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California Rock Sound

 by Len Comaratta

Author says: what if Stephen Stills had changed his mind about joining the Monkees? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). The article was originally posted on The Consequence of Sound web site.

In 1966, on September 12th NBC aired the first showing of the American situation comedy "the Monkees" marking the beginning of the adventures of five young men trying to make a name for themselves as rock 'n roll singers.
Watch the Theme Tune

The original concept was a mockumentary, shadowing the development of an existing band known as "the Lovin' Spoonful". However due to a copyright dispute with the bands record label, Screen Gems productions its was instead decided to create a new band comprising photogenic actors, rather than musicians and because they fitted the bill so well, Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and the Englishman Davy Jones were all signed up. With the schedule threatening to overrun, and under pressure to find a fourth member for the band, the rather less photogenic Stephen Stills came under serious consideration because of his own connection to Screen Gems.

But at the audition, Stills refused to waive his publishing rights with Screen Gemes and recommended substitution with his friend Peter Tork. Even though he raised the blocking issue of publishing rights, he was in fact uninterested because of the lack of artistic freedom that a mockumentary could offer. But having wrung a firm guarantee that the band could record hits in addition to filming the show, he changed his position and both Stills and Tork ended up joining the band.

The under pressure decision paid off and big time even though NBC had allowed their concept to be fundamentally modified in order to meet the deadlines for their recording schedule. Stills would take the band in an entirely new direction; although original band members would break with their own catchphrase by deciding that actually they didnt want to hang around preferring to refocus on TV acting, he did encourage Neil Young to join a new line-up and they would receive commercial acclaim for their recordings of "Marakesh Express" and "For What its Worth".


Author says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site. In reality Stills went on to pursue his own career writing Buffalo Springfield's biggest hit, "For What It's Worth" and releasing "Marakesh Express" with Crosby, Stills and Nash. This concept was explored on the Consequence of Sound web site in a fascinating article by Len Comaratta.

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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