5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Monkees

August 16, 2016

Photo by Kitty Dunn

Monkee Mania got its start 50 years ago today, with release of their song "Last Train to Clarksville." The new TV show starring the "Pre-fab 4" would debut a month later on September 12, and their first album wasn't released until October of 1966.

Interestingly, the song had only been recorded a couple of weeks earlier, on July 25th. A turnaround like that is unheard of these days.

Here are some other things you may not have known about Mike, Micky, Pete, and Davy.

1. The Monkees’ records outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined in 1966 and 1967.

2. John Lennon said the Monkees were “the funniest comedy team since the Marx brothers,” adding that he “never missed an episode” of their TV show.

3. The Monkees made a very trippy movie, called "Head." Written by actor Jack Nicholson, it proved too freaky for their core audience of teeny boppers, so it was a flop at the box office. With cameo appearances by Green Bay Packer Ray Nitschke and Teri Garr it has now become a cult favorite.

4. After the Monkees TV series was done, both Mickey Dolenz and Mike Nesmith auditioned to play Fonzie on Happy Days.

5. The Monkees released a new album in 2016, called "Good Times." It was produced by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, and featured Mike, Micky, and Peter as well as a posthumous contribution from Davy.


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