Mike Nesmith always had a soft spot for The Monkees‘ only feature film, Head. The 1968 film was misunderstood by many critics and fans of the band who were used to the casual hijinks of the quartet’s NBC series. However, Nesmith discussed how the film had a hidden meaning missed by many. He claimed the film poked “a lot of fun at The Monkees’ expense.”

Mike Nesmith shared in a rare interview the intentions of the movie ‘Head’

Mike Nesmith shared the purposes of the group’s first feature film in a rare interview with Monkees bandmates Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork for the Hy Lit Show. Head, he explained, poked “a lot of fun” at the expense of its stars.

“The most fun was the character assassination,” Nesmith said of the darker turn the film took in characterizing The Monkees television personas. “You have to see the movie for that to make any sense.”

He continued, “Just keep that in mind. We had a lot of fun at The Monkees’ expense.”

Micky Dolenz added that in the film, he, Nesmith, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork had a chance to “get into a little dramatics. Portraying ourselves a little bit instead of running around.”

“There’s cutting up but not in the same way we do it on the television show,” Nesmith interjected. “We do it differently than you saw us do it in the series.

How did The Monkees get involved with ‘Head’?

The last episode of The Monkees Emmy-winning television show aired in March 1968, during its second and final filming season. During that time, the world’s cultural climate appeared to be in upheaval, and the series seemed out of step with the times.

The Monkees producer and director Bob Rafelson had planned to make a film starring Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Nesmith. However, it wasn’t plausible until the era of The Monkees television series officially ended.

Rafelson introduced the actors to aspiring screenwriter and actor Jack Nicholson. During one weekend spent at a California resort, Rafelson, Nicholson, and the cast of The Monkees had an open dialogue about the topics they wanted to address while a tape recorder kept running. These ideas would eventually combine to germinate an idea for Head‘s script.

Mike Nesmith said ‘Head’ was ‘once so edgy’ and it became ‘mainstream’


‘The Monkees’ Producer Says 1 Song Was ‘Critical’ to the Film ‘Head’

In a 1991 interview with Goldmine Magazine, Nesmith spoke fondly of the film, which he joked was “once so edgy” and had since become “mainstream.”

“I think [Head] is a strong piece of cinema,” he stated. “It’s interesting to see how soft it was now when it was so edgy and over the side when it came out. Now it almost looks mainstream.”

He continued, “I think people had as much trouble accepting a psychedelic movie from The Monkees as they did the music of The Monkees. It was like, how can you extend the television franchise to include all those things? And the answer was you can.”

In the same interview, Nesmith discussed how he believed the appeal of The Monkees was “timeless.”

“Of all the things that do surprise me, that surprises me the least,” he explained. “Those were good shows. They were fairly broad-based and pretty entertaining. Those four kids were winsome and attractive; I can see the appeal. Those were Class-A records and good pop music. It’s too bad everything was so poorly managed because it could have been much more fun than it was.”

The film featured a who’s who of celebrities, including Terri Garr, Victor Mature, Annette Funicello, Sonny Liston, Frank Zappa, Toni Basil, and Dennis Hopper, to name a few. Since its release, Head has attained cult status among film fans.

Read the original article from Showbiz Cheat Sheet

2023-06-01T13:59:11Z dg43tfdfdgfd