The mockery of the Monkees contrasted with real bands

Punk Rock Historian and Professional Consultant

~Hudley Flipside

While the sitcom was a mostly straightforward affair, the music production generated tension and controversy almost from the beginning. Music supervisor Don Kirshner was dissatisfied with the actor/musicians’ musical abilities, and he limited their involvement during the recording process, relying instead on professional songwriters and studio musicians.

At 8 to 10 years old my friends and I watched The Monkees. We were believers and were all inclusive in the voice of a generation. Crushes were flying around the place and mock band performances were as familiar as tents made out of blankets and sheets. As young girls this was spectacular.

Now I can not watch a show without wanting to regurgitate due to the sugarcoating like the cereal we used to eat back then. Or white bread sandwiched with butter and crystalized sugar.

Two songs come to mind “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone, and “I’m a Believer.”

“(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone is written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and recorded by Paul Revere & the Raiders.

“I’m a Believer.” is a song written by Neil Diamond.

Yes, both songs were currently riding a generation that had a lot to say in real time. It was around 1966. Yet, the Monkees were riding their fame on fake time. The medium created by middle-aged men. Mirages in the deserts of youthful minds. That’s entertainment as the band The Jam would say.

“An electric train and a ripped up phone booth

Paint splattered walls and the cry of a tomcat

Lights going out and a kick in the balls.

I tell ya that’s entertainment, that’s entertainment.”

The album also includes “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” The Monkees’ version of which became a U.S. Top 20 hit in 1967.[3]

Sfetcu,Nicolae (2014). American Music. Niolae Sfetcu. p. 166.

It is ironical when the Sex Pistols and Minor Threat both recorded versions of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.” The Sex Pistols music is what it is. They did play by the Monkees playbook and included a lot of mockery and falseness to their persona.

I know Minor Threat was a real band.

That is a good contrast. The mockery of the Monkees contrasted with real bands. That is where my experience comes in. Working with so many bands I learned about the realness and authenticity of what bands do and who they really are. Real talent, intelligence, and heart and sometimes a lot of anger.  I am glad I know the difference and have that under my belt.

The Monkees] pioneered the music video format and paved the way for every boy band that followed in their wake, from New Kids on the Block to ‘N Sync to the Jonas Brothers, while Davy set the stage for future teen idols David Cassidy and Justin Bieber. As pop stars go, you would be hard pressed to find a successful artist who didn’t take a page from the Monkees’ playbook, even generations later. Monkee money also enabled Rafelson and Schneider to finance Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces, which made Jack Nicholson a star. In fact, the Monkees series was the opening salvo in a revolution that brought on the New Hollywood cinema, an influence rarely acknowledged but no less impactful.

-Sandoval, Andrew. “How Davy Jones and the Monkees Impacted Music, Hollywood – and Jack Nicholson”. The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 30, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2012.