we love the monkees

🌻Open your eyes
Get up off your chair
There’s so much to do in the sunlight
Give up your secrets
Let down your hair
And sit with me here by the firelight🌻

I finally finished my art piece featuring the Monkees!💖💖💖 🌻Monkees & Sunflowers🌻
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Teenage Monkees follower Jan Swanton arrived early one day at Kensington Park where fans were camped out next to the hotel, and was among those who shared a magical morning with Micky Dolenz.

“Micky came walking from the hotel, and just walked up and said; "You’re not going to chase me, I’m just going to walk and I’m gonna go sit on the bandstand.” And he sat up there and he just started singing to us.“ - Jan

"I started singing Monkees songs, and then I said; "You sing to me.” And all these hundreds of little girls started singing their school songs.“ - Micky

"He divided us up into groups and he got us singing ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’, and we were all singing that and I was sitting there thinking; "This is what it’s about, this is what life is about. This is what I want to be about”.“ - Jan

"We all start crying, the girls are crying and I’m crying and I’m singing Monkees songs and they’re singing back, and it becomes this like, you know, beautiful, "why can’t we all live together and be happy?”“ - Micky

"And then he just walked back to the hotel. And it was the most perfect moment ever, it really was wonderful. For years afterwards we used to come up on the anniversary and put flowers on the bandstand and stand and sing 'Row Row Row Your Boat’.” - Jan

We Love The Monkees. ITV, 2012.

On This Day, 1966: The Monkees TV Show Premieres

She sat in front of the TV that Monday night, not expecting anything special. The house was quiet, the sort of empty that was meant to keep one safe but was just a reminder of being alone. Turning the knob only brought one dull grown-up program after the next.

Then it happened. She saw them, and her eyes lit up.

Here we come…walkin’ down the street…we get the funniest looks from…everyone we meet…

He sat in front of the radio, a recipient of his older brother’s kind indulgence. Everything was too loud, frightening, and too full of places he didn’t belong. The DJ’s voice was almost garbled as he talked, but the music that followed sounded loud and clear.

They sang. The boy smiled.

Take the last train to Clarksville…and I’ll meet you at the station…you can be here by 4:30…’cause I’ve made your reservation, don’t be slow…

The Monkees came in the Fall of 1966. Others like that young girl and boy would find the Monkees again, in the Falls and Summers of every decade that came after. Preteens, teenagers, girls and boys alike, have watched the TV show, listened to the band, thumbed through the glossy pages of magazines, and fallen in love with these four boys for as long as the Monkees have existed.

These four boys.

Davy Jones. Micky Dolenz. Michael Nesmith. Peter Tork.

On some level, they must have known. Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, in their infinite, hazy, chemically-fueled wisdom, must have known what they were doing when they decided to create The Monkees. They felt it; that tiny, almost imperceptible moment when Monkee magic was born, the cat went tearing out of the bag, and the worlds of both television and music were changed forever.

What they couldn’t have known was that it would last this long.

In those days, sets in Hollywood were torn down almost right after they were used. Film was carelessly regarded, reused and recorded over, countless treasures were lost in the seas of time. Fame was and is ephemeral, a visitor arriving early in the morning and disappearing by night’s end.

But the Monkees are timeless.

It is we, the fans, who keep the Monkees alive. We who as children loved the Monkees unconditionally, unquestioningly, from the deepest, most devoted place in our hearts. As adults, we watch and listen to the Monkees to remind ourselves of that innocence, to again feel that comfort and happiness that the Monkees brought us when we needed it most.

Their kindness and their love saved us. Even when they didn’t know it.

To every single person involved with the production, creation, and continuation of the Monkees, from the heady days of 1966 to the present: Thank you.

Thank you for all of the concerts, the episodes, the music, the laughter, the tablecloth ponchos, the holes punched in walls, the records made and broken, the friendships formed, the memories shared.

Thank you, Davy, Micky, Mike, and Peter, for making daydream believers out of all of us.

We love you, Davy!

It’s been four years since Davy left us, and it’s hard to know what to say on a day like today. But instead of being sad, I’m going to focus on the things I love about Davy Jones.

  • His face. Has there ever been a cuter face? No. No there hasn’t.
  • His glossy hair.
  • HIS DANCING. LOOK AT HIM GO.

Originally posted by yoursunnygirlfriend

Originally posted by yoursunnygirlfriend

  • He was a fab little actor
  • He was a proud Manchester lad!!!
  • The fact he was in Coronation Street and KEN BARLOW had this to say about him:
  • HIS SASSINESS
  • He may have been small in height but he had a bangin’ bod.
  • The love he had for his daughters <3
  • This face/picture
  • His passion for horses
  • His face in this scene:

Originally posted by rhetthammersmithhorror

  • His facial expressions in general
  • DAYDREAM BELIEVER
  • The fact that he was so willing to endulge Micky during this ‘80s performance:
  • “YOU MUST BE JOKING!”
  • The fact that it was totally believeable that a different girl would fall in love with him every week on The Monkees
  • THIS. ICONIC. SCENE. aka the GREATEST SCENE IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION

  • His fashion sense!!!
  • “We were, you know, all wacked out on California Gold, or whatever you called it at the time.”
  • HIS FACE. I know I already said this but it needs a second mention.
  • His showmanship.

Davy was a special something and I wish he could be here for the Monkees 50th anniversay. More than that, I wish he could be here for his daughters, his family, his friends, and everyone that loved him. But I know he’ll be having a groovy time up there looking down on us all!

We love you, Davy!!

60’s music to listen to while you lay down, staring at the ceiling; groovy, mellow songs

Guinnevere - Crosby, Stills, & Nash // Wear Your Love Like Heaven - Donovan // As We Go Along - The Monkees // He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother - The Hollies // Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks // A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum // My Back Pages - The Byrds // Ruby Tuesday - The Rolling Stones

listen

notes on the monkees

1. The most important thing to remember about the Monkees is that they were asked to play themselves, and their “real” identities were slowly scripted away from them. The Monkees simultaneously existed as a real touring band, a fictional TV band, and as four actors playing roles, which were outsize versions of their own personalities. It’s no accident that the show’s pilot sold only once they put the actors’ screen tests at the beginning, to convey a sense that they were somehow being more “real” than the performers in ordinary sitcoms. This realness was seen as corresponding to the “honesty” of the emerging pop-rock music and hippie culture of the period. Honesty was captured as a product through the ambiguous presentation of their personalities.

2. This scripting/stealing of their identities also made them popular, gave their identity brand equity, which they would later use as leverage against the music business pros who wanted to steer the Monkees entity to safely conventional and commercial prospects. The Monkees acting as themselves created the confusion, made the project about authenticity and identity and self-branding and integrity and so on. They were actors playing actors acting, which invited all sorts of compelling ambiguity about how the line separating reality from performance is drawn. There is no line. Art, popular or not, readily moves across it, transcends it. 

3. The Monkees were thus trapped in an absurdist nightmare where the characters they played became more real then the people they were outside the show. The root of their authenticity got irreversibly flipped, and what was reflected in the program became more real than the behind-the-scenes reality of their lives. There was no way to keep the mirrors from pointing at each other. This anticipates the condition of identity construction in social media. You play yourself into existence and obliterate whatever allowed you to conceive of playing yourself that way in the first place. There is no more outside of the role. You can’t tell how well you are playing yourself, but you know it’s all fake all the same.

4. The Monkees were cast in part because their real-life identities seemed to lend credibility to the show’s premise of a vaguely countercultural band struggling to get by in square, straight society. The show was marketing cool, marketing a spirit of resistance even as it was exploiting it, taming it, selling it out. The Monkees were an early example of the phenomenon Thomas Frank chronicles in The Conquest of Cool, of culture-industry players being in on the counterculture and excavating its marketing potential. The illusion of the Monkees being somehow outside the entertainment machine was integral to the aura of novelty the show banked on — what was novel was the “hip insider” attitude, the genial cynicism of selling out without compromising integrity, since you are selling out with your own obscure agenda in mind, in the same vein as pop art. “Popularity” is treated as the medium rather than the corrupting, corrosive aim, and it can be toyed with in pseudo-critical, provocative ways, all while remaining accessible to the “straights” who want vicarious enjoyment of the youth-culture lifestyle.

5. The question of complicity is inescapable in the show and the Monkees phenomenon. It’s frequently taken up as a theme of episodes that want to critique the artificiality of the entertainment business while trading in it. It’s entertainment that interrogates the presuppositions of entertainment,the mechanisms that secure attention, the potential for “brainwashing” and spreading “irrational” fads. There is nothing mysterious about the show’s premise (actors pretending to be a band) but the show makes obvious, conscious, the sorts of suspensions of disbelief that vicarious participation requires, prompting a kind of retroactive mythologizing as defense mechanism. Viewers need to feel betrayed by the Monkees (how dare they pretend to be real!) to protect the efficacy of vicariousness. 

6. The Monkees could be regarded as regaining “creative control” of their music career through an organized labor action: a threatened work refusal, a strike. They were in the peculiar position of refusing to be themselves unless they could be themselves in a new way they believed constituted their suppressed, real selves. The success of their fake music career gave them the power to develop a real music career, because the music company pursued the strategy of selling the Monkees-branded music as an “authentic” expression of the emerging youth consumer counterculture, with the characters on the show as integral aspects of the listening experience, enhancing it.  (The music company could have instead foregrounded the songwriters and billed it as a soundtrack to the show rather than a real product of the band magically emanating from the fictional universe of the show.)

7. The Monkees thus become labor heroes of a peculiar sort, fighting against a particular kind of deskilling — against management control over the means and ways of their identity production, of their represented creativity. Ownership of the work process ends up being dramatized as entertainment in the plots of the show and in the Head movie, even as the fight was “real.” Leverage in this fight came collectively — none of the Monkess had leverage as individual performers but only as the group; they were interpellated as a collective subject. The collective developed brand power of its own that could not be reduced to the apparatus structuring it, to the show constituting their identity. They transcended their prescribed function in the Monkees machine Are there lessons here for all of us personal brands in the “social factory”? Is there a way to bend social media into constituting us as collective, collaborative subjects rather than atomized ones?

8. What would the Monkees have tried to seize control of if their music career wasn’t there as a possibility? It was the opening that leaked into the real — the myth and commercial value of pop music authenticity. The success of the “inauthentic” music created a contradiction that allowed the actors who didn’t play it to demand a music career commensurate to the success their doppelgängers were supposed to have.

9. The Monkees start from the position of being sold out and then claw back their integrity. On the show, they serve as role models for how to cheerfully inhabit the demographic you come to be aware you are slotted in, that  your every action will help better define rather than disrupt. It models the zaniness that remains possible, or perhaps is even generated by the recognition that identity is not unique but contained within a marketing profile, a segment.

10. The Monkees were pioneers in demonstrating the quasi-artistic usefulness of selling out as a medium, of orchestrating the commercial sphere itself into a kind of critique of itself. They are pop artists without the ambivalent pretensions; their pretensions, as they emerge, are incorporated into the image of them as “real” pretenders. Their pretensions can’t even be genuine, critical.

11. The Monkees were perhaps the first postauthentic band, able to operate at frontier of creativity because they were already beyond selling out and needn’t be determined by that fear, by the limitations imposed by the performance of ersatz integrity. They were at once “themselves” and “fake”; they were genuine to the degree they embraced the fakeness of their understood and promulgated personas. This is now becoming a general condition, that we seem more “real” when we acknowledge and embrace our constructedness, our total alienation from spontaneous identity. Our having sold out must be foregrounded to earn any trust from those we hope to convince of our potential genuineness.

12. “Ditty Diego—War Chant” from Head lays out what is presumably the band’s autocritique, a point by point mockery of the identity laid out in the show’s theme song.

Hey, hey, we are the Monkees / You know we love to please
A manufactured image / With no philosophies

We hope you like our story / Although there isn’t one
That is to say, there’s many / That way there is more fun…

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 …

For those who look for meanings
In form as they do fact
We might tell you one thing
But we’d only take it back

Not back like in a box, / 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

It’s a template for an analysis of the Monkees as performance art project, as a proto-LaBoeufian attempt to abnegate all integrity as a claim to ultimate integrity. It’s an enactment of a sort of fatal strategy, a search for freedom through control and contingency, through “rejoicing in never being free” because every move will appear scripted, whether it actually is or not. But complicating this interpretation is the fact that this song itself was script; the Monkees themselves didn’t write it, it was Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson’s take on the Monkees, their effort to use the Monkees as a means to build countercultural credibility, construct a counterweight to the square East Coast pop entertainment establishment that the music publishers represented. The Monkees became pawns in a power struggle between the film and TV people and the music people, and then were badgered into committing career suicide (in Head, literally in the film itself, and its uncommerciality) to help launch Rafelson and Nicholson’s on surer sophisticated footing.

13. The Monkees was a show about work and nonwork. (The original call for actors stated that candidates “must have the courage to work.”)  It intentionally and explicitly dramatized improvisatory ways to try to survive, Virnoesque virtuosity of a sort. The show built the characters and plots in the editing room ex post facto after shooting lots of footage, much as contemporary reality TV show is put together now. (In a sense this is where the actors identities were stolen as their value as brands was built — much in the way it happens to reality TV participants today, who sometimes complain about being radically misrepresented by the shows’ editing.) The producers tried to “break rules” in the ways the cast, wrote, and shot the show (appropriating French New Wave techniques, casting nonactors, blurring fiction and nonfiction, shooting with loose scripts, cutting and recutting the same footage into the running time, embedding non-narrative “romps,” proto-music-videos, abrupt fantasy sequences, etc.), and show how rule breaking could be domesticated as innovation, as entertainment.

14. The show is structured as an ongoing audition, with the band trying to get gigs while remaining ambivalent about work: A sign reading “Money is the Root of All Evil” is the first thing one sees on the wall of their fictional crash pad. Auditioning is represented as entertainment, not its precursor. The auditioning never ends, just like for precarious workers or, if you prefer, free agents in the neoliberal gig economy.

15. The Monkees offered a congenial fantasy about defiance and transgression; that it would be sweet and fun when all was said and done — not to be feared but to be watched with delight and laughed at. The ethos of the counterculture — do your own thing — was ironically illustrated by people whose real identities had become scripted, and was shown to be ultimately harmless. Defiance was mere whimsey. 

We love every single thing about this picture of Mike; the way the sun is shining, the way he’s standing, the way he’s slightly squinting his eyes, and of course getting to see that wonderful side-profile of his (not to mention the fact he looks seriously good in that white t-shirt!). There’s something very real and natural about this photo, and that is why we love it so much.

The Monkees and Kurt Cobain

I always thought it was cool that Kurt Cobain was a Monkees fan. Here are a few examples showing how he was influenced by them throughout his life.

1. Kurt’s smashed guitar from 1988 that featured the Monkees logo.

2. Kurt (age two) counting to ten & singing The Monkees’ theme song.

3. In 1988, Kurt made a mixtape called “Montage of Heck” and put The Monkees song “The Day We Fall In Love” on there.

4. Here’s little blurb about how his Aunt Mary influenced his musical taste at a young age:

The Monkees in London

Here is a sort of masterpost type thing of the Monkees’ time in London in June/July 1967. This was the only significant time all four Monkees spent in the UK during their heyday, and obviously being from the UK and spending a lot of time seeing bands in London this stuff interests me.

The boys arrived in London on the 28th of June, coming just across the water from Paris. The very next day they held their first ever group press conference at the Royal Garden Hotel, which is overlooking Kensington Gardens (which is basically attached to Hyde Park).

The Royal Garden Hotel/Press Conference:

By coincidence, last summer I was in Kensington on the anniversary of the Monkees stay there. Here’s a post I made at the time, showing the hotel as it was in 1967 compared to how it is today.

The Shows:

The Monkees played five shows at Wembley Arena (known until the late 70s as ‘Empire Pool’) over the next three days: one on Friday 30th, and two shows each on the Saturday and Sunday, to crowds of 10,000 at each show. Lulu was the support act, and the poor girl apparently copped some flack from the audience as she was rumoured to be involved with Davy at the time.

Here is what Lulu thought of each of the boys, transcribed by me from Flip magazine, February 1968:

“To be quite honest I had a pre-conceived notion that Davy might be a bit big-time and sure of himself because of his professional attitude. I was wrong. When I got talking to him at Wembley I soon realized that he is overwhelmed by it all and just a little bewildered and before he went out to face the audience on the second night with all his relations down from Manchester to see him, he was as nervous as a kitten. He introduced me to his sister on that evening and we spent some time talking together about him. The family is immensely proud of him and the way he helps his father. He obviously has a very deep attachment to his family.”

Peter can get incredibly wound up about a subject, and suddenly right in the middle of our shopping spree [with Micky Dolenz and Samantha Juste] he got involved in an argument with Micky about fate and whether our lives are all mapped out for us. Fortunately, it was not too serious and a clash of opinions like this is soon over.”

“Peter is one of those people who have a natural gift for helping keep the conversation going–Mike, for example, does not and if he is in an untalkative mood you won’t shift him. Mike is a lot more deep than you realise–there’s a little piece of himself which he is keeping to himself and no one is going to get a look at. He was always polite and very much the Southern gentleman and he has a wicked dry sense of humour, but you don’t very often get past the door marked 'Private’ in his mind.”

Micky is really lovely. He’s a marvellous ham at times and just clowns around the whole day. To watch him handle the press is a treat–he turns an embarrassing question with a good humoured crack and immediately gets the reporters on his side.”

A few fun facts about the shows:

  • Mike and Micky wore black armbands in support of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger who’d recently been busted for drugs.
  • Mick Jagger’s face was also shown on the big screen while Davy performed “I Wanna Be Free”
  • According to a review by NME of the final show, Keith Moon was in attendance and, before the show started, stood up and shouted “we want The Who!”

Party with the Beatles / Micky in Hyde Park:

On the 3rd of July, the day after the Monkees completed their Wembley shows, Brian Epstien threw a huge party for the Monkees at the Speakeasy Club in London. This was also the party that Micky and Peter introduced the Beatles and Eric Clapton to STP.

Info courtesty of @psychojello. Full post HERE:

Peter remembers: “Micky and I are meeting the Beatles at a London club called the Speakeasy. And in come George and John singing to the tune of “Hare Krishna” “Micky Dolenz, Micky Dolenz, Dolenz, Dolenz, Micky, Micky.” And Paul is with Jane Asher, and the other guys didn’t bring anybody, and I had just done some STP which was an LSD-type psychedelic drug. I mentioned it to John and he said, “We heard that’s no good. Mama Cass told us not to take it.” But he said, “Okay”. So I went back to the hotel and I got some. Popped one down his throat. I guess he was alright because he seemed to survive. I don’t think I’m responsible for “Strawberry Fields” though.“

Here’s who attended: The Monkees (minus Davy, who was out of town to visit his family) and the Beatles (but not Ringo because Maureen was having a baby), Pattie Harrison, Jane Asher, Cynthia Lennon, Samantha Juste, Phyllis Nesmith, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Eric Clapton, The Who, Procul Harum, Mickie Most, Frank Allen of The Searchers, Manfred Mann, Barry Miles, Jeff Beck and others.

Around 3:30am, George Harrison started a jam session with his ukulele, with Peter Tork playing banjo and Keith Moon playing drums on a table. Not too shabby! The party ended around 6am.

The following morning, after the party, Micky went wandering through Hyde Park and ended up singing to a bunch of fans.

“Who is the most incredible, the most unpredictable pop star of ‘em all? Well at the risk of offending supporters of other members of the Monkees, it’s Micky Dolenz who currently holds the title. And it’s all because he put on the most incredible, most unpredictable pop performance of all time when the boys were in London.”

I originally made a post like this last year, but I decided to update it. I’ve removed/changed some broken links and added a few more must-sees.

Obviously there are tons more interviews and Monkee-related stuff out there (particularly from the 80s-present), but these are some of my favourites!

Feel free to let me know of anything I’ve missed from the list!

Documentaries:

Hey Hey We’re The Monkees, 1997

Behind The Music, 1998 (?)

We Love The Monkees, 2012

Interviews:

The Monkees on KDWB-AM, 1967.
Not an interview as such, but here is audio of when the boys took over a radio station on their summer tour. (courtesy of psychojello​ )

Pop Chronicals, 1967 [audio only]
Great interview with Mike, who talks (among other things) about the hurt of not being respected.

The Hy Lit Show, 1968
Promoting ‘Head’.

‘Walking in New York’, 1969
Brief interview with Micky and Davy.

Australian Interview with Davy Jones, 1971(?)
Davy at his home with Talia.

Jane Pauley Interview, 1986
Noteable for Micky literally falling to the floor in laughter after being asked about the 'New Monkees’.

Mike and Micky 'After The Greek’, 1986
Micky looking at Mike adoringly and Mike giving Micky a big kiss on the cheek. Need I say more?

Mini Peter Tork Documentary, 2015
A short but sweet documentary about Peter, by his son Ivan.

Gilbert Gottfried interview with Mike Nesmith, 2015
A candid, hour-long chat with Mike

Loose Women, 2015
Micky and Peter interviewed.

Press and News Footage:

UK Newsreel Footage / Press Conference, 1967

The Monkees arrive in the UK/Press Conference footage, (in colour) 1967

The Monkees UK Press Conference, 1967

WKBW Radio, 1967

Australian Newsreel Footage / Press Conference, 1968

Australian Press Conference, 1968 [audio only]
Great interview which also includes a hysterical fan gate-crashing the press conference!!

Live footage with Monkee Talk dubbed over, 1968

Performances:

Salt Lake City Concert, 1968
Silent behind the scenes footage and outtakes of The Monkees concert for 'Head’.

The Johnny Cash Show, 1969
Nine Times Blue.

The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour, 1969
Medley (Last Train To Clarksville, I’m a Believer, Salesman) and 'Teardrop City’. Especially worth watching for the hilariously random sketch!

Christmas Medley, 1986
Monkees with extra cheese but seriously WORTH IT. Also features some of the Monkees kids. But can you spot Mike..?

Through The Looking Glass, 1989.
Micky in drag for no apparent reason…

Random:

Davy Jones as the Artful Dodger, 1964.
Davy performing I’d Do Anything with the cast of Oliver! on The Ed Sullivan Show the same night as the Beatles made their US debut.

Monkees Screen Tests, 1965.
All the Monkees auditions and screen tests for the show.

Monkees Romp - Behind The Scenes, 1967.
Rare silent footage of the Monkees on the beach, set to 'Saturday’s Child’. Very cute!

The Emmy Awards, 1967.
Footage of The Monkees scooping two awards. The boys themselves don’t collect the awards, but worth watching for their lovely reactions!

Happening '69, 1969
The Monkees appear now and then throughout the whole show, but mainly from 20 minutes in. Listen out for what’s said about Piscean men and keep an eye on Micky’s reaction…

Laugh In, 1969
Clips from when the Monkees appeared on the show in October '69.

'Junkyard Movie’, 1969 (?)
Silent footage of Micky messing around a junkyard which includes him having a wee. The description says it’s from 1967 but I think it’s from later than that, maybe 1969 or even 1970.

Monkees Commercials, 1966-1970
Compliation of all The Monkees commercials.

The No No Song, 1975
Ringo Star performing the “No No Song’ on Hoyt Axton’s “Boogie Woogie, Gospel, Rock and Roll Show”, which features Micky drunk dancing and singing along.

Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart TV Special, 1976. Part One / Part Two
Features Micky’s infamous glam-rock performance of 'Steppin’ Stone’.

The Ben Stiller Show, 1992
Spoof of The Monkees called 'The Grungies’ (co-written by Judd Apatow!). Cameo appearance by Micky.

'Peter and Davy Come to Blows’, 2009
Davy and Peter talk about the bust-ups between the boys back in the day, including the famous fight between the pair.

The Monkees induction into the Pop Music Hall of Fame, 2014.
At the 2014 Monkees Convention.

So, the screencap seen here is of a tweet that was recently brought to NP’s attention, written by Annabel Jones (who also happens to be Davy’s youngest daughter). This tweet manages to achieve that rare combination of hilarious and depressing, and we’re going to go ahead and address both of these.

Now, one thing we’ve said many times before is that Davy and the Monkees overall have very specific implications for some people. That is, many fans watched the TV show and became Monkees fans as children, or young teenagers, and as a result, an emotional attachment to Davy/the Monkees was formed at that delicate time in people’s lives. When Davy passed, a lot of people remembered and clung to the feelings they had when they first watched The Monkees as a means of coping with the loss and their grief. That, in and of itself, is not a bad thing–but when it goes too far, it becomes a problem.

When a fan’s view of Davy or the Monkees is something they start forcing onto others, that’s a problem. And when it’s something that influences and directs how they see/interact with the Monkees’ own family members…that’s a BIG damn problem.

No woman is required to act a certain way in accordance with someone else’s idea of what is correct, and no Monkee family member–be it one of their children, a current or former spouse, whoever–is required to behave a certain way because of their being related to a Monkee. This is to say nothing of the fact that the Monkees themselves were/are not saints, and if one is going to be tolerant of the Monkees’ own considerable foibles, it seems a tad hypocritical not to extend the same courtesy to their kids.

What do we mean by that? Well… 1) Claiming that one is a huge fan of the Monkees, or a specific Monkee, and then having no problem turning around and bashing said Monkee’s family members–or somehow thinking that this will endear a person to said favorite Monkee–really does not make much sense. We’ve seen this with a certain user on Youtube who claims to be a huge Nez fan, and yet leaves comments on videos bashing Christian Nesmith’s appearance. Another example is people who’ve claimed to be huge Micky fans and yet made numerous comments trashing his former wife Samantha Juste–with whom he remained friendly and on excellent terms right up until her passing last year.

And 2) While believing Davy Jones to be a saint is not the wisest idea by itself, to shame or attack Annabel because of that belief is downright uncalled for and nasty. The thing is, deifying and indemnifying Davy from any wrongdoing not only erases his humanity…it’s also akin to telling Annabel that her perception and memory of her own father is not valid. Annabel is not a Monkees fan–she is a young woman who had a relationship with her father that is not the relationship that millions of Davy’s fans the world over had with him. Unfortunately, far too many people don’t realize the difference.

As for the other part of the tweet…well, we at NP have NO trouble believing that Davy Jones loved sluts. But Davy Jones being a lover of sluts and being a good person are not things that are mutually exclusive. Very much in the same way that Micky Dolenz *being* a slut in the ‘60s and being a good person are also not mutually exclusive. So if we as Monkees fans are going to love and adore the guys despite their own less-than-innocent actions–and let’s face it, in the '60s, Micky made the Marquis de Sade look Amish–the same should apply to their offspring.

At the very least, it’s about respect…and if you attack or shame someone related to the Monkees in the name of loving a particular Monkee, you are absolutely not respecting that Monkee, no matter how good your intentions might have been.

Thank you for reading, folks, and we now return to your regularly scheduled Naked Persimmon-ing!

Random Monkees Videos - Masterpost

Here are some random Monkees videos, from documentaries to interviews to performances and other bits and pieces. If you’re new to the fandom, or don’t spend a lot of time watching Monkees-related stuff, then this post is for you!

There are probably more I am missing, but this is all for now. People feel free to reblog and add your own Monkee must-sees!

Documentaries:

Hey Hey We’re The Monkees, 1997

Hey Hey We’re The Monkees - Deleted Scenes, 1997

Behind The Music, 1998 (?)

We Love The Monkees, 2012

Interviews:

Pop Chronicals, 1967 [audio only]
Great interview with Mike, who talks (among other things) about the hurt of not being respected.

The Hy Lit Show, 1968
Promoting ‘Head’.

'Walking in New York’, 1969
Brief interview with Micky and Davy (who both look seriously FINE).

Australian Interview with Davy Jones, 1971(?)
Davy at his home with Talia.

Jane Pauley Interview, 1986
Noteable for Micky literally falling to the floor in laughter after being asked about the 'New Monkees’.

Mike and Micky 'After The Greek’, 1986
Micky looking at Mike adoringly and Mike giving Micky a big kiss on the cheek. Need I say more?

Press and News Footage:

UK Newsreel Footage / Press Conference, 1967

WKBW Radio, 1967

Australian Newsreel Footage / Press Conference, 1968

Australian Press Conference, 1968 [audio only]
Great interview which also includes a hysterical fan gate-crashing the press conference!!

Live footage with Monkee Talk dubbed over, 1968

NBC Interview, 1968

Performances:

Salt Lake City Concert, 1968
Silent behind the scenes footage and outtakes of The Monkees concert for 'Head’.

The Johnny Cash Show, 1969
Last Train To Clarksville and Nine Times Blue

The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour, 1969
Medley (Last Train To Clarksville, I’m a Believer, Salesman) and 'Teardrop City’. Especially worth watching for the hilariously random sketch!

Christmas Medley, 1986
Monkees with extra cheese but seriously WORTH IT. Also features some of the Monkees kids. But can you spot Mike..?

Random:

Monkees Screen Tests, 1965.
All the Monkees auditions and screen tests for the show.

Monkees Romp - Behind The Scenes, 1967.
Rare silent footage of the Monkees on the beach, set to 'Saturday’s Child’. Very cute!

The Emmy Awards, 1967.
Footage of The Monkees scooping two awards. The boys themselves don’t collect the awards, but worth watching for their lovely reactions!

Happening '69, 1969
The Monkees appear now and then throughout the whole show, but mainly from 20 minutes in. Listen out for what’s said about Piscean men and keep an eye on Micky’s reaction…

'Junkyard Movie’, 1969 (?)
Silent footage of Micky messing around a junkyard which includes him having a wee. The description says it’s from 1967 but I think it’s from later than that, maybe 1969 or even 1970.

Monkees Commercials, 1966-1970
Compliation of all The Monkees commercials.

The No No Song, 1975
Ringo Star performing the “No No Song’ on Hoyt Axton’s "Boogie Woogie, Gospel, Rock and Roll Show”, which features Micky drunk dancing and singing along.

The Ben Stiller Show, 1992
Spoof of The Monkees called 'The Grungies’ (co-written by Judd Apatow!). Cameo appearance by Micky.

'Peter and Davy Come to Blows’, 2009
Davy and Peter talk about the bust-ups between the boys back in the day, including the famous fight between the pair.

The Monkees: 50 Years Later

She sat in front of the TV that Monday night, not expecting anything special. The house was quiet, the sort of empty that was meant to keep one safe but was just a reminder of being alone. Turning the knob only brought one dull grown-up program after the next. 

Then it happened. She saw them, and her eyes lit up.

Here we come…walkin’ down the street…we get the funniest looks from…everyone we meet…

He sat in front of the radio, a recipient of his older brother’s kind indulgence. Everything was too loud, frightening, and too full of places he didn’t belong. The DJ’s voice was almost garbled as he talked, but the music that followed sounded loud and clear. 

They sang. The boy smiled.

Take the last train to Clarksville…and I’ll meet you at the station…you can be here by 4:30…’cause I’ve made your reservation, don’t be slow…

The Monkees came in the Fall of 1966. Others like that young girl and boy would find the Monkees again, in the Falls and Summers of every decade that came after. Preteens, teenagers, girls and boys alike, have watched the TV show, listened to the band, thumbed through the glossy pages of magazines, and fallen in love with these four boys for as long as the Monkees have existed.

These four boys. 

Davy Jones. Micky Dolenz. Michael Nesmith. Peter Tork.

On some level, they must have known. Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, in their infinite, hazy, chemically-fueled wisdom, must have known what they were doing when they decided to create The Monkees. They felt it; that tiny, almost imperceptible moment when Monkee magic was born, the cat went tearing out of the bag, and the worlds of both television and music were changed forever.

What they couldn’t have known was that it would last this long. 

In those days, sets in Hollywood were torn down almost right after they were used. Film was carelessly regarded, reused and recorded over, countless treasures were lost in the seas of time. Fame was and is ephemeral, a visitor arriving early in the morning and disappearing by night’s end.

But the Monkees are timeless.

It is we, the fans, who keep the Monkees alive. We who as children loved the Monkees unconditionally, unquestioningly, from the deepest, most devoted place in our hearts. As adults, we watch and listen to the Monkees to remind ourselves of that innocence, to again feel that comfort and happiness that the Monkees brought us when we needed it most.

Their kindness and their love saved us. Even when they didn’t know it.

To every single person involved with the production, creation, and continuation of the Monkees, from the heady days of 1966 to the present: Thank you. 

Thank you for all of the concerts, the episodes, the music, the laughter, the tablecloth ponchos, the holes punched in walls, the records made and broken, the friendships formed, the memories shared.

Thank you, Davy, Micky, Mike, and Peter, for making daydream believers out of all of us.  

I was thinking...

With the anniversary of Davy Jones’ death next week, sometimes I think I don’t have as much right to grieve for Davy as many others, for the simple reason that when Davy passed away, I didn’t regard myself as a fan of the Monkees. Yeah, I liked the songs that I knew - the songs that everybody knows - but I wasn’t a fan. What little I knew about them was from my mum briefly telling me about their show and showing me the back of her Monkees records.

Davy had a face that I knew and a name that I recognised. My biggest exposure to him (that I can recall) came just a day or two before he died. BBC2 aired a documentary called I’m In A Boyband!. It’s basically my favourite documentary ever and you should check it out because if you love boybands as much as I do then it’ll be right up your street!! But ANYWAY. This documentary featured chats with boybanders of past and present, from One Direction to Boyzone to Five to the Jackson Five etc. etc., and it also featured Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz. I remember thinking Davy was funny and sassy and I really liked him. I remember being confused - and also surprised - that he was British, because “I thought the Monkees were American??”. But I liked him a lot and thought he was a joker. I remember after that show aired, my sister said she wanted to get The Monkees show on DVD.

So Davy passed away just a couple of days after this. I remember reading it online and was like “no way!”. I remember telling my mum (or my sister might’ve actually?) and my mum was actually really upset. Even my dad was like “oh no, really?”. My mum was only 5 (almost 6) when The Monkees first aired here but I believe she watched re-runs when she was a little older. She had often spoken about how much she loved them (Peter had always been her favourite) when she was a child/young teen, so she was naturally crushed when she learnt that one of them had passed away.

I was sad to hear that Davy had died (especially when I heard about him leaving behind four daughters, one of which is only a year older than me), but I didn’t feel a personal sense of loss because at that point he didn’t play a significant role in my life. I had no idea that less than six months later I would be obsessed with the Monkees. I had no clue at all!

Davy’s death certainly piqued my interest in the band - but only a little. My sister did try to find the show on DVD, but it was always way too expensive on Amazon. I don’t know if the price went up after Davy died or what. But it was July or August when ITV aired a programme called We Love The Monkees that really started my journey into Monkeedom. This documenary was made part in memory of Davy, and I remember watching it with my family. I really liked it and was really intrigued by a band that was also a TV show. After this, my mum had a gander on ebay and found both seasons of The Monkees for a reasonable price. We sat down to watch the first few episodes together and the rest, as they say, WAS HISTORY.

While my mum brought these DVDs as a piece of nostalgia and to show me and my sister what she was into when she was a kidda, she had no idea that we would both fall in love just as hard - maybe even harder! - than she did like 40-odd years before. In the end it was me and my sister who sat up late watching episode after episode *every single night*. And the episodes we loved most we’d watch again before we moved onto the next one because we’re massive nerds, OBVS.

That’s my story of how I got into the Monkees. Everything else sort of followed on from there. But going back to Davy… Everything I learnt about the band, I learnt after Davy had gone. Watching all the documentaries, reading all the books, trawling through hundreds of pages of #the monkees tag picking up any piece of information I could find, listening to all the music I could get my hands on - I didn’t have to deal with the pain of knowing him and loving him and losing him. I have no idea if this is a good thing or not. On the one hand, it would’ve been nice to have been a hardcore fan while all the guys were still with us. It would’ve been nice to dream that some day I’d get to see them all live together (as unlikely as they may have been!). But on the otherhand, I’m glad I didn’t have to hear that he’d gone being the fan that I am today. I’m one of these people that do feel the deaths of ‘celebrities’ quite deeply. Some people find that stupid, but fuck you. I have a heart, SOZ.

So that brings me back to the start of this post; do I have a right to grieve for Davy when I hardly “knew” him when he was alive? I can’t go back and relive my despair and heartache of learning of his loss. I remember it, but it wasn’t that kick in the stomach that it would’ve been had it happened now. I learnt about and grew to love Davy when he was already gone. Does that mean I don’t have as much right to be sad as the people who were fans before he died that he isn’t here anymore?

I’ll always be able to relate to Davy on a different level than I can relate to the other Monkees because A) BRITISH, and B) bitchy (lmao). I always somehow managed to find his bitchiness and bitterness about the other guys more funny than upsetting, but that’s not to say I didn’t find some of the comments he made about the guys to be totally uncalled for and unecessary. Sometimes he crossed the line. There was a definite bitterness within Davy, a cattiness, and sometimes I wonder why that was. I try not to think about it too much because it makes me sad. But you could tell that underneath that was a really nice, good-hearted bloke. And lets be honest, everyone can be - and is - a bitch, it’s just Davy sometimes didn’t filter it. In a way you have to admire his honesty..!

I wish there could’ve been one last hurrah. I wish there could’ve been a final tour with all four of them getting along and having fun. Even if I wasn’t there to see it, or a fan at the time to see it, to know that it had happened would’ve been more than enough for me. Micky spoke about how they were planning to tour - all of them - before Davy died. I’d like to believe this was true, but I’m honestly not so sure. I hope it’s true. The fact that Mike came back so soon after Davy passed suggests maybe it really *was* true. To think that they were at least all talking, communicating, making plans…that’s a really nice thought. It’s heartbreaking that those potential plans didn’t come to light, but to know that they were there in the first place is really comforting. I’ve always been someone who just wants people to get along. When bands I’ve loved have broken up in the past, to me it’s been more of “I hope they’re still best friends/haven’t fallen out.” as opposed to “OH NO I won’t get to see them live again!”. I really hope that when Davy passed away, some of that bitterness from before (especially his bitterness towards Mike) had lifted.

I know things have been said about Davy’s young wife, but I really don’t know a great deal about that - and to be honest, from the little bits and pieces I have heard - I don’t think I want to. What I do know is that he had four daughters who adored him, and he adored them too, and that’s something that can never, ever go away.

Davy was short. Davy didn’t have the best singing voice in the world. Davy didn’t really play any instruments in the Monkees (not consistantly, anyway). Davy was bitchy. But Davy had so much more than all of those things. He had charm. He had charisma. He had the cutest face the world of pop has ever seen. He was the orginal boyband heart-throb. He had a heart of gold. He was generous and kind. He was a great actor. He was funny as hell, both as the character of Davy and the real Davy. He had grade-A dance moves that I’m jealous of. He was a performer. An entertainer. He was the voice of Daydream Believer, one of the most joyful and feel-good pop jams of all time. He was a wonderful father. He loved his horses. You can tell that he was a top bloke. And you can also tell that, despite everything, he loved the Monkees. The Monkees as a whole, and the Monkees as individuals - Micky, Peter and Mike.

I still have no idea if I have much right to grieve for Davy Jones. But what I do know is that I wish he was still here.