Do The Monkees Sound American?


Everyone agrees that the Beatles have greatly influenced most of today’s music. But how much has this affected the Monkees? Here’s their answer.

The American sound. The British sound. Are they really different today? Do the Monkees represent the American sound?

The Monkees are divided.

“It’s the group that makes the difference. We just represent our own sound, and if the American people want to call it theirs, that’s cool,” according to Davy.

Mike Nesmith

Peter disagrees. “There’s a difference between the Americans and the British all the way down the line and it shows in the music. It’s the difference between tea-drinking people and coffee drinking people. As to whether we represent the American sound, that’s a whole ‘nother thing. Some of it, of course, we do. But we don’t represent the kind of thing the Lovin’ Spoonful is doing, and that is a very important part of today’s American music.”

“There is a difference,” Mike says, “but it’s not the group as much as it is where the studio is located. They record a lot differently in England than they do here, different equipment and everything. A rhythm guitar in England is used a lot differently than a rhythm guitar here, and this makes a big difference. And we’re a lot louder and wilder over here. American studios do quite a bit electronically to plump up the sound, and they do this whether it’s an American group or an English group recording. If we recorded in England then we would sound a lot like the English sound, even if we played the same music.”

“We don’t particularly represent the American sound because everything we do is our own little thing. We’re still primarily a comedy group.”

Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith

All of the Monkees are working to develop their own Monkee sound.

Micky has worked with electronic music for several years now and he’s anxious to do more with this in future Monkee music. He’s just gotten a new electronic gadget which the group is working with. It reproduces various electronic sounds. “Peter is doing more and more interesting things on the piano and I’m getting flexible on the pedal steel guitar. As you grow, you grow.” Mike speaking.

Whatever exciting things the Monkees have done so far, you can bet that tomorrow they will have newer and much more exciting things for their fans. The Monkees are not about to sit still.

Magazine: Monkee Spectacular
Editor: Ralph Benner
Volume: 1
Issue: 5
Publisher: New Asbury Ltd. Publishing Co.
Pages: 16–17