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:

"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


"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. Davy and Bill Chadwick later wrote new lyrics to this song and renamed it "How Can I Tell You".  "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"
RCA Victor
P: Micky Dolenz

Micky completed these songs at these sessions.

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.

Fall 1968 Far East Tour

September 18, 19, 21, 23, 27, 28, 29, 1968

October 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1968

Australia, Japan

Possible Set List:

"Last Train To Clarksville"

"I Wanna Be Free"

"D.W. Washburn"

"Daydream Believer"

"Cuddly Toy"


"It's Nice To Be With You"

"Sunny Girlfriend"

"Mary, Mary"

"Get Along Home, Cindy"

"Peter Percival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky"

"Johnny B. Goode"

"Gonna Build A Mountain"

"I Got A Woman"

"You Just May Be The One"

"I'm A Believer"

"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"

Mike: guitar

Peter: bass, keyboards, banjo

Micky: drums

Davy: percussion, drums, bass

Australia solo set backup: The Cherokees

Japan solo set backup: The Floral

The Monkees last tour as a foursome was to the Far East. The concerts were in the same format as their other tours but with newer songs substituted for some of the older ones. One of the Japanese concerts was filmed and broadcast there in a two-part special. This has not yet been released to the general public.  Davy apparently played some bass on this tour (as he is pictured playing one in what appears to be a soundcheck).

September 18, 1968

Concerts (two) - Festival Hall in Melbourne, Australia.

September 19, 1968

Concerts (two) - Festival Hall in Melbourne, Australia.

September 20, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"You And I"

P: Davy Jones

"You And I" was finished at this session, though Davy was obviously not involved.

September 21, 1968

Concerts (two) - Sydney Stadium in Australia.

September 23, 1968

Concerts (two) - Festival Hall in Brisbane, Australia.

September 27, 1968

Concerts (two) - Adelaide Centennial Hall, Australia.

September 28, 1968

Concerts (two) - Sydney Stadium in Australia.

September 29, 1968

Concert - Sydney Stadium in Australia.

October 3, 1968

Concert - Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

October 4, 1968

Concert - Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan. One of the Budokan Hall concerts from this or the previous day was filmed and later broadcast on Japanese TV.

October 5, 1968

Single release - "Porpoise Song (Theme From Head)"/"As We Go Along".

Concert - Kyoto Kaikan Hall in Japan

October 7, 1968

Concert - Festival Hall in Osaka, Japan.

October 8, 1968

Concert - Festival Hall in Osaka, Japan.

This was the very last full concert including all four Monkees.

October 11, 1968

Concert footage aired on Japanese TV (part one).

October 18, 1968

Concert footage aired on Japanese TV (part two).

October 1968

TV appearance - "Jerry's Place", Head promotion.

November 6, 1968

Head premiere in New York.

November 7, 1968

Wally Heider's Studio #3, Hollywood

"Someday Man", "A Man Without A Dream"

P: Bones Howe

Producer Bones Howe was brought in to contemporize The Monkees sound. However, his time with The Monkees was short, lasting only until January. On this day, Davy recorded the excellent Paul Williams song "Someday Man" as well as Goffin/King's "A Man Without A Dream". "Someday Man" was the group's tenth single, and "A Man Without A Dream" was their ninth B-side and also was released on Instant Replay. Rhino included "Someday Man" on their Instant Replay CD. These songs would be completed after a couple more sessions.

November 19, 1968

Head premiere - Vogue Theater in Hollywood, CA.

Though the film had been previewed and had premieres elsewhere before this date, this was the official premiere.

December 1, 1968

Album release - Head.

December 9, 1968

RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood

"Listen To The Band"

P: Michael Nesmith

"Mommy And Daddy"

P: Micky Dolenz

Mike and Micky completed their songs on this day. Mike added brass to the Nashville song, and Micky recorded his revised lyrics for "Mommy And Daddy".

December 20, 1968

United Recorders, Hollywood

"Through The Looking Glass", "Don't Listen To Linda", "Me Without You"

P: Boyce/Hart

Boyce and Hart managed to still produce tracks for the group. On this day, they probably only remixed the above songs for release on Instant Replay. This version of "Through The Looking Glass" had been recorded during the Birds, Bees sessions. It was rejected from that album and underwent further remixing on this day. This version of "Don't Listen To Linda" was recorded anew during the Birds, Bees sessions a year ago but was not released then. It too was remixed on this date. "Me Without You" was the newest composition and recording, being recorded during February. It too was rejected from Birds, Bees and was remixed. Another old Boyce/Hart song called "Tear Drop City" (from the second album sessions) was released on Instant Replay without any known remixing. It was a "Clarksville" clone. It is interesting to note that all of these songs, plus the rest of the Instant Replay songs, have definitely negative lyrics. Don Kirshner would never have stood for it! However, the songs are of high quality, and Instant Replay is a respectable album by The Monkees.

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 on for three hour-long NBC TV specials. Ultimately, only one was produced. The Monkees' popularity was already quite low by this time, and the special was aired on the US west coast 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 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 East Indian 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" or "The Only Thing I Believe That's 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 the "electric" vocals live. "Goldilocks Sometime" is a nursery rhyme-type song sung by Davy. "Wind-Up Man" featured the four Monkees walking about like toys.  "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.  A vocal introduction to this song by Micky was edited out of the production.

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 electric 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. 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.  Unfortunately, this special was apparently distributed to TV stations with a mistaken reel order, resulting in the segments being broadcast out of order.  The Rhino VHS video box set includes the special in broadcast order, while the individual VHS release of the special is in the originally intended order.

TV appearance - "Hollywood Squares".

The group (without Peter) were guests.

December 30, 1968

Peter Tork is officially no longer a Monkee. His last work with the group was 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee.

January 10, 1969

Western Recorders, Hollywood

"A Man Without A Dream", "Someday Man"

P: Bones Howe

These two songs were completed on this day, the last session for Instant Replay.