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Brief History of the Monkees

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Brief History of the Monkees

A Brief History of “The Monkees”

The history of the Monkees is very interesting for its impact during the 1960s’. The group started as a televison show, the first of its kind, depicting a manufactured image of a new rock group and its struggles. The producer of the show was in his 30s’ ,he liked the Beatles, and he wanted the show to speak to teens. Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork were cast as the struggling rock group. This was the show with college-age kids with no adult authority, and the first comedy show not about a family. The Monkees was to be a comedy that was both funny and hip.

In the beginning they didn’t even know each other, but that quickly changed as they spent many hours on the set. The first test pilot failed, but after adding the screen tests to introduce the actors, NBC signed on for 26 episodes. The first episode aired September 12, 1966. The ratings were not favorable at first but quickly became wildly popular, first in the U.S. and then in the U.K. The show went global and was shown in 36 countries. The Monkees won an Emmy in 1967 for the Academy of Arts and Televison. The songs were hits too. In the U.S., the single “ Last Train To Clarksville”, and in the U.K. ,“I’m A Believer” hit number one. Their debut album sold over a million copies. Neil Diamond was a key contributor to the show and the group ,in the early stages. Because of their success, they were compared to the Beatles. They were often called the Beatles copy cats’. There were many rumors that the Beatles saw them as enemies, but this wasn’t so. While in England, The Beatles invited The Monkees to a party, in 1967, showing they had no animosity toward them. Through the years, Micky Dolenz often invited The Beatles to his home. He remains good friends with Ringo Starr to this day.

Many fans were shocked with disbelief, when they found out The Monkees weren’t playing their own instruments but merely singing. There was much debate, even fights, between the members. The group had limited control of the show as well as the songs. Mike and Peter wanted the Monkees to be a “real” rock group. During the “Daydream Believers” recording sessions, Davy hit Peter. Later in 1968, Peter left the group. The Monkees slowly gained control, but they had to learn to play like a real band if they wanted to be a true success. For one week in 1967 Headquarters was number one, that was the first album they actually

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