1. They Hung Out With Johnny Cash
The Monkees on The Johnny Cash Show. First off, it is a beautiful song written by Mike Nesmith. They sing it with little to no accompaniment, unlike today’s autotuned hacks. And if Johnny Cash approves enough to sing with them and have them on his show, it must be good.
2. They Are Beatle-Approved
“You know, there used to be only four of us to know what it feels like to be in this position in the world, and now there are eight of us.”
— John Lennon to Mike Nesmith - London, February 1967.
“The Monkees are still finding out who they are, and they seem to be improving as performers each time I see them. When they’ve got it all sorted out, they may be the greatest.”- George Harrison
“I think you’re the greatest comic talents since the Marx Brothers. I’ve never missed one of your programs.”- John Lennon
“I like their music a lot…and you know, their personalities. I watch their tv show and it is good.”- Paul McCartney
“It’s the combining of their sound with their jumping around and all that which makes ‘em so popular with the kids, I guess. With me, too.”- Ringo Starr
“I’m sure that the Monkees are going to live up to a lot of things many people didn’t expect.”- Paul
“They’re not really just copies of us, now, are they? The Monkees have a fine way of their own, you know?”- Ringo
“Monkees? They’ve got their own scene, and I won’t send them down for it. You try a weekly television show and see if you can manage one half as good!”- John Lennon
3. They Can Harmonize
Doesn’t even need a description.
4. The Audtion Process
It is a long video, but when watching the very first screen tests and unrehearsed auditions, it is really quite magical.
5. Jack Nicholson Wrote/Produced Their Surreal Movie
It’s a fourth-wall-shattering, stream-of-consciousness black comedy that mocks war, America, Hollywood, television, the music business and the Monkees themselves. These days, it is fondly remembered as one of the weirdest and best rock movies ever made, and a harbinger of the so-called New Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright are both fans. DJ Shadow and Saint Etienne have sampled its dialogue. According to director Bob Rafelson, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones both requested private screenings, while Thomas Pynchon attended a screening disguised as a plumber. But to the fans who had made the Monkees household names, it might as well never have existed. “The movie dropped like a ball of dark star,” says bassist Peter Tork. “The simile of a rock in the water is too mild for how badly that movie did.”—-The Guardian
7. Musical Stylings- Psychedelic
Out of each of the guys, it seemed like they all had tastes beyond Pop. Psychedelic, 1960s rock for example.
8. Musical Stylings- Showtunes
Davy Jones brought his Broadway stylings to a few of the songs he did.
9. Musical Stylings- Country Rock
Michael Nesmith is overlooked as being an innovator of country rock. Successful songwriter, (he wrote ‘Different Drum’ for Linda Ronstadt before the Monkees).
More on Mike below: http://splitsider.com/2012/04/the-comedy-innovations-of-michael-nesmith/
10. Musical Stylings- Soulful ballads
Mr. Peter Tork and his God given musical talent. Listen to this, and give me one good reason it isn’t played on ‘Classics radio’ stations all over the nation?
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