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updated: Jul 15, 2011, 1:28 PM
By Robert Bernstein
Last night the 1960s TV show band The Monkees was reunited at the Chumash Casino
for an energetic 2 1/2 hours peformance.
Americans Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork and Englishman Davy Jones were part of the
reunion. Michael Nesmith was not.
They performed almost all of their top hits: I'm a Believer, Valerie, Last Train
to Clarksville, I Wanna Be Free, She, Daydream Believer, Pleasant Valley Sunday,
Listen to the Band, Shades of Gray. Plus many lesser-known songs. And the rest
of the band finished with the Monkees Theme.
The evening was made more interesting with some inside stories of the band and
the times. Their contract forbid them to talk about the US war in Vietnam, the
civil rights movement, the environmental movement or anything "controversial" or
"political" happening at the time. This was the height of the 1960s!
The band was really created as a prop for a TV show based on the Beatles' film
"Hard Day's Night". It was never intended to be a real band that would go on
tour, let alone be performing 45 years later! The Beatles were flattered by the
imitation and befriended the group.
At first they said "their" Monkees records were released without them even
knowing about it! The Monkees band members fought to have control over their
music and performances. Many well-known musicians wrote their music behind the
scenes, including Neil Diamond, Harry Nilsson and Carole King, who was
It was a trip back in time, complete with continuous video of the original
Monkees performances from the 1960s running in the background. Most enjoyable as
well as a window to behind the scenes.
Peter Tork said we were welcome to take photos and even videos of their
performance. He said we could even make money off of it! He just asked one
thing: "If you figure out a way to make money off of us, please let us know how
you did it. We have never figured out how ourselves!"
Here are my photos!
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