Micky Dolenz sat down recently with Peter Noone for a series of interviews, and 7a Records is commemorating these special appearances from earlier this month by issuing a 2-CD set, expected to be released in March. Check out 7a's Facebook page for more information.
After a few years of being semi-retired musically, Micky Dolenz toured Japan in January of 1982. The Monkees had experienced a massive revival in Japan when "Daydream Believer" was used in a television commercial in 1980. "To Be Or Not To Be" was released as a single on JAM Records in Japan to coincide with Micky's solo tour.
Original picture sleeve (From the collection of Kevin Schmid/Courtesy of Monkee45s.net)
I've been attempting research on this single (with no luck), including when and where it was recorded, and how Micky ended up singing this B.A. Robertson original. Robertson is also notable for co-writing the 1989 hit "The Living Years" with Genesis member Mike Rutherford.
Does anyone out there know more about this single? It was backed with Micky's own "Beverly Hills."
Here's a quick piece from the article, with a quote from Micky:
Nothing has been formally announced [regarding The Monkees' 50th Anniversary], he said. "But, we're organizing and talking about it, making plans for a recording and tour. "Peter (Tork) and Mike (Nesmith) and I have talked about a recording for years."
He quickly added: "There's no dates, set lists or recording schedules yet. But. We are talking about it. We're in the middle of discussing that stuff."
When Headquarters was released on May 22, 1967, the album quickly soared to #1 on the charts, and then settled in comfortably at #2 for the rest of the Summer of Love while The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band stood at the top. Like Sgt. Pepper, no single was ever released from Headquarters (at leastin the United States). However, other countries did see a single release from The Monkees' third LP, and Micky's "Randy Scouse Git" (renamed "Alternate Title" in England and elsewhere because of its dubious translation) was most often the choice. It peaked at #2 in the United Kindgom in July 1967, and made an impact on the charts in countries like Germany and Australia.
Picture sleeve from Germany - where "Alternate Title" peaked at #11 in the summer of 1967
Picture sleeve from Australia - where "Alternate Title" shot to the Top 10 in late 1967 (Courtesy of Monkee45s.net)
The songs from Headquarters, however, were afforded a wide exposure on The Monkees' television series. When first season episodes were aired in reruns during the summer of 1967, the original soundtracks were altered to feature selections from Headquarters. Later, episodes early in the second season also included "Randy Scouse Git," "No Time," and "Sunny Girlfriend." And perhaps most noteworthy, Peter Tork's composition, "For Pete's Sake," became the closing theme to the TV show during its second season.
Take a moment to vote in the Live Almanac's new poll (in the blog sidebar to the right), where fans are being asked to select two Headquarters tracks that would have made the best singles to represent the LP at radio. Think of it as choosing two A-sides for two different singles, and feel free to leave your opinions regarding your selections for the B-sides in the comments!