Why The Monkees Mattered: Chapter 2: Authorship on The Monkees: Who Wrote The Monkees and what was that “Something” They Had to Say?

Chapter 2: Authorship on The Monkees: Who Wrote The Monkees and what was that Something They Had to Say?

Why The Monkees Mattered: Chapter 2: Authorship on The Monkees: Who Wrote The Monkees and what was that Something They Had to Say? Say?

from Why The Monkees Mattered by Dr. Rosanne Welch — Coming Spring 2016 – Click for more info!

Monkees Question of the Moment: Did you even think about the writing when you were watching The Monkees? Did you think they were just making it up as they went along? A lot of people did.

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Diane Sawyer’s Obituary to Davy Jones 2012 [Video]

In memory of the anniversary of the loss of Davy Jones in 2012 I wanted to post this newscast by Diane Sawyer where she spoke of the news as “startling bulletin” which came across her desk in the newsroom that day (February 29, 2012).  Sawyer then proclaimed “He is still that forever young and sunny singer from The Monkees who made more than one generation want to sing along.”


The question I ask in the book is why would a serious journalist (not merely an entertainment reporter) consider news of the death of a former teen idol ‘startling’ unless she, too, had once been among his fans? To me it speaks volumes about how he – and The Monkees – effected all our lives.

You can join The Monkees Discussion on my Why The Monkees Mattered Facebook Page

Why The Monkees Mattered: Chapter 1: Sweet Young Thing

Chapter 1: Sweet Young Thing: Contextualizing The Monkees with a Short History of Teenagers on Television

Chapter 1: Sweet Young Thing: Contextualizing The Monkees with a Short History of Teenagers on Television

from Why The Monkees Mattered by Dr. Rosanne Welch — Coming Spring 2016

Monkees Question of the Moment: What did The Monkees teach you about being a teenager?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Join us at “Why The Monkees Mattered” on Facebook!

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Join “Why The Monkees Mattered” on Facebook for the latest info on my new book, coming in Spring 2016 and lots of other Monkees info and discussion.

When I First Met Micky Dolenz: Playhouse Square, Cleveland, Ohio – June 7, 1986

In my last Summer in Cleveland, just weeks before I got married and moved to Los Angeles, The Monkees played as part of a large event at Playhouse Square in Cleveland.

My soon-to-be husband caught this photo of us during raucous after-party. I’m still not sure how we got his undivided attention, even for a moment, among the crowd.

RMW Dolenz 1986

Micky Dolenz, Rosanne Welch at Playhouse Square, Cleveland, Ohio, June 7, 1986

Dr. Rosanne Welch talks “The Monkees” on the Zilch Podcast [Audio]

I’m so pleased to post this link to an interview Sarah Clark did with me for a podcast she co-hosts called Zilch: A Monkee’s Podcast.


Naturally, we talk about my upcoming book Why The Monkees Matter and my scholarly take on the show.

Clck here to read more about Why The Monkees Matter  by Dr. Rosanne Welch

Sarah asked all the best questions which allowed me to discuss all the things I love studying about the show – its take on feminism, its handling of ethnic characters, what I like to call its cultural collateral – and of course why it deserves a place in critical studies in television courses because of its innovation – you do know it won an Emmy for Best Comedy in its debut year, don’t you? That ranks it right up there with classic quality comedies.

The whole show is fun to listen to as they discuss Micky’s solo show and some news about future concerts, (but if you want to start with my interview first that starts at 29:15 and ends at 1:23:00)

Listen to the podcast


You might want to download the file (or subscribe to the podcast) rather than listening online as sometimes I’ve found their server gets overloaded and the audio falls out. I download the mp3 and then play it from my iTunes program.

More on The Monkees from Dr. Rosanne Welch:

Hey, Hey, They Wrote The Monkees – Written By Magazine

Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture by Dr. Rosanne Welch Now Available (Updated)



Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture
by Dr. Rosanne Welch

Now available from McFarland


Listen to The Zilch podcast with Rosanne discussing this new book
** Rosanne’s interview starts at 29:15


From 1966-1968 NBC aired The Monkees on Mondays at 7:30pm, opposite Gilligan’s Island on CBS and Iron Horse on ABC.  During that time Raybert Productions, headed by Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson, produced 58 half-hours of what Time Magazine contributor James Poniewozik recently described as “far better TV than it had to be.

During an era of formulaic domestic sitcoms and wacky comedies, it was a stylistically ambitious show, with a distinctive visual style, absurdist sense of humor, and unusual story structure that was commercial, wholesome, and yet impressively weird.”

Originally, the producers conceived The Monkees as a response to the youth and music movement of the early 60s, a time when every young person seemed to be slinging a guitar on their back and hoping to change the world.  In the shadow of Hard Day’s Night the producers cast four relative unknowns who could act, sing and play instruments – Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith – and hired Jim Frawley to teach them improvisation and become their in-house director. Beyond mere fame, The Monkees deserves ranking as a TV Cultural and Comedy Classic because, according to Micky Dolenz, “It brought long hair into the living room and changed the way teenagers were portrayed on television.  It made it okay to have long hair in the same way Henry Winkler as the Fonz late made it okay to wear a black leather jacket and Will Smith in Fresh Prince of Bel Air made it okay to be to be young, black and like rap.”

The Monkees logo

From an artistic standpoint the show introduced a new generation of viewers to the kind of fourth-wall-breaking, slapstick comedy created by Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers as well as to the idea of friends in their late teens living on their own without adult advice or supervision, a powerful idea at the height of the Vietnam war.

While there is continued controversy over the fact that the musical group has yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, time has shown that the television show deserves the accolades it earned.  Now it deserves a deeper reading and that is exactly what The Metatexual Menagerie That Was The Monkees will provide.

Go beyond the fandom and delve deeply into what The Monkees meant to “the young generation” and to our current world.

Chapters will include:

  1. Introduction: I’m (Still) a Believer
  2. Sweet Young Thing: Contextualizing The Monkees with a Short History of Teenagers on Television
  3. Authorship on The Monkees: Who Wrote The Monkees and what was that Something They Had to Say?
  4. Look Out, Here Comes Tomorrow: Counter-Culture Comes to Television and Middle America via The Monkees
  5. The Kind of Girl I Could Love: Feminism, Gender and Sexuality in The Monkees
  6. Shades of Grey: An Ethnic Studies look at Minority Representation on The Monkees
  7. We Were Made for Each Other: The Monkees Menagerie of Metatextuality
  8. We Were Made for Each Other: The Sequel: Nascent Television Aesthetic Techniques on The Monkees
  9. A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You Identity Construction and Confusion on The Monkees
  10. 9 Theme(s) from The Monkees: Narrative Structure, Literary References and Themes on The Monkees
  11. Salesman / What am I Doing Hangin’ Round? The Cultural Collateral of The Monkees
  12. Music Innovation and the seeds of MTV
  13. I’ll Be True To You: Fandom and The Monkees

Dr. Rosanne Welch teaches screenwriting in the RTVF Department at California State University, Fullerton and for the Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting.  As a television writer/producer her credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Picket Fences and Touched by an Angel. She has been published a chapter in Torchwood Declassified: Investigating Mainstream Cult Television (I.B.Tauris); and an essay in Doctor Who and Race:  An Anthology and co-edited The Encyclopedia of Women in American History (ABC-CLIO).  Her fondness for The Monkees began while sitting in front of a small, black-and-white kitchen television at the age of five.

Why Monkees Matter: The Writing Staff of The Monkees Brought the 1960s Counter Culture to Pre-Teens
Presented at the Cal Poly Pomona President’s Symposium

Dr. Welch is available for interviewa on Why The Monkees Mattered and The Monkees in general. She is a long-time fan of The Monkees and extremely knowledgeable on both The Monkees television show and their music. She has given several presentations on The Monkees in college classrooms across Southern California at the Cal Poly Pomona President’s Symposium.

** Contact Dr. Rosanne Welch at rosanne@welchwrite.com or by phone at 818-804-5049

Update (July 3, 2016): Why The Monkees Matter Now Available on Kindle Reader, Smartphones and Tablets! – 

Checking Amazon.com just now, I see that “Why The Monkees Matter” is available for purchase in Kindle format.

You can read the book immediately on your Kindle device OR on your smartphone, tablet or personal computer using the free Kindle App or web site.

(The print edition is still marked “Pre-Order” on Amazon, but I expect that to change after the July 4th holiday).

You can buy your copy of “Why The Monkees Matter” and start reading in seconds — perhaps while you enjoy some holiday hammock time on your own “Pleasant Valley Sunday”!

Update (June 30, 2016): I have received reports that people who pre-ordered directly from the publishers have started to receive their books. Yea! The book is also currently available as an Amazon Kindle Editon for your immediate purchase and download. Amazon still shows the Print Edition as Pre-Order but I expect that to change any minute.

Update (April 25, 2016): Why The Monkees Matter is now available for pre-order from Amazon.com using the links below! Pre-Order “Why The Monkees Matter” today!

Update (April 8, 2016): Our first level of pre-orders are open today! You can pre-order “Why The Monkees Matter” directly from the publishers, MacFarland, on their web site. — Pre-Order “Why The Monkees Matter” today!

Update (March 7,2016): The “final” title has been approved and, unfortunately, the publication date has been moved back to Fall 2016. That said, this still allows you to make it a great Holiday gift for all your Monkee Fan friends and family — Rosanne

Odd Monkees Merchandise found in my on-going Monkees book research

Another fun bit of random research. In looking to list as much Monkee merchandise as I can Google led me to the blog of Allee Willis, co-writer of the theme song to Friends, because she had posted a photo of a Talking Monkees doll she has kept since childhood — and I learned…

“When I co-wrote The Friends theme song, “I’ll Be There For You”, we were told to write something Monkees-ish. The Last Train To Clarksville definitely pulled into the station during those sessions.”

Monkees doll 3062 

Link:  Allee Willis Web Site

monkees-4 squares with names (1)

I’m hard at work completing my upcoming book on The Monkees, The Monkees – A Made for TV Metatexual Menagerie for McFarland Publishing.

The book is scheduled for release in Spring 2016.

You can join my Monkees mailing list to receive future updates and notification of the books release.

Article: Hey, Hey, They Wrote The Monkees – Written By Magazine

My latest article for Written By Magazine is an interview with several of the writers who began their career on the writing staff of The Monkees. You can read the entire article by clicking the page below or downloading the entire issue as a PDF.

Writtenby monkees

Hey, Hey, They Wrote The Monkees
How a few writers changed the hair-length (and face) of television

Early 1960s television characters came in a one-size-fits-all,  squeaky-clean-cut style, from Dr. Kildare in his white lab coat,  to Hoss Cartwright in his white Stetson, to Sr. Bertrille in her  white habit. That lasted until 7:30 p.m. Monday, September  12, 1966 when four long-haired teenagers began dancing a Monkeewalk while singing, “Hey, Hey, We’re the Monkees.”

Though it looked simple enough, the comedy was about  more than four struggling musicians living in a beach house  they couldn’t afford, without adult supervision, and hoping for  success while engaging in Marx(Bros)ian humor. According to  star Micky Dolenz, the only actor with previous television series experience: “It brought long hair into the living room and  changed the way teenagers were portrayed on television.”

Dolenz’s opinion is backed up by psychologist and author  Timothy Leary in The Politics of Ecstasy: “While it lasted, it  was a classic Sufi[ism] put-on. An early-Christian electronic  satire. A mystic magic show. A jolly Buddha laugh at hypocrisy. And woven into the fast-moving psychedelic stream of action  were the prophetic, holy, challenging words. Micky was rapping  quickly, dropping literary names, making scholarly references.”

Read the entire article

Download entire Written By issue as PDF