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This is Now : Article: Monkees New Album!

March 31, 2011 by  
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Published Tuesday, June 25, 1996

Hey, hey the Monkees make a record — all four of ’em
Jon Bream / Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Fab Four is back in the recording studio.

Not that Fab Four. But the Fabricated Four — the Monkees. They’re making
their first album of new material since 1969.

“It’s Micky, Mike, Peter and myself,” said Davy Jones breathlessly.

That means that Mike Nesmith, a pioneering music-videomaker, is working
with the other three Monkees for the first time since the 1960s. In those
days, the Monkees were just singing actors, hired to star in a TV series,
while studio musicians and songwriters manufactured the music.

This time, Jones said, “It’s all our own tunes. We produced it, and we
played on it. No other musicians, no other songwriters. Mike played the
guitar, Peter [Tork] played the bass and piano, Micky [Dolenz] played the
drums, and I did percussion.”

The Monkees are expected to finish mixing the album — 13 or 14 songs —
this week in Nashville. Then Jones, Dolenz and Tork will hit the road,
starting Thursday in Minneapolis at the Historic Orpheum Theatre, for the
Monkees’ 30th anniversary tour. It will be about 55 concerts in 60 days.

Jones, 50, is recovering from a broken shin bone suffered in a horse-racing
accident 11 days ago. “I’ve got crutches, but not a cast. . . . If you’ve
seen Kenny Rogers or Glen Campbell or any of those stand-up singers, it’s
like the walking dead; I’ll be moving a lot compared to those guys.”

Jones is seldom idle. He and Dolenz played a low-profile gig this year at
Treasure Island Casino in Red Wing, Minn. “Micky and I don’t sit around
like a lot of guys waiting for that big tour once a year. We work together,
we write songs together, we’ve done scripts together. I’m a working
entertainer. With two wives [one is ex-] and four kids, that’s why I keep
doing it.”

Why is Nesmith not touring?

“Mike’s not into it. He’s a businessman who does deals and makes movies and
videos and records. He’s used to having 30 or 40 people work for him. It’s
difficult for him to jump into a four-man section and be thrown out on the
road away from his phones. He said, ‘If anyone asks why I’m not there, tell
them I can’t tour. I don’t like to tour. And just get over it.’ ”

The Monkees concert isn’t likely to include material from the forthcoming
album. The two-hour show is mostly old hits, Jones said, but each Monkee
gets a solo spot, and Jones often does “Girl,” featured in “The Brady Bunch
Movie” last year.

This is the third Monkees tour since the group dissolved in 1969. In 1986,
spurred by reruns on MTV of their 1966-68 TV series, the Monkees — three
of them, anyway — made a splashy comeback tour. The trio hit the road
again in 1989, and Rhino Records has been reissuing the group’s albums and
TV programs.

But this new disc, to be released by Rhino in the fall, is the first step
forward by the entire group.

“The album gave us a lot of satisfaction and a sense of brotherhood
together,” Jones said. “There was a lot of crying in the studio, a lot of

“We like the company and enjoy each other’s humor. We ate lunch and dinner
together for a month, and we all put up a quarter share of the tab each
time. Nobody was in charge, nobody was inferior.”

Monkees trivia
Star Tribune

Did you know this Monkees business?

Davy Jones auditioned for a part on “Hogan’s Heroes.” He did appear on “Ben
Casey,” “Bewitched,” “The Farmer’s Daughter” and other shows as a contract
player for Columbia Screen Gems. Jones received his Equity (actors’ union)
card at age 11, and he originated the role of the Artful Dodger in the
London production of “Oliver!”

When Jones went with Columbia Screen Gems talent scouts looking for other
Monkees, among the people they considered were Arthur Lee from Love, Jerry
Yester from the Association, Paul Peterson and Paul Williams. The director
of “The Monkees” TV show was Bob Rafelson, who went on to direct “Five Easy
Pieces” and Lionel Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling” video.

Stephen Stills told Peter Torkelson, who was a dishwasher/bartender at a
Los Angeles folk-rock club, about the audition for the Monkees.

Micky Dolenz’s dad, George, starred in the mid-1950s TV series “The Count
of Monte Cristo.” Micky (using the name Micky Braddock) starred in “Circus
Boy” on NBC from 1956 to 1958.

The Monkees never met Neil Diamond, who wrote their hits “I’m a Believer”
and “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.” Jones said, “He didn’t want to be
around because he probably didn’t know how to talk to the Monkees.
[Songwriter] Carole King was always in there meddling, but she wanted Micky
to sing it the way she sang it. We’ve got demos of her singing material she
presented. Well, Carole King wasn’t a singer in ’65.”

Because Davy Jones was registered with Equity, another David Jones couldn’t
use the name in show business, so he became David Bowie.

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