Okay, I’m a little late on this but fifty-one years ago on October 10, 1966, The Monkees eponymous first album was released kicking off over 50 years of Monkeemania.
Now I’m not going to go into the whole history of The Monkees as its been written about numerous times.
I will, however, say that one of the most interesting things about the group to me is that it was originally just the cast of TV series about an out of work, unsuccessful Beatles want-to-be rock group who actually did in reality become a self-contained group and one of the most popular groups of the 1960s.
The other interesting thing to me is that I was born the same year the series premiered. I made my world premiere a mere nine months before the show hit the airwaves and I too have spent the past 51 years with one form or another of Monkeemania.
I’ve been through the “it’s not cool to like them”, “they aren’t a real group” and “it’s just a TV show with no talent actors” from friends and family for over 50 years as well. Oh well lol, some people have no taste.
BUT with the passing of the years and the group’s hugely successful comeback in the 1980s, several generations of music fans have discovered that this make believe “Pinocchio” quartet turned out some of the best, most lasting pop/rock music of the 1960s that stands shoulder to shoulder with the giants of the era.
And that’s saying something!
One other personal note, my father (who passed away in 1979), had a small personal connection to the group which I’ve always enjoyed.
My dad was an electrical engineer for Magnavox for years but I remember him telling me that he had worked out in Los Angeles for RCA for a few years in the 1950s.
Now I’m not exactly sure if I remember every detail of the story correctly but he told me that he went out to L.A. either shortly before The Monkees TV show premiered or shortly after and got to meet Davy Jones through his RCA connections (RCA distributed The Monkees records) and also got an early pressing of this first album.
I still own the personally autographed photo of Davy Jones (see below) he got but unfortunately the album has long bit the dust as even at the early age of 9 months, I was dancing to and manhandling that album, along with my oldest brothers other Monkees records, and ground that pressing into the ground.
Anyway, here’s to The Monkees debut album which still thrills me to this day.
For the anal retentive collectors out there, like me, the photos below contain the following:
- A first pressing of the mono Lp with the incorrectly spelled “Papa Jeans Blues”
- The 1980s Arista pressing of the album
- The Japanese Arista CD version of the album
- The 1994 Rhino single CD version of the album with bonus tracks
- The 2006 2 CD Deluxe edtion of the album with a slew of cool bonus tracks
- The 2014 mother of all Deluxe Editions of the album with a further slew of terrific outakes, backing tracks, mono TV versions, etc. Basically musical crack for Monkees fans lol!
- The rear jacket of the rare 1970 pressing of the album with the revised Colgems logo
- My dad’s signed photo of Davy Jones circa 1966
Whew! Enjoy and remember – “Here they come …”