50 years and one day later…

by Harry on September 13, 2016



Lynne 09.13.16 at 12:48 pm

Makes me feel old! My brother and sister and I used to watch that show. I still listen to a selected list of Monkees tunes—The Girl I knew Somewhere, A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You, Early Morning Blues and Greens, Words…..


Tom Hurka 09.13.16 at 4:48 pm

And they destroyed it all with the crazy idea that they should actually play on their records. Fools!


Lee A. Arnold 09.13.16 at 4:53 pm

My favorite Monkees track was written by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio, and his version is pretty good too:

Daydream Believer


otpup 09.13.16 at 8:51 pm

Might as well bookend the show:


js. 09.14.16 at 3:58 am

I hope Tom Hurka’s being sarcastic. Anyway, more Headquarters:


derrida derider 09.14.16 at 4:44 am

Yep, Daydream Believer was far too good a song for a manufactured boy band. That said, whoever chose their material had a real ear for quality – the general standard was well above that of their successors.


J-D 09.14.16 at 5:18 am

Tom Hurka 09.13.16 at 4:48 pm

And they destroyed it all with the crazy idea that they should actually play on their records. Fools!

Helping to explain why Don Kirshner went on from Dolenz, Jones, Nesmith, and Tork to Andrews, Cooper, Jones, Lodge, and Mantle.


Peter Hovde 09.14.16 at 6:39 pm

“Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees
People say we monkey around
But that is the merest slander
We do not monkey around
And if you persist in alleging
That we monkey around
We shall advise our legal representatives to take appropriate action
‘Cause we don’t monkey around.”


Lee A. Arnold 09.14.16 at 6:51 pm

Note that Mike Nesmith wrote this great song:

“Different Drum” – The Stone Poneys (with Linda Ronstadt) (1967)


David Heasman 09.14.16 at 7:03 pm

Mike Nesmith wrote lots of good songs – “Propinquoty” , “Rio” , “Mama Rocker”


David Heasman 09.14.16 at 7:05 pm

Damn – “Propinquity”


oldster 09.15.16 at 9:50 pm

I had never noticed the bit at about 1:15 where Nesmith tosses a dart into a poster of the Beatles. That was obviously the subtext of much of what they did, but I had not known it ever crept into the text.

Otherwise, it’s impossible to watch the video without seeing snippets of Beatlemania at every turn–their strutting with canes on a staircase, just as in Magical Mystery Tour, their appearing in parallel doorways, as in the terrace flats in Help, and so on. One could annotate at least a third to a half of the segments in this way.


harry b 09.15.16 at 10:15 pm

Yes. Worth noting that this predates Magical Mystery Tour by a year. The Beatles, apparently, were fans of the Monkees.


oldster 09.16.16 at 12:16 am

Well, I’ll be blowed! I simply assumed that Monkees saw before Monkees did. I owe them all an apology.


harry b 09.16.16 at 12:27 am

The story — which I’ve heard enough times that I believe it — is that Schneider and Rafelson had the idea for the show sometime before Hard Day’s Night, and only got support for a pilot after the movie came out, and made their vision seem like it was plausible. I think (I’m sounding like such a fan here!) that its just an unfair comparison — everyone at the time was heavily influenced the Beatles, and S&R were making a TV show about a fictional band — recruiting a couple of genuine musicians (but for their acting ability) and a couple of actors who turned out, surprisingly, to be capable singers (most spectacularly Dolenz!) and, as a result, the boys ended up rebelling and demanding to be allowed to play their own instruments and, even, write their own songs (not very Beatle-ish songs at that!).

When I saw them a couple of years ago, they joked that they apologise for their one, major, defect, which is that they are not the Beatles!

Not a rant… just that I really like them!


oldster 09.16.16 at 1:28 am

I have a very palpable soft spot for them myself. It was deeply unfashionable in my circle to confess it, but some of their songs were very credible, as well as hummable.

Perhaps it also helps in retrospect that we know that Lennon was a false god, and the promised revolution never came. The seriousness of moral purpose that seemed to distinguish the Beatles has not worn as well as the unpretentious self-mockery that the Monkees had from the first.


Alan White 09.16.16 at 1:58 am

Harry @ 13–that’s remarkable!

A lot of reaction to The Monkees was post hoc propter hoc understandable even as the young teenage version of me got then. The hair, the foursome, the playful animated interaction, etc. all shouted Beatles. Yeah, yeah, yeah–but I still watched. And much like Ricky Nelson ala Elvis, I came to see real talent even if carbon-copy of style. Day Dream Believer–no doubt as good a song sung by any Yellow Submariner.


Howard Frant 09.16.16 at 2:57 am

I read somewhere that Peter Tork was urged to audition by Steven Stills. That required some reshuffling of my brain.


Stan 09.16.16 at 3:03 pm

I don’t know about Peter Tork, but Steven Stills really did audition and was rejected.

That guy (Stills) never got the level of fame I think he deserves. For the last 50 years, every time (Ok, MOST of the time) there’s a TV show about the 1960s, they use his “For What It’s Worth”.

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