In the second chapter of my novel one of the characters switches the car radio to KYA where The Monkees Steppin’ Stone is playing. At the time The Monkees were considered a teenybopper manufactured band and was dismissed by the cognoscenti.
But a new evaluation has elevated their stature. Both Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith were accomplished musicians in their own right. Michael had written Different Drum for Linda Ronstadt. Another interesting tidbit — his mom invented Liquid Paper. For those of you not familiar with LP, it was a white paste used to wipe out misspellings while using a typewriter.
Peter Tork was a folk singer who started in Greenwich Village and relocated to Los Angeles. His good friend Stephen Stills recommended he audition for the TV show after Stephen had been rejected because of his receding hairline and not-so-perfect teeth. In fact, even John Lennon put in a good word for them!
The Monkees TV show came about as a way to capitalize on the success of the Beatles first movie, A Hard Day’s Night. The show had the Monkees frenetically romping through various locations in Los Angeles.
Regarding their songs, writers included a veritable who’s who of respected personages, including Neil Diamond, Harry Nilsson, Boyce and Hart, Neil Sedaka, Gerry Goffin and Carol King , and Leiber and Stoller.
Where are they now ?
- Peter Stork continued performing and passed away in 2019.
- Davy Jones passed away in 2012.
- Mickey Dolenz is a successful TV director.
- Mike Nesmith has amassed a fortune as a digital multi-media producer as well as inheriting his mother’s estate.
Steppin’ Stone (Boyce-Hart):
I’m a Believer (Neil Diamond):
Pleasant Valley Sunday (Goffin-King):