My own Monkee-mania has been detailed on this blog several times. (I listened to Instant Replay all weekend). Eric Lefcowitz’s Monkee Business: The Revolutionary Made-For-TV Band (which I reviewed here) has been revised and expanded in light of the events of the past year or so. Penn Jillette wrote a forward for the new edition.
Lefcowitz emailed me about the juicy details of the new book:
When I released Monkee Business back in 2010 I was pretty sure the Monkees were kaput and therefore what I wrote would stand as their last will and testament. But seemingly as soon as it came out, Davy agreed to reunite with Micky and Peter and my book was instantly passé.
What happened after that—not just Davy’s death which, of course, was cataclysmic but all the behind-the-scenes shenanigans—convinced me I had to go back and add a new ending.
The shenanigans include a lot of crazy stuff about Davy’s stormy May/December romance with a telenovela star half his age and his insistence that she become part of the act. You can imagine how that went down. But amazingly the 2012 tour was a resounding success. Even Rolling Stone began showing the Monkees some love.
And then it all came to a screeching halt. The tour was canceled and nobody’s talking. It’s all very mysterious and it gets even stranger. Michael Nesmith, the notoriously reluctant warrior of the bunch, agrees to perform with Micky and Peter for a one-off tribute show dedicated to their classic album Headquarters. Davy, however, has no intention of performing.
Then Davy dies and suddenly the tribute show becomes a tribute tour dedicated to Davy’s memory. History is quickly rewritten. And that’s not all. Nesmith announces he’s almost gone blind (which at least partially explains his desire to tour).
And then there’s the group’s shockingly durable influence. They become a hip name drop. Their songs appear on Breaking Bad and Mad Men. What the fuck is happening? After nearly fifty years of ridicule the Monkees are suddenly considered visionary pop stars who leveraged the cross-platform potential of media, music and marketing.
So I’ve gone back and documented the madness. And now I’ve got it covered. Plus Penn Jillette wrote a very cool foreword and the new cover is bitchin’. What’s not to love? But knowing my luck Peter will reveal some NSA secrets or Nesmith will release his long-awaited K-pop record and I’ll have to do it all over again.
My copy of the revised Monkee Business hasn’t arrived yet, but from the sound of things, quite a few rocks were turned over for some of the darker revelations hinted at above. I understand this is pretty juicy stuff for Monkees fans.
Below, Eric Lefcowitz explains why the Monkees should be—at long last—inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.