NEWS – The Monkees at Town Hall


No posters, no lunchboxes, no trading cards – that’s not the kind of Monkees fan I was. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a Monkees LP.  I watched the show at it’s September ’66 beginning but by the summer of ’68 I was gone, one of those snotballs who said, “But they don’t write their music, they don’t play their instruments,” but in fairness, I was 12 years old – I didn’t know Brill Building, I didn’t know Gold Star and the Wrecking Crew, I didn’t know the L.A. scene and that half of the more “authentic” records I was listening to had the same musicians on them as the Monkees records. I didn’t know “Headquarters.” Soon “Back to Mono” and Harry and Todd and Brian and Eric and Wally and even Ray Davies would show me the transcendent virtue of pure pop confection but I wasn’t there yet. I didn’t get that a commercial intent could lead to something magic. There was plenty of commercial intent on display at Town Hall last night but not too much magic. I’m not sure if I was too late or too early but the only tickets I could get were the very highly priced “Merch Package” ones which got me some good seats and a truly craptastic book of gig dates authored by Andrew Sandoval who, as Andrew, used to put out his own highly worthwhile albums.20160601_200154.jpg

So, if I was to learn that art can bloom from commerce, last night I learned that sometimes it’s just commerce. Mickey was fine, Peter seems like a nice fellow, the back-up was sharp (Adam Schlesinger showed up for Stepping Stone) and they did all your favorite numbers but the whole thing felt like a day in the office. Michael (an absolute pill at City Winery a couple of years ago) actually had the temerity to perform a single song from some remote location by Skype. Otherwise, the screen behind the band showed clips from the TV show all night – an annoying nuisance except for appearances by Julie Newmar and Hans Conreid. Remember when Brian came back in ’98 with Foskett and The Wondermints and the rest of that great band, how juicy with emotion that was? This wasn’t that.

  1. (Davy Jones pre-recorded vocals)
  2. (with Michael Nesmith via Skype)
  3. (Micky Dolenz song) (Micky Dolenz)
  4. (Jackie Wilson cover) (Peter Tork)
  5. Set 2:

  6. (with Adam Schlesinger – keyboards)
  7. (Paul Revere and The Raiders cover) (with Adam Schlesinger – keyboards)
  8. (John Stewart cover) (Davy Jones pre-recorded vocals)
  9. (Carole King cover)


  10. (The Mosquitos cover) (with Vance Brescia of Themore )
  11. (Neil Diamond cover)

One Response to “NEWS – The Monkees at Town Hall”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Great group and great music – Thanks for posting David

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