posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 08:08 AM
The Monkees, is an American pop rock group that was created for TV in Los Angeles in 1966. The group starred in the American television series “The
Monkees” that aired from 1966 to 1968 and in a full length movie called “Head” released in 1968. They also toured and produced albums until
1970. They reunited in the mid 1980's and have continued to tour ever since.
I grew up with the Monkee’s TV show when it was in syndication in the 1970's and was a fan of their music. I was aware of the stigma attached to
the Monkees, esp. the "Pre-Fab Four" title they were given by British newspapers during their 1967 UK tour. Everyone thought that they were just TV
actors that didn’t play a musical instrument or that were taught to be musicians after being cast for the show. Well, not true, they all played and
had musical experience before becoming the Monkees.
The Monkees complained that the producers wouldn’t allow them to play on their records, esp. after the music supervisor, Don Kirshner, moved
recording from California to New York, leaving the Monkees out until they were needed to add vocals. They worked hard to get their producers to let
them write songs and play in the recordings.
Headquarters, the third album by The Monkees was the first written and recorded by the actual members. In 1967 Headquarters reached #1 on the
Billboard 200 and went double platinum in the U.S. However, their success was short lived because The Beatles released the “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely
Hearts Club Band” album the following week.
Guitar player Mike Nesmith said that after the Headquarters album was released, "The press went into a full-scale war against us, talking about how
'The Monkees are four guys who have no credits, no credibility whatsoever and have been trying to trick us into believing they are a rock band.'
Number one, not only was this not the case; the reverse was true. Number two, for the press to report with genuine alarm that the Monkees were not a
real rock band was looney tunes! It was one of the great goofball moments of the media, but it stuck."
Even though the Monkees became friends with the Beatles during their 1967 tour the UK media tore them to shreds. Was this due to media and music
industry jealous over the success of Headquarters? The band was coming into its own, outside the influence of music producers, did the industry turn
on them after gaining creative freedom? Many people believed they hadn’t paid their dues before gaining fame, but the screaming teeny-bopper fans at
their concerts didn’t. It was certainly the same demographic all the pop rock music producers were shooting for. Take down the Monkees and all those
fans would turn their attention elsewhere. It seems that the UK press was in love with their darling Beatles and couldn’t stand to have a U.S
knock-off compete and the American music industry was pissed that they could do it on their own.