Adored by the Network/Screwed by the Network: The series was unavoidable on MTV in 1986, running several times a day, plus weekend marathons every couple of months. Davy, Micky and Peter did lots of on-camera work, and even starred in the annual MTV Christmas video (with a surprise cameo by Mike). Then they turned down an offer to appear on MTV's Super Bowl Sunday special. Big mistake. MTV suddenly snubbed them, refusing to play the video for "Heart and Soul" despite it being among the most requested, which played a big role in both the single and the reunion album Pool It! tanking. In the 1989 The Decade in Rock special, MTV voted The Monkees as "Most Unnecessary Comeback of The 80s", blissfully ignoring their important role in that comeback.
One reason that the group didn't last long past the end of the TV series was that the four members brought radically different musical preferences to the table. Tork was a folk singer, Jones favored showtunes and ballads, Nesmith favored either country-rock or straight-up country, and Dolenz was into rock and soul.
By the time the band recorded its fifth album, The Birds, the Bees, and The Monkees, the group had completely abandoned recording together. Each member chose his own songs and produced his own sessions with his own musicians of choice, then the results were pooled and the best songs chosen for the album.
Creator Backlash: None of the four were pleased with the album More of the Monkees, and Mike Nesmith especially has never had a kind word to say about it. The album was compiled without any input from the group and released behind their back; reportedly, the band didn't find out about its existence until one of them saw it in the record store. Additionally, the album contained a few tracks which they felt were substandard. They also hated the cover shot, which featured them in what they considered to be extremely tacky JCPenney clothing.
Dawson Casting: Some episodes indicate that the boys are supposed to be teenagers. Davy was 20 at the time filming began, Micky was 21, Mike was 23, and Peter was 24.
Executive Meddling: Largely the story behind the assembling of the group's second album, More of the Monkees. Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, producers of the first album, recorded what they believed was to be the follow-up to the group's debut, not knowing that Don Kirshner was having the boys record lots of tracks with other writers and producers as well. Kirshner then assembled his own version of the album and released it behind everyone's back. Only two of the tracks Boyce and Hart recorded were included.
Hitless Hit Album: Headquarters, which had no singles released in America. ("Randy Scouse Git"/"Alternate Title" was a hit in England.)
The song "Gonna Buy Me a Dog" from the first album was intended to be a quirky novelty tune to wrap up the album on a light-hearted note. However, Micky and Davy found the song corny rather than funny, and used one take to goof off and just basically make fun of the song. This version was the one that got released.
The band included "Band 6" and "Zilch" (both of which were short clips of the boys cutting up in the studio) in the final track listing for Headquarters to add to the off-the-wall, spontaneous atmosphere of the project.
One of musicians who unsuccessfully auditioned for the group was Stephen Stills. Had he been accepted, there would have been no Buffalo Springfield or Crosby, Stills & Nash. As it happened, Stills wound up recommending his then-roommate, Peter Tork, for the gig, and the rest is history.
A fanciful Alternate History timeline following Stills' acceptance into the Monkees (with cataclysmic consequences for a huge chunk of subsequent rock history) can be found here.
One of the reasons the show was canceled was a disagreement with the network over the show's format. The band felt that the sitcom format had grown stale and tried to sell NBC on a variety show, with skits and special musical guests. Considering that they'd already managed to work appearances by Tim Buckley and Frank Zappa into the second season, the latter could have been especially interesting.
The series was originally going to feature the real band The Lovin' Spoonful, but lead singer-songwriter John Sebastian had already signed the band to another label, which meant the producers of The Monkees couldn't distribute their music.