Saturday, January 14, 2012
Kit of the Day
Part of my cultural deprivation is that I've never heard of the New Monkees. Those who have, and want a model car to commemorate that memory, can bid on this item on eBay. Cost is in line with the average model car.
Wikipedia had this to say about them:
The 20th anniversary of The Monkees in 1986 generated enough interest that New Monkees was conceived later that year, and launched the following year. The show was produced by Columbia Pictures Television and distributed by Coca-Cola Telecommunications (both are now Sony Pictures Television). Straybert Productions, headed by Steve Blauner (a former partner of original Monkees producers Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider), served as the project's producers.
The group's members were Jared Chandler (guitar and vocals), Dino Kovas (drums and vocals), Marty Ross (bass guitar and vocals), and Larry Saltis (lead guitar and vocals). As it had been with the original Monkees, each had to pass a grueling set of auditions. Unlike the previous series, however, musical ability was a key factor in the selection process. Ross, a multi-instrumentalist, had earlier been signed to CBS Records, with his former band The Wigs.
The band released one self-titled album, distributed by Warner Bros. Records. The synth-pop sound of the New Monkees was largely the work of producers Carol Carmichael Parks and Dean Parks, and was similar to that of contemporaries Mr. Mister and Glass Tiger. Other New Monkees producers were Steve Barri and Tony Peluso, Matt Wallace, Joe Curiale, and Mike Slamer, who co-wrote a song for the album with Larry Saltis.
On the show, the band lived in a large mansion with a butler named Manford (Gordon Oas-Heim), and numerous unexplored rooms (much like recent hit series The Young Ones), and this was the main source of their adventures. Instead of a normal kitchen and dining room, the house featured a diner with a waitress named Rita, played by former exercise instructor Bess Motta, of 20 Minute Workout fame. Also present in the mansion was a talking computer called Helen (voiced by Lynnie Godfrey), who used to work for the Defense Department but has found that she preferred rock music over world destruction.
Originally slated for a 22-episode season, the show earned ratings lower than expected, and New Monkees left the air after thirteen episodes. The album also did not catch on, and yielded no hit records. The producers hoped that the TV show would serve as promotion for their record, and vice versa, but this did not occur. A lawsuit was filed by the original Monkees for use of the name. However, the case was settled out of court.
Though a release of the series on DVD had been mentioned as a possibility by Larry Saltis in an interview several years ago, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made no such release to date. The New Monkees album also remains out of print.
Interest in the band has continued on Internet news groups. In 2007, all four New Monkees reunited for a meet-and greet-with fans in Los Angeles, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the band's formation. The gathering featured an acoustic performance; their first since the dissolution of the show, and their first-ever live appearance. This performance was filmed and portions of the show have been released in late 2009 on YouTube. Among those in attendance that night were producers Steve Blauner, Victor Fresco and Matt Fassberg and comedian Tim Powers