Three things you didn't know about the Monkees: 1) they have an FBI file; 2) hip-hop artists sample their songs; 3) their theme songs never made the charts.
If you grew up a fan of the Monkees, you might think you know everything there is to know about the band. You may know that 45 years ago, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith were brought together for a TV show inspired by the Beatles’ movie “A Hard Day’s Night.” And you may even know that Neil Diamond wrote the band’s greatest hit, “I’m a Believer,” which stayed at No. 1 for seven weeks.
But there are still a few things you may not know about the Monkees:
They have an FBI file. The agency, which recently made files available online at www.vault.fbi.gov, is known for keeping an eye on politically active performers, from folk singer Phil Ochs to John Lennon. But the Monkees? Really? Yup. The heavily redacted file details the band’s activities for three months in 1967 and describes them as “beatnik types” who depicted “subliminal,” “left-wing” messages. The messages? Images of anti-war protests and riots at Berkeley, Calif., and Selma, Ala.
Hip-hop artists love to sample their songs. Probably the best-known sample is Run D.M.C.’s “Mary, Mary,” which was inspired by the Monkees’ own “Mary, Mary.”
Most Read Entertainment Stories
- How an afternoon of filming in Seattle went for Steven Soderbergh's new film, 'Kimi'
- Amid outcry, NBC says it will not air Golden Globes in 2022
- Daniel James Brown, author of ‘The Boys in the Boat,’ discusses his latest, ‘Facing the Mountain’
- Steven Soderbergh is filming a thriller in Seattle this week
- Looking for good noir novels set in the Pacific Northwest? Here are some reader recommendations
Their theme song never made the charts. The Monkees had six Top 5 singles (three of them reached No. 1), but what may arguably be the band’s most hummable tune, “(Theme From) The Monkees,” never cracked the charts in the United States.