Longtime record executive Lester Sill was involved with the Monkees project from the very start. In the early days, Sill was the music coordinator for the group, overseeing the recording process under the helm of Don Kirshner. When Kirshner was sacked in early 1967, Sill took over as musical supervisor. He later became president of Colgems Records.
In this frank two part interview that originally aired in July and August 1988 on the Headquarters radio show, Sill discusses many topics, including how he got started in the music business, the Beverly Hills Hotel incident, The Monkees as musicians, his impressions of Michael, Peter's recording techniques for "Lady's Baby," traveling and recording during the 1967 summer tour, the Head soundtrack mylar cover, Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, his regret on releasing "D.W. Washburn" as a single in 1968, and much more.
(Both episodes also contain some unique audio, too, including "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" from the Mobile, Alabama '67 bootleg, Davy live in Japan in the early '80s, live material from the 1987 US tour, etc.)
Don Kirshner, Michael Nesmith, and Lester Sill in the studio in 1966
Japan experienced the first rebirth of The Monkees in the 1980s even before Micky, Davy, and Peter reunited for the mega-successful 20th Anniversary Tour of North America in 1986. When "Daydream Believer" was used in a Kodak commercial in Japan in 1980, Monkeemania was rekindled as the television show returned to the airwaves and Monkees albums were reissued, causing them to chart in that country once again. Demand for The Monkees was so high in Japan in the early '80s that Micky, Davy, and Peter all toured the country individually between 1981 and 1982, playing to near-hysterical audiences. A flood of Monkees items hit the market, including picture books that featured some rare photographs. Here's another one of those books from the early '80s Japanese Monkeemania era.