Recording Sessions for 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee

December 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Do Not Ask For Love", "Naked Persimmon", "Goldilocks Sometime", "Wind-Up Man", "Darwin", "I Go Ape", "A String For My Kite", "California Here It Comes"

P: Bones Howe

After the group's proposal to turn the TV series into a variety show was rejected, The Monkees signed up for three hour-long NBC TV specials. Only one was produced. The Monkees' popularity was already quite low by this time, and the special was aired in the US during the same time as the Academy Awards. Being similar in concept to Head but much more blatant and far less creative, this special was a miserable failure. However, some good music was produced. During this month, Bones Howe and the group worked on some of the songs for the special. "Do Not Ask For Love" had been recorded during the second album session with Micky singing. Peter recorded a version with an Eastern influence during this month. This recording was edited for use during the filming, and Peter sang the backing vocals live. "Naked Persimmon", apparently the official title of what was thought to be titled "The Only Thing That I Believe Is True", is an interesting Nesmith song featuring the alternation between acoustic and electric sections. For the special, a split screen effect with two Nesmiths was used, and Mike sang one part of the vocals live. "Goldilocks Sometime" is a nursery rhyme-type song sung by Davy. "Wind-Up Man" featured the four Monkees walking about like inanimate toys. An alternate version of this track exists. "Darwin" is a short segment with The Monkees singing about Darwin's Theory of Evolution. The backing track of "I Go Ape" (written by Neil Sedaka) was recorded, and "A String For My Kite" was also recorded in the studio by Davy. Peter warbled "California Here It Comes", accompanying himself on banjo for the end of the special. "I Go Ape" was composed by Sedaka/Greenfield.

MGM Studios

"I'm A Believer", "Do Not Ask For Love", "Naked Persimmon", "I Go Ape", "At The Hop", "Shake A Tail Feather", "Little Darlin'", "Peppermint Twist", "Solfeggietto", "Listen To The Band"

P: The Monkees

Due to an NBC strike, The Monkees ended up filming their special at MGM. Micky and Julie Driscoll sang "I'm A Believer" as a duet live. Peter sang the backing vocals to "Do Not Ask For Love", and Mike sang the other part of "Naked Persimmon". The group sang "I Go Ape" live as well. Next came an old-time rock and roll segment with The Monkees, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Fats Domino. The Monkees themselves performed "At The Hop", "Shake A Tail Feather", "Little Darlin'", and "Peppermint Twist" in a segment taking the Monkees back to the Paramount Theatre, 1956. Later, Peter plays "Solfeggietto" by C.P.E. Bach on his harpsichord. This was previously misidentified as "Toccata in D Minor" by J.S. Bach. Immediately afterward, Mike, Micky, and Peter join him for The Monkees' very last performance as a foursome during the group's "first run". Mike gently begins playing "Listen To The Band" on his Black Beauty. The other three join him on harpsichord, drums, and tambourine for a beautiful performance. The song soon turns into chaos with a group of hippies joining in. The next time all four Monkees would perform together would be about 18 years later as Peter left the group after filming was completed. Interestingly, the song they would perform at their first full reunion (at a 1986 concert encore) would be "Listen To The Band"! Nesmith even played the same guitar. Only an illegitimate soundtrack album for 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee has been released.