11 February 2014 | kevinolzak
The only TV reunion of all four Monkees
"Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees" was broadcast Feb 17 1997, not on NBC like the original series, but ABC, the only time all four reunited since the 60s for a TV appearance. Written and directed by Michael Nesmith himself, an expanded episode showing The Monkees still together after 30 years, still in the same beachfront pad, still chronically unemployed, with several hundred episodes behind them. Each time a plot threatens to rear its ugly head, they remember the last time they did it, the low budget allowing occasional special effects, plus stock footage of a lizard sunning itself; it's basically an undemanding nostalgia trip, plenty of reminiscing, the four obviously still enjoying each others' company. The meager budget certainly didn't extend to the cast, with cameos from Chuck Woolery, Bill Martin (Monkees songwriter- "All of Your Toys," "The Door into Summer"), John Brockman ("Head"), and Davy's 25 year old daughter Sarah Lee Jones. Musically, we hear three songs from their Oct 15 1996 release JUSTUS, produced by Nesmith, featuring the four both writing and performing every track. First up is "You and I," a collaboration between Davy and Micky, first recorded in 1976 by Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, then Nesmith's "Circle Sky," a new version of an actual band recording from the movie "Head" (with updated lyrics), and finally "Regional Girl," a recent Dolenz composition. The climactic concert finds the group doing a medley of five 60s hits: "Last Train to Clarksville," "Daydream Believer," "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," "I'm a Believer," and ending appropriately with "Pleasant Valley Sunday," the band's consensus pick as their favorite single. No, it can't compare with any 60s TV episode, but it never loses its heart, surviving as our final glimpse of The Monkees as their television counterparts.