The Monkees: “We were essentially a garage band, but we had no control”

Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz look back at their finest work

Trending Now

Pool It
Rhino, 1987
After a long gap apart, Tork, Dolenz and Jones reunite for a smooth set of covers, with a song by Wreckless Eric!

Tork: This was in some ways made in the same way as the first two albums. When it was my songs, I made sure the production was along the lines of what I had in my head, but in truth it was the producer who made the background tracks and then the singers came in.

Dolenz: This was done with a great producer, Roger Bechirian, and it was a compilation. I’d brought in some songs that I’d always wanted to do, and Davy and Peter had done the same. Again, we were on the road and so came in and did the vocals. I thought there was some really good stuff on it. But I wasn’t able to be as involved as I’d have liked, it was just impossible – I was on the road. I remember flying in to town and going straight in the studio and doing vocals. I really liked the songs, especially the ones I submitted, of course, like “Heart And Soul”, Wreckless Eric’s “(I’d Go The) Whole Wide World” – that was a cool song!


Tork: I remember I had a couple of songs on that one too, one of them was written by a

friend of mine and I wrote the other one. Davy didn’t like Roger Bechirian, but I thought we could not have had a better producer for us for that album.



Rhino, 1996
The final album by the original four, and a satisfying sequel to Headquarters – every song is written and performed by The Monkees alone.

Dolenz: When Mike got back involved, of course, we now had a guitar player! And of course Mike’s sensibility as a singer-songwriter and producer… we were able to go back in like we had on Headquarters and do it all. It was wonderful. “Admiral Mike” is such a great tune that he wrote. It was tough for me to go back on the drums after so long, but I remember working very, very hard to get my chops up for that album. I had a lot of songs on this – I’d done a lot of writing over the years by that time. I’d gone through a divorce, and there’s nothing like a good divorce to make you write!

Tork: This didn’t do very well, as you might imagine. But I loved it. We did “Circle Sky” again, Michael wrote another set of lyrics for it. That was one of the strongest songs we ever played live. There’s some wonderful stuff. I like my song “Run Away From Life”. It’s eerie and spooky, and just clammy, which is what it’s supposed to be. It’s very atmospheric. Not a bad album for a bunch of garage-band actors being thrown together out of the blue.

Subscribe to Uncut and make huge savings on the cover price – find out by clicking here!

The April 2019 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – with John Lennon on the cover. Inside, you’ll find Keith Richards, Anne Briggs, Edwyn Collins, Lou Reed, Humble Pie, Robert Forster, Jenny Lewis, James Brown and much more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including Pond, Ex Hex, Hand Habits, Lambchop, Stephen Malkmus, Kel Assouf and Patty Griffin.



Latest Issue