1969 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
1969 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
Dolenz, Jones and Nesmith
(March – December 1969)
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“In the first Peter Tork-less tour, the Monkees are evolving rapidly into a young adult act. The Monkees are carefully bridging two images. They performed enough of their hits to avoid alienating the vast teen market, while adding enough new material to stake out a claim on a more mature market.”
–Billboard Magazine review of the Monkees’ concert at the Civic Center Arena in West Virginia, 4/12/69
- I’m A Believer
- Pleasant Valley Sunday
- Tapioca Tundra
- I Wanna Be Free
- Show Me (Micky lead vocal)
- A Man Without A Dream
- Daydream Believer
- Goin’ Down
- Someday Man
- Listen To The Band
- Don’t Wait For Me
- Get On Up (or) Summertime (Micky solo)
- For Once In My Life (Davy solo)
- Johnny B. Goode (Mike solo)
- I’m A Believer (reprise / R & B version with Micky and Davy sharing lead vocal duties)
- “Last Train To Clarksville” was played on different nights. “Mommy And Daddy” was reportedly performed in Salt Lake City in December 1969.
Reduced to a trio after Peter Tork’s departure from the band, Dolenz, Jones and Nesmith set out to promote their two 1969 releases, Instant Replay and The Monkees Present, with the set featuring songs from both albums. The seven-piece rhythm and blues band Sam and The Goodtimers (formerly of Ike and Tina Turner fame) was the opening act on the 1969 tour and also provided instrumental backup for the three Monkees. (Other bands were also featured on the bill throughout the tour as opening acts.) Mike played the guitar throughout the show, while Micky and Davy sang center stage and both occasionally played the tambourine or the maracas. Micky played the drums only during his solo number. The combination of the Monkees’ pop/rock sound with the R & B flavor of the Goodtimers made for a unique sounding and diverse presentation. The concerts were staged to be more like a revue, and featured cover songs like “Summertime,” “For Once In My Life” and “Show Me” as well as the individual solo selections of each Monkee. Sam and The Goodtimers consisted of Sam Rhodes, Willie Webb, Tony Burrell, Clifford Solomon, McKinley Johnson, Thomas Norwood and Ernest Lane.
Even though the trio appeared on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” “The Joey Bishop Show,” “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” and Johnny Cash’s show for promotion, the tour was poorly attended at most dates, though several stops did indeed play to a packed house. Billboard Magazine praised the show as a gutsy and daring new adventure for the Monkees. The 1969 concerts featured silent film footage shot by Mike and Micky projected on a screen behind them, mixed in with comedy bits and the solo spots. This would be the last Monkees tour until 1986.
One concert from this tour (thought to be the May 10, 1969 performance in Wichita, Kansas) does exist as a bootleg, but it’s an absolutely horrible recording usually sought after for historical purposes only. For years there have been rumors that the band recorded a show on this tour, but no tapes have ever turned up. Monkees collector Gary Strobl is said to have some silent video footage of the Monkees onstage in 1969.
Dolenz, Nesmith and Jones performed their last concert together on December 6, 1969 at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah. Around this time, Michael announced that he would be leaving the Monkees to form a new group, The First National Band. Micky and Davy confirmed that they would continue as the Monkees for any remaining projects. The duo released the album Changes in May 1970. The Monkees were officially disbanded by the end of 1970.
Former Monkees confidant Brendan Cahill told Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval in 1991 that a short American club tour was conducted by Dolenz and Jones in 1970 to promote the Changes album. Sandoval writes in the liner notes of the 1991 Listen to the Band box set that such a club tour took place, but later could not completely confirm the idea in an internet interview conducted in 2006, as Cahill is now deceased. In his book, Sandoval does report on a performance that took place on November 21, 1970 at the Valley REC Center in Van Nuys, California with Micky, Davy and Peter. The show was billed as a ‘Freaky, Foxy, Funky Revival.’ No set list or further details are available for this concert.
Visit The Ultimate Tour to learn even more specifics regarding the 1969 North American tour.