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Nitzsche Night – Jones-Blair project

April 14, 2011 by  
Filed under monkees alert

From: “Albert Bigley”

This in from Lee Baber:
Arranger/composer/producer Jack Nitzsche, best known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Phil Spector and Sonny Bono, died Friday of cardiac arrest, brought on by a recurring bronchial infection, at Queen of Angels Hospital in Hollywood, Calif.; he was sixty-three.

Born Bernard Alfred Nitzsche in Chicago in 1937 and raised on a farm outside of Newaygo, Mich., Nitzsche relocated to California in the mid-Fifties, after reading an ad in Downbeat magazine for the Westlake School of Music, in the hopes of studying there to become a jazz saxophonist. After quitting music school, he landed a job as a music copyist at Specialty Records. There he met Sonny Bono, then the chief of A&R at the record label, who encouraged him in his early attempts at songwriting. Nitzsche co-wrote “Needles and Pins” with Bono in 1962, a hit for both Jackie DeShannon and the Searchers; the song’s strummed guitar is considered by many to be the archetype of the folk rock sound.

As Nitzsche’s reputation grew, he was recommended to Phil Spector, who had moved his recording operations to Los Angeles in 1962. Nitzsche became Spector’s first-choice arranger, and by extension, one of the architects behind Spector’s Wall of Sound, working on classic releases by the Crystals, Ike and Tina Turner, the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers.

After befriending the Rolling Stones in 1964, Nitzsche started leaving his touch on their work as well, playing keyboards and percussion on their early recordings. His collaborations with the Stones include “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Paint It Black.”

From there, Nitzsche worked with a succession of musicians, including Tim Buckley, Doris Day, Marianne
Faithfull, the Byrds, the Monkees and Buffalo Springfield. His work with Buffalo Springfield (“Expecting to
Fly”) and subsequent friendship with Neil Young led to Young recruiting him as not only a producer but also a
touring member of Crazy Horse, for whom he wrote string arrangements and played piano.

As for his own recording career, Nitzsche scored a minor hit with the instrumental “The Lonely Surfer,” which
went to No. 39 on the charts in 1963. He is also noted for his motion picture work, including the scores and
eerie mood pieces of Performance in 1970 and The Exorcist in 1973.

He was nominated for an Oscar in 1975 for his glass harp/musical saw score for One Flew Over the
Cuckoo’s Nest, and won an Oscar in 1982 for “Up Where We Belong,” the theme from An Officer and a
Gentleman (which he co-wrote with lyricist Will Jennings and ex-wife Buffy Sainte-Marie).

Though Nitzsche had a stellar reputation as an arranger and composer, his private life was a bit more spotty.
He was arrested for pistol-whipping then-girlfriend actress Carrie Snodgress and threatening to kill her and
Young’s son in 1979. He was consequently fined and sentenced to three years probation for assault with a
deadly weapon.

Nitzsche is survived by ex-wife Sainte-Marie, first wife Gracia, their forty-year-old son Jack Jr. and his
daughter-in-law Christine. A private funeral service will be held in California on Wednesday, Aug. 30, with a
larger memorial service to be planned at a later date.


35 years ago: An ad in Variety announced auditions for the Monkees, a rock quartet that starred in a youth-oriented TV comedy series. The show ran for two years. The Monkees simultaneously had a successful record career.


From: C. Brian Jasper

Hi Brad. C.Brian Jasper here. The following is a review of the new Johnny J Blair CD “Fire” in which Davy Jones Co-produced as well as sang and played on.

Fire. Johnny J Blair. C-JAM Productions CJAM-7770

By: C. Brian Jasper (Goldmine contributor)

Johnny J Blair is an artist whose work has garnered praise from rock
legends Cliff Richard to Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson. This
album is an offshoot of the Jones-Blair projects (Jones as in Davy
Jones of the Monkees). An ambitious, daring, across-the-boards
collaborative effort, “Fire” takes the listener on a journey via a
cast of diverse characters creating pop music with a conscience.
It’s a melting pot of textures and rhythms:
Rock/House/Techno/Gospel/Jazz and American roots music, resulting in
a “pure pop” sound. Blair’s influences-both past and present-are not
merely imitated, as so often happens with hybrid sounds, but rather
furthered and embellished.

The set kicks into gear with “Dancin’ By The River,” a baptismal
anthem laden with chunky guitar chords and backed with a slinky
Latin rhythm. This track, reminiscent of Santana, has CHR appeal and
easily merits air play. The spirit of Sly & and the Family Stone is
omnipresent on “Fire,” updated to good effect with a cover of
“Everyday People.” The song is transformed into a medley, an
interweaving of Blair’s own contributions-including a gentle, sweet
rap from Monette Newsuan, drum loops & cheerleading from Jab’O
Starks (James Brown’s Funkmasters), and a visit from Motown
percussion great “Pistol’ Allen-all of which makes for a loose,
uncontrived, exciting track. “Fire” is sequenced to run as one
continuous experience, with an Alan Parsons seamlessness. The
instrumental title track, “Fire,” preludes “All Things Are Possible”
with a sense of majesty and reflection, with help from Tim Breon
(Neil Sedaka) on acoustic guitar. The influence of the mid 70’s
Bowie “Thin White Duke” period gives this hypnotic, upbeat track a
retro yet fresh appeal.

“One Wonderful Smile” follows, in contrast, like a gentle, warm
breeze, yet is hauntingly beautiful, in the vein of John Lennon’s
“Bless You”. Blair’s voice is sensitive and understated, vocally
akin to Julian Lennon with a Keith Richards rasp, and much like that
of Nils Lofgren (another performer of pop music with a conscience).
Blair never oversings, as so many young artists tend to do these
days. Likewise during the infectious hook of “Love, Love Alone.”

Monkee fans and completists will recognize the instrumental “A
Little Industrial Nachmusik” as a variation on the Davy Jones song
“Oh What A Night”; in fact, Jones himself plays acoustic guitar on
the track, augmented by grungecore veteran John Bechdel (Prong, Fear
Factory, Killing Joke) on various instruments and treatments, which
sets the stage for “Lighten Up” (a funky little ode to life’s
frustrations in the face of a society that demands its fellow man to
“smile” and not get so “real” on them). The track is propelled by a
percussive modern reggae groove, and features a tasteful rap segment from
Adrienne Blanton.

Nine cuts into the CD, it’s time to go “Dancin’ By The River” again.
This time the fun is provided via members of Neon Cactus, with a
Tex-Mex mix. Behind a thunderous rhythm track featuring noted
drummer Sandy Gennaro (Cyndi Lauper), there is also hit potential
with “Throw the First Stone,” which wades into the delicate subject
matter of the holier-than-thou Christian loops and finger pointers
that turn so many people off. Blair tells it like it is-by
speculation, not preachiness. This would make a great song for John
Mellencamp to cover.

The drifting closer “Man Of Sorrows” sways like a late-night Randy
Newman number, a variation on themes from Gershwin to Ellington,
coupled with lyrics from hymn writer Philip Bliss, creating a
uniquely peaceful piece of praise to end the set.

Blair seems to have a genuine awe at his own fate in producing
“Fire,” evident in the tack-on answering machine announcements coda
during the last thirty seconds of the CD, in which a message from
pop music legend Davy Jones comes in side-by-side with, “Hi! This is
Sabrina I was just calling to see if Jade could play!” This adds a
human final touch to an album made for all people, and assembled by
God, as Blair selflessly claims in the liner notes.

To hear samples of this work, follow this link:

To purchase Monkees CD’s, Videos and Collectable rare items, visit

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From ???@??? Sat Sep 02 14:51:13 2000
From: Brad Waddell
Subject: Micky Wants To Know – Tour Update

From: Stefanie Trump

Hi everyone, there is a 1/2 page ‘celebrity classroom’ story in the new issue
of the “National Enquirer” about Micky titled “Micky Dolenz:The Monkee Who
Bit Me In School” It’s an article submitted by a woman who attended school
with Micky-she says in 6th grade he was always joking around, but very full
of himself because of ‘Circus Boy’. One day he began teasing her (she
doesn’t remember what it was about) and wouldn’t stop, so she told him he
smelled like Bimbo. He then grabbed her forearm and bit her hard. She
screamed but he laughed and ran away. She did graduate from high school with
him and didn’t know what happened to him until she saw him on ‘The Monkees’.
No comment from Micky-there is a small, recent picture of Micky now, a small
picture of him from 6th grade, a small picture of the woman from 6th grade
and a group picture of the Monkees.

Stefanie Trump


Monkee Business Fanzine Monkees News Update
updated August 21, 2000

Davy can be found on tour, playing a number of solo
shows with his band across North America:

Date & Venue
Sep. 2, Woodstock Fair, South Woodstock, CT, 860-928-3246 or
Sep. 3, Village of Schaumburg September Fest, Schaumburg, IL,
847-895-4500 or
Sep. 4, Vermont State Fair, Rutland, VT, 802-775-5200
Sep. 7-8, Front Street Station, Northumberland, PA, 570-473-3626
Sep. 9, Clay County Fair, Spencer, IA, 712-262-4740
Sep. 23, Houck Stadium, Southeast Missouri State College, Cape
Girardeau, MO, part of Family Weekend activities,
Davy’s concert follows the football game,
audience will be allowed on the field during
Davy’s show, 573-651-2113
Sep. 30, Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT, 888-226-7711
Oct. 7, Oldies Festival, Oldtown Memorial Park, Pasadena, CA,
Oct. 20, State University of New York, Fredonia, NY, 716-673-3501
Nov. 4, St. John the Baptist High School, West Islip, NY,
631-587-3565 for tickets, Davy shares the bill
with the New Rascals and Johnny Maestro & Brooklyn Bridge
Jan. 27, Moraine Valley College, Palos Hills, IL, 708-974-5500
Feb. 24, Rajah Theatre, Reading, PA, 610-371-8820
Apr. 7, 2001 Morganton Memorial Auditorium, Morganton, NC, 800-939-SHOW

Micky has several irons in the fire this year professionally, but he will
still find time to tour with the Teen Idols (Micky, Bobby Sherman, and
Peter Noone) this summer. He will also do a few solo dates with his sister
Coco—they’ve put together a show just for kids, where they’ll do some
Monkees tunes, some “Broadway Micky” stuff, and some Raffi tunes.

Micky Solo Dates
Aug. 26, Mason Heritage Festival, Main Street, Mason, OH,
free community festival, call 513-336-0388 closer
to the event for more info
Sep. 9, “KISN The Summer Goodbye” concert, Tom McCall Waterfront Park,
Portland, OR, listen to KISN 97.1 FM for more info
Sep. 23, Wild Adventures Theme Park, Valdosta, GA, 800-808-0872 or, concert follows classic car show
Sep. 26-Oct. 1, Cactus Pete’s, Jackpot, NV, 775-755-2321
Oct. 21, Gina’s Altamonte Springs, FL, 407-834-5880, free outdoor show,
VIP tickets available
Dec. 19-26, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Eastern Caribbean cruise

Micky with the Teen Idols Dates
Oct. 7, State Theatre, Easton, PA, 610-252-3132
Feb. 10, 2001, Capitol Civic Center, Manitowoc, WI, 920-683-2184

Peter Tork and Shoe Suede Blues will play the following dates:

Sep. 10, Harvelles, Santa Monica, CA, 310-395-1676
Sep. 17, Harvelles, Santa Monica, CA, 310-395-1676

Michael Nesmith is working on his movie, “Fried Pies”, a second novel, The
America Gene, and he is opening another branch of his company Videoranch in
Anchor Bay Entertainment will be releasing some of Nez’s films on DVD for the
first time: “Timerider” will come out May 2001, “Tapeheads” will be issued
January 2001, “Michael Nesmith–Live At The Britt” will come out January 2001, and “Repo Man” was released Aug. 22, 2000. In a preview of “Timerider”,
Nez’s company Videoranch has released the soundtrack album to the film this
summer. Check out for details.

Rhino Records’ Handmade division has released a new 3-CD
set chronicling the making of the Monkees’ album “Headquarters”.
The compilation makes use of unreleased demos, backing tracks,
studio chatter, song fragments, and early versions of tracks.
The complete track listing is available at
Only 4500 copies of “Headquarters Sessions” were pressed.

Maggie McManus (
2770 South Broad Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08610-3622
Four issues per year, $12 per year.
Make check/money order payable to Maggie McManus.

The Monkees: A Manufactured Image
by Ed Reilly, Maggie McManus & Bill Chadwick
After 12 years in print, STILL the #1 Monkees reference book!
Check it out at”9242751/sr=8-1/002-4754913-7259429

To purchase Monkees CD’s, Videos and Collectable rare items, visit

The Monkees Alert list is moderated, meaning you cannot post directly to the list yourself. To submit an item for the list, send to:

For info on posting to, subscribing, or removing yourself from this list, send an e-mail to: for an automatic response. Thanks!

From ???@??? Mon Sep 04 15:31:01 2000
From: Brad Waddell
Subject: Michael wants your opinion

This is from Michael Nesmith’s web store

From: “foreman” <>

Live at the Palais: We get emails daily asking us to please put Live at the Palais, the Michael Nesmith album, out on CD. It’s the number one most requested item at Videoranch. We always write back apologizing and telling people not to hold their breath because Nez will NEVER put Live at the Palais out on CD as for as long as he lives.  Now, things have changed. Nez just listened to Live at the Palais for the first time in many years. And he thinks it’s OK to put out on CD.  But he also thinks Live at the Britt is enough. There’s no need to have two live Nez albums out. We ranch hands think Palais and Britt are totally different types of performances at two different times in Nez’ career. We haven’t decided what to do. Is Live at the Britt enough?  Please help us. If you have the time, and any feelings about Live at the Palais at all, please email us <> whether you would like to see Live at the Palais available on CD or not. Or call us toll free at 1-866-727-2639 (800-PAPANEZ). This will help our decision.


A few other things: Elephant Parts on VHS is on sale for the next 2 weeks at $15.95. Tapeheads on VHS’ price has been lowered to $12.95. As John Cusack’s character says in Tapeheads “you get a lot for your dollar”. Click here to order


Television Parts Home Companion: Television Parts Home Companion is being manufactured as I write this email and should be available by the end of September.


Repo Man Collector’s Tin DVD: The Repo Man Limited Edition Collector’s Tin DVD (wow that’s a long title) have been selling like hotcakes. We’re running out and then that’s it. So, if you’re interested in it at all, now’s the time to get one. I watched it the other night and the sound is amazing. Sounds so much better than when the movie first came out. And the commentary with Nez, Alex Cox and some of the cast members is hilarious and very illuminating.


That’s all for now. Hope to hear from you regarding Live at the Palais!


Sincerely yours,

Navajo Slim



More new items up on the Monkees Home Page – including new sound files for you to download, including interviews with the Monkees over the last 20 years, and a very rare recording of The Monkees on NBC’s Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1969 – check it out at: and click on “Sing Along” button.

Thanks to all 2300+ of you for making this the largest group of Monkees fans anywhere!!

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