Scott Marks 3:29 p.m., May 24
The Day the Monkees Turned Del Mar Into Clarksville
THE DAY THE MONKEES TURNED
42 years ago (9-11-66),
Ron Jacobs was a DJ at
“The tenth callers would get two free tickets to the Last Train to
The Mayor of
Micky Dolenz talked to the press about the group’s rising profile. “We really don’t know where it’s at yet. I mean, like, we just got back from the [publicity] tour, and then we got up this morning, flew down to
Says Jacobs, “The four soon-to-be-American-Idols boarded the caboose and picked up instruments that were set up and waiting, as the Monkees played their first live music in public.” The two songs performed were “Papa Gene's Blues,” written by Mike Nesmith, and a cover of “She's So Far Out, She's In” by Baker Knight (also released as a single by Dino, Desi & Billy in May ‘66). “By the time the train pulled into Union Station,” says Jacobs, “the rumor that the fellows were lip-synching their stuff had been put to rest.”
The Monkees debut episode was also screened for the 400 or so contest winners, who had left
The Monkees TV show debuted on NBC the following night, quickly become popular enough to nearly qualify the “next Beatles” hyperbole as prophetic.
The live “
Davy Jones has fond memories of the day KHJ made a Monkee out of him. “I was a jockey, so of course
HOWEVER – tho this was the first time the Monkees performed in public, the very first time the band EVER performed music together was ALSO in
In mid-November 1965, the foursome shot scenes for the pilot episode “Royal Flush” at the Hotel Del Coronado, including the country club and bar sequences. Exterior scenes were filmed on the beach near the Hotel; this footage would also turn up in the series original title sequence, as well as throughout the episode “Here Come the Monkees.”
West Coast Iron Works guitarist Gary Carter was a sophomore at
Jones invited the teens to dinner with the band that evening in the Hotel Del’s Crown room, along with crew members, potential network affiliates, and – in the case of Micky Dolenz – groupies. “That was when I recognized him as the grown up kid [Micky Braddock] from the Circus Boy TV show,” says Carter, “and he had six or seven of the most beautiful
“As the evening progressed, they [the Monkees] started having fun with each other. I don’t remember which one it was, but someone picked up this big bowl of shrimp cocktail and tossed it…soon, it was a full-on food fight, and we had to leave the table to avoid getting food all over us. I was horrified [for the Hotel]…the carpet in that room alone was worth tens of thousands of dollars.”
The messy dinner notwithstanding, Carter accepted Jones’ invitation to return the following day, to watch a TV scene being filmed in the Hotel’s Circus Room (seen in the series pilot). This shoot marked the first time the Monkees ever played musical instruments all in one room together, as they plugged into the prop amps between setups and took a shot at a few old Chuck Berry and folk numbers.
“I got the hint from watching that their show was a satire of the Beatles, which I personally took offense at,” says Carter, who got bored after a couple of hours and departed the shooting.
“On the way out, I stuck my head into the Crown Room, and a bunch of people were still cleaning up the mess from the food fight. They were really pissed off.”
The Monkees were banned from the Hotel Del – collectively and individually – until September 2004, when Davy Jones returned with his band to perform at a private function. “Memories flooded the moment as we checked in and walked down the longest and widest corridors,” he wrote on his website davyjones.net.
“The concert for a couple hundred execs went down well,” says Jones, “and a couple of convention goers helped me sing ‘Daydream Believer’ and ‘I'm a Believer’ to rapturous applause. A good time was had by all. By Thursday, I made my way to the beach and shrunk my vitals. Extreme cold sea.”
RELATED BLOG LINKS
THE DAY NIRVANA PLAYED OFF THE RECORD: 10-24-91 - Detailed feature on Nirvana playing a tiny local record store, just as their first album was hitting the charts, featuring interviews with OTR staffers, rare video footage of the event, and more... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/03/the-day-nirvana-played-at-off-the-record
THE DAY JIMI HENDRIX CAME TO TOWN - 5-24-69: From my extensive interviews with Hendrix bassist Noel Redding, here's the inside scoop on a legendary (and highly bootlegeed) local concert... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/03/the-day-jimi-hendrix-came-to-town
THE DAY BEACH BOY BRIAN WILSON GOT BUSTED IN BALBOA PARK: In June 1978, Brian Wilson - without telling his wife or fellow bandmembers - decided (inexplicably) to escape his life entirely and hitchhike to Mexico. He wound up in San Diego a few days later, mentally fogged, barefoot, and unwashed. “He was on a binge," according to Stephen Love, brother of Beach Boy Mike Love and sometime-band manager..... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/18/the-day-beach-boy-brian-wilson-got-busted
WHY MEXICANS HATED ELVIS: May 1959: While Elvis Presley’s popularity in the U.S. was arguably at its all-time peak, Mexico was in the midst of a huge anti-Elvis backlash. Tijuana tabloids called him a racist and homosexual, after the singer reportedly told gossip columnist Federico de León "I'd rather kiss three black girls than a Mexican." A Mexican woman in the same column was quoted saying "I'd rather kiss three dogs than one Elvis Presley”..... http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/bands/2007/sep/13/why-mexicans-hated-elvis-plus-celeb-sighting/
Like this blog? Here are some related links:
OVERHEARD IN SAN DIEGO - Several years' worth of this comic strip, which debuted in the Reader in 1996: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/overheard-san-diego/
FAMOUS FORMER NEIGHBORS - Over 100 comic strips online, with mini-bios of famous San Diegans: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/photos/galleries/famous-former-neighbors/
SAN DIEGO READER MUSIC MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/sandiegoreadermusic
JAY ALLEN SANFORD MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/jayallensanford