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Monkees maligned, was this a conspiracy?

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posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 08:08 AM
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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.




posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 08:25 AM
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With all due respect... Who cares about that...

And another point, in my opinion.. The monkees were a made up band, just a pre cursor to this American idol/x factor crap that we regularly get these days.
You cannot even compare them to a band like the beatles, who were probably the greatest band in history, that reveloutionised the music industry more than once in their career..



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 08:27 AM
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Well, they were created just for the TV show (which was mostly financed by the success of "Easy Rider", oddly enough), so you can't blame people for saying that. I used to watch the show every week when I was little. They were one of my early inspirations to play guitar (along with "Ranger Andy", if anyone remembers that one).

They had some cool songs. "Last Train to Clarksville" still gets play on the "cool oldies" stations, so that says something, I guess.

I don't think it was a conspiracy, per se, as much as people just calling it like they saw it. A lot of what popularity they had was due to the TV show and the exposure they got from it, which was, in a way, foreshadowing of what was to come with crappy bands getting popular due to cool looking videos.

Would they have gotten as popular as they did from just the quality of the music if there never was a TV show? I kinda doubt it, as they were competing with the Beatles, the Stones, and other bands of similar caliber. It's probably telling that after the show was cancelled, the Monkees didn't continue with the same success as other bands of the time.

You never know, though. They might have surprised a lot of people.



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 08:36 AM
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reply to post by MichiganSwampBuck
 


You have to understand mental illnesses first. Sociopaths make up 10-20% of the human population. Sociopaths tend to be drawn to positions of power and glory. Most sociopaths don't care about truth or fact, only what is convenient to them. Look at Polanski. A lot of the people in places of power back then(and to an extent now) where messed up in the head. I could easily see on the American side of things them getting ticked off over a group they couldn't control.

www.suite101.com...
www.ehow.com...

As for the UK, you have to understand since the 50's-60's till the current date, the British are suffering from small genitals syndrome because they lost their "Empire" and are borderline Americanphobes(When a British Magistrate drops all assault charges because he found out the victim was an American you know the Brits are messed in the head).

And you have to understand that the Beatles where the corporate sell-outs of that era. And the corporate media would go out of it's way to prop them up(Personally I think the Beatles suck).



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 08:40 AM
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How is a group of people's preference regarding musical taste a conspiracy? I watched the Monkees when I was younger, and it enjoyed it for what it was -- a TV show designed to entertain.

Based on your theory, any musician or group not deemed as good as the Beatles would also then be considered a conspiracy. The Beatles were special. So what? The Monkees were not....again, so what?

In order to prove a conspiracy of this sort, you would need to either prove that the Beatles bought their way to fame and/or someone else / some music label paid large sums of money to prevent the Monkees from becoming the next big thing. However, in the absense of evidence of either I would have to determine there is no conspiracy here. Just my opinion.



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 08:42 AM
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Originally posted by Misterlondon
With all due respect... Who cares about that...

And another point, in my opinion.. The monkees were a made up band, just a pre cursor to this American idol/x factor crap that we regularly get these days.
You cannot even compare them to a band like the beatles, who were probably the greatest band in history, that reveloutionised the music industry more than once in their career..



I suppose then that if I were a music producer and I came up with a band concept and brought together a group that became famous then it would be "made up" as opposed to some unknown musical talent doing the same? It's true that the Monkees concept was based on the Beatles movie, "A Hard Day's Night", but does that make it a crap band after they tried so hard to gain creative freedom? The Monkees had their influence on the music industry, of course there is no comparison to the Beatles, that is not the idea of this thread.



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 08:50 AM
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The Monkees made some people laugh, made a few nice songs, and got forgotten.

They enjoyed their fifteen minutes of fame.

Their fame, like that of most, was temporary.

Where's the conspiracy?



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 09:16 AM
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reply to post by Kailassa
 


Monkees gone? I heard they are planning a 2011 tour! Forgotten? You and I remember them! They certainly had more than 15 minutes of fame in a good part do to their musical integrity. These type of posts that blow-off the Monkees just show how pervasive this attitude about the group is and it all started after their 3rd album and UK tour and persists to this day. Coincidence? Maybe. This is what I'm looking into with this thread.



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 09:25 AM
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there are lots of conspiracies in the money and power worlds...
look at hendrix
it came out I understand, that he was killed by his manager
for cash.

look at lennon

on the other hand sometimes a negative campaign is the best free publicity

better monkees then some of the drivel that passes for tunage to day.
the real reason the music biz is so down.
whats that say about the music of the monkees....

they changed the payola laws
then they couldn't just bribe playlists..you would go to jail for that...
like ofshoring the manufacturing, and glass stiegel, the payola laws were changed to make payola legal
money not talent.

Thats why we still remember the Monkees.
they didn't have payola
you had to have talent to make good PR back then...

edit on 28-2-2011 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-2-2011 by Danbones because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by lpowell0627
 


I think I'm trying to point out that music producers and the media had it out for the Monkees and used bands like the Beatles as an excuse to turn the public against them. Jimi Hendrix played warm up for them, the Beatles invited them to their homes and recording sessions, the Monkees always gave respect to the other bands, so who wanted them to go away? Spreading a rumor to discredit someone is just as much of a conspiracy as paying money to the same ends.



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 09:30 AM
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reply to post by MichiganSwampBuck
 


the girls that mobbed the beatles were paid
the stones would show up at OTHER bands press releases and would coat tail for free

back in the day in colledge the instructers and musicians used to slag Jimmy Page non stop...
do I own any of that college graduates music..no
do I own Zep? yes I bought Zep

have I ever had to fire a band?
yes
they were students from that college.



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 10:20 AM
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Thanks for all the replies.

Don Kirshner was the Monkee's biggest problem, if I found some solid connection between Kirshner and the origin of the "Pre-Fab Four" and other bad publicity around that time, would this support a conspiracy?

Kirshner's motive was he was in charge of the music and resented interference by the Monkees. Kirshner was fired in early February 1967, when he violated an agreement between Colgems and the Monkees. It was May (I think) of 1967 when Headquarters was released and then later that year the media assault began.
edit on 28-2-2011 by MichiganSwampBuck because: TYPO



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 02:44 PM
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I hear you, but what happened to the Monkees was nowhere near as harsh as how The Banana Splits were attacked & maligned. I think Kirchner was CIA and that would explain alot.


I do have it on good authority that Drooper was not only a jerk but had some other problems as well...never saw him without his shades if'n you know what I mean. Thanks for sharing your flasback with us.



Seriously though: I remember the Monkees getting slammed in the way that you shared here. I was a lil' kid and I believed it. It was only years later that I realized they were musicians in their own right. Still like those Kirchner produced songs.

And what was up with their movie "Head?" Didn't Dennis Hopper and/or Jack Nicholson have something to do with that?
edit on 28-2-2011 by The GUT because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by The GUT
 


"And what was up with their movie "Head?" Didn't Dennis Hopper and/or Jack Nicholson have something to do with that?"

Yep, Hopper and Nicholson wrote it. I saw "Head" a few weeks ago and this started me thinking about this whole deal. To me, that movie seemed to try and de-construct the Monkees. It was like having their image commit suicide or like they were giving the industry the finger. I found some more stuff to post in a little while.



posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 04:01 PM
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From the information on this web site . . .

mercurie.blogspot.com...

it seems that Kirshner started the rumor by not allowing the Monkees to play live or on recordings. Here is a quote . . .

"While these rumors had not surfaced in the mainstream press, they were current as early as October 1966 (as evidenced by articles in Crawdaddy magazine). Between further isolating The Monkees from the recording of the instrumental tracks to their songs and rumors regarding The Monkees' skill as musicians, Kirshner had merely added more fuel to a fire that would soon burn out of control."

Then Michael Nesmith called his own press conference with Time and Look magazine.

"Nesmith complained, 'We're being passed off as something we're not. We all play instruments but we haven't on any of our records. Furthermore, our company doesn't want us to and won't let us.' The rumor that The Monkees did not play their own instruments on their records had existed very nearly since the show had debuted, but following Mike Nesmith's press conference it swiftly became a source of controversy in mainstream magazines and newspapers. Accusations that The Monkees were not a 'real band' began to appear with increasing frequency. For the most part, the venom which many in the press directed towards The Monkees was very much uncalled for."

So it was apparently unintentional that the rumor got started and got blown out of proportion and not a conspiracy after all. Still makes you think though.



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 07:42 AM
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I don't know why but I have been giving this subject more consideration. After sleeping on this, I still can't understand why the media harped on the Monkees about how they didn't play their musical instruments on the first couple albums.

It was no secret that on early recordings the Monkees used session musicians to play songs created by staff song writers. It was standard practice to do that and rarely was it left all up to the artist. Kirshner made this fact clear in the second album's credits (the one he released behind the band's back) and this got the attention of media sources like Crawdaddy magazine. The band tries to set the record straight with the main stream press by putting all the cards on the table. Even though they had played live shows by this time, they have to explain that they actually play instruments but admit not playing on recordings because the producers won't allow them to.They then put out a hugely successful album they actually wrote and played in. None of that seemed to matter to the media, they ignored everything and kept calling them fakes. What bothers me the most is why didn't the media take the band's side (the victim's side) and place the blame on the show producers who created the "Pre-Fab Four" knock-off product in the first place?



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 08:42 AM
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hendrix opened for them too.




i liked them.

they were made for tv,

bowie changed his name coz of davy jones.


edit on 1-3-2011 by fooks because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-3-2011 by fooks because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 08:59 AM
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One ring (band) to rule them all... Not two... no that would never work. They needed just one band, and the americans are too difficult to control, while the english will kill their own mother to avoid insulting you... who are you gonna want to use as a puppet? BTW, I`m specifically just going along with what you said since I wasn`t there, I`m just assuming its all true and happened suspiciously as you say, and using empathy to put myself in the position of the power elite at the time.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Mar, 1 2011 @ 09:34 AM
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Originally posted by doctor j and inmate c5779
One ring (band) to rule them all... Not two... no that would never work. They needed just one band, and the americans are too difficult to control, while the english will kill their own mother to avoid insulting you... who are you gonna want to use as a puppet? BTW, I`m specifically just going along with what you said since I wasn`t there, I`m just assuming its all true and happened suspiciously as you say, and using empathy to put myself in the position of the power elite at the time.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



You're saying that the U.S. music industry only needed one popular band to be the sell outs? Or just that the British music industry wanted their band to be the one? Both?



posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 08:42 AM
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After sleeping on this topic once more, I've come to the following conclusions.

Although the Monkees and music director Don Kirshner were at war and Kirshner was dropped from the project because of that, it was the fickle media that was responsible for maligning the Monkees. The media seems to love putting celebrities on a pedestal so they can knock them down. Media scandals today are no different then 40 years ago. The motivation is to generate more viewers, more readership and more money.

If a conspiracy is involved here it would be the one in which the media is a pawn used as a public diversion from the important issues. The media made the Monkees the bad guys to divert attention from the real issue of how fake the entire music/entertainment industry is and how it is used to exploit the population. The creative struggle the Monkees were in was basically about corporate exploitation. This explains why the movie "Head" seems so strange and out of character for the Monkees. It was a reactionary statement against the whole music/TV/movie industry with some social commentary in the mix.

Thanks again for the reply posts. All of them have helped me in my thoughts on this topic.



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