“THE MONKEES ON TOUR”
A mini-documentary chronicling a Monkees concert gig in
Phoenix, Arizona during their first public appearance tour.
|Vital Stats, Credits and Releases On Home Video:
Production No. 4753
Filmed At: Columbia Ranch, Burbank, CA, and on location in Phoenix, Arizona.
Filming Dates: January 20-21, 1967 (in Phoenix); circa March 1967 (at Columbia Ranch).
Original Air Date: April 24, 1967
Ratings: 21.2 rating/37.3 share (11,640,000 viewers)
© Raybert Productions; 4-24-67; LP40044
Sponsor This Week: Kellogg’s™
Rerun Dates: August 21, 1967 (NBC); December 18, 1971 (CBS)
Written and Directed by Robert Rafelson.
Produced by Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider.
Associate Producer: Ward Sylvester.
Background Music Composed and Conducted by Stu Phillips.
“The Girl I Knew Somewhere” Written by Michael Nesmith;
Produced by Douglas Farthing Hatlelid.
Home Video Releases:
- The Monkees: The Collector's Edition - VHS Tape #7 (Columbia House #19946, May 22, 1995)
- The Monkees Deluxe Limited Edition Boxed Set - VHS Tape #19 (Rhino R3 2960, October 17, 1995)
- The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 6 (Rhino RetroVision DVD R2 976076, May 13, 2003)
- The Monkees - Season 1 DVD Boxed Set - Disc 6 (Eagle Rock Entertainment DVD EM351359, September 27, 2011)
- The Monkees - The Complete Series - Blu-Ray Disc 4 (Rhino BD2-552705, July 8, 2016)
For the first season finale of The Monkees TV series, David Jones opens the show giving a special thanks and appreciation to the devout Monkee fans for their loyal support during the show's past year. Just then Micky dressed in police gear (asking for a dime for a cup of coffee!) and Peter also dressed up both wearing fake beards clown around, and Michael dressed up as an old man playfully grabs David to "help an old man across the street." David continues to tell the audience about this episode of what happens to them on a night of a concert just before being dragged out of the room by the other three.
The show then departs from its story format to present a documentary of a Monkees concert in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, January 21, 1967. At The Sky Harbor Airport, a mob of excited teenage Monkees fans await behind the gate for their arrival, some giving interviews to the camera. Then The Monkees arrive via Lear Jet and the mob begins screaming as the foursome start greeting some of the fans by pressing the hands on the gate and David actually climbs up the gate to throw his cowboy hat into the crowd just before they leave in a limo with a police escort on motorcycles, on their first personal appearance tour following their NBC-TV series’ stunningly successful first season on the air. Here is an intimate view of the combo, thrilled by the first real contact with their fans. From preconcert jitters to postconcert elation, this amazing episode shows each Monkee’s triumph, and records his past fears and present doubts. The next morning as Micky sleeps on at The Mountain Shadows Hotel, Michael, Peter and David are clowning around at the restaurant as Peter pretends to take pictures of David eating a sandwich and Michael pours orange juice in the tea cup witnessed by two young women. Then Peter calls Micky who's still asleep in bed at The Mountain Shadows.
Later, David is outside playing around with a swan while Micky playfully imitates a robot signing autographs to teenagers. Then at the Mountain Shadow riding stable, David, Micky and Peter horse around (literally!), riding on horseback and joking around with them. Afterwards, there's a scene of Micky putting bandages on his bare feet in front of a tired looking dog laying about. On their way to their final performance, David, Michael and Micky try to control the rising tension as, in a burst of exuberance, they drive The Monkeemobile to the KRUX-AM 1360 radio station (which sponsors The Monkees' ensuing concert that evening!) as the DJ excitedly announces of their arrival. Soon The Monkees take over the station, leaving the DJ tied and gagged, and they conduct a wild “advice to the public” session; Michael as the DJ goofs around pretending to read a crazy mail leaving them all in stitches. Then the scene switches to Micky on roller skates attracting a crowd, Michael monkeeing around in a mall smooching mannequins, shooting targets and walking up the escalator the wrong way and David exhibits his motorcycling prowess, all to the tune of “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” . Back at the radio station, Michael interviews a pretty eighteen-year girl by asking what she would think if she learned they didn’t play their own music. Then he jokingly announces to anyone who doesn’t believe that they play their own music that he’ll get them in the concert free so they can see for themselves.
The big night arrives, as police battle fans to keep them from mobbing their heroes. Screaming fans await as The Monkees arrive in a limo to Phoenix’s Memorial Coliseum Theatre with police escort and one fan is even seen being dragged away by two cops! Then the concert itself commences, wherein the boys, to 13,789 screaming fans, are seen (but barely heard!) performing “Last Train To Clarksville,” “Sweet Young Thing,” and “Mary, Mary.” Then each of guys takes turns doing their solo numbers which are briefly interrupted by a short interview of them. First Peter accompanied by banjo performs “Cripple Creek,” before we see him walking through the park as he expresses his need for piece and quiet. Next, Michael is performing “You Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover,” playing maracas before we see him in a car reminiscing about his pretense of stardom in his youth and his dreams of making it big. Third, David does his rendition of “I Wanna Be Free,” then we cut to him outside a hotel discussing about his activities earlier that day. Finally, Micky gives a hip James Brownesque rendition of “I Got A Woman,” which ends with Michael in James Brown fashion placing a cape over an excited Micky on the floor and trying to escort him off the stage and a brief cut shows Micky walking along some old half built buildings somewhere as he discusses about his goals for the future of wanting to make something that he can call his own last. Then all for guys give one final performance of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” before running off stage and next they are seen leaving the theatre being rushed from The Coliseum and into their limo as a mob surrounds the limo before being driven away to begin another concert gig. The deafening screams and applause prove to the audience, and to the boys themselves, which is just as important, their success as topflight entertainers.
As “I’m A Believer” pervades the sound track, footage of earlier scenes with The Monkees at different locations in Phoenix, AZ are shown which end with Michael, in a final touch,
thanking Phoenix Arizona for "making it such a wonderful time for us," and paying tribute to other combos in the KRUX-AM radio station: The Rolling Stones
for being such a great group, The Mamas And The Papas for making it good, and The Lovin’ Spoonful
for making it happen. Finally, with a humility that adds charm to the evening’s glory, he thanks The Beatles for "starting it all up for us," and showing the way.
There's a possiblility that footage from The Monkees gig at The Cow Palace in San Francisco, which took place on the night immediately following the concert in Phoenix and in fact was the last stop on their first U.S. tour, was employed for use in “The Monkees On Tour.”
Although the music during the concert sequences filmed at The Memorial Coliseum was all performed live, arcane recording techniques rendered most of The Monkees' vocals undecipherable. Many of the lead vocals were recorded later on for specific use in the concert excerpts that were seen in “The Monkees On Tour”, but no complete redubbing of any live tracks were ever made. Audio from the January 1967 Phoenix, AZ concert (not including the vocal overdubs used to flesh out the barely-audible vocals of the actual concert) has circulated, however, and after “Last Train To Clarksville” Michael Nesmith tells the audience, "Well, I guess that clears up one rumor" - a reference to the building "They don't play their own instruments" criticism (curiously, Nes tackles that issue in speaking with a young woman on KRUX before the concert begins) and perhaps also a cryptic message about their upcoming album The Monkees' Headquarters.
At the end of “The Monkees On Tour”, as The Monkees are taxied out of the hysteria-driven Coliseum, the caption "Written and Directed by ROBERT RAFELSON" is superimposed; it was the only time the submain title credits were seen at the end of a Monkees episode. This exact same caption (with an ampersand [&] replacing the word "and") can also be seen in Episode No. 54, "The Monkees In Paris" (a.k.a. "The Paris Show"), as it flashes against total blackness (instead of superimposing over the four boys' faces against a yellow background!).
Also, “The Monkees On Tour” is the last of only 5 episodes in The Monkees' first season not to use the harpsichord rendition of the Monkee theme in its submain titles. The previous four are No. 2, “Monkee See, Monkee Die”, No. 5, “The Spy Who Came In From The Cool”, No. 7, “The Monkees In A Ghost Town”, and No. 9, “The Chaperone”.
The late Robert C. Tobey, who shot all the scenes for “The Monkees On Tour”, also served as chief cinematographer for Bewitched (ABC, 1964-72), which also employed the services of Monkee TV crewmembers Ross Bellah, Malcolm C. Bert, Robert Peterson, Robert Purcell, Jack H. Ahern, Sidney Clifford, Louis Diage, Ben Lane, Mark Sandrich Jr., Marvin Miller, R. Robert Rosenbaum (who serves as Assistant Director of “The Monkees On Tour”), and Don Kirshner. Interestingly, the very teaser sequence of “The Monkees On Tour” was shot on the very set of the Stephens' household (at 1164 Morning Glory Circle!) from Bewitched (right by the patio doors leading to the backyard), which was also home to Dr. Alfred E. Bellows (the late Hayden Rorke) of I Dream Of Jeannie (NBC 1965-70), and was home to Brian and Joy Piccolo (James Caan and Shelley Fabares) in Brian's Song (ABC, 11/30/71) and ruthless Frank Crawford (Randy Quaid) in Moving (Warner Bros., 1988).
George Folsey Jr., who edited “The Monkees On Tour”, later co-edited (with Malcolm Campbell) Michael Jackson's musical short Thriller in 1983.
The giant share of the audience viewing “The Monkees On Tour” (37.3) is due, in part, to ABC and CBS airing reruns against this new episode.
The August 21, 1967 repeat of this episode featured songs from The Monkees' 4th single (Colgems #1007): “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (replacing “The Girl I Knew Somewhere”) and "Words" (replacing “I’m A Believer”), and its only Saturday morning repeat @ noon (EST), December 18, 1971 on CBS featured yet another new tune: the heretofore unreleased song "Steam Engine" (replacing “Pleasant Valley Sunday”). The summer 1967 version continued to air in syndication until the group's 20th anniversary in 1986;
the CBS version now runs in syndicated repeats, while Rhino has restored the episode with its original soundtrack intact in 1995. “The Monkees On Tour” is the eighth and last in a spate of first-season Monkees
episodes with soundtracks which were redubbed twice, following “The Royal Flush”, “Monkee Versus Machine”, “Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers”, “The Spy Who Came In From The Cool”, “The Success Story”, “I've Got A Little Song Here”, and “One Man Shy” (a.k.a. "Peter And The Debutante").
Although Nesmith's “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” is the only song credited, “The Monkees On Tour” features the largest number of songs of any episode of the whole Monkees TV series: 10 (combining the 2 non-live songs and the 8 live tunes)!! This also marks the last appearance of “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” in a first-run Monkees episode; 2 redubbed retelecasts would further showcase the tune: “The Royal Flush” (5-8-67) and “Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers” (5-15-67).
“The Monkees On Tour” and Episode No. 30, “The Monkees In Manhattan” (a.k.a “The Monkees Manhattan Style”), were the last two episodes of The Monkees to showcase music from the More Of The Monkees LP.
2 days after the NBC telecast of Monkees' TV series season finale, The Monkees' ventured into RCA Victor Studios to begin work on their fourth LP, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd..
The teaser sequence of “The Monkees On Tour” is the only portion of the episode shot in 35mm; the rest was done on 16mm.
Whereas several Monkees episodes preceding and following “The Monkees On Tour” concluded with an interview, this is the only time where interviews are strewn throughout a Monkees episode.
This is the only Monkees episode which focuses on a documentary theme.
Take a close look at Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork in this episode's teaser sequence, and you'll see that they wore real beards under the fake ones! The Monkees were well into recording their third album, The Monkees' Headquarters, at the time, and managed to take some time off to shoot “The Monkees On Tour”'s teaser.
Also, in this episode's teaser, David Jones is shown sporting his new hair cut for the first time which he would wear throughout the second season. This is his only occurence on the show in the first season with such a hairdo, though he sported a similar coiffure in several early installments of The Monkees series.
Because it strayed from The Monkees' standard story format, “The Monkees On Tour” did not feature a studio-recorded laugh track (something which would become a major part of the series' second season), nor did it feature a guest cast. A second episode not to feature guest stars or adhere strictly to a central story arrangement is No. 54, "The Monkees In Paris" (a.k.a. "The Paris Show").
The disc spinning on the turntable in the KRUX-AM radio station is The Seeds' "Mr Farmer" on GNP Crescendo Records.
Producer-director Bob Rafelson filmed the concert on his own, without permission from NBC or Columbia studios, wanting to end The Monkees TV series' first season on a different note from other television shows.
Peter apparently fell ill sometime in the afternoon, hence his absence from The Monkees' takeover of the KRUX-AM 1360 station.
As The Monkees converge upon the KRUX radio station, you are hearing a brief snippet of the album version of the "(theme from) THE MONKEES," in its 6th and final appearance on this series. Other appearances include Episode No. 1, "The Royal Flush" (@ 78 RPM), No. 7, "The Monkees In A Ghost Town" (with Rose Marie), No. 18, "I Was A Teenage Monster", No. 24, "Monkees A La Mode" and No. 29, "The Monkees Get Out More Dirt". A snippet from the album version can also be heard in the 1969 NBC-TV special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee.
This episode's stock footage of screaming fans at the heliport where The Monkees are to land for their concert appearance is reused in the following Season-2 Monkees segments: Episode No. 36, "Monkee Mayor", No. 45, "The Monkees In Texas", and No. 58, "Mijacogeo" (a.k.a. "The Frodis Caper"). Also, the footage of The Monkees performing onstage at The Coliseum before their screaming fans was incorporated into the main title sequence for The Monkees' second season and in Episode No. 36, "Monkee Mayor", and No. 52, "The Devil And Peter Tork".
In the restaurant, David says, "I am picking the sandwich up. I am putting the sandwich in my mouth. I am biting the sandwich." This replicates the Roy Kinnear role (Algernon) from the "A fiendish thingy!" scene in The Beatles' 1965 movie Help!.
The marquis of The Coliseum features The Monkees billed with The Harlem Globetrotters!
Peter Tork is absent from the KRUX radio station invasion and the “The Girl I Knew Somewhere” musical sequence, just as Michael Nesmith is missing from the corral scene.
The Monkeemobile's licence plate number in this episode: 57A-MFG-015.
This is one of 2 episodes in which Micky and Peter are seen riding on horseback; the other is No. 45, "The Monkees In Texas".
Near the end of Micky "James Brown" Dolenz's “I Got A Woman” number, Michael comes onstage and carries a seemingly tuckered Micky offstage in a Monkeeman cape...until he breaks loose and finishes his performance! Micky can also be seen dancing his James Brown routine in Episode No. 30, “The Monkees In Manhattan” (a.k.a “The Monkees Manhattan Style”) (during the “Words” musical sequence), and No. 51, "The Monkee's Paw".
For his performance of “Cripple Creek,” Peter Tork is wearing the same white outfit (sweater, slacks, boots) he will wear in the “Circle Sky” concert sequence of The Monkees' 1968 movie HEAD.
Phoenix, Arizona also happens to be the hometown of Monkee songwriter Bobby Hart! Look for him playing the organ in the backing band, The Candy Store Prophets, as The Monkees perform their solo numbers.
Rhino's Live 1967 (RNLP/RNC/RNCD 70139, released July 6, 1987) is a clearer recording of The Monkees' live show taped at concerts recorded between August 25 and August 27, 1967, four months after this episode aired and not long after it was repeated. However, the stage banter and songs featured on this episode can be found intact on the CD version of this album.
Collector's Note: The original 8-track masters of the live recordings of “I Wanna Be Free,” “Sweet Young Thing,” “Cripple Creek,” “You Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover,” and “I Got A Woman” as heard and seen performed in the episode, were located and remixed for inclusion as bonus cuts on Disc Three of Rhino Handmade's
limited-edition, December 22, 2017 3-CD, 100-track set, More Of The Monkees (Super Deluxe Edition) (R2-560125).
The bootleg CD Mobile, Alabama also includes the same tracks as the CD version of the Live 1967 album. It, naturally, was recorded at the August 12, 1967 Mobile, Alabama show.
“The Monkees On Tour” was aired in Great Britain on The BBC on Sunday, June 25, 1967 (almost 2 months before its American rebroadcast on NBC) prior to the start of The Monkees' concerts in London, which commenced the following week.
Bob Shannon, aka R.J. Adams, one L.A.'s top radio personalities in 1970s and 1980s, makes a rare appearance as the hogtied and gagged DJ at KRUX. KRUX-AM 1360 has since given way for KPXQ-AM 1360, which specializes in Christian music. Shannon died of a fatal coronary January 26, 2015 in Pennsylvania while directing a movie.
Look out for Associate Producer Ward Sylvester and head roady David Pearl in a couple of scenes in “The Monkees On Tour”.