In the late 1980s, 1960s made for TV pop group The Monkees
bounced back from obscurity, thanks to 20-year-old reruns of their classic series
being shown on MTV
. The band re-formed and became more successful than ever, but that didn't stop TV producers from thinking lightning could strike twice, and so, as a quarter of a century before, a search was on for a new group of cute 20-something men (and women as well, according to this video
) who could sing and act.
Larry Saltis, Dino Kovas, Jared Chandler, and Marty Ross were the four who were chosen for the final project. Unlike their 1960s predecessors, the New Monkees lived in a large mansion reminiscent of Pee-Wee's Playhouse
, in which most of their adventures took place. Other residents of the house included Manford the butler, Helen, a lifeform that manifested herself as a large disembodied pair of lips (like at the beginning of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
) that would appear on any one of the TV screens that were in every room, and Rita, the waitress at the 50's-style diner
that was attached to the mansion.
The New Monkees' sound was vastly different from the perky Beatles
-esque polished pop of the old Monkees; their music was 1980s pop/soft rock that seemed to draw influences from bands like Mr. Mister. The band released one album and made an appearance on Solid Gold
, but fans of the original group savagely vilified them for merely existing. The fact that the original Monkees themselves did not support the New Monkees didn't help, and the show was cancelled after one season.
Though the band remains largely forgotten to this day, there is a small die-hard group of New Monkees fans who have found each other on the Internet and have succeeded in keeping memories of the band alive. These fans have also been fortunate enough to meet the New Monkees themselves on a few occasions in recent years.
- Building of Adventure/Cool House: The mansion.
- '80s Hair
- In Name Only: The New Monkees (both the show and the band) are a separate entity from the original; neither is a follow-up to its predecessor. Those who are curious about what happened to Micky, Davy, Mike, and Peter (or at least the TV show versions of them) ought to watch the 1997 one-shot special "Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees."