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FBI Files on The Monkees

June 22, 2011 by  
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FBI releases file on the Monkees
by Adrian Mack on June 6, 2011 at 3:51 PM

We’ll never know the name of the G-Man who went to a Monkees concert and reported on the band’s dissident activities in 1967, because his name is redacted from the declassified file posted on the FBI website in April. Whoever he was, though, the dude was definitely squaresville.

“This series, which has been quite successful, features four young men who dress as ‘beatnik types’…,” he writes. “Beatnik types”? Did he happen to notice that he was also surrounded at the time by thousands of “harmless 13 year old girl types”? The mind boggles.

Most of the file remains redacted, implying that whatever happened at that concert still constitutes a threat to US national security some four and a half decades later, although the title Additional Activities Denouncing the U.S. Policy in the War in Vietnam pops out. As does a section about “anti-U.S messages” projected behind the band during the performance.

As strange as it is to contemplate that J. Edgar Nancy’s bureau would actually bother doing this, there was indeed something impressively subversive about the Monkees’ career-ending film Head, which starts with the entire band committing suicide. A few minutes later we’re treated to gruesome Vietnam war footage and a cheerful number that goes, “Hey, hey, we are the Monkees, you know we like to please, a manufactured image, with no philosophies…”

Clearly, that line was written as a strategic misdirection, and a way to finally throw the Man off their scent (a common ploy used by communist-types). It’d take an evil mastermind like Davy Jones to come up with something so cunning.

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