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Recording Sessions for The Monkees Present

January 22, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"My Share Of The Sidewalk"

P: Michael Nesmith

Apparently, Michael worked on this song on this day. It is not known if this was the same version recorded a year before.

February 5, 1969

TV performance and appearance - "The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour".

Mike, Micky, and Davy performed as a trio on the show and also sat down for a chat. They performed a medley of "Last Train To Clarksville", "I'm A Believer", and "Salesman". Micky played drums, Davy the bass, and Mike the guitar. They also lip-synched their upcoming single, "Tear Drop City". A tiny sample of this performance was aired on the July 11, 1997 episode of the U.S. TV magazine Access Hollywood.

February 8, 1969

Single release - "Tear Drop City"/"A Man Without A Dream".

February 11, 1969

Davy Jones TV appearance - "Laugh-In".

February 15, 1969

Album release - Instant Replay.

February 16, 1969

Davy Jones TV appearance - "This Is Tom Jones", performed "Consider Yourself".

1969 North American Tour (Nesmith, Dolenz, Jones)

March 29-31, 1969
April 1-7, 11, 12, 13, 17, 26, 1969
May 3, 4, 9, 10, 1969
June 20, 22, 1969
July 18, 19, 26, 1969
August 1, 28, 29, 1969
October 17, 1969
November 30, 1969

03/31/69-04/06/69(?) -- Mexico City, Mexico
04/07/69(?) -- Guadalajara, Mexico

Partial set list:

"Summertime"
"Circle Sky"
"I'm A Believer"
"Pleasant Valley Sunday"
"Tapioca Tundra"
"I Wanna Be Free"
"Show Me"
"A Man Without A Dream"
"Daydream Believer"
"Goin' Down"
"Someday Man"
"Listen To The Band"
"Don't Wait For Me"
"Get On Up"
"For Once In My Life"
"Johnny B.Goode"
"I'm A Believer"

Mike: guitar
Micky: percussion, drums
Davy: percussion
Sam & The Goodtimers: guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, saxophone, piano

The three-piece Monkees made a genuine effort to continue and regain popularity. In addition to recording, they began appearing and sometimes performing on talk and variety television shows. They also began a North American tour. This would be their last tour during the group's original existence.

With the exit of Peter Tork, the group decided to enlist musical backup from Sam & The Goodtimers, an R&B group formerly of Ike & Tina Turner. This, combined with songs never performed before or since, including covers (Micky and Davy sang "Show Me", Micky sang "Summertime", Micky sang and played drums on his solo spot "Get On Up", Davy sang "For Once In My Life" for his solo spot, and Mike sang and played guitar on "Johnny B. Goode" for his solo spot), made for a rather unusual Monkees concert experience. However, the concert presentation has been referred to as one of their best, lasting two and a half hours as opposed to the one hour their previous shows had been. Unfortunately, the group's popularity was at an all-time low, and many concerts were canceled or very poorly attended. At least one concert was indeed recorded with plans to release a live album. Unfortunately, the very poor sales of Changes caused the cancellation of the album. Nothing has been released yet.  For details on the 1969 tour, please refer to Joe Alterio's excellent The Ultimate Tour.March 22, 1969

TV appearance - "Happening '69". "Tear Drop City" was aired.

March 29, 1969

Concert - The Coliseum in Vancouver, Canada.

March 30, 1969

Concert - Seattle Center Coliseum in Washington.

March 31 - April 6, 1969
Concerts - Mexico City, Mexico.

April 7, 1969
Concert - Guadalajara, Mexico.

April 11, 1969

Concert - Municipal Auditorium in Birmingham, AL.

April 13, 1969

Concert - Bell Auditorium in Augusta, GA.

April 14, 1969

33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee US (bar Hawaii) broadcast.

April 17, 1969

Concert - Honolulu International Center Arena in Hawaii.

April 26, 1969

Single release - "Someday Man"/"Listen To The Band".

Sometime later, the songs were flipped.

Concert - Auditorium in Chicago, IL.

April 28, 1969

33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee Hawaii broadcast.

May 1, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Penny Music", "If You Have The Time"

P: Davy Jones/Bill Chadwick

The Monkees had taken a long break from recording and were now back in the studio working on new tracks for their eighth album. Apparently, the group had been planning a four-album set called The Monkees Present, comprising a solo album from each Monkee, since 1968. Seeing how many tracks were leftover from Birds, Bees, this would have been almost possible! At one point, the plan was to release a double album, with one side for each member. After Peter left, the concept was modified to include a side of collaboration from the three to replace Peter's side. When The Monkees Present was finally released, however, the album had been scaled down to a single long player. While most of the songs were quite new, two Boyce and Hart leftovers sung by Davy were included. The album did stick to its plan of equal time for the members, four songs each. The double album concept must have been in the works until quite late in production of The Monkees Present, as its cover art has been included in Rhino's CD. The front cover originally featured British and American flags, the sun, the moon, a star, and the American eagle. The released cover features the sun, star, and moon as well, but these are quite de-emphasized, as well-done drawings of the three members were added. Furthermore, each of the members' names is present, indicating the individualness of the tracks, rather than a group effort. For some reason, Rhino opted to use the artwork with its color rather than in the stark, and more effective, black and white as it was originally released. The beautiful original inside gatefold artwork featured many of the same objects and symbols as the original front cover but also included melting Colgems records hanging on a dead tree in the desert, symbolizing the Monkees present popularity (at the time) indeed. While the released single album The Monkees Present is a disappointment compared to what a double or even quadruple-album could have been, it is still quite respectable and ranks highly among Monkees fans.

At this first session, Davy recorded "Penny Music", written by Michael Leonard, Bobby Weinstein, and Jon Stroll, and "If You Have The Time" by Bill Chadwick and himself. "Penny Music" has been released on Missing Links 3, and "If You Have The Time" made it onto Missing Links. "Penny Music" was recorded with the intention of being overdubbed onto the TV show reruns on CBS starting in September (it was mixed on July 11 for this purpose). It is not known if this ever happened. "If You Have The Time" was originally going to be used in Head as Davy's dance number but was replaced by Nilsson's very similar "Daddy's Song". Davy and Bill would write and record a few more songs together before The Monkees ended.

May 3, 1969

Concert - The Coliseum in Jackson, MS.

May 4, 1969

Concert - Coliseum in Houston, TX.

May 10, 1969

Concert - Convention Hall in Wichita, KS.

May 12, 1969

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"Today", "Steam Engine", "Kitty Hawk"

P: Chip Douglas

Though Chip had played on Monkees tracks after Pisces, this was his first return to producing the group.  Chip produced all three songs, but unfortunately, only one has been released so far. "Steam Engine" probably came very close to being released originally, as it was overdubbed onto one of The Monkees TV episodes in 1969.  Luckily, this excellent song featuring brass and Dolenz vocals (probably recorded at the second session) has been released, first on Australia's Monkeemania (with "99" added to the title), then Monkee Business, Listen To The Band, Missing Links 3, and Music Box.  Chip released an alternate vocal version of "Steam Engine" as a single on the label The Monkees Relived in 1986.  One more session would be necessary to complete the song.  In the '80s, Screen Gems requested a lead sheet from Chip, prompting him to write a third verse for the song.  As for the other two songs, Chip Douglas wrote "Today", and Bill Martin wrote "Kitty Hawk", but only backing tracks were recorded of the songs, though Chip recorded a guide vocal for "Today".  Chip once again tried to get Davy to sing the song "I'm A Man" around this time (according to Andrew Sandoval), but the vocal recording never happened.

May 24, 1969

33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee color BBC2 broadcast.

May 27, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"You're So Good", "Oklahoma Backroom Dancer"

P: Michael Nesmith

A year after his last major sessions (Nashville), Mike started a series of sessions that would be his very last with The Monkees. Only two songs from these sessions were originally released, though several more have been released by Rhino since then.

"Oklahoma Backroom Dancer" was written by old friend Michael Murphy and was released on the album. "You're So Good" is very unique as it was produced by Nesmith, sung by Dolenz, and written by an outsider, Robert Stone. It features Sam & The Goodtimers on the backing track. It made it onto Missing Links 3.

May 28, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Thirteen Is Not Our Lucky Number", "Little Red Rider"

P: Michael Nesmith

"Little Red Rider" was finally released on Missing Links 3. Nes would record a superior version with The First National Band within a year. He also had two further sessions with it in June. "Thirteen Is Not Our Lucky Number" has not been released.

May 29, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Calico Girlfriend Samba", "Lynn Harper", "Thank You My Friend"

P: Michael Nesmith.

Rhino released "Calico Girlfriend Samba" as a bonus on their CD. Nes also recut this song for his first solo album. Other than being Nes songs, nothing is known of the other two.

May 30, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Storybook Of You"

P: Boyce/Hart

"Suzanna Sometime"

P: Nesmith

"Storybook Of You" is a particularly weak Boyce and Hart tune sung by Davy. It made it onto Missing Links though. "Suzanna Sometime" is another unknown Nes song. These two songs would be continued the next day.

May 31, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Storybook Of You"

P: Boyce/Hart

"Suzanna Sometime"

P: Nesmith

The songs were worked on some more, "Storybook Of You" being finished.

June 2, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Omega", "Never Tell A Woman Yes"

P: Michael Nesmith

"Never Tell A Woman Yes" is a fun song on The Monkees Present, while "Omega" has not been released. Apparently, it "is a very long instrumental song" according to Andrew Sandoval.

June 5, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Good Afternoon", "Down The Highway"

P: Michael Nesmith

Nothing is known about these two songs except that "Down The Highway" was composed by King/Stern.

June 6, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"London Bridge", "The Bus That Never Comes"

P: Michael Nesmith

"London Bridge" is a Nesmith song, and "The Bus That Never Comes" is by Keller/Russell. The latter is an incomplete recording without vocals.

June 9, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Angel Band", "Till Then"

P: Michael Nesmith

"Angel Band" has been released on Missing Links 3. It was written by Jefferson Hascall and W.B. Bradbury and is a traditional hymn. Nothing is known of "Till Then".

June 10, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Michigan Blackhawk", "Little Tommy Blue"

P: Michael Nesmith

Rhino released "Michigan Blackhawk" on Missing Links Volume Two, but "Little Tommy Blue" has not been released.

June 14, 1969

Album release - Greatest Hits.

June 16, 1969

TV performance and appearance - "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson".

The group and Sam & The Goodtimers performed "Daydream Believer" and "Goin' Down" in addition to chatting with Johnny.

June 17, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Little Red Rider"

P: Michael Nesmith

Mike held another session for the song.

June 20, 1969

Concert - Coliseum in W. Springfield, MA.

Concert - Eastern States Exposition in W. Springfield, MA.

June 26, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"You're So Good", "Little Red Rider"

P: Michael Nesmith

Mike finished up "You're So Good" and "Little Red Rider". This was the very last Michael Nesmith Monkees recording session (until 1996)!

June 27, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"French Song", "How Can I Tell You", "If I Knew", "Opening Night".

P: David Jones/Bill Chadwick

Davy began the very moody-sounding "French Song", written by Bill Chadwick, on this day. After one more session, this track would be ready to be included on The Monkees Present. "If I Knew", cowritten by the two, was also released on the album after another session. Davy released an early take of the song as well as "How Can I Tell You" (also cowritten by Chadwick/Jones) from this session on his Just For The Record - Volume Three.  Davy also recorded a remake of "If I Knew" for Just For The Record - Volume Four.  "How Can I Tell You" is in fact contains the same music as Davy's earlier song "Smile" but with different lyrics.  Davy released today's rough run-through of he and Charlie Smalls doing "Opening Night" (written by Smalls) on his Just For The Record - Volume Two. Davy and Micky later performed this on their 1977 tour.

June 1969

"The Good Earth"

P: Davy Jones

Rhino added this spoken word poem of unknown authorship to their CD of the album.

TV performance and appearance - "The Joey Bishop Show", performed "I'm A Believer", "Someday Man", "Listen To The Band" with Sam & The Goodtimers.

July 1, 1969

Sunset Sound recorders, Hollywood

"If I Knew"

P: David Jones/Bill Chadwick

"We'll Be Back In A Minute", "We'll Be Back In A Minute 2"

P: Micky Dolenz/Brendan Cahill

Davy finished "If I Knew". Micky recorded two versions of a "TV Music Bridge" (his own composition) which were used during the 1969/1970 CBS reruns of the TV show. They were also released on Missing Links 3. Micky played guitar and kazoo, while Henry Diltz played banjo and Chip Douglas the bass.

July 8, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Steam Engine"

P: Chip Douglas

The song was completed.

July 11, 1969
"Penny Music"
The song was mixed for use in the TV show, though it is unknown if it ever was dubbed onto the show soundtrack.

July 16, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Midnight Train", "Bye Bye Baby Bye Bye"

P: Micky Dolenz

Micky recorded two songs on this day. "Midnight Train" had been tried acoustically in 1967, but no finished takes had been captured. This electric version with different lyrics was released on The Monkees last album (during the first run) called Changes. It was also dubbed onto a TV episode in rerun. "Bye Bye Baby Bye Bye" made it onto The Monkees Present.

July 18, 1969

Concert - 4-H Dane County Junior Fair in Madison, WI.

July 19, 1969

Concert in West Palm Beach, FL.

July 25, 1969

Concert - Club Forum in Mexico City, Mexico.

July 26, 1969

Concert - Club Forum in Mexico City, Mexico.

July 27, 1969

Concert - Plaza de Toro in Guadalajara, Mexico.

TV performance and appearance - "The Johnny Cash Show".

The three Monkees appeared on the show and began to play "Last Train To Clarksville" together with acoustic guitar backup from Mike. Of course, the song was too old for them to finish, so they performed a beautiful rendition of Nesmith's "Nine Times Blue". Later, the three improvised "Everybody Loves A Nut" with Johnny.

August 1, 1969

Concert - Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa, FL.

August 5, 1969

"Love To Love"

P: Brendan Cahill

Interestingly, Brendan Cahill had Davy record a new lead vocal for this song which had been originally recorded in early 1967 during Don Kirshner's last sessions with the group. This later vocal is used on the released version of this song. The song was released on Australia's 1979 Monkeemania, Monkee Business, the box set, and Missing Links 3.

August 14, 1969

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Little Girl", "Pillow Time"

P: Micky Dolenz

"French Song", "Time And Time Again"

P: Davy Jones/Bill Chadwick

Micky recorded "Little Girl" and "Pillow Time" on this day, both of which were released on the album. "Pillow Time" had first been demoed during Headquarters. Davy finished "French Song" and also began another Chadwick/Jones composition, "Time And Time Again". This song was first released on the Missing Links CD, then as a bonus track on Changes. One more session would be necessary to finish this song, but it did not quite make Changes. This was the last session for The Monkees Present.