Hey, Hey We're The Monkees
Back in 1986-87 I was working as an editor for Tiger Beat magazine. This was during the Monkees big 20th Anniversary Tour. As many fans already know, Tiger Beat republished four of the original Monkees Spectaculars from 1967. I was the editor assigned to work on those wonderful official reprinted issues. My job was to interview Davy, Micky and Peter and write up new stories to be interjected into the reproduced issues as well as whatever Tiger Beat issues we were working on at the time.
It was a dream come true for me. Because I was (and still am today) a huge first generation Monkees fan, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I had a blast! I mean I was living the dream. I got to hang out with these guys at various concerts, radio and TV appearances. In addition to the reissued Spectaculars, I was also assigned to write and edit two more “new” Monkees specials that reflected the 20th Anniversary and oh, yeah, author a book! — The appropriately titled, Hey, Hey, We’re The Monkees (not the title I would have chosen). Anyway, can you imagine the pressure I was under? So here’s the embarrassing moment…
I was younger then and always tried to do what the chief editor or publisher had asked of me. I have said this many times before; I was not responsible for writing the photo captions or choosing the photos. It was a rush job, (I was literally cranking out a chapter every two days or so) and I think I had less than two and a half weeks to finish the book. As it turned out, a couple photos were captioned incorrectly. In those days when a book was determined to be a rush job, celebrity photo agencies would send by next day air or even messenger over black and white and color 8 x 10” photographs. These photographs included “typed” captions carefully pasted on the back. Sometimes these captions would be incorrect especially if the photographer didn’t t get the name of the celebrity right or the event. That was the case for a couple of photos in the book.
Was I embarrassed? Of course I was! After all I was the editor of these other great Monkees specials that I had somewhat of a say in photo selections for those magazines. But it was not the same for the book. What I learned from this experience is that you only have so much control over these things. Hard to believe it, but even a couple obsessive Monkees fans tried to get the book banned from Barnes and Noble! The truth is, I never even saw the galleys (proof pages) before it was printed. That’s just how it was. If I remember correctly, I think I was at a New York event covering one of Micky’s appearances.
In any case, the guys didn’t freak out about it and actually thought it was kind of funny, especially Michael when I called his office to make sure he knew about it. That was the toughest part for me. There was a huge blunder of a caption on a photo that wasn’t even of him! How can a photographer from a major respected celebrity photo agency get that so wrong?
As for Davy, Micky and Peter, I have interviewed and written about them many times over the years for various print and later online publications including one of my two entertainment websites, Themacwire.com (search “Monkees” at the top to see lots of stories).
Despite the mistakes in the book, I am still very proud of it. Over the years I have signed hundreds of copies of it (at book expos, rock conventions, schools, etc) even for a handful of ‘forgiving” fans at last year’s 2013 Monkees Convention. That was a delightful surprise!
So, anyway for a young entertainment editor and writer working with the Monkees, was an experience of a lifetime and I will never forget it. Oh, yeah and by the way, all four of the Monkees signed my book. I couldn’t be happier.
Since then I have authored several books on celebrities including Michael J. Fox, Cher, Elton John, Britney Spears and more recently Jim Carrey and One Direction to name a few. I am grateful that I can still write about the Monkees, and better yet, I even get to share Micky’s awesome PR guy for my books.
Hey, hey, can’t get any better than that!