As Micky Dolenz so aptly put it, he and Davy Jones were actors who had to
learn to play music and Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork were musicians who had to learn to act. Therefore, it must have been particularly frustrating for Mike
not to be able to play on their first two albums. As Micky states, in his auto-
biography I'm a Believer:
"I don't want to make Mike out as a troublemaker. It was simply a case of
seeing the picture from a different perspective. Mike was determined to wrest
the 'creative control' of the music from the PTB, and they were determined to
hold it firmly within their hot little wealthy hands. From their point of view they must have thought, 'His records are selling like Hula Hoops. What the hell
does this guy want?' Of course that was the problem. They weren't his
records. If anything, they were my records, or Davy's records.
Mike was lucky to get a couple of songs on each album, but his songs were
never picked as the singles. I don't think it was a case of jealousy, but here
he was, raking in the dough, basking in the fame, and he must have felt that
he hadn't done a lot to deserve it. To his way of thinking, it must have felt
Micky goes on to tell how, at the end of January 1967, "everything came to a
head." When Micky, Davy, Mike and Peter were invited to Don Kirshner's
suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel to be given Gold albums for More of the
Monkees, Mike exploded: "Look! Either we get total and complete control
of all the recording and the releases or I'm quitting!" Micky says no
one thought for a moment that Mike was bluffing. "Mike doesn't bluff."
Because of his ultimatum, the powers that be were in a quandry over who to
replace: the group's musical director, or one of the members of the group?
"In an effort to make everybody happy," Micky says, "Bert Schneider agreed
to let the Monkees have 50 percent input on the material from that point on.
Kirshner reluctantly agreed."
Eventually, Kirshner was fired as the Monkees' "musical director." Boyce and
Hart were also out as producers, and Chip Douglas became their new producer. When their third album, Headquarters, came out, the Monkees
played every single note and supplied at least 50 percent of the material (or
Chip Douglas did).
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