Million Fans Served
Low Fees & Transfarent Prices
The Monkees are a band hailing from Los Angeles, California, U.S who were formed in 1966. Originally a manufactured band formed to cash in on The Beatles, the band soon became a respected and influential group in their own right, releasing eleven studio albums and touring to this day.
No matter how much it's talked about, referenced and parodied, it's still very difficult for modern music fans to truly understand how inescapable The Beatles were in the mid-sixties. Elvis Presley came close to matching the kind of pop-cultural dominance that The Fab Four enjoyed, but in terms of sheer reach, The King himself was still lacking. The Beatles were so popular that entire teams of record label execs were recruited to find more ways of promoting and merchandising the band, so it makes total sense that someone would want to cash in on that for themselves pretty soon afterwards. It's just a miracle that the band created in order to make a quick buck out of McCartney, Lennon, Harrison and Starr, turned out to be a genuinely great one in their own right.
After having the original idea for a TV Series starring a fictional band called The Monkees in 1962, Bob Rafelson would have to wait until 1965 for the idea to catch on with the executives at Screen Gems Television, where Rafelson was working at the time. After a brief period where New York based folk-rockers The Lovin' Spoonful were going to star in the show, auditions began for the show and Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones were picked to form the first incarnation of The Monkees. Once the show was cast and greenlit, work began on the musical side of it, with songs being written for the band and its four members, who were already musical types to begin with, had a rehearsal studio booked and instruments hired for them, with the idea that they'd record and tour all the songs written for the band.
In August 1966, mere weeks before the show was due to air, The Monkees' debut single “Last Train To Clarksdale” was released, and by the airing of the show's first episode on September 12th, it had become a monster hit, one that hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 the following November. The series was also a spectacular hit as well, and by December 1966, the band had made their live debut in Hawaii. The band spent the rest of the 60's fronting their own youth movement, becoming one of the world's biggest pop groups in their own right. Within a year, the band had transcended the popularity of the show, and as they became more accomplished songwriter's and performers, they started writing and performing songs that got steadily further and further away from the teen-pop they'd made their name with.
By 1967, the band were outselling The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined, but as their profile rose, so did the sheer amount of promotional duties, tour dates, studio time and filming commitments. This did not sit well with the fact that the band members wanted to take the group in a more progressive direction, and frustrated by the interference in their creative vision, and sick of their astonishing fame, the band basically decided to kill their own career in 1968. The TV show was cancelled in February 1968, and following that, the band set to work on their first feature film, entitled “Head”. Needless to say, this wasn't going to be “A Hard Days Night”. “Head” was a profoundly strange head trip of a musical comedy that was at least partially aimed at an audience of hippies and stoners, and it was definitely not a hit.
The film succeeded in ending the band's career as pop stars, but the film didn't succeed in making the band cool, unfortunately. While their commercial fortunes were cooling rapidly, tensions within the group were beginning to rise and Tork was the first to go in early 1969. For the last year of the band's time as The Monkees, the band were widely accepted as hopelessly past it, without a single hit single or album to their name and tours that were getting more and more sparsely attended. Nesmith was the next Monkee to leave in February 1970, and with that, the band were essentially over. Davy and Dolenz worked together under their own names for the rest of the year, but with the release of their debut solo albums in 1971, The Monkees were over.
For the time being, of course. The band would get back together several times over the next four decades, most notably for a wildly successful world tour in the late 1980's, and their “Justus” album in 1996, that saw all the original Monkees in the studio together for the first time since 1968. However, tensions within the band still remained and in 2002, the band split up yet again. They would never work together as a quartet again, as Davy Jones tragically passed away on February 29th, 2012. Nesmith rejoined Dolenz and Tork to tour in his memory, and to this day, their shows together have been some of the best received that they've ever played. Few band have had as tumultuous a history as The Monkees, but they remain a class act to this very day, even if we've lost one along the way. For that, they come highly recommended.