The Monkees 101 website is pleased to present our
new Q & A section.
We hope to add more Q&A sessions and interviews with Monkees
and Monkee-related insiders over the coming years. If you would like
to suggest someone for a Q&A - and you know how to get in touch with
that person, please contact the Sitemaster.
Our first interview, reprinted below, is a Monkees List exclusive Q&A session with Rhino Producer, Andrew Sandoval, granted shortly after the release of Rhino Handmade's "Headquarters Sessions." Mr. Sandoval's work on the Monkees catalog has drawn positive media attention, mainstream interest and critical acclaim to the Monkees catalog and has set new standards of excellence in the industry. Please visit both Rhino and Rhino Handmade to show your support for Rhino's Monkees releases and Mr. Sandoval's fine work.
Q Knowing how many Monkees' fans have read every liner note you've
written about the guys, is there any particular thing you have written that
you wish you had not?
A Not really. I like to think each time I approach writing on the group there is a greater refinement to the information. We all make mistakes and we all learn as we go along. Having said that, recently I had to go back and reread the album reissue notes and I was surprised at some of the details in the notes. I remember at the time liking certain album notes better than others (because harsh deadlines forced me to rush through some of the albums), but now they all seem pretty even. I had forgotten how "together" they were.
Q How has digging into the Monkees' project and studying the process for
the purpose of writing liner notes affected how you feel about the group?
A I guess. I got a little burned out on the Monkees in 1995/1996, but recently had the greatest time doing the HQ box and the forthcoming revised 35th anniversary Monkees audio box. Their music is super!
Q Have you come across anything during your research that you found
interesting, yet, decided against sharing with the fans for the sake of The
A At first I was taken aback with the notion that Keith Allison and Gerry McGee played on HQ Later when I found out that they were on an outtake of No Time, it didn't matter much. Initially I felt strongly about preserving the image of HQ as a group only project, but by the time I rolled into the box project I had no qualms about the info. I've never really suppressed any details.
From Karon Hollis:
Q How much of a struggle did you have to get the HQS released?
A Handmade wanted to do a Monkees project, but they're idea was a box set of mono mixes. Unfortunately we do not have every mono master tape so I suggested we do HQ They were into it, but by the time they decided to do the project it all had to be wrapped up within three or four weeks (notes, mixing, mastering, photo research and package design) - that was the struggle. Meeting a deadline while wanting to do the best possible job.
Q Were the Monkees supportive of the project?
A The Monkees were not involved at all. They probably would not have been supportive as they have expressed to me several times that they are anti-outtakes. We acted against their wishes, but hopefully with our hearts in the right place.
Q Has the well of unreleased Monkee tracks run dry now, or do you think
there could be other gems out there lurking?
A There may be other gems, but too few for another Missing Links. There are always new tapes showing up, and undiscovered bits on the ones already in the vault.
From Al Bigley:
Q Do you plan to release any concerts (if they exist on tape) from
1968/69, or from any of the reunion years(1987-89 and 1996-97)? I'm
excluding 1986, since a release of that is already available.
A There is talk of the Japan 1968 thing as a limited edition.
Q Todd McFarlane, the creator of the comic book SPAWN, is manufacturing and releasing highly- detailed action figures of rock stars (even Janis Joplin!). Any plans for Monkees figures? Todd's figures are marketed more as adult collectibles than kid's stuff.
A I am not involved with the merchandising end of things - Harold Bronson handles that. In fact I probably have none of the recent merchandise that has come out in the last five years.
Q Are there any other "behind the scenes" tapes of other Monkees recording sessions, besides the great ones just released for the HEADQUARTERS sessions?
A Yes! Lots. However, the HQ stuff is the cream of the crop.
Q Are there any studio tracks [excluding Cuddly Toy] after the HQ lp that
Micky drums on?
A Yes. Two or three, but I cannot say specifically which as I am only getting to the bottom of those details now.
Q What's the full set list for the 5/68 Salt Lake City concert? Any chance
some of this performance might see the light of day?
A Slight chance (we've recently talked about it). Partial set list only (from memory in no particular order): You Just May Be The One/Sunny Girlfriend/I Wanna Be Free/You Told Me/Cuddly Toy/Circle Sky/The Girl I Knew Somewhere
Q I recall reading somewhere that there were 13 tracks recorded for
Justus.. are there any out-takes from those sessions?
A Yes. I don't know the details, but I do know that Manchester Boy was recorded for but dropped from the album.
Q Why wasn't "LADY'S BABY" originally included on "The Birds, the Bees, and the Monkees"? It is a quality track and was expensive to produce.
A Internal disagreements within the band and the feeling by Lester Sill/Screen Gems that it was substandard. The song caused more problems than you'd think.
Q Why wasn't "ALL THE KING'S HORSES" included in the extra titles that
were put at the end of the CD versions? It was very frequently showcased
during the first season. (Maybe because it was already on ML2?)
A We tried to put fresh stuff (non-ML) as bonus tracks. There has been the thought of restructuring the records to contain the ML tracks. I don't have any firm info on that though.
Q Is there enough outtakes from other albums to put together another
Sessions CD to be released in the future?
Q When is your book "Daily/Nightly" (as mentioned in the HQ Sessions
booklet) going to be out?
A Hopefully next year.
From Estrella Lee:
Q If Rhino Handmade is pleased with the sales of Headquarters Sessions,
would you willing to do another sessions compilation (ie. PAC&J Ltd. or
from the "Nashville Sessions")?
A I've heard they are pleased with the sales, but not directly. I would like to do another sessions project. Unfortunately, the way the thing works I will probably know about it four weeks before you do.
Q Recently in Mojo magazine, Micky has expressed his concern in releasing his "works-in-progress", I'm curious have you have received feedback from the other ex-Monkees concerning the Headquarters Sessions (and what their reactions were, if they gave feedback)?
A Only Peter. He said he got a copy in the mail and asked me if he should be scared to listen to it. I told him he should be proud.
Q I understand it is mentioned in the booklet of the Headquarters Sessions
that you are writing a book ("Daily Nightly") on The Monkees. Could you
enlighten us a little bit about it, in other words how extensive the details
A If you've seen the excerpt then the answer would be very detailed. Perspectively a Day by Day chronology (centered on 1965-1970 - but with other dates too) that covers recording, filming, public appearances and just about anything else I can throw in there.
From Karen G. Rozinski:
Q Does a transcript to Rhido Handmade exist?
Q Will one be available in the future? I am hearing-impaired and while I
can hear some things - a written transcript to Handmade would really give
me the full experience.
A I'm still trying to figure out what they're saying too! Unfortunately, the answer is probably no. A lot of the better talk is paraphrased or discussed in the booklet. BTW, every attempt was made to included interesting audible chat, but because none of it was intended for release originally, very few things are truly audible. We did our best to present it anyway. My apologies for any blown speakers out there.
From Chris Coyle:
Q I'm wondering what condition the Monkees original multi-track tape are
in? Is there any chemical flaws in their binder formulation that would
leave them in an unplayable condition? any tapes that had to be baked
before transferring ?
A Great. No baking involved (that problem exists more in later tape stocks from the '70s and '80s, in fact baking a '60s master with splices can ruin it). A few drop outs here and there, but nothing big. Are only obstacle is missing or destroyed tapes.
Q Would an album of sessions outtakes be possible for "Pisces"?
A Yes, but it wouldn't be quite the same as HQ There is not as much coverage of the tracking sessions in existence.
From Ken Wang.:
Q Any chance of additional '60s live Monkees
audio/video being released? Perhaps the Phoenix '66
and Salt Lake City '68 concerts without vocals can be
released on Rhino Handmade? Any new live recordings
discoveries, perhaps the '68 Osaka concert or '69 tour
A See above re: SLC '68. The only discovery is that some vocals (but not all) do exist for the SLC concert.
Q Any evidence of mid-'66 Monkees group recording
turn up? These are the sessions where they supposedly
recorded "about a hundred" songs which Bert Schneider
and Don Kirshner later heard with mixed reactions.
A Nothing has turned up. 100 songs doesn't even seem remotely possible. I asked Rafelson and Schneider about this and they had no info.
Q Were "Do It In The Name Of Love" and "Lady Jane"
recorded during the Changes sessions or later on, in
A In September 1970 after Changes.
Q Thanks a lot, Andrew, and best of luck on your book
(if I may sneak in a fourth question, how is the
progress on it?)
A Well a good chunk of it is done as you can see by the HQ booklet. I hope to be working on it so more in December/January.
From Jeff Gehringer:
Q How involved was Davy in the Headquarters sessions?. Was he was seldom around and did he find just playing tambourine musically fulfilling?.
A Probably not as involved. However, so many hours of HQ session tapes no longer exist - so who knows. We can only judge by what we hear on the HQ set.
Q Does Rhino have any plans to do a solo edition of the Missing Links
series?. They guys had so much great music as solo artists that has never
seen the light of day.
A I agree, but I think they have no plans.
Q Has anybody found any audio or video footage from the 1968 Japanese
and Australian tours?
A There is certainly audio that exists for Japan 1968. I have it on good authority that the video does not exist. However, the audio quality is so good it sounds like it is from a video. There is no live coverage from Australia though various arrivals and press conference footage does exist.
Q Have the session tapes from other Monkees LPs turned up anything
A Yes. But I have not done a full review of them all yet. I will know more in a few months.
Q If memory serves, an article from either Goldmine or Discoveries revealed the existence of newly discovered tapes of material previously unsuspected, coming off the heels of the 3rd Missing Links release (at the time purported to be the bottom of the proverbial barrel). What of this trove?
A No other outtakes, just better masters of PACJ and a few other things.
Q What about any material committed to tape at the filming of Head's
"Circle Sky" sequence? I realize that apparently vocals were not recorded
at this taping, but rather, added later (!), but what other material, in
the form of out-takes or warm up songs, exists, and when will we hear it?!?!
A see above
From Larry Lapka (Monkee fan since 1966):
Q What events led up to the material being released
to the general public? Did you work with any outline,
such as the recent Beach Boys' release of the Pet
Sounds album, which also showed the creation of many
tracks in the studio?
A There is no outline. I guess the first step after the initial idea is seeing what still exists tape wise and then working out some rough timings. With the HQ box I begged for a third disc (they only wanted to do two) and found that we could fit everything on with only minor edits.
Q What was the reaction to the project of the
principals involved--Micky, Mike, Peter, Davy and Chip
A Chip was embarrassed that he stopped them so much at the first session, but otherwise liked hearing the stuff. No other reactions have been relayed to me.
Q Might you consider releasing anything else by the
Monkees in this way--Perhaps a longer form version of
From Vikki Burnham:
Q "Sessions" contains several worthy works in progress that apparently
were never pursued/released. Have you, or anyone else of whom you are
aware, approached the respective writers with the idea of finishing
these promising works?
A This is something we talked about, not with HQ, but prior to Justus with some other unfinished tapes. I'm not sure what happened, but when the Monkees started recording Justus the plan was abandoned.
Q What are your four favorite tracks or moments of the "Sessions"
collection and why?
A The Randy Scouse Git alternate, Sunny Girlfriend with the rough vocal, Where Has It All Gone, Masking Tape. I like listening to how much fun they were having. I think they're personalities are very intriguing and really come through on the recordings.
From Heath Peek:
Q Who has the tapes from the legendary Nesmith Nashville Monkee sessions? Is there *any* chance of a "Headquarters Sessions" type set featuring those tapes?
A Rhino has the tapes. All the recordings are out on various records. There are no outtakes or session tapes left over.
Q Was it more difficult, in compiling the HQ release, to choose which
material to keep or which to discard? What were the deciding criteria
behind these choices?
A I wanted to represent everything. Luckily we did with only two big edits.
Q What surprised you most when you first listened to the masters for the
A The Randy Scouse Git stuff was so much fun to listen to. Some of the rehearsals were unmarked at the end of reels, so that was a surprise. The Monkee Chat was very interesting to hear the first time - that of course was in an unmarked box.
Q Have sales of the HQ Sessions met expectations?
A I think so.
From Melhi - on behalf of countless fans who've written to ask:
Q Do you know whether Rhino plans a third printing of the video box set of
the series or whether they've considered releasing the box on DVD?
A There is talk of individual DVD releases and a possible expanded edition HEAD. No word on box sets video or otherwise.
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