The Monkees performing in Salt Lake City, Utah (Photo by Henry Diltz)
Head (Original Motion Picture) Concert VALLEY MUSIC HALL SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (May 17, 1968)
"The greatest live performance ever made by a rock band..." -Blitz magazine editor Mike McDowell in 1978, commenting to Michael Nesmith about The Monkees' live version of "Circle Sky"
THE SET LIST
Rehearsing backstage at the Valley Music Hall
Circle Sky You Just May Be the One Sunny Girlfriend Bach’s Two-Part Invention in F Major (Peter on organ) Last Train to Clarksville I Wanna Be Free Cuddly Toy Forget That Girl The Girl I Knew Somewhere You Told Me Mary, Mary
(Photo by Henry Diltz)
The Monkees finished their first and only motion picture, Head, with the filming of the "Circle Sky" concert scene in front of four thousand fans at the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah. They performed "Circle Sky" (seen below in video) several times for the cameras and also did a handful of other special requests. Micky played the drums; Mike was on lead guitar; Peter switched between bass, organ and banjo; while Davy handled percussion and also played the organ during "Circle Sky." Private home reel video footage of this concert exists and has been seen in bits and pieces over the years on releases like Rhino's Heart and Soul: The Official Monkees Videography.
Backstage with Nicholson (Photo by Henry Diltz)
Selections from this performance later appeared on Rhino Handmade's Head deluxe edition release in 2010. Since "Circle Sky" was the only song meant for release in the film, the rest of the tapes from the show were poorly engineered. For some of the other live songs found on the deluxe edition, the mixes and vocals are not of the quality of "Circle Sky." (It should be noted that for use in the film, Nesmith overdubbed his lead vocal on "Circle Sky" later in the recording studio over the live Monkees instrumental performance.)
Live at the Lagoon
The Lagoon, a venue housed inside the Salt Lake City amusement resort Patio Gardens, was the original location for the filming of "Circle Sky." The venue was changed at the last minute to the Valley Music Hall for logistical reasons, despite fans already waiting in line at Patio Gardens. As a result, The Monkees delivered a 30-minute set later that evening in front of a crowd of five thousand fans at the Lagoon. This particular show was not filmed or recorded. A setlist for it has yet to surface. These two concerts would be the last United States performances by the original quartet until 1986.
For more about this concert and the movie Head, check previous blog posts here.
The Monkees onstage at Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City
THE PERFORMANCE OF "CIRCLE SKY"
(Be advised that the video below contains a graphic scene from the Vietnam War.)
Courtesy of Monkees Bootlegs, the video below features behind the scenes and concert footage from the Salt Lake City show in May 1968.