17.


The Monkees

Part 1: Here We Come.

History lesson: First there were The Fab Four. Then, a few years later, along came The Prefab Four. No, not The Rutles; they were a decade after that.....

It was 1965 and several young American lads with little musical or acting talent, and who didn’t know each other, were separately stuck in the middle of precisely nowhere. None of them could have had the slightest idea of what would shortly unfold, but they were collectively about to become one of the biggest, and most derided, groups in the world.

Most music acts start at the bottom, and slowly and laboriously try to work their way up towards the top. Should they ever get to or near the summit, every waking hour is consumed by them fretting over slipping back down, and frantically working out by what means they can best hope to stay up there.

The Monkees liked to do things differently. They started out at the top and then methodically worked their way down until there was almost nothing left. On the way they sold 75 million records. The entire exercise took them less than three years to accomplish.

The other novel thing about The Monkees was that they were never intended to be a real group at all. The whole concept was lifted from The Beatles’ 1964 worldwide blockbuster film of A Hard Day’s Night. Without The Beatles, without that movie, The Monkees would never have existed. That indeed is why there were four Monkees – not three or five, or six. The big Monkees spectacle began with an advert.

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