During a break on the 1967 summer tour, The Monkees filmed music videos for their TV show at the Rainbow Room in Chicago, Illinois.
1967 AMERICAN & BRITISH TOUR (June - August 1967)
"With noise and screams, I suddenly realized The Monkees were actually freaking out properly, and much better than many of the much vaunted psychedelic groups."
-Melody Maker review of one of The Monkees' concerts at Wembleyin England, July 1967
Wembley Pool on July 2, 1967
THE SET LIST
Last Train to Clarksville You Just May Be the One The Girl I Knew Somewhere I Wanna Be Free Sunny Girlfriend Your Auntie Grizelda Forget That Girl Sweet Young Thing Mary, Mary Cripple Creek (Peter solo) You Can’t Judge a Book By the Cover (Mike solo) Gonna Build a Mountain (Davy solo) I Got a Woman (Micky solo) I’m a Believer Randy Scouse Git (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone
Davy Jones performs at Wembley Pool
"Shades of Gray" was played exclusively at the Hollywood Bowl on June 9, 1967, and "Pick a Bale of Cotton" was performed by Peter during his solo segment that evening.
The Monkees' 1967 summer tour occurred at the height of Monkeemania, visiting 28 different cities in the United States and England throughout July and August. Before the tour officially kicked off, the band played a triumphant show in front of a hometown crowd on June 9 in Hollywood, California at the Hollywood Bowl, in front of an audience of over 17,000. Just five days earlier, The Monkees had attended the 19th Primetime Emmy Awards where the group's television series took home two awards, including 'Outstanding Comedy Series.' Throughout the tour, The Monkees' third album, Headquarters, was at #2 on the charts behind The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Monkees also traveled to England where they played five shows at Wembley's Empire Pool, and were later joined by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, who opened up several concerts in the United States. The instrumental lineup was similar to the regional tour completed throughout late 1966/early 1967 with Micky on drums and tympani, Mike on lead guitar, Peter on bass, keyboards, and banjo, and Davy playing tambourine and maracas. Davy would also occasionally play bass when Peter moved to keyboards and he would relieve Micky on drums during "Randy Scouse Git" and towards the end of “Mary, Mary.”
The 1967 summer concerts, which generally lasted around 65 minutes, included a psychedelic light show, one of the first concert tours to feature such techniques. Images of The Monkees along with other footage, like civil rights marches in Montgomery, Alabama, were projected on a large screen behind the band. The last three North American dates (Seattle, Washington on 8/25/67; Portland, Oregon on 8/26/67; and Spokane, Washington on 8/27/67) were recorded with the intent of releasing a live album. That album did not see the light of day until it was finally released as Live 1967 in 1987. The August 12 performance at the Municipal Auditorium in Mobile, Alabama is a widely circulated bootleg recording. Summer 1967: The Complete U.S. Concert Recordingsfeatures four complete concerts from this tour, and was previously available as a limited edition release from Rhino Handmade in 2001.
British press conference
After the performance at the Hollywood Bowl on June 9, The Monkees spent their time in the studio recording songs for their next album. On June 23, the band departed Los Angeles for Paris, France. Over the next several days in the French capital, The Monkees filmed what would become the second season episode "Monkees in Paris." Leaving Paris for London on June 28, the band held their first 'group' press conferencebefore the shows at Wembley. Five concerts were played there between June 30 and July 2 in front of audiences of 10,000 at each show. British star Lulu opened the Wembley performances and Epifocal Phringe (Dusty Springfield's regular backing band, originally dubbed The Echoes) supplied backup during the solo performances. The setlist for the British shows varied slightly from what would be performed in the United States, with "I'm A Believer" opening the concerts, followed by "Last Train to Clarksville." "Sunny Girlfriend" was only played at the July 2 Wembley show, and "Forget That Girl" wasn't played at all. During the Wembley shows, The Monkees showed their support for both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, members of The Rolling Stones who had just received stiff penalties on recent drug charges. Jagger's image appeared on the video screen during "I Wanna Be Free" while both Micky and Michael wore black armbands in sympathy. (Rolling Stone Brian Jones had visited with The Monkees during their stay in Britain.) Before leaving London, a party organized by Beatles manager Brian Epstein was held in honor of The Monkees. In attendance were such music luminaries like Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, The Who, and Eric Clapton. The Monkees returned to the United States on July 6 to formally begin their summer tour of the United States.
Soundcheck at the Hollywood Bowl
Hendrix opening for The Monkees (July 1967)
In one of the strangest pairings in rock and roll history, The Jimi Hendrix Experience was the opening act for several cities during the U.S. summer tour. Hendrix joined The Monkees as the tour officially commenced on July 8 in Jacksonville, Florida, with Hendrix continuing to appear through dates in Miami, Florida on July 9; Charlotte, North Carolina on July 11; and Greensboro, North Carolina on July 12. He departed after three shows at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in New York City on July 14, 15, and 16. Hendrix, a star in England but relatively unknown in his native United States, was trying to gain notoriety in America. As the New York Times noted in 2006, "The Monkees wanted respect, and Hendrix wanted publicity." With the goal of attaining a mainstream hit in the United States, the Experience agreed to join the tour.
Years later, Micky and Michael both recalled their initial introductions to Jimi Hendrix. Nesmith, while attending a party in England with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Eric Clapton in early 1967, overheard a tape Lennon had of Hendrix playing. Along with Micky and Peter, they became instant fans, and after Dolenz and Tork watched Hendrix perform at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, Micky lobbied for Hendrix to open their U.S. summer concerts. "I was in London visiting John Lennon, and I was having dinner with him, McCartney, and Clapton," Nesmith recalled in the 1990s. "And John was late. When he came in he said, 'I'm sorry I'm late but I've got something I want to play you guys.' He had a handheld tape recorder and he played 'Hey Joe.' Everybody's mouth just dropped open. He said, 'Isn't this wonderful?' So I made a mental note of Jimi Hendrix, because Lennon had introduced me to his playing." Micky had watched Hendrix perform prior to his famous appearance at Monterey. "I'd actually seen him before, in New York, when he was a sideman for John Hammond, and he was known as Jimmy James," Micky remembered. "He was introduced as the guy who plays the guitar with his teeth. Then, months later, he went to England and picked Mitch [Mitchell] and Noel [Redding], and [Hendrix manager] Chas Chandler put together the Experience. Then I was at the Monterey Pop Festival, and they came on stage. I was like, 'Hey, that's the guy who plays guitar with his teeth!'"
Jimi Hendrix & Peter Tork in Miami (July 9, 1967)
Promoting a supporting act as cutting edge as the Jimi Hendrix Experience on The Monkees' 1967 summer tour was perhaps in some ways an attempt to further prove the seriousness of The Monkees as musicians and entertainers. The group was thrilled to have Hendrix and company on the bill, even showing up early to the shows to watch his set. However, various members of the band have recounted in the years since that their audience was less than interested in the guitar virtuoso. "The parents were probably not too crazy about having to sit through a Monkees concert,” Micky wrote in his autobiography, "much less see this black guy in a psychedelic Day-Glo blouse, playing music from hell, holding his guitar like he was f—ing it, then lighting it on fire...Jimi would amble out onto the stage, fire up the amps and break into 'Purple Haze,' and the kids in the audience would instantly drown him out with, 'We Want Davy!!' God, it was embarrassing." "Nobody thought, 'This is screaming, scaring-your-daddy music compared with The Monkees,' Peter later said. It didn't cross anybody's mind that it wasn't gonna fly. And there's poor Jimi, and the kids go, 'We want The Monkees, we want The Monkees.'"
As the arrangement didn't work with the crowds coming to the concerts, Hendrix and company eventually left the tour amicably after the New York shows at Forest Hills Stadium. Despite the complications, it was reported that both The Monkees and The Experience got along and even jammed. There is no truth to the urban legend (originally reported by Australian rock critic Lillian Roxon, who traveled with the tour, as a tongue-in-cheek explanation for Hendrix's sudden departure) that Hendrix was dismissed after a complaint by the Daughters of the American Revolution of "lewd and indecent" conduct during his performances. Touring with The Monkees in the summer of 1967 wasn't a total loss for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The exposure of being on tour with the hottest act in America propelled Hendrix and company to the next level as their music began to be noticed in the United States. "Purple Haze" had already started to climb the U.S. singles chart, and as a result, superstardom came quickly for Hendrix.
Other opening acts on the U.S. summer tour included The Sundowners, who also provided instrumental backup during the solo segments, and Lynne Randell. Ike and Tina Turner preceded The Monkees at the Hollywood Bowl performance.
The 1967 summer concerts were a critical and commercial coup for The Monkees. The New York City shows were a particular highlight, grossing hundreds of thousands of dollars and playing to 36,000 people over three nights. This, combined with the previous success of gaining complete artistic control over the making of their music, solidified The Monkees as a musical force in 1967. The band channeled this energy in the studio (recording the "Pleasant Valley Sunday" single after the Hollywood Bowl concert and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. during breaks on tour) and later resumed filming of their Emmy award-winning television show, now ready to enter into its second season.
"The Monkees demonstrated they could carry a live show and maintainthe level of excitement throughout." -Billboard magazine review of one of The Monkees' concerts at Forest Hills Stadium in New York, July 1967
A LOOK BACK AT THE 1967 TOUR
(Above) Super rare 8mm footage taken during The Monkees' 1967 tour (courtesy of Monkee Bootlegs)
Michael discusses the heights of 'Monkeemania' on tour
THE MONKEES & JIMI HENDRIX
"The Jimi Hendrix Experience were the apotheosis of ’60s psychedelic ribbon shirts and tie-dye—they had pinwheels for eyes and their hair was out to here. I thought, 'Man, I gotta see this thing live.' So that night I stood in front of the stage and listened to Hendrix at soundcheck. And I thought, 'Well, this guy’s from Mars; he’s from some other planet, but whatever it is, thank heaven for this visitation.' And I listened to him play at the soundchecks and the concert. I thought, 'This is some of the best music I’ve heard in my life.'” -Michael Nesmith, speaking about Jimi Hendrix
Micky and members of The Sundowners
with Jimi Hendrix
Peter poses with Noel Redding, bassist with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, while on tour in 1967
Mike, Peter, and others watch Hendrix play guitar. The blonde lady in the lower right corner is Lynne Randell, who opened for The Monkees (Photo by Micky Dolenz)