Thursday, June 8, 2017

Episode #9! Our Top Five! Songs! Shows! Guest-Stars! The Real Don Steele Story with Nez Comments!

Back again for the big #9 ("Number nine....Number nine...") episode!

Hysterical hosts Al and Alan reveal their own personal "top five" Monkee moments! Fave singles! Fave albums (solo and group)! Fave MONKEES episodes! Fave TV moments! Fave guest-stars! How do their picks stack up against yours?

And, at last: Alan gives you the full story behind his many impersonations of famed 60s/70s boss jock DJ, the Real Don Steele! Who was this famous radio personality, and what was his impact on the Monkees? You'll hear about that, direct from Mike Nesmith himself! A fun little info-snippet!

But-that ain't all! Hear Al's red-hot re-mix of VALLERI (the TV version)..! You'll never forget it!

Plus: Laughs! Fun! Music! Sound effects! Recipes!

OK. No recipes.

Strap on some headphones (or earbuds for you young 'uns) and groove, baby!

Click below to listen now, or download right here, or on your
iPhone, or directly from SoundCloud or iTunes!

Above: The man himself! The Real Don Steele,
famous radio boss jock! Hear his tale, what a
"boss jock" really was, and how he impacted
the history of the Monkees!

Above: Don Steele gets chummy with the Monkees, during a 1966 promotion!

Above: Hear Al's controversial thoughts and theories
on the above earth-shattering equation!

Which episodes (and scenes) were picked as our favorites (and why)?
Listen and find out!

This episode contains a red-hot re-mix of
everyone's favorite Monkees single, VALLERI! 

Above: Your humble hosts! Suitable for framing!
Or for scaring away crows from you garden!

Hear about how we each discovered the
Monkees, what they meant to us, and
how (and why) we still (duh!) dig the 
pre-fab four!


  1. The story about Mike listening to the radio announce the next new Monkees single and how if it was to be A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You and not Girl I Knew Somewhere that he would have quit somewhat confuses me. They ended up announcing and playing Girl but as we all know A Little Bit Me "was" the new single A -side and Girl was the B- side. Is there something missing in this story? ...Shouldn't or wasn't Girl, announced as the B-side?
    Anyway, as usual fantastic job guys!

  2. Also, I think you should do an episode on the importance of the Monkees pro songwriters. Like I constantly repeat myself, without Boyce and Hart, Goffin and King, Neil Diamond, Mann and Weil, John Stewart, Chip Douglas as writer of Forget That Girl and Door Into Summer and a few others, the Monkees songbook would be just okay but just okay. I know Monkees fandom fall in love with Nesmith and I myself do love everything he stood and stands for, and admire his talent. I still know he is not a great commercial songwriter like the names mentioned above who elevate the Monkees songbook status to Beatles proportions. Nesmith tends to not write choruses in his songs and one of the hardest things to do in a pop song is write a great melody in the versus and then go into a beautiful chord change in the chorus in some of them even a pre-chorus, let alone add a cool bridge before going into a coda or cool fade out. You will hear all this in the great, Pleasant Valley Sunday or I'm A Believer or Words, She Makes Me Laugh, Daydream Believer, Steppin' Stone, Hipster Door Into Summer, Look Out, Our Own World and so on. Even the ones that the pros wrote that don't have a chorus either have things in them that you can tell was written by a pro commercial pop writer like Love Is Only Sleeping or Clarksville, She, or A Little Bit Me, and so on, They have classic opening salvos that repeat throughout, cool bridges or classic instrumental breaks and they all have timeless hooks. Now don't get me wrong Nesmith's songs are very cool a lot of times but not often enough.... they don't get into the classic upper echelon of the songs mentioned above. Where Nesmith shines and where most Monkee "in house" hard core fans tend to gravitate to are his amazing and highly intellectual lyrics. But, that's not what makes a commercial pop song become iconic throughout the ages. Lennon succeeds with intellectual lyrics on tunes like Strawberry Fields and many others. It not only has poetic lyrics on another level but has an amazing melody, chorus and song structure to back it up. And it takes Goffin and King and the others mentioned above to elevate the Monkees songbook to Beatles-Like status. Goffin & King's Porpoise Song has gorgeous "thinking" lyrics backed with a lush melody and beautiful chorus and fade out coda to match what Lennon was doing at the time. It even took pro writer Diane Hilderbrand to elevate Goin' Down. This isn't to bash the "in house" Monkee writers at all but more to properly celebrate the pro writers that took our guys into the stratospheres of pop music. Let's face it, without them they would have a very substantially weaker catalogue. However, where our guys shine is in the vocals, interpretations and the chemistry between them that take those great songs written by pros and help keep them timeless throughout the ages. Some fans might now start to go out and find the odd song written by the guys themselves that fit this criteria but realistically they are just not enough of them.... or that reach that iconic level.
    Davy Jones' You & I from Instant Replay is a nice try and 'in house" Monkee fans seem to hold it in high regard. But I think mostly due to Neil Young's slick guitar work and the lyrics, but it has no chorus or bridge which is easier to write. So let's not forget to endlessly celebrate those pro writers and keep the perspective on it. A topic I'd like to explore further on a book I hope to write one day.

    ....continued on next comment
    Tom Di Risio

  3. ....continuation:
    My definition of the "In House" Monkee fans are those I describe as the ones that have a romantic affair with the fact that The Monkees took "control" of their music and wrote songs between the 4 of them. I too think it's a fascinating part of the Monkees story but to me is only one part of a lot more. The fact that so many pro writers who have become iconic since the Monkees phenomenon in fact all wrote for them, is a more fascinating part. Or even the chemistry the 4 had between them on tv, as comedy team, on stage, and vocally... is more fascinating. Actually, the fact that the Monkees story had, and still has so many other fascinating aspects to it is more fascinating than the taking control story. :) Pool It, had outside writers but they were not iconic or at the level of the names above hence one major reason for it's failure. Justus, goes nowhere because it's all "In House" and the guys can't write commercial pop, but neither could Elvis and I don't care or anyone else. Oh and, Good Times ....well there you go, such a success due to using todays versions of pro writers of the level of those of the 1960's. Let's face it, the 3 songs written "in house" on Good Times aren't the reason for it's amazing sound and success. Even though I Know What I Know is a nice song and has great lyrics and a beautiful sentiment, it isn't the Porpoise Song or Me & Magdalena or Hipster etc.....
    Keep up the good work Al and Alan, you guys are truly awesome!.....hope you further explore this topic one day :).....would love to talk to you guys about it.
    Ciao for now
    Tom Di Risio