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Old 03-22-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
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Default Did the Producers "spank" Mike Nesmith?

After the first season of The Monkees, Mike Nesmith complained to the press that "we're being passed off as something we're not", in that they didn't play instruments on their records. And he challenged the control of Don Kirschner.

I'm watching the second season now. I've seen a couple of episodes with no Mike (except for pre-taped musical numbers). I've seen an episode where a character is looking at all four of them and calls Mike (only) a "troublemaker". Then there's an episode where Davy, Micky, and Peter are hired to work on what turns out to be a pirate ship. Cut to onboard, Mike is with them, but right away gets seasick and is sent below to lie down. He is not seen for the rest of the episode.

What's the story? Were they getting him back for speaking out?
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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Music

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
very illegitimate."

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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Old 03-23-2011, 07:28 PM   #3
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well..i agree with some of that a guess but i don't think for one second that mike was trying to be a jerk! i don't i would have done the same thing too! in pithing a fit over the more of the monkees record and i do wish he had gotton more songs out there thats just one of the many reasons that i'm such a big monkees fan cause they stood up for them selfs (at least mike did anyway!) heck i would have puched a wall in too lol! i don't blame him at all he was a real singer and song writer and i do believe that he only join the monkees to help them write songs i don't know if thats true or not but i get that feeling! that he was just way too smart for the monkees! but i'm also glad he joined and stuck with them for so long! even after peter left i always thought he'd be the one to leave frist but i like mike and i love the monkees while other artist were probley takeing it all lieing down they weren't! and they'll always be my hero for that!
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:23 PM   #4
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Mike did play a little on the first two albums. In fact, he even produced his own track, "Papa Gene's Blues."
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wet Water
After the first season of The Monkees, Mike Nesmith complained to the press that "we're being passed off as something we're not", in that they didn't play instruments on their records. And he challenged the control of Don Kirschner.

I'm watching the second season now. I've seen a couple of episodes with no Mike (except for pre-taped musical numbers). I've seen an episode where a character is looking at all four of them and calls Mike (only) a "troublemaker". Then there's an episode where Davy, Micky, and Peter are hired to work on what turns out to be a pirate ship. Cut to onboard, Mike is with them, but right away gets seasick and is sent below to lie down. He is not seen for the rest of the episode.

What's the story? Were they getting him back for speaking out?
Mike had his tonsils out during production of season 2, so he missed a couple of episodes. The Pirate Ship episode- Mike legitemately got seasick, and missed the rest of the episode because he was seasick (really).
Rafelson and Schneider did not have any more trouble with Mike than the other three from what I've read over the years.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
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Oh No

Well..for one thing I don't think that
actully happened cause I thought he didn't
beileve in surgery or something like that
besides I think he was just kidding
and has for giving everyone a "hard time"
lol I don't think that happend either!
Cause if it weren't for him then they
really wouldn't have any say in nothing
and there album hq would have never
happened!
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:18 PM   #7
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No, I don't know how he reconciled the surgery with his christian scientist beliefs but he did have his tonsils out and miss an episode or two because of it. It's been mentioned in interviews and you could probably find more details with a quick online search.

Also, if the stories about Mike's bank account are even half true, I would say he's had the last laugh and not the "PTB" in question
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:36 AM   #8
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I consulted the Bible (Andrew's book) and it is interesting to me. Mike had his tonsils out On Tuesday May 23rd. Prior to that on Wednesday April 5th, the Monkees resumed production on the show for the 2nd season before they went on summer hiatus. The first one they filmed for season 2 was The Picture Frame (wrapping on 4/7). While Mike is in that one, Peter isn't some of the scenes. I 'think' this is the episode he refers to from time to time where he had a bad trip and they had to film around him (just a guess). Now by this time, the Headquarters album had been completed and there were a few concerts. Filming wise for the second season, they then went about filming the following epiosdes prior to his surgery according to the book:

Art For Monkees Sake (production wraps 4/14)
Monkees Blow Their Minds (production wraps 4/20)
Everywhere a Sheik Sheik (production wraps 4/27)
The Devil and Peter Tork (production wraps 5/4)
I Was A 99lb Weakling (production wraps (5/11)
Monkees Marooned (production wraps 5/18)

Of these 5, he is only absent for one (99lb Weakling). The one filmed immediately after his surgery on 5/23 is Monkees Watch Their Feet (wrapping 5/26) and he is obviously gone from that but films a wrap-around segment later in the year. They then round out the pre-hiatus filming with It's A Nice Place to Visit (wrapping 6/2) and Monkee Mayor (wrapping 6/8) and he is in both of those.

As a side note, I get a kick how these episodes are actually aired in a different order so you see 'fuzzy' Micky mixed in with straight haired Micky. Again as a side note, when the Monkees film those videos in the rainbow room, they filmed them in Chicago August of '67 ath the Fred Niles Film Studios. I did a little research and those were filmed in the very studios that Oprah has resided in for her show. However, I digress....

The Hitting the High Seas episode isn't filmed until around 10/13 (almost 5 months to the day AFTER the surgery) This is another episode he bowed out of but it appears to be because he got really sick sometime during the week. He is also not in the "Card Carrying Red Shoes" episode (save for the "She Hangs Out" segment which was filmed earlier) which is filmed the previous month (9/27) but I have no idea why he was not in this one.

SO...I don't know if leading up to his surgery he was not in a few episodes because he had a sore throat or it was some type of punishment from management. I would say it would be the former but then again the legend would have it that sitting out a few episodes was just a form of his protesting and sounds much cooler than a sore throat. That doesn't seem to make sense as these episodes were filmed after Headquarters was recorded and they won their independence. Not to mention that the episodes that he sat out were not filmed in succession and the last one filmed that he's not in (Hitting the High Seas) seems to be because he was genuinely ill.

The thing I find a little irritating about him is that he pushes for this musical independence yet when you get to Pices (even though it is my favorite album along with HEAD and Headquarters), he starts to bail on everyone and do his own stuff which I found kinda weird. The iorny is that he pushed the rest of the guys to record their own stuff and Davy was the holdout as when the Headquarters sessions start, he is in NYC doing vocals for Kirshner songs (She Hangs Out, 'Violin', 'Mustang' etc.). Once Davy was on board for Headquarters and they do it all themselves, Mike decides to take himself in another direction and pull away from the three of them.

I know this all happened a long time ago so everyones memory of events is going to be all over the place (just like us and our memories) The truth is somewhere in the middle. It is like the other legend that was perpetuated where the Monkees didn't know a second album was out (More of the Monkees) and they had to buy it to hear it. Well again, according to the book, they were part of a radio station promotion in December of '66 where they were giving away advanced copies of that very album! So I believe that story (which Peter has told on many occassion) where they had no idea about the album to be false. It makes for a nice story and gives sympathy to the guys but I don't believe when you read the facts. The flip of that is if Peter's story is to be believed, then this album they were giving away in the radio station promo is NOT More of the Monkees and must be the great lost Monkee artifact.

Whew...I'm taking the dog for a walk.

Last edited by HelloLarry : 05-31-2011 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:45 PM   #9
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Although The Monkees continued to release albums for a couple years after their TV show was cancelled, I've always considered the main period of popularity was during the run of the TV show 1966 to 68. It's interesting that after 45 years The Monkees still have a legion of devoted fans. The TV show was way off the wall, wild and silly but it retains a certain nostalgic charm when watching it today. And The Monkees recorded some songs that are considered pop music classics today. So hail to The Monkees, the 1960's was a great time for entertainment in America. Would be nice to go back to those days and live em again.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tammy
No, I don't know how he reconciled the surgery with his christian scientist beliefs but he did have his tonsils out and miss an episode or two because of it. It's been mentioned in interviews and you could probably find more details with a quick online search.

Also, if the stories about Mike's bank account are even half true, I would say he's had the last laugh and not the "PTB" in question
Hmm whatever!
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:04 PM   #11
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I think the fact that Mike has never had to do a Monkees reunion tour says it all about how much money he's got.

He inherited the patent for white out, practically invented MTV and has done pretty well for himself.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiechick60
Hmm whatever!

Hippie...check out the post I did over the weekend. I took information from the Monkee book so it should help you out. Enjoy the show next month!
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:17 PM   #13
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I wish Mke would come back and sing with the other 3. I miss him.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:53 PM   #14
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In the Monkees documentary, Mickey also said, as soon as they took control over their music, the sales tanked. Their music never sold like it did when professionally controlled, and produced.
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahur1
In the Monkees documentary, Mickey also said, as soon as they took control over their music, the sales tanked. Their music never sold like it did when professionally controlled, and produced.

Do you think that had more to do with the 'fad' aspect of the Monkees and not because of how it was produced or controlled? Maybe the project just peaked right around that time.

I don't think Kirshner getting canned had any impact on how the music was distributed (meaning without his control the albums weren't in as many stores which would equal fewer sales). Not to mention, I don't think an album of Kirshner approved songs (drek like "If I Learned to Play the Violin") would have been received any better. The music as a whole was still professionally controlled by others even though the members of the show/group had a little more input. It had it's core / built-in audience and maybe some of them were growing up and moving onto other things like all fads. When Headquarters came out, the music industry sound was changing. I almost wonder what things would have been like if the show had come about a year earlier in that something like Headquarters fits in more with the mainstream pop music sound of the summer of '66 than it does the summer of '67.

The show really fueled the sales and you can see how things drop off dramatically once the show is off the air (save for reruns but by then I contend that the 'fad' was long since past). Not to mention the quality of what was being released had diminished.

I've talked about this with a friend of mine and the interesting thing IOO is that the music which was the most heated point of contention with the project seems to be what average fans really remember. The show kinda seems secondary and dated to some.

I wonder if anyone at the time could envision how much of an impact the project would have, that it would take on a life of it's own, and that we'd still be talking about it 45 years later. They knew what they were doing when they picked these guys. It's always been a fascinating story to me.

Last edited by HelloLarry : 05-31-2011 at 05:05 PM.
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