Friday, March 16, 2012

More of the Monkees

As times get tougher, I find myself selling back pieces of my life ... and with so much recent outpouring of love and affection for all things Monkees, I've decided to part with my personal Monkees picture sleeve collection.  (Trust me, this is a tough and painful decision ... but there are some REAL hard-to-find rarities here ... and these are in exceptionally good condition.  If this goes well, I may follow suit with other artist collections in the months to come ... as necessary ... so stay tuned!)  kk
Last Train To Clarksville (Colgems 1001)
The first Monkees single was actually released with TWO different Picture Sleeves ...
A full-color, slick paper stock version (with a strip along the bottom encouraging fans to "Write to The Monkees Fan Club") ... and a "paper" version with a sepia-tone photo of the band.  We've got 'em both.  VG+ condition on each (with a little bit of ringwear showing on the color version)
I'm A Believer  (Colgems 1002)  VG++
Pleasant Valley Sunday / Words  (Colgems 1007)  VG+  (The sleeve itself is in great shape ... but there's a small staple hole in one corner and a not-so-completely removed sticker in the other, on top of the Colgems logo)
Daydream Believer (Colgems 1012)  stills from "The Rainbow Room" that we told you about a week or two ago.  VG+
D.W. Washburn  (Colgems 1023)  A beautiful sleeve ... and damn near mint
The Porpoise Song  (Colgems 1031)  A tough sleeve to find in good condition ... because of the solid black background, nearly every one I've ever seen has had a significant amount of ringwear ... this one has NONE but does have a bit of a "wave" to it ... still a solid VG+
Tear Drop City  (Colgems 5000)  Another tough one to find, this one's a very strong VG++ / M-
Someday Man  (Colgems 5004)  Probably the weakest in the bunch ... quite a bit of ringwear and record impression on both sides)  I'd have to call this one VG (although the sleeve itself is in pretty good shape)
Good Clean Fun  (Colgems 5005) VG+ with a couple of very small scuffs and tears on one side ... but another very hard one to find.
Oh My My  (Colgems 5011)  Solid VG++ / M-  (The Monkees were down to two at this point ... but this sleeve features GREAT shots of Micky and Davy on the full color cover ... perhaps their rarest sleeve.)  
The running joke in the industry at the time ... as the group kept getting smaller and smaller ... was that whoever was left would eventually release a record as "The Monkee"!!!
That Was Then, This Is Now  (Arista 9505)  Solid VG++
Daydream Believer  (Arista 9532)  '80's reissue (with original artwork reproduced on one side ... and a promo for their "Then And Now / Best Of" album on the other.  Flipside of this single was "Randy Scouse Git" from "Headquarters".   Nice sleeve ... VG++ / M-
Every Step Of The Way  (Rhino 74410)  Hard-Cover sleeve, M-
Heart And Soul  (Rhino 74408)  Another cool sleeve that's a bit hard to find, M-
(Records included on the last two)
The Monkees EP  (Colgems 101) Hard-Cover EP sleeve from their first LP ... includes the rare 33 1/3" single featuring Theme from The Monkees / I Wanna Be Free / Take A Giant Step and three others ... I can't tell you what the three others are without playing it because THIS record has the Side 1 label affixed to BOTH sides!!!  lol  Still quite a rarity.  The sleeve is a solid VG++ ... the record itself looks to be a VG to VG+
More Of The Monkees EP  (Colgems 102)  Hard Cover EP sleeve from their second LP ... again, WITH the record featuring I'm A Believer / Mary Mary / When Love Comes Knocking At Your Door / Steppin' Stone / The Kind Of Girl I Could Love / She.  Sleeve is VG++ / M-; record looks to be VG+ ... and this one even comes with jukebox strips!!!
Cereal Box Record (#3), featuring Papa Gene's Blues.  Cardboard record from a series of 4 releases in this edition.
Cereal Box Record (#4) featuring Valleri.  Cardboard record from a series of 4 releases, but of an entirely different series.
Christmas Is My Time Of Year  (Record and Picture Sleeve)  Released in 1986 as "We Three Monkees", this is the sleeve AND record ... both in VG++ shape (except somebody wrote their name on the back of the sleeve!)
Again, all items sold ONLY as a set ... $1250.  Drop me a line if you're interested.  (These items have NOT gone up for sale through any other means at this point in time ... we're trying this method first.  If this works out, watch for other special offers in the future via Kenny The K's Swap and Shop!!!  lol)
It makes me feel so good to see so many people express their love for Davy Jones.  He was a cool cat, a great singer, and a fantastic performer, and he deserves all the tributes he can get.  Yes, it's maddening that The Monkess aren't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - I really don't want to believe that Jann Wenner is STILL pissed about the studio musician thing.  He should have left those ridiculous thoughts behind in the closet he came out of.  I guess us Monkees fans have to have an "Occupy Roling Stone" event to get them in.
I was checking out, and I saw that the 1972 Bell Records solo album that contains "Rainy Jane" is selling for $150.  I bought it from Abbey Road Records in Washington back in high school, along with the Capitol release of "Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart" for $20, total.  I'm glad to see them back on the charts again, just too bad it's for Davy's demise.  The Monkees, and Davy (or, as Davy said his Japanese fans pronounced it, 'Daby, Daby, Daby!') will always be too cool for school.  Save the Texas Prairie Chicken!  Later, Kent. 
If anybody's going to hide behind the studio musician thing, then they'd better un-induct The Mamas and the Papas, The Beach Boys, The Byrds and about half of the other artists in there.  You can't have a different set of rules or criteria based on the artist.  According to all that I've heard and read, The Monkees were "black-listed" by Wenner YEARS ago ... implying that OTHER members of the nominating and voting committee believed they belonged there ... but Jann put the kibosh on the idea.  Perhaps now in light of all this new "love and affection" being shown the group ... including front page coverage by Wenner himself ... they'll FINALLY get their due.  What a RIDICULOUS shame (or would that be sham?!?!?) that it took Davy's death to finally get this done.  (kk)
Recently, CBS Sunday Morning had a story on Davy's death, but again, they played only two songs that DAVY sang lead on.  How hard is it to do some research and play songs he sang?  No one Plays "A Little Bit Me" on their tributes on TV.  I see the fluff piece on Davy in People, but it IS good they gave him a front page like the 60's teen mags.  The comment underneath saying he changed music is TRUE.  HE and the MONKEES changed the face of music -- good or bad.  Back then and in retrospect now, I think for the good.  It was just plain GREAT music!  I am happy to see their songs back on the playlists, although with Monkees fans being somewhat like Elvis fans in ways, I can see some people downloading the songs for .99 cents (that would be like buying a 45 for 10 cents in the 60's) just to pay tribute even tho they may have already had the MP3s.  As far as the Rolling Stone thing, yes, that is a bit weird having them pay tribute after their 60's snub. 
Clark Besch
Weirder yet, did you read the Mike Nesmith interview in Rolling Stone?  Where he says that in HIS mind Davy WAS The Monkees ... and the rest of them were just his back-up band?!?!  Where the hell did THAT come from!?!?!?  Nesmith probably executed more control than all of the other Monkees combined ... and regularly had his compositions featured on each and every LP.  And Micky sang more leads than Davy.  Was Davy the heart-throb teen idol figure?  Sure ... that's why he always had those glistening stars in his eyes every time he saw a pretty girl.  But the others were hardly his "back-up" band.  (There IS some truth to the fact that Davy pretty much had the gig from the beginning ... I've heard that numerous times before ... yet we've shown you video proof that he also went through the auditioning screening process just like everybody else ... so I can't say with all certainty that it was a "given" ... I think it was just something they were hoping they could make work ... and obviously it did!)  One could argue that the show was built around Davy ... but the concept all along was for a "group", based more so on the antics of The Beatles in THEIR romp "A Hard Day's Night".  (kk)
Yeah, I DID read that!  When you read Andrew Sandoval's book on the day to day Monkees activities back in 66, you would know that Nesmith was doing all he could to be writing and arranging Monkees tunes before the TV show even aired!  YES, Davy was the idol of the bunch, but almost EVERY Monkees member was on every teen mag all of the time and I am not remembering at all that Davy was more popular than the others -- and I have 100's of those teen mags still!  He certainly was NOT the lead on most of their biggest hits, but was VERY important as a singer and "cute" Monkee.  I think Nesmith was being Nesmith -- tell Rolling Stone whatever he wants to tell them and not necessarily what really happened.  Why not?  The Hall of Fame is a RS sham and he would know it for sure. 
I think there was a certain push to have Davy be the teen idol / sex symbol of the band by the teen magazines ... he was always played up as the cute one and, while the others certainly had their share of magazine covers, I personally think Davy had them all beat by a very large margin.  Hey, it was all part of marketing the band ... and everybody benefited from it.  (What was it I read the other day?  Something about Micky being the most sexually active of The Monkees ... but Davy being the sex symbol that brought the girls in, ultimately allowing Micky to make his moves?!?!?  Crazy times to be sure!)  kk
Where to begin ... probably like everybody else ... when I was a young fan of the Monkees.  We all were unexplainably drawn to their crazy antics, screaming girls and pre-MTV-style concert footage.  The music was infectious and it sure wasn't the shows' plots that kept me engaged.  As unique as each Monkee was, Davy was the most endearing.  His natural qualities as a human being transcended into his character.
I was fortunate to work with Davy on many occasions.  Each time we got together, I was met with a warm embrace and his own impersonation of my Chic-ah-go style "How ya doin'".  He really loved coming back to Chicago, marveling at the deep-dish pizza and the sincere love his midwest fans always showed him.
The first time I brought him to my Arcada Theatre, he fell in love with the City of St. Charles. He would ask me to bring him in a day or two early just so he could check out the town.  Many times he was spotted just walking down Main Street and chatting with the shop owners.
He loved our former restaurant, The Onesti Dinner Club, that was built within a 160 year old church.  He had purchased an old church, but really did not know what to do with it.  One look at our place and his face truly lit up.  We would spend hours talking about ways of re-creating what we had done at his place.
Then there was the time I brought him back on stage after one of his fabulous concerts.  As he genuinely thanked the standing ovation, he said, "Ron, this audience is tremendous!  I would love to hug you all!"  He then retreated to the dressing room.  I walked in and reminded him of the meet and greet he was to do.  He said, "Oh yeah.  What have ya got, 15 or 20 folks?"  I said, "Well my friend, you just told 900 fans that you wanted to hug them.  I've got 900 people waiting in the theatre for their hug ... nobody is leaving!"  So for the next four hours, Davy smiled and posed and signed.  Entertainers rarely do anything like that these days.
I was on the phone with my "big sister" Deana Martin, Dean Martin's daughter one day.  I told her that Davy was coming to the theatre and she told me that Davy actually only had one major girlfriend on the show ... and it was her!  She also said they had a little fling off screen, too.  She promised to send me the clip from the show.
So the last time he was by me, I once again asked him to join me back on stage after another superb performance.  I told him I had a little surprise for him.  I brought our 40 foot screen down and played the clip from the show that he and Deana sat staring into each other's eyes while stars were shooting out.  The crowd roared and he somewhat embarrassingly smiled.
I asked him who the girl was and he replied,"That was actually Dean Martin's daughter, Deana.  What a lovely girl she was."  I asked him if had kept in touch with the daughter of the legend.  He said, "I haven't seen her in 40 years.  I would love to see her again."
At that moment the big screen was raised and there she stood, arms outstretched, and her gleaming smile.  His jaw dropped and they rushed to hug each other.  They then sang the Dean Martin classic Everybody Loves Somebody together.  A truly incredible moment and one of the best memories I have in my 30 year career.
But that was Davy.  Each moment spent with him, whether you were one on one with him, or part of the throngs of fans singing along with him, was special.  Aside from the fact that I literally saw eye to eye with him, I always valued the time we spent driving to see Dick Biondi at the radio station, or going out to eat as much, if not more so, than his time on our stage.
Of course, his memory will live on in his music and on tv.  The entertainment industry lost a small-framed giant this leap-year February 29.  It was Davy that helped me realize that I am a good dad to my seven year old daughter.  A Monkees song came on in the car and she said, "That's Davy Jones!"  If I have had anything to do with perpetuating his memory to the next generation, I have truly shown my appreciation for Davy.
What was most amazing to me was how  warm he remained in a business that he felt kind of left him behind.  He would tell me stories of the show making millions, but he and the guys each making $500 a week.  It was the fans that really kept him going all those years.  He loved giving back to his fans, knowing the jockey from Manchester made so many people happy.
Thank you, my friend.  As you take your "last train," remember that you have enlightened our lives, and you will be missed. 
Anytime anybody asks me how  "I'm doin'," I'll think of you.
Ron Onesti
Onesti Entertainment / The Arcada Theatre
The Arcada Theatre, 105 Main Street, St. Charles, IL 

Davy Jones with Ron Onesti

Davy Jones' Family says their final goodbyes to the former Monkee in Manchester, England -- R.I.P., Davy
Frank B.
Interesting to see Micky's comment about the three surviving Monkees getting back together to perform at a New York service for their former comrade ... I've got mixed emotions on that whole idea.
(More on Micky's latest activities below!)  kk

Hi Kent,
Where else could go with this question other than the Forgotten hits site, right?
I saw in the Sunday Comments that the Monkees out sold the Stones and the Beatles in 1967.  I've seen that before, too, but I've always wondered how many songs did the
Stones and Beatles release in that year versus how many the Monkees released.
Could the lack of releases versus the flooding the market with releases the Monkees seemed to do in 1967 scue those numbers?
The Monkees were INCREDIBLY popular in 1967 ... and yes, they released a tremendous amount of product that year.  (FOUR Monkees albums topped the charts in 1967 ... their LP debut "The Monkees" was still #1 on the charts when the year began, only to be displaced in the top spot by their follow up album, "More Of The Monkees", which then topped the charts for another incredible 18 weeks, giving The Monkees a 31 week consecutive lock on the #1 Album position!
In June, "Headquarters" spent a week at #1.  The Pre-Fab Four closed out the year on top, too, with their latest release, "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd.", which spent another five weeks on top of the charts, giving The Monkees an incredible THIRTY WEEKS at #1 during 1967 alone.  (Add in the first seven weeks of their debut album's run at #1 in 1966 and that's an amazing 37 weeks on top of the charts ... an incredible 62% of the year holding down the #1 position for that time period!!!)
What did The Beatles do that year?  Well, the album that knocked "Headquarters" out of the top spot was a little thing you may remember called "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"!!!  "Pepper" topped the charts for a total of fifteen weeks, still three weeks shy of The Monkees' second album.  The Beatles would knock them out of the #1 spot once again when their "Magical Mystery Tour" soundtrack album replaced "Pisces" at the top of the charts at the turn of the calendar page, circa 1968.
As for The Rolling Stones ... they had no #1 albums in 1967 ... between The Monkees and The Beatles ruling the charts, that only left EIGHT WEEKS for any other artist to bask in the glory ... and those eight weeks were spread out between Diana Ross and the Supremes (and their Greatest Hits album, which spent five weeks at #1), Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billie Joe" (two weeks at #1) and a week at the top for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass album "Sounds Like".
The Stones reached #2 with "Between The Buttons" and "Their Satanic Majesties Request" (which also peaked at #2 the following year).
On the singles chart, The Monkees scored Top 40 Hits with "I'm A Believer" (#1 for seven weeks) and its flip-side "Steppin' Stone" (#20), "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" (#1) and ITS flip-side "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" (#39), another two-sided hit with "Pleasant Valley Sunday" (#3) and "Words" (#5) and the #1 Hit "Daydream Believer" wrapping up the year.
The Beatles hit #1 with "Penny Lane", "All You Need Is Love" and "Hello Goodbye" ... and the B-Sides of all three of those singles also charted ("Strawberry Fields Forever", #8, "Baby, You're A Rich Man", #34 and "I Am The Walrus", #46).
Comparatively speaking, 1967 was not a banner year for The Rolling Stones ... but they still placed four sides on the chart that year, including the #1 Hit "Ruby Tuesday", followed by "Let's Spend The Night Together" (#28), "Dandelion" (#6) and "We Love You" (#50), which just happened to feature a couple of The Beatles on background vocals!
While I don't have actual "official" sales figures, it looks like "Between The Buttons" and "Their Satanic Majesties Request" both went gold, "Sgt. Pepper" went platinum eleven times over (but that includes all sales SINCE 1967, too) and "Magical Mystery Tour" has sold upwards of six million copies since it was first released.  The Monkees sold five million copies of each of their first two LPs and two million each of "Headquarters" and "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd."
Heading back to the singles charts, The Beatles went gold with all three of their single releases, The Stones struck gold with "Ruby Tuesday" and The Monkees reached gold status with all four of their new single releases.
Going strictly from memory (having been there!), it was DEFINITELY The Monkees' year, hands down.  Actual physical sales and chart statistics would indicate that if they didn't outsell The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, it had to be pretty damn close!  (kk)

NY – Monkee - MICKY DOLENZ was in New York last week reading for a possible new role in GARAGE BAND, produced and directed by Ken Davenport. The play’s reading was held at club Ha! Comedy Club in New York City.
Seen after the reading (L - R): Dolenz agent Ken Melamed, from the Bret Adams Ltd. agency; Dolenz; and, fellow cast member Donnie Kehr.
And, speaking of "Garage Bands" ...
re:  GARAGE BANDS:Hi Kent -
Getting back to Question Mark and the Mysterians, their backgrounds must still be a mystery since the "master" doesn't know.
Just a thought, I think the two best Garage Band  Songs came out the same year
1966:  96 Tears and Gloria by the Shadows of Knight.
Would be interesting to see some of your readers favorite Garage Band Songs.
Keep up the Great Work!!!
Well, we did our Psychedelic Poll a few years back ... I don't see why we couldn't put together a Garage Band Poll, too.  My fear is that many of these bands would be so obscure that we might not be able to find musical selections for all of them!  And the line between garage band and psychedelia seems to have blurred and blended into what we now refer to as "nuggets" these days ... quite honestly, it might be difficult to make a distinction between the two.  But hey, I'm up for anything.  (Maybe we can enlist our buddy Mike Dugo, who runs the 60's Garage Bands website, to assist us with this project ... what do you say, Mike???)  kk