From 1966 to 1968, Monkeemania swept the United States with multiple number one albums and an incredibly successful NBC television show. To this day, The Monkees continue to have legions of fans in all age groups attend the band's concerts. While the band's music has held up, The Monkees weren't always respected because the band was specifically formed for a television show. Not helping matters pertaining to the band's credibility is that fact that Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith did little more than sing on the band's first two records. However, that was not by choice.
During the recording of The Monkees' third album, Headquarters, the four band members fought for control over their music. The producers gave in, allowing the band to play instruments on the album and contribute to the songwriting. The Monkees would continue to exert their newfound control over their music for the rest of their albums.
In 1968, The Monkees television popularity started to wane because the general public thought of the band as a corporate creation and not a legitimate band. That year, The Monkees rebelled with the release of Head. Both the movie and the album saw the band fully embracing the counterculture.
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"Last Train to Clarksville" was writted by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. They song is a protest against the Vietnam War. Throughout the song, the story of a man taking a train to an Army base and potentially serving in Vietnam is told.
Bob Rafelson and Dan"The Monkees" created "The Monkees," which produced 58 episodes over the course of two seasons. The show's creators got the idea for the show after watching the Beatles' film "A Hard Day's Night."
Before Davy Jones was a singer, he wanted to be jockey. As a young man, Davy Jones had British horse trainer Basil Foster, who encouraged him to leave horse racing for a career in entertainment. In 1996, Jones won a race for amateur jockeys.
At his audition, Michael Nesmith wore a wool hat to keep his hair out of his eyes. The green wool hat would become his character's trademark. The producers of "The Monkees" liked the hat so much that they nicknamed Nesmith "wool hat," but the nickname didn't last.
During her time as a secretary at Texas Bank & Trust, Bette Nesmith Graham created Liquid Paper. In 1951, she made her first batch of Liquid Paper, which was called Mistake Out at the time, and started using it at work. Five years later, she decided to sell bottles of it.
Micky Dolenz played Corky on "Circus Boy." On "Circus Boy," Dolenz was credited as Micky Braddock. The series aired on NBC and ABC for a combined total of two series and 49 episodes.
"The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees" was released on April 22, 1968 and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard charts. It was also the first Monkees album not to chart in the United Kingdom.
"Head" was the last album was the last to feature Peter Tork until the 1980s. In 2013, "Head" was included on "Rolling Stones" list of "The 25 Greatest Soundtracks of All Time," placing at number 25.
Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones were both born on Dec. 30. Nesmith was born in 1942, while Jones was born in 1946. This coincidence had an impact on the naming of the band's album "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, and Jones Ltd," which has the band members' astrological signs and Jones' name added on.
By the time The Monkees recorded "Changes," Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork had already left the band. This left Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones to fulfill the remainder of the band's recording contract.
Stephen Stills auditioned for The Monkees and almost was cast in the show. However, the producers were not sure they wanted him because Stills did not look the part. That's when Stills suggested his friend Peter Tork for the role.
NBC aired "The Monkees" from Sept. 12, 1966 to March 25, 1968. The show's continued popularity is due to frequent repeats, including on Saturday mornings on CBS and ABC. While on the air, the show won two Emmy Awards.
Paul Revere & the Raiders' version of "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" was released in May 1966. Five months later, The Monkees would release their version. Over a decade later, The Sex Pistols covered the song.
"Justus," which was released in 1996, was the first album since the release of "Head" to feature all four Monkees. It also features a song called "You and I," which shares a title with a song on the album "Instant Reply."
When Davy Jones was 19, he appeared on "The Ed Sullivan" as part of the cast of "Oliver." He appeared as the Artful Dodger and sang "I'd Do Anything." The episode Jones appeared on, which aired on Feb. 9, 1964, was also The Beatles debut on American TV.
In 2001, Smash Mouth's version of "I'm a Believer" was featured in "Shrek" along with the band's original song "All Star." Smash Mouth's "I'm a Believer" reached number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Liberace appeared in the 1967 episode called "Art for Monkees' Sake." His brief appearance takes place in an art museum as part of a concert Michael Nesmith walks in on. The majority of this Monkees' episode revolves around Peter Tork's ability to copy art and the shenanigans the band gets up to.
Micky Dolenz was born George Michael Dolenz Jr. He's the son of George Dolenz, who was a leading man under contract to RKO pictures. At the time time the elder Dolenz was at RKO, Howard Hughes was in charge of the studio.
From 2007 to 2018, Peter Tork released four albums with Shoe Suede Blues. In order of their release, the albums were called "Saved By the Blues," "Cambria Hotel," "Step By Step" and "Relax Your Mind."
From 1966 to 2016, the albums are "The Monkees," "More of the Monkees," "Headquarters," "Pisces," "Aquarius," "Capricorn & Jones Ltd.," "The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees," "Head," "Instant Replay," "The Monkees Present," "Changes," "Pool It!," "Justus" and "Good Times!"
On April 14. 1969, NBC aired "33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee" opposite ABC's telecast of the 41st Academy Awards. The Monkees wouldn't return to their TV antics until the 1997 comedy special "Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees."
"Head" was intended to be a subversive film and anti-war. The film includes news footage of General Nguyen Ngoc Loan's execution of a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon. Many viewers, including Micky Dolenz, find "Head" confusing due to its lack of a real plot.
Prior to "Headquarters," Don Kirshner controlled the band. However, the band members wanted more control of their careers. Michael Nesmith was so angry at Kirshner that he punched a wall and told Kirshner that "could have been your face."
Before he joined The Monkees, Michael Nesmith used the stage name Michael Blessing. After The Monkees, Nesmith performed as a solo artist and with First National Band. He even had is own medi company called Pacific Arts Corporation.
Both Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith auditioned for Arthur Fonzarelli. Dolenz said that it came down to him and Henry Winkler. However, Dolenz was not cast because he was much taller than the "Happy Days" cast.
Before he was David Bowie, David Jones used the stage name Davy Jones. His first single, "Liza Jane," was credited to Davie Jones and the King Bees. His third one was credited to Davy Jones and the Lower Third.
At the time Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees, he was unknown in the United States. After seeing Hendrix play, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz convinced their manager to have the Jimi Hendrix Experience join their tour.
The Monkees' first four albums peaked at number one on the Billboard chart. While it is commonly quoted that, in 1967, The Monkees outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined, that is not true. Michael Nesmith made up the fact.
"The New Monkees" lasted one season in 1987. The show was intended to capitalize on "The Monkees" 1980s popularity. The show starred Larry Saltis, Jared Chandler, Marty Ross and Dino Kovas.
In the season three episode "Getting Davy Jones," Jones performs in a music studio and then takes Marcia to the prom. On the show, he sang his song "Girl." In the 1995 movie, "The Brady Bunch Movie," Jones would sing the song again, but this time with a grunge influence.
The producers of the television series that would later become "The Monkees" entertained the notion of hiring The Lovin' Spoonful for the series. However, the plan fell through due to a conflict over song publishing rights.
Michael Nesmith came up with the idea of a music video program. He created "Elephant Parts," which would win the first Grammy Award for Music Video. The idea would eventually turn into Nickelodeon's "PopClips" and eventually morph into MTV.
Pavel Chekov has a moptop haircut because "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry was looking for someone who appealed to the same demographic as Davy Jones. Walter Koenig, Chekov's actor, said that the character was successful in this feat because he received fan mail from 8- to 12-year-olds.
In 1976, Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones created Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. The song released one album, which was eponymous. The band's name is a result of being legally prohibited from using The Monkees as a name.
While Peter Tork wrote "For Pete's Sake," he did not name the song. When Tork brought the song to the studio, Michael Nesmith decided on the name. The song ended up as the second season theme song because of producer Bob Rafelson.