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Recording Sessions for Head

January 23, 1968
RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood
"War Games"

The soundtrack to The Monkees' movie Head would prove to be a very interesting artifact. Only seven Monkees performances were included, with the rest of the album comprising bites from the film itself, assembled in a witty fashion by album coordinator and film cowriter and coproducer Jack Nicholson. The film was coproduced and directed by Bob Rafelson. While Davy and Steve Pitts, plus Bill Chadwick and Davy wrote songs with the movie in mind, these were not to be used. Only a couple songs were specifically written and recorded for the film.

This session was for the recording of a Jones/Pitts composition (Davy's second song).  The song was written for the movie Head but did not make the cut and was later considered for but rejected from Changes.  It eventually was released on Missing Links.

January 24, 1968

Sunset Sound, Hollywood

"Lady's Baby", "My Song In 7"

P: Peter Tork

Another session for "Lady's Baby". Also, "My Song In 7" is apparently another Tork song; nothing else is known about it, and it is missing.

January 25, 1968

Sunset Sound, Hollywood

"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again"

P: The Monkees

"Lady's Baby"

P: Peter Tork

More work on the two songs.

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Empire"

P: The Monkees

This is an incomplete recording of a Nesmith composition, without vocals.

January 26, 1968

Sunset Sound, Hollywood

"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again"

P: The Monkees

Another "Long Title" session.

January 27, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again"

P: The Monkees

"Long Title" again.

January 28, 1968

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Can You Dig It", "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again"

P: The Monkees

Peter started working on a second Head song on this day, "Can You Dig It". The soundtrack and film mixes of this song differ slightly. Though the originally released version features Micky singing, Tork sang the lead on the early sessions. A version with his vocals was added to the Rhino CD of Head. More work done on "Long Title" on this day.

January 29, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Can You Dig It"

P: The Monkees

Continuing "Can You Dig It".

January 30, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Can You Dig It"

P: The Monkees

Continuing "Can You Dig It".

January 31, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Can You Dig It", "Merry Go Round"

P: The Monkees

Continuing "Can You Dig It" and finishing "Merry Go Round".

January 1968

"Tears Of Joy"

???

February 1, 1968

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again", "Can You Dig It"

P: The Monkees

More work on the Tork songs.

February 2, 1968

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Lady's Baby"

P: Peter Tork

The second to last "Lady's Baby" session!

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Nine Times Blue"

P: Michael Nesmith

Meanwhile, Nesmith was recording a version of "Nine Times Blue" at RCA. As previously mentioned, this song had been around since before The Monkees began. Two more sessions would be devoted to this song. However, it would remain unreleased until Missing Links.

February 3, 1968

United Recorders

"Me Without You"

P: Boyce/Hart

This "Your Mother Should Know" (The Beatles) rip-off by Boyce & Hart made it onto Instant Replay after a few more sessions. An alternate mix with fuzz guitar was added as a bonus to the CD by Rhino.

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again"

P: The Monkees

Another "Long Title" session.

February 4, 1968

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again"

P: The Monkees

Another "Long Title" session.

United Recorders, Hollywood

"Shorty Blackwell"

P: Micky Dolenz

Continuing work on "Shorty Blackwell".

February 5, 1968

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again", "Tear The Top Right Off My Head"

P: The Monkees

"Tear The Top" was another Tork song. However, this one would not be released until Rhino's 1991 box set, then Missing Links 3. Also, a version with Micky on vocals has been bootlegged. Three more sessions were devoted to this song. Finally, in the "Hitting The High Seas" TV episode, Peter can be seen accompanying Micky's singing of this song with an acoustic guitar. The short snippet appeared to include double-tracking of Micky's vocal. More on "Long Title" too on this day.

February 6, 1968

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Tear The Top Right Off My Head"

P: The Monkees

Western Recorders Studio 2, Hollywood

"Dream World", "Changes", "We Were Made For Each Other", "It's Nice To Be With You"

P: The Monkees

"The Girl I Left Behind Me"

P: Sedaka/Bayer

While Peter continued work on "Tear The Top", Davy completed two songs cowritten by he and Steve Pitts, worked on one by Bayer/Fischoff, a remake of "The Girl I Left Behind Me", and a new one by Jerry Goldstein. "Changes" was not released until 1990's Missing Links Volume Two. "Dream World" would be ready for inclusion on the album after another session.. "We Were Made For Each Other" had been attempted at the beginning of sessions for this album and was attempted from scratch at this session. One more session would be necessary to complete the track for the album. "The Girl I Left Behind Me" would be finished after one more session and would make it onto Instant Replay. In 1995, Davy released the instrumental backing track of this version of the song on his Just For The Record - Volume Two. "It's Nice" became the B-side of The Monkees seventh single. It was written by Jerry Goldstein and sung by Davy.

February 7, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"It's Nice To Be With You", "We Were Made For Each Other"

P: The Monkees

Davy continued work on "We Were Made For Each Other".

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Lady's Baby"

P: Peter Tork

"Lady's Baby" was finally completed on this day.

February 8, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Dream World",

P: The Monkees

"She Calls Herself St. Matthew", "Nine Times Blue"

P: Michael Nesmith

"Dream World" was finished on this date. Meanwhile, Michael attempted to record a new composition entitled "She Calls Herself St. Matthew". Although this version's vocals (with one different lyric line) has not been released, a later version would eventually be released in the '90s. Nes also continued work on "Nine Times Blue".

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Come On In", "Tear The Top Right Off My Head"

P: The Monkees

Peter recorded the excellent Levenson/Duboff song on this day. Sadly, it remained unreleased until Missing Links Volume Two. He also continued "Tear The Top".

February 9, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"We Were Made For Each Other", "It's Nice To Be With You"

P: The Monkees

"The Girl I Left Behind Me"

P: Bayer/Sedaka

Davy continued "It's Nice" and finished the other two songs on this day.

February 10, 1968

United Recorders, Hollywood

"P.O. Box 9847"

P: The Monkees

On this day, Boyce and Hart replaced the Moog track on "P.O. 9847" with a string part. This mix would make the album.

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again"

P: The Monkees

Also on this day, Peter continued working on "Long Title".

February 11, 1968

Filming - Head

This was the first day of shooting for The Monkees' only film. Due to The Monkees being denied writers' credit for the film, all except Peter boycotted this first day. The Monkees, Jack Nicholson, and Bob Rafelson had written the film during a weekend in Ojai, CA.

February 12, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again", "Tear The Top Right Off My Head"

P: The Monkees

Another "Long Title" session for Peter, and "Tear The Top" was completed.

February 14, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Zor And Zam"

P: The Monkees

Another "Zor And Zam" session. Apparently, the sparse version was finished on this day.

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again"

P: The Monkees

The final "Long Title" session!!

February 15, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"The Poster", "I'm Gonna Try", "Party"

P: The Monkees

"Shorty Blackwell"

P: Micky Dolenz

Today, Davy worked on three compositions he wrote with Steve Pitts. Only "The Poster" would be released on the album. The other two, "I'm Gonna Try" and "Party" had almost identical instrumental tracks; however, the vocals were completely different, making "I'm Gonna Try" far superior. "Party" made it onto Missing Links, and "I'm Gonna Try" was added as a bonus to Rhino's Birds, Bees CD. "I'm Gonna Try" was later proposed and rejected for Changes. Also on this day, Micky continued work on "Shorty Blackwell".

February 17, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"The Poster", "I'm Gonna Try", "Zor And Zam", "D.W. Washburn"

P: The Monkees

Davy finished up "The Poster" and "I'm Gonna Try", and Micky completed the released version of "Zor And Zam" on this day. Micky also began "D.W. Washburn", written by Leiber/Stoller, which would be the group's seventh single. Originally, an African-American bass singer was on the track; this was removed before release. Filming for the movie continued

February 24, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Shake 'Em Up", "Don't Say Nothing Bad"

P: The Monkees

Micky chose the Leiber/Stoller song "Shake 'Em Up" which was released on Missing Links 3. Apparently, "Shake 'Em Up" was considered for release on Changes. No information is available for "Don't Say Nothing Bad".

February 26, 1968

California Recorders, Hollywood

"Porpoise Song (Theme From Head)"

P: Gerry Goffin

This Goffin/King masterpiece was one of the few songs written especially for the movie Head. It became The Monkees' eighth single as well with a drone section at the end being included. One more session would be necessary. Micky later recorded a lullaby version of this song for his first solo album in 1991.

Performance on TV show - "Greensleeves".

February 28, 1968

California Recorders, Hollywood

"Porpoise Song (Theme From Head)"

P: Gerry Goffin

The song was completed.

February 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"If I Ever Get To Saginaw Again", "All The Gray Haired Men"

P: The Monkees

Both Jack Keller/Bob Russell songs (thanks to Jordan Keller for revealing the identity of the composers of the latter), the former was actually recorded by the band in two completely different versions, one featuring Michael, the other Davy. Michael's version was released on Missing Links Volume Two, while Davy's version remains unreleased. There have been claims that Davy's version was recorded post Monkees, during the 1970s. It is available on Jordan Keller's web site (http://www.public.usit.net/jkeller/jordan.html). It is not known if "All The Gray Haired Men" was ever recorded by the group.

"Impact", "Seasons"

???

March 1, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Daddy's Song", "Rosemarie", "D.W. Washburn"

P: The Monkees

Another session for "Daddy's Song". "D.W. Washburn" was completed, and Micky began the odd "Rosemarie", written by himself. An early version of this song was included as a bonus on Instant Replay, with a later version making Missing Links (CD). A few more sessions were devoted to this song. The Monkees were now spending most of their time filming Head.

March 2, 1968

Single release - "Valleri"/"Tapioca Tundra".

Also, sometime in 1968, the "Valleri"/"Tema Dei Monkees" single was released in Italy.

March 4, 1968

Performance on TV show - "Girl Named Love".

March 8, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Can You Dig It"

P: The Monkees

The final "Can You Dig It" session.

March 9, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"I'll Be Back Up On My Feet", "Shadow Of A Man", "I Was Not Born To Follow"

P: The Monkees

This song was started from scratch a third time. After one more session, it would be ready for the album. "Shadow Of A Man" is a Miller/Greenfield song, but nothing more is known about it. "I Was Not Born To Follow" is a Goffin/King song released by The Byrds as "Wasn't Born To Follow" but has never been released by The Monkees.

March 14, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"I'll Be Back Up On My Feet", "Rosemarie"

P: The Monkees

"I'll Be Back Up On My Feet" was completed on this day, and a second session for "Rosemarie" was held.

T.T.G.

"Look Down"

P: Stern/King

This Stern/King song was demoed on this day. Davy and Carole King would record it properly later on.

March 25, 1968

Song debut on TV show - "Zor And Zam" (alternate version).

March 28, 1968

American

"Music Of The World A-Turnin'"

P: The Monkees

A Nesmith song, this has never been released and is currently missing. This was the final session for The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees!

April 4, 1968

Sunset Sound, Hollywood

"Daddy's Song"

P: The Monkees

On this day, "Daddy's Song" was finished. Filming continued throughout April.

Recording Sessions for Instant Replay

April 5, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Nine Times Blue", "Carlisle Wheeling"

P: Michael Nesmith

This day began the sessions for what would become The Monkees' seventh long player and the first to feature just three Monkees. Peter Tork had been disappointed with The Monkees' music situation from the beginning, being ridiculed by Boyce and Hart. Furthermore, the groupwork ended after the fourth album. Although Peter would tour with the group, except for recordings for their final two film projects, he would do no further recording within The Monkees. Meanwhile, the other three continued working in the studio. After the release of Instant Replay, The Monkees would be given control of their music. The Monkees decided to continue working and performing together. However, they would be allowed to develop as individual performers as well.
In the studio with Jack Keller. (Photo courtesy of Jordan Keller: http://www.public.usit.net/jkeller/jordan.html.)

"Nine Times Blue" was finished at this session. Also, Nesmith recorded a new version of "Carlisle Wheeling", with Chip Douglas on bass and future long-time collaborator Red Rhodes on pedal steel. This version was finally released on the Rhino Instant Replay CD, as a bonus track.

April 6, 1968

T.T.G.

"Look Down"

Davy recorded this song with Carole King. It finally was released on Missing Links 3. It was rejected from Changes.

April 9, 1968

Western Recorders Studio #1, Hollowed

"Just A Game", "Shorty Blackwell"

P: Micky Dolenz

"Just A Game" was actually written back around the Headquarters sessions time. The group did not complete any takes of the song though. Micky started it again on this day, and after one more session, it would be ready for the album. Micky also continued "Shorty Blackwell".

April 22, 1968

Album release - The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees.

April 30, 1968

Western Recorders, Studio #1, Hollywood

"Shorty Blackwell"

P: Micky Dolenz

Another "Shorty Blackwell" session.

May 2, 1968

Western Recorders, Studio #1, Hollywood

"Shorty Blackwell"

P: Micky Dolenz

Another "Shorty Blackwell" session.

May 10, 1968

Wall Heider's, Hollywood

"Smile", "You And I", "That's What It's Like Lovin' You"

P: Davy Jones

This session featured former Buffalo Springfield member Neil Young on guitar. In fact, the Springfield had ridden on The Monkees' tour plane in 1967 for a time, and after they broke up, several of the members played on Monkees sessions. Steven Stills and Dewey Martin played on several of Peter's songs. "Smile" is Davy's only Monkees song written solely by himself, and it is a very respectable effort. It was not originally released and was also foolishly rejected from Changes. Thankfully, Rhino added it to their Instant Replay CD. "You And I", cowritten by Davy and Bill Chadwick, is probably Davy's finest release. It was a highlight of Instant Replay. "That's What It's Like Lovin' You", a Jones/Pitts song, was probably recorded on this day as well. It has not been released.

May 1968

"I Think It's Gonna Rain", "Large As Life", "Hold Me", "Go Away Little Girl"

???

May 21, 1968

Concert - Valley Auditorium, Salt Lake City, UT.

Concert - Lagoon Park Amusement Center, Salt Lake City, UT

The Monkees played their last US concerts as a foursome on this date. Mike played guitar; Micky handled drums; Davy played percussion, keyboards, and probably occasional bass, while Peter played bass and probably keyboards. Specifically held for filming the "Circle Sky" Head sequence, the first concert comprised several takes of the song plus some requests for the audience. The first concert was recorded, but, unfortunately, no vocals were captured, as the plan was for Michael to overdub his vocal later. "Circle Sky" was recorded seven times, and other songs (including unique performances of "You Told Me" and "Zor And Zam") were performed by request. What a crying shame this is, as The Monkees were definitely at the peak of their live-playing in 1968 as witnessed by this one track. The live "Circle Sky" was included in the movie but not the soundtrack as previously mentioned. It eventually became even more common than the original studio version, appearing on Monkeemania, Monkee Business, Missing Links Volume Two, Listen To The Band, and the Rhino Head CD. This concluded the filming for the movie Head, and the boys had a couple weeks of free time.

May 23, 1968

Micky Dolenz TV appearance - "The Top of the Pops" (England).

May 28, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Nashville

"Propinquity (I've Just Begun To Care)"

P: Michael Nesmith/Felton Jarvis

After completing the filming for Head, Nesmith went to Nashville to record nine country rock songs with producer Felton Jarvis. Originally planned as his side of a double album featuring all four members, only a third of the songs were originally released. Fortunately, the others have been released on Rhino. Michael also recut five of the songs while a solo artist, and his first solo album was produced by Jarvis. "Propinquity" has been released on Missing Links 3, and Michael did rerecord this very tender song for his third solo album, Nevada Fighter. This song was another that had been around since before The Monkees, along the lines of "Different Drum", "Some Of Shelly's Blues", "Nine Times Blue", and "Two Different Roads".

May 29, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Nashville

"Don't Wait For Me", "Hollywood", "Some Of Shelly's Blues", "The Crippled Lion"

P: Michael Nesmith/Felton Jarvis

"Don't Wait For Me" from this session made Instant Replay. "Hollywood" would eventually make Missing Links 3 after a further session. Nes rerecorded "Hollywood" for his debut solo album, Magnetic South. This day's recording of "Some Of Shelly's Blues" has appeared on Rhino's Missing Links Volume Two and the box set. Nes also recut the song in 1973 for Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash. "The Crippled Lion" was recut for Nes' excellent first solo album Magnetic South. This day's version of "The Crippled Lion" made it onto Missing Links Volume Two.

May 30, 1968

Wally Heider's, Hollywood

"As We Go Along"

P: The Monkees

On this day, the instrumental for this song was recorded. Since Micky was in England at the time, it is assumed he recorded the vocal during the August session for the song. This very beautiful King/Stern song was the B-side to "Porpoise Song" and was featured in a slightly different mix in the movie Head.

May 31, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Nashville

"Hollywood", "How Insensitive"

P: The Monkees

This second day of Nashville sessions yielded two recordings which would not be released originally. "Hollywood" was finished. "Hollywood" and "How Insensitive" were released on Missing Links 3.

June 1, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Nashville

"Good Clean Fun", "Listen To The Band"

P: Michael Nesmith

These are the other two songs that were indeed released originally, on the group's eighth album, The Monkees Present. "Listen To The Band" was originally The Monkees' tenth B-side, but due to an enthusiastic response, it became the A-side. Another session was held for brass overdubs to this song, and an early mix without the horns has been included as a bonus track on Rhino's The Monkees Present. The album mix of this song has a slightly longer organ bridge section. The group performed this song live for their TV special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, with Mike on guitar and vocals, Peter on keyboards, Micky on drums, and Davy on tambourine. The song started out very tenderly, then gradually evolved into cacophony, with the many hippies joining in. Mike later rerecorded the song with The First National Band for Loose Salute.

Davy Jones TV appearance - "Dee Time" (England).

June 2, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Nashville

"St. Matthew"

P: Michael Nesmith

This song had been attempted during the Birds, Bees sessions, but that version's vocals have not been released. This version made it onto Missing Links Volume Two, and an early, more psychedelic mix was added to Rhino's Instant Replay CD. This concluded Nesmith's awesome Nashville sessions.

June 3, 1968

"Title Unknown"

???

June 6, 1968

Davy Jones TV appearance - "The Top of the Pops" (England). "D.W. Washburn" promotional clip.

Davy had agreed to film a promo clip for the upcoming single with the BBC.

June 7, 1968

Western Recorders Studio #1, Hollywood

"Shorty Blackwell", "Just A Game"

P: Micky Dolenz

Micky completed these two songs at this session.

June 8, 1968

Single release - "D.W. Washburn"/"It's Nice To Be With You".

June 19, 1968

Sunset Sound, Hollywood

"You And I"

P: Davy Jones

Another session for the song.

June 21, 1968

Sunset Sound, Hollywood

"You And I"

P: Davy Jones

Another session for the song.

July 1968

The Wichita Train Whistle album release - The Wichita Train Whistle Sings.

The Wichita Train Whistle single release - "Don't Cry Now"/"Tapioca Tundra".

July 25, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Ditty Diego - War Chant"

P: Nicholson/Rafelson

"Ditty Diego - War Chant" was written by Head's cowriters Jack Nicholson and Bob Rafelson. Presented early in the film, it very aptly described what was to come and what not to expect! On this day, the four Monkees were in the studio together, recording a song together, singing together (a very rare occurrence indeed). Rhino added this very juicy bit of studio recording and practice to their Head CD. One can hear Rafelson and Nicholson directing the boys, as well as the individual Monkees' reactions, etc. A second session was necessary to capture the version we hear in the film and on the soundtrack.

August 1, 1968

Original Sound, Hollowed

"As We Go Along", "Mommy And Daddy"

P: The Monkees

Micky recorded his vocal for "As We Go Along" on this day. Also, he started recording one of his most interesting songs, "Mommy And Daddy". This song was recorded at this session with very socially and politically provocative lyrics. However, Micky was forced to later recut the song with tamer lyrics. Rhino released the original version as a bonus track on The Monkees Present. The tamer version was released on the same album originally.

August 3, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Happy Birthday To You", "Ditty Diego - War Chant"

P: Nicholson/Rafelson

During a section of the film Head, Michael is awaken and witnesses the other three Monkees dressed as druids. Suddenly, they break into "Happy Birthday". So, on this day Micky, Davy, and Peter recorded the traditional song by Patti Smith Hill and Mildred Hill with organ accompaniment. Rhino added the short piece as a bonus to their soundtrack. Also recorded on this day was the originally-released "Ditty Diego". The soundtrack mix of this song was sped up and slowed down in places for effect. This session was the last for the movie. Sometime during this month, Jack Nicholson would work his magic, creating the seven remaining tracks for the Head soundtrack. Apparently, Nicholson took over for Nesmith as album coordinator.