Show Type: Sitcom
First Telecast: September 12, 1966
Last Telecast: August 19, 1968
Music Supervisor: Don Kirshner
Davy..... Davy Jones
Peter..... Peter Tork
Micky..... Micky Dolenz
Mike..... Mike Nesmith
This youth-oriented sitcom was inspired by The Beatles' film A Hard Days Night (1964). It was unconventional, utilizing surrealistic film techniques like fast and slow motion, comic film inserts, distorted focus, and one-liners all delivered at a very fast pace.
The Monkees played a rock group that got into all sorts of unusual situations as they rescued fair damsels, ran into dastardly villains and generally played pranks on the unsuspecting world.
The Monkees had a highly successful record career along with their hit TV show. The four members were carefully chosen from among 500 applicants in auditions held during the fall of 1965. Afterwards, they rehearsed until they could pass as competent musicians. (Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones were both actors and Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith had had previous musical experience).
They were not allowed to play their instruments on their early records, supplying only the vocals. This came back to haunt them a few times when they went out on tour and could not re-create their recorded sound. It also led to arguing among the band members because Peter and Mike had real musical ambitions and they felt they were being held back.
Nevertheless, their records, heavily promoted and carefully coordinated with the TV show, sold in the millions. Some of their hits included: "Last Train to Clarksville", "I'm A Believer" and "Words".
Finally, their was a showdown with the producers of the show. This followed a rather heated press conference in which Mike Nesmith complained that "we're being passed off as something we aren't." The band was later allowed to "do their own thing" musically. But, despite its commercial success, the group broke up shortly after the series left the airways in 1968.
The Monkees was later seen on CBS in reruns on Saturday mornings, from September 1969 - September 1973.
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