Monkees – Randy Scouse Git

I thought I would feature one more Monkees song this weekend. This song was a huge hit in the UK where it peaked at #2 but in America, it was not released as a single. As a kid, I really liked this one because it is so catchy. Mickey Dolenz wrote this song while in England. They had just come from a party thrown for them by the Beatles.

It was on their album Headquarters with the Monkees playing and singing most of the music themselves. On this song… Nesmith is playing guitar, Tork is playing piano, Dolenz drums, Jones is singing backup vocals with Chip Douglas playing bass. The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100 in 1967.

When they were going to release it in England, the Monkees were told, ‘You have to change the title.’ The record company said ‘It’s dirty. You have to change it to an alternate title. It was released in England as Alternate Title. It was the title that was found offensive…nothing in the song. Mickey said translated it meant basically “horny, Liverpudlian jerk.”

Micky Dolenz: “Many years ago we had the pleasure of going over to the UK and meeting the royal family: The Beatles. And one night they threw us a party. I’m told I had a great time. After the party, I went back to my hotel room and I noodled around and I wrote a song that I called Randy Scouse Git.”

From Songfacts
So in England it became a big hit and it’s called, over in England, ‘Alternate Title.’ Here, it’s still called ‘Randy Scouse Git.’ And loosely translated it means a horny Liverpudlian putz.”

The TV show were Micky Dolenz heard the title phrase was Till Death Us Do Part, a sitcom that aired on the BBC. This program was the basis for the American show All in the Family.

The only offensive aspect of this song is the title, which doesn’t appear in the lyrics. The song itself is stream of observations pieced together by Dolenz during the group’s visit to England. Some of the references in the song:

The “Four Kings of EMI” were The Beatles, who recorded for EMI Records.

“She’s a wonderful lady, and she’s mine, all mine” relates to Micky’s girlfriend at the time, Samantha Juste, who he married in 1968. The couple met when The Monkees performed on the British TV show Top Of The Pops, where Juste was on-air talent.

The “a girl in a yellow dress” was Mama Cass Elliot of The Mamas & the Papas – she was also in England enjoying the scene.

The British slang words in the title, roughly translated, are as follows:

“Randy”: Horny, in search of sex.
“Scouse”: A person from the north of England.
“Git”: Sort of a jerk, or an idiot.

When The Monkees performed the song on their TV show, Micky Dolenz was out front singing lead behind a tympani, while Davy Jones manned the drums. It was used in the episode “The Picture Frame,” which aired on September 18, 1967.

Randy Scouse Git

She’s a wonderful lady and she’s mine, all mine
And there doesn’t seem a way that she won’t come and lose my mind
It’s too easy humming songs to a girl in a yellow dress
It’s been a long time since the party and the room is in a mess

The four kings of EMI are sitting stately on the floor
There are birds out on the sidewalk and a valet at the door
He reminds me of a penguin with few and plastered hair
There’s talcum powder on the letter and the birthday boy is there

Why don’t you cut your hair?
Why don’t you live up there?
Why don’t you do what I do, see what I feel when I care?

Now they’ve darkened all the windows and the seats are naugh-a-hyde
I’ve been waiting for an hour
I can’t find a place to hide
The being known as wonder girl
Is speaking, I believe
It’s not easy trying to tell her
That I shortly have to leave

Why don’t you be like me?
Why don’t you stop and see?
Why don’t you hate who I hate,
Kill who I kill to be free?

Why don’t you cut your hair?
Why don’t you live up there?
Why don’t you do what I do,
See what I feel when I care?

Why don’t you be like me? (she’s a wonderful lady)
Why don’t you stop and see? (and she’s mine, all mine)
Why don’t you hate who I hate, (and there doesn’t seem a way)
Kill who I kill to be free? (that she won’t come and lose my mind)
Why don’t you cut your hair? (it’s too easy humming songs)
Why don’t you live up there? (to a girl in a yellow dress)
Why don’t you do what I do, (it’s been a long time since the party)
See what I feel when I care? (and the room is in a mess)

Monkees – Daydream Believer

This is a very good pop song. A folk singer named John Stewart wrote this song. Stewart was a member of The Kingston Trio from 1961 to 1967, and he wrote this shortly after leaving the group and teaming up with John Denver.

It had been turned down by We Five and Spanky and Our Gang, and even Davy Jones was not sure about recording the song. The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in New Zealand, #5 in the UK, and #1 in Canada in 1967. Davy Jones said it was his favorite Monkees song.

It was on the album The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees released in 1968. The album peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 in 1968.

This was the Monkees’ last #1 single. It was soon knocked out of the #1 spot by The Beatles “Hello Goodbye.”

From Songfacts

In 1968, Stewart became the official musician of the Democratic party, which involved traveling with Senator Robert Kennedy during his Presidential campaign. In 1979 he had a Top 5 US hit with “Gold.”

John Stewart died on January 19, 2008 from a massive stroke. In a letter posted on the Kingston Trio site, Stewart’s close friend Tom Delisle wrote: “John Stewart leaves a compilation of musical excellence unparalleled in his time. He recorded over 45 solo albums following his seven years in the Kingston Trio, 1961-67. He worked all the way up to the time of his death, having recently completed his latest as-yet untitled album. It is estimated that he wrote more than 600 unique and highly personal songs, many of them constituting a modern musical history of his beloved America.” 

The song was covered by Anne Murray in 1979. Her version reached #3 on the US Country chart and #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song returned to the Hot 100 for a third time in 1986 when a re-tooled version by the reunited Monkees peaked at #79.

A version by Olivia Newton-John appears in the 2011 movie A Few Best Men, in which she also has a role. 

To appease their record label, the Monkees had to make one small change to Stewart’s lyrics. The group’s drummer Micky Dolenz explained: “As we sing it, there’s a line, ‘Now, you know how happy I can be.’ John wrote, ‘Now, you know how funky I can be.’ But the music department said, ‘The Monkees are not singing the word ‘funky.” [Laughs] Funky meant oily, and greasy, and sexy – and they weren’t going to have us say it.”

Daydream Believer

7-A
What number is this to?
7-A
Okay, don’t get excited man, it’s ’cause I’m short, I know

Oh, I could hide ‘neath the wings
Of the bluebird as she sings
The six-o’clock alarm would never ring
But six rings and I rise
Wipe the sleep out of my eyes
The shaving razor’s cold and it stings

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

You once thought of me
As a white knight on his steed
Now you know how happy I can be
Oh, our good time starts and ends
Without all I want to spend
But how much, baby, do we really need?

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

Cheer up, sleepy Jean

Monkees – Last Train To Clarksville

When I first heard this song as an eight-year-old in 1975 I thought wow…The Monkees are singing about Clarksville Tennessee…right up the road from me! Well no they were not but ignorance is bliss. It ended up fitting Clarksville TN very well because Bobby Hart (co-writer) said the song was written as a protest song against Vietnam but they had to hide that because it was The Monkees.

The song is about a guy who gets drafted and goes to fight in the war. The train is taking him to an army base, and he knows he may die in Vietnam. At the end of the song, he states, “I don’t know if I’m ever coming home.”

Bobby Hart said: “We were just looking for a name that sounded good. There’s a little town in Northern Arizona I used to go through in the summer on the way to Oak Creek Canyon called Clarksdale. We were throwing out names, and when we got to Clarksdale, we thought Clarksville sounded even better. We didn’t know it at the time, [but] there is an Air Force base near the town of Clarksville, Tennessee – which would have fit the bill fine for the storyline. We couldn’t be too direct with The Monkees. We couldn’t really make a protest song out of it – we kind of snuck it in.”

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, a songwriting team came up with many songs for The Monkees. They also wrote songs for Chubby Checker and Jay & the Americans.

The only Monkee to appear on this was Mickey Dolenz singing the lead vocal. The Monkees would get beat down by the music press because they didn’t play their own instruments. Some bands like the Beach Boys used the same session musicians. Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith were good musicians who played long before the Monkees. Later on, they DID play their own instruments starting with their 3rd album Headquarters and still had hits. As far as Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame…they should be inside the Hall. The Monkees influenced many young kids through more than just one generation.

Last Train To Clarksville peaked at #1 on the Billboard 100 in 1966. They followed this up with another number 1 with I’m A Believer.

 

 

From Songfacts

Bobby Hart got the idea for the lyrics when he turned on the radio and heard the end of The Beatles “Paperback Writer.” He thought Paul McCartney was singing “Take the last train,” and decided to use the line when he found out McCartney was actually singing “Paperback Writer.” Hart knew that The Monkees TV series was pitched as a music/comedy series in the spirit of The Beatles movie A Hard Day’s Night, so he knew emulating The Beatles would be a winner. To do that, he made sure to put a distinctive guitar riff in this song, and wrote in the “Oh No-No-No, Oh No-No-No” lyrics as a response to the Beatles famous “Yeah Yeah Yeah.”

The only Monkee to appear on this song was Micky Dolenz, who sang lead. The four members of the group were chosen from over 400 applicants to appear on a TV show based on The Beatles movie A Hard Day’s Night. The show was about a fictional band, so the members were chosen more for their looks and acting ability than for their musical talent.

Session musicians played on the Monkees albums, usually some combination of Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, James Burton, David Gates, Carol Kaye, Jim Gordon and Hal Blaine. According to the liner notes on the 1994 reissue of the album, however, members of a group called the Candy Store Prophets did the instrumental backing on this track at a session that took place July 25, 1966 at RCA Victor Studios in Hollywood. The Candy Store Prophets were Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart’s band, and included Boyce on acoustic guitar, Gerry McGee on electric guitar, Larry Taylor on bass and Billy Lewis on drums. Additional musicians on this track were Wayne Erwin and Louie Shelton on guitar, and Gene Estes on percussion.

Often reported as having played guitar on this track is Jesse Ed Davis, a Native American whose accomplishment included backing George Harrison at the Concert for Bangla Desh and playing the solo on Jackson Browne’s first hit, “Doctor My Eyes.”

This was The Monkees’ first single. It was released shortly after their TV show started on NBC and got a lot of publicity as a result. The Monkees followed it up with another hit, “I’m A Believer,” and had several more chart entries before their show was canceled in 1968. Eventually, the group wrote their own songs and played their own instruments.

When this song was released as a single, it went straight to #1, knocking “96 Tears” by ? & the Mysterians down to #2.

The Monkees took a lot of heat when they became successful recording artists without playing on their songs. Their drummer Micky Dolenz explained in The Wrecking Crew film: “I think there was a lot of resentment in the recording industry that we’d come out of nowhere, left field, and sort of just shot right to the top without having to kind of go through the ropes. The music industry back then was pretty crooked, and some people say even to this day. And I didn’t know at the time anything about the business end of it, but all of the sudden, the radio stations, the rack jobbers, the distributors, all these people that had a lot of power at that time – all of the sudden, they had to start playing the Monkees songs; they had to start racking them, they had to start distributing them. They had no choice. It was just so huge because of the television show. And that’s the first time anything like that had ever happened. And I think that probably created a lot of resentment.”

There is a certain lyrical dissonance in this song, as the upbeat music is contrasted with lyrics about being shipped off to war. Carol Kaye, who played bass on the session, told Songfacts, “The tempo of the tune was a good tempo. And that’s the main thing is to keep that tempo going. Back in the ’60s, you’re playing for people who dance. And if the tempo is 1-2-3-4, that’s a dance tempo. So you’re going to keep the tempo up, that’s important. So no, the mood of the song is not critical if the tempo is high, if the tempo is fast. If it’s slow, yeah, it’s kind of critical, and it depends upon how much is happening in the tune, too.”

One of the key elements of the song came out of sheer exhaustion. Micky Dolenz explains: “We were working 24/7. Normally, you do a TV series – eight, 10 hours a day – and go home. But after filming the show, I would go into the studio and sometimes record two or three lead vocals a night. So, it’s all a bit of a blur. That middle bit, there were words to that. Bobby Hart tells the story that I said, ‘It’s midnight, I have to be on the set at six. I can’t learn to sing that.’ He said, ‘Okay, just go ‘Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo…’ You never know, if I’d sang all those words, it might not have worked.”

Last Train To Clarksville

Take the last train to Clarksville
And I’ll meet you at the station
You can be there by four-thirty
‘Cause I’ve made your reservation, don’t be slow
Oh, no, no, no
Oh, no, no, no

‘Cause I’m leaving in the morning
And I must see you again
We’ll have one more night together
Till the morning brings my train and I must go
Oh, no, no, no
Oh, no, no, no

And I don’t know if I’m ever coming home

Take the last train to Clarksville
I’ll be waiting at the station
We’ll have time for coffee-flavored kisses
And a bit of conversation
Oh, no, no, no
Oh, no, no, no

Take the last train to Clarksville
Now I must hang up the phone
I can’t hear you in this noisy railroad station all alone
I’m feeling low
Oh, no, no, no
Oh, no, no, no

And I don’t know if I’m ever coming home

Oh

Take the last train to Clarksville
And I’ll meet you at the station
You can be here by four-thirty
‘Cause I’ve made your reservation, don’t be slow
Oh, no, no, no
Oh, no, no, no

And I don’t know if I’m ever coming home
Take the last train to Clarksville
Take the last train to Clarksville
Take the last train to Clarksville
Take the last train to Clarksville

Monkees – For Pete’s Sake

Thinking of Peter Tork who passed away Thursday at 77. This song would play over the closing credits of their TV show. Peter Tork (Peter Halsten Thorkelson) co-wrote the song with Joey Richards. “For Pete’s Sake” kicked off side two of the Monkees’ third album, 1967’s Headquarters. The song was not released as a single but the album Headquarters (the Monkees played their instruments on this one) and eventually peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100 until Sgt Pepper took over the spot.

The song has a garage band sound and lyrically it’s very 1967…and that is a good thing.

 

For Pete’s Sake

Love is understanding,
Don’t you know that this is true.
Love is understanding,
It’s in everything we do.

In this generation,
In this lovin’ time,
In this generation,
We will make the world shine.

We were born to love one another
This is something we all need.
We were born to love one another
We must be what we’re goin’ to be
And what we have to be is free.

In this generation,
In this lovin’ time,
In this generation,
We will make the world shine.

We were born to love one another
This is something we all need.
We were born to love one another
We must be what we’re goin’ to be
And what we have to be is free.

Love is undertanding, we gotta be free
Love is undertanding, we gotta be free
[Repeat and adlib]

Top 10 Favorite TV Themes 1-5

Some TV Themes can be annoying but many can be very catchy. I’m listing my top 10 on two posts. There are so many that narrowing it to ten was almost impossible. I’ve stuck with older ones for the post. I left out cartoons…

5. The Courtship of Eddie’s Father -Harry  Nilsson sang this one staring the one and only Bill Bixby.

 

4. It’s Garry Shandling’s Show – The most brilliant theme…straight to the point.

3. Munsters – Cool sixties guitar driven theme.

 

2. Welcome Back Kotter – John Sebastian’s song Welcome Back peaked at #1 in 1976.

 

1. Monkees – Whenever I hear it I’m 5 again.

 

 

 

 

Monkees – (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone

I’ve been posting some garage band songs lately…the style of this one is close. Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart wrote this but intended it for Paul Revere And The Raiders. Boyce and Hart also wrote The Monkees hits “Last Train To Clarksville” and “Valleri.” The song peaked at #20 in the Billboard 100 in 1967. This was a B side to I’m A Believer.

The Monkees influenced many to pick up an instrument and want to be in a  band. I am one of those people…I watched them in syndication and from them, I found The Beatles.  They made it look fun and exciting…of course, they didn’t show the egos and the arguments but that is alright. Artists such as Michael Stipe and Andy Partridge have talked about how the Monkees influenced them.

The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame seems determined to keep them out which I think is wrong considering some of the bands that they have in there. The influence alone should get them in… Not to mention 20 songs in the Billboard 100, 6 top ten hits, and 3 number 1’s.

Here is a post by Blackwing on the subject.

From Songfacts

This is about a girl who walks all over a guy who decides he’s not going to take it any more.

Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz sang lead, and was the only Monkee to perform on the song. In their early years, The Monkees songs were usually recorded by top session musicians. The Monkees had a popular TV show where their songs (including this one) aired, which helped them climb the charts.

In their later years, The Sex Pistols performed this with Sid Vicious singing lead. 

British group The Farm had their first hit with a 1990 remake of this called “Stepping Stone.”

Monkees keyboardist/bass guitarist Peter Tork on the song’s relevance: “The songs that we got [in the ’60s] were really songs of some vigor and substance. ‘(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone’ is not peaches and cream. It comes down hard on the subject, poor girl. And the weight of the song is indicated by the fact that the Sex Pistols covered it. Anybody trying to write ”60s songs’ now thinks that you have to write ’59th St. Bridge.’ [Sings] ‘Feeling groovy!’ Which is an okay song, but has not got a lot of guts. ‘Stepping Stone’ has guts.”

(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone

I-I-I-I-I’m not your steppin’ stone
I-I-I-I-I’m not your steppin’ stone

You’re trying to make your mark in society
You’re using all the tricks that you used on me
You’re reading all them high-fashion magazines
The clothes you’re wearing, girl, they’re causing public scenes

I said, I-I-I-I-I’m not your steppin’ stone
I-I-I-I-I’m not your steppin’ stone

(No!)

Not your steppin’ stone
Not your steppin’ stone

When I first met you, girl, you didn’t have no shoes
But, now you’re walking around like you’re front-page news
You’ve been awful careful ’bout the friends you choose
But, you won’t find my name in your book of “who’s-who?”

I said, I-I-I-I-I’m not your steppin’ stone
(No, girl, not me!)
I-I-I-I-I’m not your steppin’ stone

(No!)

Not your steppin’ stone
I’m not your steppin’ stone

Not your steppin’ stone (step-step-steppin’ stone)
Not your steppin’ stone (step-step-steppin’ stone)
Not your steppin’ stone (step-step-steppin’ stone)
Not your steppin’ stone (step-step-steppin’ stone)

No, girl, I’m not your steppin’ stone
Not your steppin’ stone (step-step-steppin’ stone)
Not your steppin’ stone (step-step-steppin’ stone)

Monkees – Goin’ Down

I just rediscovered this song from watching Breaking Bad recently.

The Monkees “Goin’ Down” was released as the B side to Daydream Believer and reached only #104 in the Billboard 100. It was written by all four members of the Monkees and Diane Hildebrand. Micky Dolenz has a good pop/rock voice.

From Wiki

In 2012, the composition met with controversy for its unexpected use in the television show, Breaking Bad. Dolenz, who was unaware an abridged version of “Goin’ Down” was to be featured on the show, commented, “‘Goin’ Down’ has nothing to do with drugs, obviously. And I certainly don’t condone meth — that is nasty stuff that kills a lot of people and ruins a lot of lives. … On the other hand, I like the TV show, it’s very well-made. … And no, I didn’t make a penny”.

From Songfacts.

Peter Tork says this was based on Mose Allison’s “Parchment Farm.” It’s about a drunken guy who “ends it all” by jumping into the river, and immediately regrets it as he’s “Goin’ Down.”

Drummer Micky Dolenz sang lead.

All the Monkees got writer’s credit on this song.

This was released as the B-side of “Daydream Believer.”

 

Goin’ Down

Sock it to me…

Floatin’ down the river,
With a saturated liver,
And I wish I could forgive her,
But I do believe she meant it,
When she told me to forget it,
And I bet she will regret it,
When they find me in the morning wet and drowned.
And the word gets ’round.
I’m goin’ down
I’m goin’ down

A-comin’ up for air,
It’s pretty stuffy under there,
I’d like to say I didn’t care,
But I forgot to leave a note,
And it’s so hard to stay afloat,
I’m soakin’ wet without a boat,
And I knew I should have taken off my shoes.
Ah, it’s front-page news.
Goin’ down
Goin’ down

Hep Hep 
Hep Hep
Hep Hep 
Hep Hep
Hep 
Hep Hep
Hep Hep

I wish I had another drink,
It wouldn’t be so hard to sink,
I should have taken time to think,
Besides I got the picture straight,
She must have had another date,
I didn’t need this extra weight,
I wish that I could see the way to shore.
I don’t want no more.
Goin’ down
I’m goin’ down

And now I see the life I led,
I slept it all away in bed,
I shoulda learned to swim instead,
And now it’s really got me stumped,
I can’t remember why I jumped,
I’d like to get my tummy pumped,
I can’t believe they drink this stuff in town.
This dirty brown.
Goin’ down
Goin’ down

I’m goin’ down, hep
Goin’ down
Hep Hep
Goin’ down Dga
Goin’ down goin’ down
Goin’ down goin’ down
Goin’ down

I wish I’d looked before I leaped,
I didn’t know it was so deep.
Been down so far I don’t get wet,
I haven’t touched the bottom yet.
This river scene is gettin’ old,
I’m hungry, sleepy, wet and cold.
She told me to forget it nice,
I should’ve taken her advice.
I only want to go on home,
I’d gladly leave that girl alone.
Wha-what a way to spend the night,
If I don’t drown, I’ll die of fright.
My pappy taught me how to float,
But I can’t swim a single note.
He threw me in to teach me how,
I stayed there floatin’ like a mama cow.
And now I’ve floated way down stream,
I know this has to be a dream.
If I could find my way to shore,
I’d never, never do this anymore.
I’ll give you three; I’ve been down nine,
I’m goin’ down just one more time.
Goin’ down
Ah dga, goin’ down
Dga goin’ down
Gah gah, goin’ down
I’m goin’ down
Go-go-go-goin’ down 
Back back back back home
Back back back home 
Back back back back home
Goin’ down
Goin’ down
I’m goin’ down
I’m goin’ back home
Back to my friends
Back to the one
Back to the truth
I’m goin’ home
Aahh

Now the sky is gettin’ light,
And everything will be all right.
Think I’ve finally got the knack,
Just floatin’ here lazy on my back.
I never really liked that town,
I think I’ll ride the river down.
Just movin’ slow and floatin’ free,
There’s a river swingin’ under me.
Waving back to the folks on shore,
I should have thought of this before.
I’m floatin’ on down to New Orleans,
Gonna pick up on some swingin’ scenes.
I’m gonna know me a better day,
I’ll go down groovin’ all the way.
Goin’ down A-ahh
Go-go-goin’ down

I’m goin’ down
Back back back to New Orleans
Back back back back home
I’m go-goin’ down
A-hep hep hep, hep
I’m goin’ on down
Hep, hep, hep, hep
I’m go-go-go-goin’ down
I’m goin’ down
Goin’ down
Go go
Auhh Hep, hep hep, hep
Hep, hep hep
Dga, dga dga, dga
Dga, dga dga, dga
Dga, dga dga, dga
Dga, dga dga
Got ta go
Got ta go
Got ta go back home
I’m goin’ down-down-down-down-down-down the river
Down-da-down-down-down the river, yeah
Gotta go gotta go
Gotta go gotta go
Down-nh-nh-nh
Hep, auh, hep, hep
(Fade out)