In a revealing and often tantalizing interview with Zilch podcast chief Ken Mills, Monkees historian and archivist Andrew Sandoval, along with Rhino Records producer (and longtime Monkees fan) John Hughes, spoke in great detail about the ongoing production of a special limited edition Monkees Blu-ray box set, one that will stretch ten discs and include numerous bonus features. It is available exclusively at Monkees.com with a scheduled release date of January 29, 2016. Here's an overview of the interview which casts light on the contents of the set and more. (At the same time, let me highly encourage you to visit Zilch and listen for yourself, as it is a must-hear interview for any Monkees fan.)
This particular set will encompass The Monkees on film from 1965-1970.
Andrew's good working relationship with Sony Pictures while producing the Criterion box set of BBS films (which included Head)led to the discovery of outtakes from the movie and The Monkees' television show (which Andrew had been told previously in the 1990s didn't exist).
Andrew, on the restoration process of the TV show from the original film negatives: "My jaw drops every day."
John detailed the packaging, which will be similar to the Monkees Rhino Handmade sets but thicker. The front cover will be "a huge lenticular cover mount from the Rainbow Room...when you tilt it, it will move...and it will be amazing."
An attempt was made to include a mini-Monkeemobile with the package but the production company needed 18 months notice in advance for production purposes. However, Hughes relayed that "a licensee will create a Monkeemobile later on."
Audio is not 5.1 (or fake 5.1) but is true to the original soundtrack and "sounds significantly better" than previous DVD releases; John Hughes says the "mono mixes really leap out..."
A "Play All" feature will be included
Addressing some fans who are expressing concerns over the cost of the set, Andrew noted that "the restoration of the series is costing about $300,000 alone." John added that figure "doesn’t include publishing costs, SAG costs, Directors Guild...this is not your typical release." Sandoval explained that "It's a joint venture between Sony and Rhino, which has taken several years to happen...it's a monumental event in Monkees history."
Regarding commentary tracks on the TV show and commentaries from the Criterion Head: commentaries from the original Monkees DVD sets will be ported over to the new Blu-ray set; commentary from Criterion Head will not be ported over due to rights issues. Andrew noted that they are "in discussions with various parties to do some new commentaries."
The Monkees television series
Original film has been found for all 58 episodes of the television series
35mm version of the pilot featuring different title cards and opening/closing credits
There will be an option to play music videos from the TV show on each respective disc of the set, but as of now there won't be a complete collection of the videos.
Outtakes from the TV show have been located but are mostly silent footage from the romp scenes. No extended scenes or interviews have been found to date.
Original film of the "Too Many Girls" episode exists and the set will include both the censored and uncensored versions.
There will be some alternate soundtrack versions of the shows included
Andrew, regarding the original ending of Head: "Footage does exist from the four different times The Monkees escape the box, but I can’t confirm right now whether or not we have everything...it's certainly not a cut together ending."
30 canisters of footage from Head have beendiscovered. Andrew: "A lot of amazing stuff in there," but it's too early to confirm what will be used for the set.
33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee
A couple of camera reels from 33 1/3 have been located, and regarding this footage Andrew noted that "It's the most earth shattering, historical Monkees development in my world in many a year, I think."
33 1/ 3 Spanish version will be included
Original uncut performance of The Monkees playing "Listen to the Band" from 33 1/3 has been unearthed, and John promised that an excerpt will "be premiered on a major online outlet in the next few weeks."
Alternate version of Davy's "Goldilocks Sometime" scene
7" single to be included with the box that will feature previously unreleased TV mixes of "Goin' Down" (the live in-house studio vocal version) and "Star Collector"
Work will continue until the very last minute to include as much extra material as possible in the box set. Items are still being searched for and there will be surprises.
Bonus material will only be included in the limited edition release. There is a chance the set will come to normal retail outlets in late 2016 but not with the bonus material (licensing costs, etc. prevent the release of the bonus material outside of the limited edition).
Various items have been located that were not detailed in Andrew's 2005 book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation, including a promo video for "Randy Scouse Git" by British filmmaker Peter Whitehead, unseen since its original 1967 airing on Top of the Pops in the United Kingdom. That airing was in black and white only but a color version of the video will appear on the Blu-ray set.
The complete 1969 appearances of The Monkees on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (including the live medley and lip sync performance of "Teardrop City") and The Johnny Cash Show (highlighted by the live performance of "Nine Times Blue") have been officially licensed and restored.
Previously unseen late 1969 appearance by Davy Jones on Dick Clark's Music Bag, featuring Davy singing "Someday Man"
Kool-Aid promo film screened during the pre-show on recent Monkees tours
Original "Oh My My" promo video
In the Works
John Hughes teased a re-release of Dell Monkees comic books
Andrew Sandoval confirms that a 1980s/1990s Monkees video package is one of the next projects in the pipeline. Andrew said that such a package could include things like the 1987 Heart and Soul Videography, the 1997 Justus home video, the 1996 Billboard Live performance by all four Monkees, 1980s MTV material, and hopefully the 1997 ABC television special (which is not owned by Rhino but instead by all three Monkees and Davy's estate). Andrew said he would like to focus on this era because of the high volume of fans that come from the mid-'80s wave of Monkeemania. Hughes on potentially licensing 1980s footage from MTV: "We have a really good relationship with MTV."
John Hughes hinted that there's much more to come to celebrate The Monkees' 50th Anniversary: "This is the beginning for Monkees 50...this is just the beginning." Andrew added: "We've got a lot of exciting stuff...there's going to be more surprises...stuff that you won't expect is going to happen. We are very excited."
In the latest Zilch podcast, Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval and Rhino producer John Hughes preview the upcoming Monkees Blu-ray set and reveal for the first time in-depth details about its contents. The duo discuss the restoration process of The Monkees' television series, recent film discoveries (promised to shock even the most hardcore Monkees fan, and including the full uncut performance of "Listen to the Band" from 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee), outtakes from Head, and more. Andrew also relays that a promo video for "Randy Scouse Git" produced by Top of the Pops in the United Kingdom has been discovered (unseen since its original airing in 1967), and that it will be one of the many bonuses included in the package (along with The Monkees' appearances on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour and The Johnny Cash Show in 1969).
There's much more information to be heard from this interview, and I've tweeted some highlights on the Live Almanac's Twitter account. Click on the image below for this must-listen podcast! And thanks to the Zilch team for a job well done.
UPDATE 11/3/2015: You can now read a detailed overview of this interview with Monkees Blu-ray producers Andrew Sandoval and John Hughes.
Andrew recently shared the news on Twitter that while working on the upcoming Monkees Blu-ray set, unaired outtakes from The Monkees' 1969 television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee have been found:
Check out these photos of Monkees archivist (and tour producer) Andrew Sandoval on the road in the summer of 2015 with two members of The Monkees' backing band, bassist John Billings and guitarist Wayne Avers.
Nashville, Tennessee with John Billings (Photo courtesy of John Billings)
London, England with Wayne Avers (Photo courtesy of John Billings)
UPDATE 8/5/2015: The blog post below was originally published on October 11, 2013. Of the many Emails I receive from Monkees fans, one of the most popular questions is whether or not Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval's definitive book on the group will ever be updated. I recently asked Andrew if he could provide any fresh information regarding a potential new version of his 2005 book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation. Andrew was kind enough to respond, saying "It is still something I am planning, but I have no definitive dates in place."
Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for further updates!
The Live Almanac is happy to be the first to report that Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval is currently working on a revised edition of his 2005 book on The Monkees.
Fans first got a sample of Andrew's work with the Monkees catalog when he acted as co-producer (along with Bill Inglot) for 1990's Missing Links Volume 2 collection, which also featured liner notes penned by Sandoval. Since then, he has produced numerous Monkees projects for Rhino Records, including CD reissues, multiple box set treatments of Monkees music, and DVD collections of the group's 1960s television series.
Years of research and dedication resulted in 2005'sThe Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation. In it, the band's recording sessions, filming dates and public appearances from 1965-1970 were all richly documented. Considered to be the primary resource for anything and everything Monkees, Mojo magazine said Day-by-Day was "...The only Monkees book you need...Essential reading and a poignant primer in how the template was set for today's shooting stars...as close as you'll get to the official word...an engaging document of one of the '60s most important phenomena.” As of now, there is no firm release date for the revised edition.
Most recently, Andrew produced the critically and commercially successful 2011, 2012and 2013 Monkees tours, and even found time to publish a book on The Bee Gees. He also supervised the deluxe box set for the 1969 album, The Monkees Present, which was released this past August by Rhino Handmade.
On this day in 1967, The Monkees, with producer Chip Douglas at the helm, began recording the Nesmith-penned "Daily Nightly" along with "Love Is Only Sleeping." Both songs became key tracks on the group's fourth LP, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.Here's the entry for June 9, 1967 from Andrew Sandoval's book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
(Click to enlarge)
"Love Is Only Sleeping" was nearly issued as a single until someone thought the lyrics were a bit too suggestive for radio. The October 1967 issue of Monkees Monthly talked about the track's selection:
The following month Monkees Monthly reported on delayed tapes and the official sides of the next single, which turned out to be "Daydream Believer" and "Goin' Down."
Micky owned one of the very first production models of a Moog synthesizer. He was fascinated
with the keyboard instrument after seeing it on display at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Micky would later play the Moog on "Daily Nightly." "It was actually a pretty difficult thing to use," Micky later said, recalling how those first-generation synthesizers had to be physically rewired for every different sound the musician might want to use. "I threw a party for John Lennon one night, and he sat there at the Moog for four hours making flying saucer sounds. It was great for flying saucer sounds."
Peter and Michael later recalled the Moog and the inspiration behind "Daily Nightly" with Rhino Records founder, Harold Bronson:
"I'll be heading back to London in September. I am producing this show for Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork which will be an expansion of their recent shows in the U.S. and Canada. The last London Monkees show at the Royal Albert Hall was a splendid success in 2011; truly unforgettable. Maybe see some of you there?"
The Monkees Anthology is a two-CD compilation set by The Monkees that was released in April 1998 by Rhino Records. It is the first collection to feature material from the group's last original studio album, Justus, recorded in 1996. The track listing includes almost all of the original Monkees singles and B-sides, excluding "Tapioca Tundra," "D.W. Washburn," "It's Nice to Be with You," "Tear Drop City," "A Man Without a Dream," "Someday Man," the single version of "Mommy and Daddy," and "I Love You Better."
(3D CD case cover)
One of the reasons I like to showcase these old collections on the blog is because of Andrew Sandoval's liner notes. In the current download and file sharing era, liners and CD booklets are seemingly (an unfortunate) representation of the past. In a recent interview, Andrew said that when it comes to each new Monkees collection, he feels obliged to craft fresh liner notes for the fans. Be sure to read his work for the Anthology release below, which includes quotes from Brian Wilson, Neil Diamond, Harold Bronson, Stan Freberg, and Neil Sedaka.
The last page of the booklet, showcasing Monkees Show Biz Babies
This collection features a near perfect track listing, but songs like "Tapioca Tundra," "Someday Man," and both of Peter's contributions to the Head soundtrack ("Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again" and "Can You Dig It") are missed.
Monkees archivist and author Andrew Sandoval was integral in ushering The Monkees back to the concert stage in 2011 after a near decade long hiatus from the road. In producing the 2011 tour, one that was greeted with enthusiastic crowds and reviews, Sandoval oversaw a renaissance of the group's live show. Concertgoers were treated to a full multimedia experience that utilized numerous pieces of video footage working in tandem with the live performance, and even pre-show entertainment highlighting rare Monkees video and audio. After the passing of Davy Jones, Sandoval produced subsequent outings in 2012 and 2013 that featured Michael Nesmith's return to the group.
It came as a surprise last year when Andrew remained on the sidelines during a short 14-date spring Monkees tour. In a May 2014 Facebook post, Michael confirmed some changes to the production side of The Monkees' concert show, announcing that Circe was a new addition to the band, his sons Christian and Jonathan would be handling vocal arrangements and compiling the video wall footage, respectively, and that his daughter, Jessica, was directing the show.
Despite being absent from the 2014 tour, Sandoval was at the helm for the recent Super Deluxe Edition of The Monkees from Rhino Handmade, which was released to swift sales this past November. He also assisted Michael in his Movies of the Mind live album project early last year, working on the vinyl release and penning the liner notes.
After today's announcement that Micky and Peter will perform two shows in Canada this April, the Live Almanac can confirm that Andrew will be producing these concerts. "The intention is to make them very special, with a unique setlist and visuals," Andrew relayed to the Live Almanac.
Presale tickets for both Canadian shows will go on sale January 19 at 12PM EST. General on sale begins January 21 at 12PM EST.
The Low Humbles is a band featuring Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval, Hunter Lea, Rick King, Jeff Noyes, Kevin Poleski, and Shayne Weeks. Their debut LP, A New Design For You, will be released on vinyl in 2015.
Check out one of their new songs below, written and sung by Andrew. It's an excellent track with great production. You can follow The Low Humbles on Facebook and on Twitter, or sign up for their mailing list.
Monkees archivist and producer Andrew Sandoval delved into a wide range of subjects in a hour-plus interview with Pods & Sods hosts Craig Smith and Eric Miller. Andrew discusses his latest thoughts about updating his book (The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation); curating the Monkees tape library; his long history with Rhino Records; the remixes produced for the 1991 Listen to the Band box set; the existence of outtakes from the television series and Head; his relationship with Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter through the years; the 50th Anniversary; and much more. You can listen to the podcast here, or stream it below.
Andrew Sandoval commented on the review on Facebook:
Great review of the new The Monkees Super Deluxe Box Set. The one track that they are upset that is missing - Michael Nesmith's vocal version of "I Don't Think You Know Me" - was actually completed after the first album. So, it really belongs on a "More Of The Monkees" Super Deluxe Edition. I sure hope it does, at least. If not, you can find it on the 2006 Deluxe or 1987's Missing Links. All of these compilations are carefully thought out. And someone else stumbled on my secret. If you play the set backwards - Disc 3, then 2 & 1 - you get everything chronologically: Disc 3 pre-Monkees, Disc 2 Making "The Monkees," Disc 1 the album as released and then the TV mixes.
"Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of The Monkeesnew Rhino Handmade box set - for all those waiting, here's a sneak preview of 'All The King's Horses.' A bit of historical background: this is one of Michael Nesmith's earliest productions for The Monkees, but it was initially only featured on the soundtrack of the television show - never on record. In 1989, Bill Inglot mixed a version from the only surviving multitrack of the song (issued in January 1990 on Missing Links 2).... However, that tape was missing the final vocal overdubs and no other source existed in Rhino's vault. 25 years later, Sony (who own the Screen Gems shows for syndication) allowed me access to their original film mag and 1/4" elements to get a 'clean' version of the final production without sound effects and horse gallops (yes, we all lived with that bootleg for decades). And hear it is...
But one more thing: I also located an original acetate lacquer disc of The Monkees' earliest sessions which featured Michael double tracking the lead vocals without Micky. These vocals were later replaced with what you hear on Missing Links 2 and the new box set. The only existing acetate of this audio snapshot was given by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart to a neighborhood toddler near their Hollywood Hills songwriting hideaway. That youngster eventually sold it to me and I am sharing it officially with all Monkees fans via Rhino on this box set - it is included on disc two of the set with all of the other notable session material that could be culled from the scratchy wonder. Enjoy!"
This is the cover of the booklet that will be included with "The Monkees" Super Deluxe Edition
"Thrilled to share Rhino's announcement on Tommy Boyce's birthday of this fantastic set. I am really proud of how this came together: a bunch of heretofore unissued tracks, a new essaay and a good selection of unpublished photos.
It gets tougher and tougher to deal with everyone's 'what's left?' questions. The answer in this case is some truly significant finds that only surfaced recently. My personal favorites are the TV mixes which were expertly transferred from the original film elements by Sony. They have full fades and no dialogue or effects over the top. Was as excited to hear these as I was when I was a kid first watching the show.
At my heart, I am a fan and I love doing projects for the fans. My presentations of the Monkees in print, on record and the live tours all come from that place. I am proud of my association with them and Rhino.
No one has to buy this - but if you have the other sets, I am positive you will enjoy it. I really enjoyed crafting this one just for you - and you know who you are..."
Andrew also commented on the source tapes for the Jones and Nesmith solo tracks that are appearing on the new box set: