Released in theaters nationwide on Nov. 6, 1968, 'Head' was the Monkees last real hurrah as a pop phenomenon of the '60s. If you want to talk about going out in a blaze of glory, look no further. What other film has its stars jumping off a bridge to their watery death in the first five minutes? The Monkees name was not used in the offbeat advertising for the film, the movie itself had no credits at all until the very end, and the soundtrack generated zero radio hits. Some might call this a recipe for failure, while others might simply see it as the lunatics taking over the asylum.
Technically, ‘I’m a Believer’ is a Neil Diamond song, even though it was made famous by the '60s' best made-for-TV rock group, the Monkees. But it doesn't matter which of those acts claims ownership of it, as long as it's not Smash Mouth, who covered the song in 2001 for the hit animated movie 'Shrek.'
What do you get when you cross a psychedelic guitar genius with one of the world's bestselling pop bands? A frustrated guitarist, a disappointed band and a bewildered and confused audience.
By the time they released 'The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees' in April 1968, the Monkees had been on a nonstop roller-coaster ride for a solid 15 months. Record after record, live appearances and shooting their TV show made for an exceptionally busy schedule. Except for the soundtrack to their movie 'Head,' which came out later in the year, 'The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees' would be the last album released by the original group.
On Monday, March 25, 1968, at 7:30PM, the final episode of 'The Monkees' aired over the NBC airwaves. When the television show about a rock and roll band premiered on Monday, Sept. 12, 1966, no one could have guessed the phenomenon it would become. Over the 18 months that followed, the fictitious band became a real band, and their records not only topped the charts, but even outsold the Beatles.
At their triumphant show at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium on Nov. 17, the Monkees were indeed 'too busy singing to put anybody down' as their nearly 30-song set proved. Nostalgia is a crazy creature. It taunts and teases as it pulls a tear, and tries its best to give you that warm all over glow. It can be both good and bad. Thankfully in the hands of the Monkees, it was all good. This was a show custom made for the diehard fans, nothing less and certainly a lot more.
Despite the untimely death of Monkees singer Davy Jones earlier in the year, there was never any doubt that his music and legacy would live on. Now, his daughters are making that happen in another way, close to Davy's heart. The Davy Jones Equine Memorial Fund has been set up by daughters Talia, Jessica, Sara