How a Monkee Reacted When a Star Preferred The Monkees to The Beatles

by Jeremy Spirogis
The Beatles wearing suits

Lots of individuals have in contrast The Beatles to The Monkees — together with a well-known rock star. This rocker really stated the Prefab Four mattered to him greater than the Fab Four did. Afterward, he acquired demise threats from Beatles followers. Here’s how Mike Nesmith of The Monkees reacted to his feedback.

The Beatles wearing suits
The Beatles | Central Press/Getty Images

An notorious remark about The Beatles that individuals misunderstood

Firstly, a little bit background. The Monkees had a sitcom which was similar to The Beatles’ movie A Hard Day’s Night. In addition, a few of The Monkees’ basic tracks had been straight impressed by Beatles songs. For instance, “I Wanna Be Free” is meant to sound like “Yesterday” and “Paperback Writer” impressed “Last Train to Clarksville.” To dismiss The Monkees as a Beatles knockoff is frequent. To say you want The Monkees greater than The Beatles is a provocation in some circles.

Michael Stipe of R.E.M. apparently had no compunctions with making that provocation. According to the e-book Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture, Stipe stated the Prefab Four meant extra to him than the Fab Four in a 1994 interview. The public response to this assertion was lower than amicable. 

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“Last Train to Clarksville”

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“I still get death threats about it from Beatles fans,” Stipe instructed The New York Times in 2011. “The point that I was trying to make was that I was three years too young for them. I grew up in an era where The Banana Splits, The Archies, and The Monkees were the music that I listened to.” Clearly, Stipe was extra involved with the tv bands designed to enchantment to youngsters than the Fab Four.

What Mike Nesmith stated about Michael Stipes’ feedback about The Monkees

Disgruntled Beatles followers weren’t the one ones to note Stipe’s feedback. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, The Monkees’ Mike Nesmith discussed Stipe in addition to the 1990s resurgence of the Prefab Four.

“If you look at the work, it holds up,” he stated. “And I don’t think the popularity had much to do with it. I don’t think it was a wave of hysteria that gripped the country. It was quite the opposite. There was an enormous attempt to squelch The Monkees by the people who were listening to The Stones and The Beatles. But the 8-year-olds watching television, the 10-year-olds, the 14-year-olds, these people got it, and Michael [Stipe] got it, and the quality of the work was there to sustain it over several generations.” In addition, Nesmith was not stunned his band got here again in model within the 1990s.

The different connection R.E.M. has to The Monkees

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“Christmas Party”

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Interestingly, Stipe isn’t the one member of R.E.M. to have an in depth connection to the Prefab Four. R.E.M.’s Peter Tork labored on “Christmas Party,” the title monitor of the Prefab Four’s first and solely Christmas album. R.E.M. and the Prefab Four have an fascinating historical past collectively which incorporates each demise threats and a enjoyable Christmas track.

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