The Monkees Entry into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
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Michael Nesmith said it best back in 1967, when a news reporter asked is it true that The Monkees don't play their own instruments? Nesmith, ready to hit the stage, replied, Man, Im about to step out in front of a stadium full of people, and if I cant play my own instrument, Im in A LOT of trouble.
Peter Tork has carried that sentiment into the 21st century by continuing to play, record and compose music while also giving new life to a few of The Monkees hits that he and his colleagues brought to international attention. In reaction to the April 17, 2007 Newsday story written by Joseph Dionisio from an interview given by Peter Tork on tour with his band Shoe Suede Blues, the question reverberates -
Why aren't The Monkees in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
After forty years, it is time one urban myth is finally acknowledged as fiction and the nay sayer is out voted. When the facts are revealed, studio musicians have always been and will always continue to be a part of the recording industry AND Bands who do concert tours must be able to perform live.
The Monkees, unlike any other band in the history of pop music, rebelled against the powers that were - and and won the rights to record, play and perform their own music. Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz,, David Jones and Michael Nesmith carried that hard won right like a battle flag across concert stages and into recording studios in the 60's and then into the 70's, 80's 90's and today. Their contribution and success in the music world as a band, and also as four individuals, is staggering. Their influence on generations of musicians is evident and will continue well into the future.
The Monkees were eligible to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a decade ago. The people are now going to take up the flag and take a stand that The Monkees finally be given the honor for which they are long overdue. The people want The Monkees to be part of the next class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In support of that request the undersigned offer the following facts:
Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith & David Jones...The Monkees contribution to the History of Rock and Roll
As a BAND:
In 1967 The Monkees sold more records than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones - COMBINED.
The Monkees changed the way music was marketed to the public - video - and later one of them would invent MTV...
The Monkees had FOUR (4) #1 albums in ONE year with their first two albums dominating the #1 position on the album chart for 31 weeks. Not too shabby for the so called "Pre-Fab Four". In 1967, selling 5 million copies of one album was unheard of.
The Gold Record an award for those rare recordings selling 1 million copies. Very successful bands including Paul Revere the Raiders, The Kinks, and the Animals never had a gold single in the 60's. Albums were also given Gold Records, if they sold more than 1 million copies. When the Monkees sold 5 million albums in a single year, it was a music industry milestone.
The Platinum Record was introduced in 1976 for sales of 2 million records, and the Multi-Platinum Record was introduced in the mid-80s. "More of the Monkees" could have been awarded 5 x platinum earlier than 1994. The RIAA waited until re release on CD to certify platinum those recordings which originated prior to the new certification status. The Monkees first five (5) albums were released on CD simultaneously, with all five (5) CD's being certified as platinum and multi-platinum award winners that same day.
ACCORDING TO Billboard Album Charts:
-"I'm a Believer" was the 5th biggest song of the 60s.
-As of 1995 "More of the Monkees" was the 11th most-weeks-at-number-one #1 album.
-"More of the Monkees" made the second biggest jump to Number One in history going from # 122 to # 1 in one week
"Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd." was the 10th biggest jumper, going from #29 to #1 in one week.
-The Monkees are #27 on the Top Artists of the Rock Era. They were ranked higher than The Eagles, Madonna, Pink Floyd, Neil Diamond, and Bruce Springsteen.
-They are the #8 biggest selling band/artist of the 60s.
-They are #11 on the list of the most weeks at #1 on the album chart
-They're #15 on the list of the most #1 albums. FOUR
The Monkees appeared on the Billboard Album Chart from October 8, 1966 to March 30, 1968 Holding the #1 spot from November 12, 1966 through February 4, 1967; when it was beat out by the newly released More of The Monkees. More of The Monkees remained on the charts at the #1 spot from February 11, 1967 through June 10, 1967. Two weeks later, on June 24, 1967 the #1 spot was replaced by Headquarters. Headquarters dropped to the #2 spot on July 1, 1967 where it remained through September 9, 1967, when it dropped to #3. On December 2, 1967 Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, Ltd. Took the #1 spot, through December 30th, 1967, when it dropped to #3. The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees opened at #3 on May 18, 1968, and held that position through June 15, 1968, when it dropped to #4.
From November 1967 through March 23, 1968, The Monkees had all four of their albums in the top 100 Billboard Album listwith all four albums remaining on the charts through May 25, 1968. On February 28, 1968 Head appeared on the charts, and on March 1, 1969, Instant Replay was added to the chartsfollowed by The Monkees Greatest Hits on June 28th, 1969. Instant Replay was added to the charts on March 1, 1969, where it remained through June 7, 1969.
AS a BAND of INDIVIDUALS
Headquarters was the ground breaking third album on which Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and David Jones fought and won the rights to perform, write and select everything recorded. It was released on May 22, 1967. Notable facts:
Peter Tork contributed one of the pioneer uses, arguably the first use, of the banjo on a pop/rock record on the Nesmith tune, "You Told Me.," for the Headquarters album (recorded on March 3 & 9, 1967) Tork was encouraged to carry on with his banjo playing by one George Harrison. Tork continued to weave the sound of that magical banjo into George Harrison's work, "Wonderwall," the first solo project by any of the Beatles and into his own current record, Cambria Hotel released February 27, 2007.
Tork penned the fabulous "For Pete's Sake" (Headquarters) which also became The Monkees TV closing theme.
Peter Tork's "Can You Dig It?" for the Monkees feature film "Head" is also among the notable tunes (and film sequences) for Eastern dancers.
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. was the fourth album by The Monkees, released on November 14, 1967. Notable facts:
Micky Dolenz pioneered the use of the Moog Synthesizer, of which he owned one of the first three ever sold. In 1967, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd. is most likely the first commercially issued recordings to feature the Moog and IS the first album to feature a synthesizer to ever hit #1 on the charts. Not even The Beatles had experimented with one before this point. (George Harrison would experiment with a Moog in late 1968, employing it on his second solo album, Electronic Sound, and the Beatles used it on Abbey Road.)
Dolenz played the his Moog on Nesmith's psychedelic tune "Daily, Nightly," a commentary on the Sunset Strip.
David Jones was starring in the Broadway production of "Oliver!" as the Artful Dodger at fourteen years of age for which he earned a Tony nomination. He brought his self titled "Broadway Rock" to the Monkees palate of hits. Jones had a big voice and a great face. David Jones' lead vocal on Daydream Believer was a solid #1 hit. (Tork's original piano lick helped fan the fire with Nesmith's guitar and Dolenz backing vocals on board to make DDB one of the all time most loved Monkees tunes or pop tunes ever recorded.)
Michael Nesmith's sound withThe Monkees and on his later solo recordings (Magnetic South and Loose Salute) is what would come to be called "Country Rock." We will stand behind the notion that he IS the Father of Country Rock. The Ian Matthews album Nesmith produced called "Valley Hi", specifically the tune "Seven Bridges Road", had vocals by Nesmith and Matthews. If you check the date recorded vs the Eagles version of the same song and the date recorded, Nesmith was the pioneer.
Michael Nesmith, without question or argument, invented MTV.
Album / Weeks on Chart / Start Year / Weeks @ #1
The Monkees 78 1966 13
More of The Monkees 70 1967 18
Headquarters 50 1967 1
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, Ltd. 47 1967 5
The Birds, The Bees, and The Monkees 38 1968
Head 14 1968
Instant Replay 15 1969
The Monkees Greatest Hits 12 1969
Present 14 1969
The Monkees Greatest Hits 12 1969
The Monkees Greatest Hits (NEW ENTRY) 16 1976
The Monkees Greatest Hits (RE-DEBUT) 13 1986
Then & Now 22 1986
Changes 3 1986
The Monkees 19 1986
More of The Monkees 19 1986
Headquarters 16 1986
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones, Ltd. 16 1986
The Birds, The Bees, and The Monkees 11 1986
Then & Now 22 1986
In the 60's, the Billboard singles chart was based on sales and radio airplay combined. It is unusual for artists to have both sides of their single chart. The B-side of a single chart was based on how many times it was played on the radio. In the 60s, only the BIGGEST bands (Elvis, The Stones) had both sides of their single played on the radio. Beginning with "I'm a Believer", the Monkees had double-sided hits. Two of their B-sides even made it into the Top 20! Even "Tapioca Tundra" charted...and is definitely among the strangest songs to ever make the Top 40. The Monkees were big, man, real big. The reason "Valleri" was released as a single was due to some DJ in Ohio taping the tune from the TV SHOW (the first version) and playing it on his radio show. People went crazy for it...so the boys were forced to release it.
The people are speaking again...for the only band from the 60's who are still with us and
never had nor would the public ever accept, a personnel change...
Peter, Micky, David and Michael - The Monkees
The Monkees A Manufactured Image Rock & Roll Reference Series, Pierian Press 1986
Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits
Top Pop Singles 1955-1993, both by Joel Whitburn,
Number One Albums by Craig Rosen
All chart placings are based on actual Billboard Chart
1. Sandy Jacobson / Marilyn Ingram