January 9, 2009
In November 1965, Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith were brought together by central casting to star in a television show featuring a boy band to rival the Beatles.
The resultant avant garde TV program—a freewheeling show in a similar vein of A Hard Day’s Night—was an instant hit and presented a family friendly vision of the hippie generation to viewers both young and old. Combined with chart-topping singles like “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone” and “Daydream Believer,” Monkeemania swept the US in the mid to late 60s.
Unfortunately, fighting between the band members and producers over artistic differences led to the Monkees’ dissolution in the early 70s. Perhaps the crueler cut is that the band has been met with some disdain due to the fact that they did not write their own material and (at least in the case of earlier studio recording sessions) did not play their own instruments. However, no matter what your misgivings may be, it is undeniable that the Monkees were a major part of American popular culture. And if they’re too busy singing to put anybody down, why should you put them down?
Check out the promo video below and tune in to the premiere of “Making the Monkees” Saturday night at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. It’ll be more fun than a barrel of Monkees.
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