How the Monkees destroyed their image with the head of the movie

The Monkees- Head2

When Monkees It premiered on NBC in the fall of 1966, and there was nothing quite like it on TV. Before Laughthe series has been offering a unique flow of Marks Brothers Pattern gags, non-sequences, and sunny pop rhythms. This show was originally created by Bob Rafelson and Burt Schneider as a series about a popular group, and there was no one to take it. after success the Beatles And the a hard day’s NightThe concept was changed to long-haired rock and quickly found interest. With demo text by Paul Mazursky And the Larry Tucker (Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice), starring four young actors/musicians – Mickey DollinsAnd the Mike NesmithAnd the Peter TurkAnd the Davy Jones The series would be an instant hit with pre-teen audiences that missed Beatlemania but were ready for Monkeemania.

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Even more surprising is that the fictional group produced hit songs. With a stable of great songwriters and the help of a music consultant Don Kirchner (a/k/a “the man with the golden ear”), Monkey’s music instrument seemed unstoppable. That was until Nesmith, Tork, Dolenz, and Jones decided that having no say in the creative process was some kind of hindrance. Not only did they want more control over the music being produced, they also wanted the show to reflect some of their ideas and attitudes. The second season of the series and the records produced will see each member blur the lines of the characters they played and the music they made with their real-life characters. For their part, Raffelson and Schneider encouraged the men to be creatively involved in the show including having them bring in guests like Frank Zappa Singer/songwriter Tim Buckley.


While the series Getting more creative and irreverent, the season two finale finds the ratings cool off and the hit songs dry up. Young Monkee fans who were giddy for “I’m a Believer” are now starting to listen to Jefferson planeAnd the The grateful deadand maybe Moby grapes. But the Monkees, along with Schneider, Rafelson, and a young actor named Jack NicholsonI decided to head to Ojai, California with some primo weeds, some faraway ideas, and a tape recorder. It was the tapes from this weekend full of drugs that would produce a script for headwaving the eccentric flag for you in mainstream Hollywood.

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Entered theaters in November 1968, head It was far from a happy hippie flick. Both furious and funny, this is a hallucinatory cinematic talk about fame, big media companies, old Hollywood, new Hollywood, and the battle for artistic freedom.


This wave of freedom comes at the beginning of the film where the band interrupts the ribbon-cutting ceremony by jumping over a bridge. Is it a mass suicide or a cosmic rebirth? Most likely it was some of that really good weed in Ojai. head It goes from this psychedelic underwater sequence to a parody of a variety of Hollywood genres. War movies, strangers, and even boxing movies have become very acclaimed. It’s as if director Raffelson, screenwriter Nicholson, and Al Monkees wanted to make sure they’d be playing in every area of ​​Columbia Pictures’ studios before they even started playing.

in head, The Monkees are also intent on shattering their image as innocent, lovable and lovable: the sequence of a female kissing per Monkey is a clear nod to the outfits’ joys; The song “Circle Sky” is an intense commentary on the Vietnam War. And a scene with unruly actor Timothy Curry makes the Monkees laugh at a disabled person. (I bet you didn’t see that coming.) But perhaps a dream sequence, with Andy Warhol Mylar balloons floating, contains his most shocking moment: Nesmith proudly tells a shocking audience that he doesn’t like…Christmas!


Called some reviews head sonorous. It is far from that. Everything is played as a joke, a thumb on the nose, tongue in the cheek. Even the darkest moments lead us to a surreal hit or an insane breakout of the fourth wall. The movie asks you to take a giant step out of your mind and play a wild game of free association. It’s all fun and games until the amazing journey ends abruptly by Big Victor (played by a Hollywood legend Mature Victor), who puts the Monkees in a box and leads them to a place where they can set their minds right, start acting, and get back to making an income.

Not surprisingly, 12-year-olds have very little interest in film. Surprisingly, film critics were also dismissive. head They soon disappeared and forced the group to return to television for a special show, 33 + 1⁄3 revolutions per MonkeyAnd the Who forgot faster than headThis resulted in an exit left from the group to become a teacher. With no future TV series or movie projects, the remaining Monkees continued to record unsuccessful albums and appear on shows like Hollywood Squares And the johnny cash show. Meanwhile, Raffelson and Nicholson will be moving on to their next projects, the hit counterculture films easy journeys And the Five easy pieces.


In 1970, Nesmith left to record his brand of quirky country rock and became a music video pioneer, while Dolenz and Jones toured (occasionally) together and worked on other television and theater projects. But in 1986, MTV began broadcasting Monkees Marathon to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. Soon the band was touring (without Nesmith) and even recording new music. Monkeemania is back, and it seemed like a perfect time for head Biology. But the Monkees didn’t talk much about it head He rarely performs music from it. In 1996, the band reunites with Nesmith and is recording a new album. On this tour, songs from the movie began appearing at the concert. The group appears to have embraced the film as part of their legacy, although Jones will go on to say he thinks it was a mistake.

The movie was released on Blu-ray in 2010 as part of the Criterion Collection Lost America: The BBS Storywhich celebrates the entirety of Raffelson, Schneider & Shrek productions Steve Blauneris the starting point for the true birth of head. Its ritual has only grown in the past decade among film historians and filmmakers. Dolenz (the only Monkee) recently talked about the truth of it Quentin Tarantino And the Edgar Wright They told him that they consider it one of their favorite movies. With fans like that, it’s guaranteed head We will never forget again. That’s good news, because this boundary-pushing, genre-defying, and diverging poem of artistic freedom remains one great journey.

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