Good things come to those who wait – or so they say. And in the case of the book I’m taking a look at today, “The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story” by Andrew Sandoval, that is most definitely true.
A strictly limited edition available to purchase exclusively online at https://beatlandbooks.com/, “The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story” is a book Monkees fans have been waiting for several years to come to fruition.
Originally released in June of 2005 under the title “The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story of the 60s TV Pop Sensation” this wonderful book was first published by Thunder Bay Press and contained an amazingly comprehensive look at The Monkees not only as a TV show but as a musical group and pop phenomena.
“The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story of the 60s TV Pop Sensation” detailed every Monkees recording session, filming date and public appearance between 1965 and 1970 in an easy to read diary format. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve paged through this first edition over the years as this book was the only behind the scenes look at how the group worked.
(Note: I was especially interested in how The Monkees recorded their music which was the main draw for me with “The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story of the 60s TV Pop Sensation”. I’ve loved their music since I was a toddler in the late 1960’s and this was the first book that dug deeply into how and what the group recorded and why they had so many unreleased tracks from the 1960s)
Modeled after author Mark Lewisohn’s books on The Beatles, “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” and “The Complete Beatles Chronicle”, “The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story of the 60s TV Pop Sensation” had placed Sandoval as The Monkees unofficial yet definitive chronicler of the group’s story and legacy.
Not that Sandoval’s isn’t in a great position for that task as he has not only written about the group but he has been their tour manager for over ten years as well as overseeing their stellar music reissues (on CD and vinyl) throughout the last thirty years or so through Rhino Records. Sandoval also produced a couple of bonus tracks from The Monkees triumphant 2016 “Good Times!” album sessions which makes him not just a chronicler of their story but also a participant as well.
No one else in The Monkees universe is as knowledgeable or as passionate about the group’s music than Sandoval so his involvement in The Monkees story has been a most welcome thing to many of the groups hardcore fans.
Over the years Sandoval has been asked if he would ever update “The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story of the 60s TV Pop Sensation” book as there has been so much added to the group’s story since 1970 that fans have been requesting a newer edition practically since the day the book was published in 2005.
Fast forward to 2020.
Sandoval found that he had a lot of time on his hands with the Covid Pandemic basically grounding him for a year or so so he decided the time was right to finally update his book. While fans may have been expecting a reasonably expanded edition of the book that included not only the comeback years of 1980’s but the recently much heralded musical resurgence of 2016’s “Good Times!” that was not the case.
As fate would have it Sandoval found thousands of pages of newly discovered legal documents pertaining to the 1967 firing of Don Kirshner, the man who ran Screen Gems music in the late 1960s and was the group’s musical supervisor, at beginning of 2020.
Plus with the addition of hundreds of photos and over four decades of research, Andrew Sandoval decided to compile a massive new edition of his book that while hundreds of pages bigger than the first edition still only focused on The Monkees most critical years of 1965-1970.
Coming in at a hefty 11 pounds (for the basic flexibound edition, more for the two hardback editions) and at an amazing 740 pages, “The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story” is a dream come true for the diehard Monkees fans and is filled the the brim with loads of unseen color and black and white photos as well as reproductions of unpublished stills and call sheets.
I must say now that the book is finally in my hands I can testify that this wonderfully fine-crafted book is a thing of beauty – and massively heavy! Having only spent a couple of hours so far reading through certain sections of the book I can now report that this new update of Sandoval’s book is by far the most detailed and amazing book I’ve ever read about The Monkees (or practically any music book for that matter including most books on The Beatles).
Just reading the pages on the 1967 “Headquarters” sessions and the ousting of Don Kirshner has brought so many more details out that I never knew. It’s especially great to read both Davy Jones and Mike Nesmith’s perspectives from 1967 that come from the court documents that Sandoval found.
All four group members were deposed for the 1967 court case involving Don Kirshner so reading their accounts from just a few months after the fact is much more revealing than what they had to say, or remembered, from say twenty or thirty years later.
Reading through the chapter about 1967 I now have a much clearer view of all sides of dealing with Don Kirshner and the friction that caused all parties involved as well as the new insights into Nesmith’s hatred of Jeff Barry and Jones’ distrust of both Monkees TV producer Bert Schneider and Screen Gems head Jackie Cooper.
Both Nesmith and Jones newly added interviews from the 1967 court case especially illuminate the toxic brew that surrounded the carefree Monkees image in a way that really casts this well told story in a new and more three dimensional light. I now get a much clearer take on both Nesmith and Jones personalities which makes their friction in later years much easier to understand.
I have to say that the addition of the hundreds of new photos also adds an unexpected insight into the narrative of the group’s story and the times in which they recorded their music and filmed their show. Fantastic stuff and I’m sure that fans of pop culture who aren’t necessarily fans of The Monkees would find a lot to love in this book.
This book was obviously designed and marketed to the 2000 or so die-hard fans out there who have followed the group for decades (yes, my hand is up – way up) and that’s a great treat for all of us who never dreamed that such a superbly put together and lovingly assembled book would be THE last word on The Monkees story in the 1960s (for me anyway).
I honestly can’t see how any other book would even remotely come close to the quality presentation that Andrew Sandoval has provided Monkees fans with “The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story”.
For those of you out there who may not have heard of how to order this book, as of this writing there are still a few copies available for a short time of the three editions Sandoval has made available through Beatland Books (https://beatlandbooks.com/).
Yes they are expensive (prices range from $100 plus shipping for the flexibound version to $250 plus shipping for the Super Deluxe hardback version) and yes they are extremely heavy but if you are a fan of The Monkees you owe it to yourself to see if you can grab one of the remaining copies before they are gone. Sandoval says they will not be made available digitally and not be made available again in book form as well.
Well that’s all for now. I’m going to get back to lifting weights as I take this book out for some more perusing as long as I don’t injure myself picking it up!
As usual check out the photos of my flexibound copy of “The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story” above and below.
Until next time be well and safe and see you soon!