkees did not perform the tightly harmonized ballads or synchronized dance routines boy bands are noted for today. The group was shown playing musical instruments on the show, or actually played instruments during live shows, unlike boy bands. The Monkees also frequently contributed their own songwriting efforts on their albums. Most notably, the critical appeal of the band has only increased since their original inception, while it remains unproven that modern day boy bands will experience the longevity that the Monkees have enjoyed.

The Monkees found unlikely fans among musicians of the punk rock period of the mid-1970s. Many of these punk performers had grown up on TV reruns of the series, and in keeping with the prevailing anti-industry, anti-Establishment trend of their music, they adopted The Monkees as symbols of rebellion against the mainstream music industry, citing the group's insistence on breaking out of their manufactured TV image and proving that they could write and perform as a real band. The Sex Pistols went as far as recording a version of The Monkees' (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone and there are some close parallels between the careers of the two bands. Modern day bands continue to cover their work, with the alternative rock group Smashmouth most recently having a hit with I'm a Believer in 2001.

Millions of people still listen to their music and it seems likely that Monkees singles will remain a staple on pop-rock and oldies stations for decades to come. In fact, their legacy has been further strengthened by Rhino Entertainment's acquisition of The Monkees' franchise from Columbia Pictures in the early 1990s, with remastered editions of both the original television series and their music library having now surfaced in stores on DVD and compact disc collections.

Quotation

Hey! Hey! We're The Monkees!
And people say we monkey around!
But we're too busy singin'
To put anybody down!

Albums

  • The Monkees (1966)
  • More of The Monkees (1967)
  • The Monkees' Headquarters (1967)
  • Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, Ltd. (1967)
Early promotional photo of The Monkees on the set of the pilot, 1965
  • The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (1968)
  • Head (Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1968)
  • Instant Replay (1969)
  • The Monkees Present Micky, David, Michael (1969)
  • Changes (1970)
  • The Monkees Greatest Hits (1976)
  • More Greatest Hits (1982)
  • Then And Now...the Best of The Monkees (1986)
  • Pool It! (1987)
  • Live 1967 (1987)
  • Missing Links (1987)
  • 20th Anniversary Tour Live (1987)
  • Missing Links, Volume II (1990)
  • Listen to the Band (25th Anniversary boxed set) (1991)
  • Greatest Hits (1995)
  • Missing Links, Volume III (1996)
  • Justus (1996)
  • Anthology (1998)
  • Music Box (35th Anniversary boxed set) (2001)
  • The Best of The Monkees (2003)

Singles

  • Last Train to Clarksville (1966) US #1
  • I'm A Believer (1966) US #1
  • (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone (1966) US #20
  • A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You (1967) US #2
  • The Girl I Knew Somewhere (1967) US #39
  • Randy Scouse Git (1967) UK #1
The Monkees in 1996
  • Pleasant Valley Sunday (1967) US #3
  • Words (1967) US #11
  • Daydream Believer (1967) US #1
  • Valleri (1968) US #3
  • Tapioca Tundra (1968) US #34
  • D.W. Washburn (1968) US #19
  • It's Nice To Be With You (1968) US #51
  • Porpoise Song Theme from HEAD (1968) US #62
  • Teardrop City (1969) US #56
  • Listen to the Band (1969) US #63
  • Someday Man (1969) US #81
  • Good Clean Fun (1969) US #82
  • Oh My My (1970) US #98
  • That Was Then, This Is Now (1986) US #20
  • Heart and Soul (1987) US #27

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In fact, their legacy has been further strengthened by Rhino Entertainment's acquisition of The Monkees' franchise from Columbia Pictures in the early 1990s, with remastered editions of both the original television series and their music library having now surfaced in stores on DVD and compact disc collections. He was playing on the following tour through Europe ("Spirit of the Streets" - with Pistol Grip and the Beltones) as well, which was to be the last one so far. Millions of people still listen to their music and it seems likely that Monkees singles will remain a staple on pop-rock and oldies stations for decades to come. Davey, actually the driver, offered to do the job and saved the day. Modern day bands continue to cover their work, with the alternative rock group Smashmouth most recently having a hit with I'm a Believer in 2001. But the guitarist who was finally found there left again while the "Chaos across the Nation" US-Tour was going on, leaving the band stranded overseas.. The Sex Pistols went as far as recording a version of The Monkees' (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone and there are some close parallels between the careers of the two bands. In the meantime the headquarters had been moved to Berlin, where everybody lived now.

Many of these punk performers had grown up on TV reruns of the series, and in keeping with the prevailing anti-industry, anti-Establishment trend of their music, they adopted The Monkees as symbols of rebellion against the mainstream music industry, citing the group's insistence on breaking out of their manufactured TV image and proving that they could write and perform as a real band. Unfortunately Martin, an original member, had left the band having offspring, and so Chrissy once again stepped in temporarily. The Monkees found unlikely fans among musicians of the punk rock period of the mid-1970s. Europe- and especially Germany - was recently toured as well, with a different line-up though. Most notably, the critical appeal of the band has only increased since their original inception, while it remains unproven that modern day boy bands will experience the longevity that the Monkees have enjoyed. Six weeks on the road from coast to coast, this "Pure Punk" tour was played side by side with Dead Empty, The Boils and The Forgotten. The Monkees also frequently contributed their own songwriting efforts on their albums. So they withdrew for a couple of months in order to work on it, and recorded what was going to be called "Feed the breed" in the summer of 2001 (which is available in Europe since november already and will be out on GMM Records in the USA this april), just before returning to the States again.

The group was shown playing musical instruments on the show, or actually played instruments during live shows, unlike boy bands. But the time was also right for the OXY's to put out a "real" new album as well. The Monkees did not perform the tightly harmonized ballads or synchronized dance routines boy bands are noted for today. In the fall of 2000 the compilation "Best before 2000" was released by Knock Out Records (and Cyclone Records in the States) because of the demand for the sold out 7"es and rare material - including all the singles and stuff from various comps. However, The Monkees differ from typical modern boy bands in several respects. Chrissy left the band after the tour to have more time for his own project and fortunately Morpheus showed up. The Monkees, selected specifically to appeal to the youth market with their manufactured personae and carefully produced singles, can be seen as the original precursor to the modern proliferation of studio and corporation-created bands, or the modern boy band. This seven weeks coast-to-coast affair in the company of the Dropkick Murphys (with whom another split-single had been done) and the Ducky Boys turned out to be a great success and should become one of the best things they had done so far.

In fact, Davy Jones has gone on record to say another reunion of The Monkees as a complete unit "will never happen again." The remaining three Monkees (Dolenz, Jones and Tork) tour sporadically, most recently in 2001. As a four-piece again the Oxy's set out in '99 on a full scale attack on various countries of Europe, playing more gigs than ever before as well as touring the whole USA. However, once the revival craze died down, so did Michael Nesmith's interest in the group, and the Monkees disbanded once again. So without further ado Chrissy stepped in, who temporarily had been a second guitarist and used to play bass on the first US tour already. The full quartet also appeared in an ABC television special (written and directed by Nesmith) in 1997, spoofing the original series that had made them famous. And last but not least Arne left the band just weeks before the recording sessions for the "Westworld" mini-album were supposed to be. For the first time since the initial reunion in 1986, Nesmith returned to the concert stage full-time for a tour of the United Kingdom in 1997, and two sold-out concerts at Wembley Arena in London highlighted the success of the band in the 1990s. Besides Sucker had to go to hospital for a while due to a nervous damage and everything slowed down.

The trio of Dolenz, Jones and Tork reunited again for a successful 30th anniversary tour of American amphitheaters in 1996, while Nesmith joined them onstage in Los Angeles to promote the new songs from Justus. 1998 didn't mean it good with the Oxy's and they had to take few blows, because some tours planned for a long time were cancelled just weeks before or had be called off for some reasons. In the 1990s, The Monkees continued to create new musical material, eventually recording an album which all four members performed and produced; this became Justus in 1996. The most exciting tour however was to come in summer of '97, when they had the chance to play in Japan for almost three weeks (along with the Discocks), and certainly went for it. From 1986 to 1989, The Monkees would conduct major concert tours in the United States, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and Europe. Roughly one year later their second long-player "The Pack is back" was consequently released by Knock Out, and it smoothed the way for the band when they hit the road in various countries of Europe again. A new album by the touring trio, Pool It!, quickly followed and met with moderate success. Mosch from Knock Out Records had become an ever-present companion of the band, who was running his label for some years already and had done much good for the streetpunk scene with his publications, so they decided to sign to him.

The sudden revival of The Monkees in 1986 helped move the first Monkees single since 1970, "That Was Then, This Is Now", into the American Top 20. This was a chaotic two odd weeks affair along the East Coast together with Braindance and the Casualties, which went down very well for them after all. He also appeared with the band in a 1986 Christmas medley music video for MTV and took part in a dedication ceremony at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where The Monkees received a star in 1989. In the spring of 1996 the "Crisis Identity" single was released on Arne's and his wife's short-lived label Rough Beat Records, followed by the band's first trip to the USA. To show his support, Nesmith appeared onstage with Dolenz, Jones and Tork twice, both times in Los Angeles, in 1986 and 1989. Thus they played a lot at the Oi! festivals that were taking place again more and more often in the meantime, with the likes of Cock Sparrer, Angelic Upstarts, Major Accident, Test Tube Babies etc. Spurred on by massive MTV promotion, the reunited trio quickly became one of the hottest acts of 1986, with their original albums selling in the millions and a new greatest hits collection reaching platinum status. Since OXYMORON always were a mixed band and stood for unity between the tribes both punks and skins attended their shows from the very beginning.

Nesmith was forced to sit out most of these reunion projects because of prior commitments to his bustling Pacific Arts video production company. With their pal Arne joining in a few weeks later and taking over the bass, they seized the opportunity and started gigging abroad, too, as well as in Germany, where they had been touring twice in the company of Braindance (with whom a split-single was released at the same time, named "Mohican Melodies"). In 1986, a Monkees TV show marathon on the video music channel MTV re-launched The Monkees, sparking worldwide interest by both original fans and their children, who flocked to see The Monkees in sold-out shows. The response and reviews Oxymoron received for this album were more than anyone ever had expected and lots of fanzines and indie music mags became attentive all over the place. At the same time, The Monkees TV series enjoyed a resurgence on Saturday Afternoon television for four seasons (September 13, 1969 to September 2, 1972 on CBS and September 9, 1972 to August 25, 1973 on ABC); after which, its 58 episodes were sold to local markets for syndication in September 1975. The band paid the studio from their own money that they somehow managed to raise, but it was well worth it. Eventually, Jones too departed, leaving Dolenz as the sole remaining recording Monkee, and so marked the end of the first phase of The Monkees' recording career. "Fuck the Nineties - Here's our Noize", as it was eventually called, had to be recorded as a three-piece because Filzlaus left after one tour and couldn't be replaced immediately.

Three more albums would follow while Tork, in December 1968, and then Nesmith, in March 1970, left the group, leaving only Dolenz and Jones to record as The Monkees. This single finally came out in early '94 and was subsequently reissued by Bob Burridge from Helen Of Oi! Records, who had picked it up and apparently liked it since he offered the band a record deal for a full-length album as well. But tensions within the group were increasing, and Tork quit shortly after the band's Far East tour in late 1968, but not before completing work on their 1969 NBC television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee. Practising in a mouldy former beer cellar which they called the Oxyfactory the time was right in the summer of '93 for recording their debut-ep "Beware, poisonous!" which they produced and released off their own bat (on the provisional "Oxyfactory Records" label, that never put out any further records). Six albums were produced with the original lineup (four of which went to Number 1 on the Billboard chart), which was supplemented by a series of successful world concert tours. After this show they got offered some gigs as support for more established acts all over Germany. The Monkees had several international hits — which are still heard on oldies stations — including "I'm a Believer", "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone", "Daydream Believer", "Last Train to Clarksville" — and even a number of social criticism songs, the best known of which is probably "Pleasant Valley Sunday". Originally coming from Erlangen / Nuernberg - Germany their first real appearance was at the annual punk festival in their home town along with other local bands.

This was later proved false and it has since been revealed that the story was concocted for publicity purposes by the Australian journalist and music writer Lillian Roxon, who had been accompanying the tour with her friend, the Australian singer Lynne Randell, who was one of the supporting acts and who was romantically involved with Jones at the time. Mostly influenced by early Eighties' punk and Oi! stuff it was quite obvious what it would sound like in general, but it was a long way until they finally made it on stage. Reports circulated at the time that he had been removed from the tour after complaints from the conservative women's group Daughters Of The American Revolution. The main intention behind it all was to have a laugh and to get the kind of music across they were into, and since the early Nineties didn't seem to have a lot of punk let alone skinhead bands being around anymore they felt an urge to get out and do it themselves to keep it going. The Monkees also deserve credit for helping bring America's attention to the Jimi Hendrix Experience, who they took on as an opening act during their 1967 concert tour, even though Hendrix quit after only a few shows. Formed by Sucker and his drumming cousin Bjoern and completed by their mates Martin on the guitar and Filzlaus on the bass the original line-up needed a couple of years and various efforts to see the light of the day under the name OXYMORON. Supporters of the group also point out that producers and Kirshner had the good taste to use some of the best songwriters of the period, including Neil Diamond, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Harry Nilsson and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, as well as using top-ranking Los Angeles session musicians on the records.
Oxymoron was called into being in late 1992 actually, although the roots of the band go back further to the fall of 1989.

Many now feel that the controversy unfairly targeted The Monkees and conveniently ignored the fact that almost all the leading British and American groups — up to and including The Beatles — habitually used sessions players on their recordings, and that this practice had always (until then) passed without comment. Please format this article according to the guidelines laid out at Wikipedia:How to edit a page, then remove this notice. Nevertheless, they were warmly welcomed by many top British stars including The Beatles, who knew them to be skilled musicians and sympathised with their wish to have more control over their music. This music article needs to be wikified. When the group toured Britain in 1967 there was a major controversy over the supposed revelation that the group did not play on their own records, and the news made the front pages of several UK and international music papers, with the group derisively dubbed "The Pre-Fab Four". For help, see How to Edit a Page and the Style and How-to Directory. This experience led directly to his later ventures The Archies and Josie and The Pussycats, which were animated series — the "stars" existed only on an animation cel and obviously could not demand creative control over the records issued under their name. After the article has been cleaned up, you may remove this message.

Kirshner was reported to have been incensed by the group's rebellion and swore never to repeat his mistake. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of article quality. Led by Nesmith, the band eventually rebelled against Kirshner, who was later fired, and beginning with their third album, Headquarters, the four Monkees did play most of the parts on the rest of their record albums. This campaign eventually forced the series' musical coordinator Don Kirshner to let them have more participation in the recording process (against his strong objections), which included Nesmith producing his own songs and band members making some instrumental contributions. Their frustrations were increased by the fact that they were all accomplished musicians in their own right.

The Monkees had complained that the producers would not allow them to play their own instruments on their records. This gave the four stars increased confidence in their battle for creative control over the music used in the series. The results were far better than anyone had a right to expect, and wherever they went they were greeted by scenes of fan hysteria not seen since The Beatles. Against the initial wishes of the producers, Dolenz, Jones, Nesmith and Tork went out on the road.

The massive success of the series and its spin-off records had created intense pressure to mount a touring version of the group by late 1966. Critics of The Monkees complained that they were a made-for-TV knockoff of The Beatles (although John Lennon was a fan of the show), and that The Monkees were a group chosen by a casting director. Members of The Monkees, Nesmith in particular, cite Head as one of the crowning achievements of the band. But over the intervening years Head has developed a cult following for its innovative style and anarchic humor, and the soundtrack album (long out of print but now available in an expanded CD version) is counted among their best recordings.

Sadly, it was not a commercial success; this was in part because Head, being an antithesis of The Monkees TV show, comprehensively demolished the group's carefully-groomed public image, as evidenced by the following stanzas from Rafelson and Nicholson's "Ditty-Diego" (recited at the start of the film by The Monkees), which ruthlessly parodies Boyce and Hart's "Monkees Theme":. It was filmed in Screen Gems Studios and on location in California, Utah and The Bahamas from February 11 to May 21, 1968 and premiered in New York City on November 6 of that year. The film, created and edited in a stream of consciousness style, featured cameo appearances by movie star Victor Mature and musician Frank Zappa. After the television show was cancelled, Rafelson directed the four Monkees in a feature film, Head, executive-produced by Schneider and co-written and co-produced by Rafelson with a then relatively unknown actor named Jack Nicholson.

The Monkees won two Emmy Awards in 1967: Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy (James Frawley). The Monkees were seen in humorous commercials for Kellogg's Rice Krispies, which were seen at the end of biweekly telecasts of The Monkees TV show on NBC; they also made an ad for Black Label Aftershave by Yardley. The Monkees' 2 main commercial sponsors were Kellogg's and Yardley Cosmetics of London; they alternated every week. The 1965 pilot episode was co-written by Paul Mazursky and the late Larry Tucker, who later co-wrote the movie Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, which Mazursky directed; he went on to direct such films as Harry and Tonto and Down and Out in Beverly Hills.

The show was produced by Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson, who later produced the film Easy Rider ; Rafelson went on to direct such films as Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens. The Monkees were put together by a number of people who went on to later success. As a television show, The Monkees used techniques rarely seen on television—characters breaking the fourth wall and talking to the camera and sometimes even to people off-camera in the studio, fantasy sequences, jump cuts, and at least once a week a musical romp which might have nothing to do with the story line. In fact, many of the episodes included what now look very much like video clips: short, self-contained films featuring one of the songs from a Monkees album. All four were trained in both improvisational comedy and performing musically as a group before the pilot episode was filmed, so that they could look and act like a cohesive band even though it was only their voices being used on the initial recordings.

Nesmith and Tork were both already professional musicians, but Dolenz and Jones were better known as actors. Rumors have circulated that Charles Manson also auditioned, but these rumors have been shown to be false. 437 hopeful actors and musicians auditioned for the parts; a then relatively unknown Stephen Stills was shortlisted for a role, but was eventually knocked out because of his bad teeth, with Peter Tork finally winning the role Stills had hoped to get. They were cast after ads were placed in trade publications calling for actors to play "4 insane boys" on a new television series.

The four young men who became The Monkees were British-born David ("Davy") Jones (percussion/vocals), George Michael ("Micky") Dolenz (drums/vocals), Michael Nesmith (guitar/vocals), and Peter Tork (bass/keyboards/vocals). Modeled on the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night, The Monkees featured the antics and music of a fictional pop-rock group which, due to the necessities of the program and the massive success of the records, became a real pop-rock group. The television show first aired on September 12, 1966 on the American NBC television network and lasted for two seasons and 58 episodes; its final primetime episode ran on September 9, 1968. The Monkees last worked together for a brief period in 2001.

The first reunion lasted from 1986-1989, and a second regrouping took place between 1996-1997. Several reunions of the original lineup have taken place. The Monkees were formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, California and disbanded in 1970. The Monkees were a four-person band who appeared in an American television series of the same name, which ran on NBC from 1966 to 1968.

Heart and Soul (1987) US #27. That Was Then, This Is Now (1986) US #20. Oh My My (1970) US #98. Good Clean Fun (1969) US #82.

Someday Man (1969) US #81. Listen to the Band (1969) US #63. Teardrop City (1969) US #56. Porpoise Song Theme from HEAD (1968) US #62.

It's Nice To Be With You (1968) US #51. Washburn (1968) US #19. D.W. Tapioca Tundra (1968) US #34.

Valleri (1968) US #3. Daydream Believer (1967) US #1. Words (1967) US #11. Pleasant Valley Sunday (1967) US #3.

Randy Scouse Git (1967) UK #1. The Girl I Knew Somewhere (1967) US #39. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You (1967) US #2. (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone (1966) US #20.

I'm A Believer (1966) US #1. Last Train to Clarksville (1966) US #1. The Best of The Monkees (2003). Music Box (35th Anniversary boxed set) (2001).

Anthology (1998). Justus (1996). Missing Links, Volume III (1996). Greatest Hits (1995).

Listen to the Band (25th Anniversary boxed set) (1991). Missing Links, Volume II (1990). 20th Anniversary Tour Live (1987). Missing Links (1987).

Live 1967 (1987). Pool It! (1987). Then And Now...the Best of The Monkees (1986). More Greatest Hits (1982).

The Monkees Greatest Hits (1976). Changes (1970). The Monkees Present Micky, David, Michael (1969). Instant Replay (1969).

Head (Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1968). The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees (1968). Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, Ltd. (1967). The Monkees' Headquarters (1967).

More of The Monkees (1967). The Monkees (1966). "The Frodis Caper"). Mijacogeo (a.k.a.

Monkees Blow Their Minds. "The Band Contest"). Some Like It Lukewarm (a.k.a. Monkees Mind Their Manor.

"The Paris Show"). The Monkees In Paris (a.k.a. "Leave The Driving To Us"). Monkees Race Again (a.k.a.

The Devil & Peter Tork. The Monkees' Paw. Monstrous Monkee Mash. Monkees Watch Their Feet.

Fairy Tale. The Christmas Show. Monkees On The Wheel. Monkees In Texas.

Hitting The High Seas. A Coffin Too Frequent. The Wild Monkees. Card Carrying Red Shoes.

Monkees Marooned. "Double Barrell Shotgun Wedding"). Hillbilly Honeymoon (a.k.a. Weakling.

I Was A 99Lb. Art, For Monkees' Sake. Monkee Mayor. Everywhere A Sheik, Sheik.

"The Bank Robbery"). The Picture Frame (a.k.a. It's A Nice Place To Visit. Monkees On Tour.

Monkees At The Movies. Monkees In Manhattan (a.k.a “The Monkees Manhattan Style”). Monkees Get Out More Dirt. Monkees On The Line.

Monkee Mother. Monkee Chow Mein. Alias Micky Dolenz. Monkees A La Mode.

Captain Crocodile. Monkees At The Circus. The Prince And The Pauper. Monkees In The Ring.

"The Audition"). Find The Monkees (a.k.a. I Was A Teenage Monster. The Case Of The Missing Monkee.

Son Of A Gypsy. "Davy And Fern"). Too Many Girls (a.k.a. Dance, Monkees, Dance.

"Peter And The Debutante"). One Man Shy (a.k.a. I've Got A Little Song Here. Monkees A La Carte.

Here Come The Monkees (original pilot episode). The Chaperone. Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth. Monkees In A Ghost Town.

Success Story. The Spy Who Came In From The Cool. Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers The success of the First Season lands The Monkees on the cover of TV Guide, January 1967 . Machine.

Monkee Vs. Monkee See, Monkee Die. Royal Flush. on "The Spy Who Came In From The Cool" and "Monkee Chow Mein" and Disneyland on "Monstrous Monkee Mash" and "The Wild Monkees").

C.I.S. Subtle social commentary (e.g. Criminals with short hair and business suits. Multiple roles.

"The Fairy Tale"). Adaptation of classic literature (e.g. Authority resistance. Drag.

Last minute interviews. Musical romps. Peter gets in trouble. Davy falls in love.

Stock footage.

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