ARTIST OF THE MONTH: THE MONKEES
On September 8-10, 1965 the Daily Variety newspaper and the Hollywood Reporter ran an ad in the paper to look for a cast of members for an up coming TV series.
It read, Madness!! Auditions. Folk and Roll musicians- singers or acting roles in TV series. Running parts for 4 insane boys, ages 17-21. Have courage to work. Must come down to interview.
Out of 437 applicants, three were chosen for the cast, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Mickey Dolenz. Michael Nesmith was the only one who saw the ad in the paper. Peter Tork was the last one to be chosen. Davy Jones was already signed to a long term contract to appear in TV and films with Screen-Gems and Columbia pictures which would be their record label in September of 1964. Stories have always been told that the Monkees never played their own instruments, but actually they did but their producers didn’t let them. Mike Nesmith was a skilled guitarist and bassist and Peter Tork played several stringed instruments and keyboards and also Mickey knew how to play the guitar and Davy Jones could play the drums. This is the band that was created and we know them as “The Monkees”.
Davy Jones was picked as the lead vocalist which the other three didn’t like, but Nesmith said that it was Mickey Dolenz voice that was distinctive in the band. And yet after so many rumors, the Monkees did play their own instruments. But remember they were hired as actors not musicians, that’s why the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame will not induct them in the Hall of Fame.
Another great rumor is that Charles Manson had also auditioned for an acting role but that is not true, Charlie was serving a federal prison sentence at the time in 1965. Find out more on the “Monkees” as we feature them as artist of the month, on the Little Red Rooster Show and KWMC’s Classic Hit Station 1490 AM.
And as always all information and known facts are by Wendy Johnson and all Artist of the Month shows are produced by Javier Martinez Sr.