I Wanna Be Free
Hey! This is the first installment of a collaboration with Not Coming To A Theater Near You. As part of their Rock Follies series, they’ll be reviewing some of the most infamous rock films, and I’ll be posting a corresponding bootleg. First up — the Monkees’ HEAD. Read Leo Goldsmith and Evan Kindley’s review here.
Not sure about the chronology here — whether this was pre- or post-HEAD, but it’s one of the Monkees’ last concerts (before all the inglorious reunions that probably continue to this day), recorded in Japan in 1968. Don’t expect a psyched-out, acid-drenched version of the Pre-Fab Four, though: the lads mainly stick to the hits, much to the delight of what sounds like an arena full of screaming Japanese girls. Did they ever play “Porpoise Song” live, I wonder? Whatever — despite their faux band origins, the Monkees make a pretty convincing garage band here, pounding out enthusiastic versions of “Last Train To Clarksville,” “Cuddly Toy,” and that proto-punk anthem “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone.” Interesting that they didn’t rely on any backing musicians, either — it’s pure Monkees all the way through, as far as I can tell. There are interjections throughout from announcers — anyone out there want to translate from the Japanese?