THE MONKEES: Made In Hollywood
contextualised by Norman Warwick
The behind-the-scenes story of the controversial 1960s made-for-tv rock band.
The Monkees represent a vital problem for rock and pop: is it the music that matters or the personality and image of the performers? This book explores the system behind the Monkees, the controversial made-for-TV band that scored some of the biggest hits in the 1960s. The Monkees represent the cumulative result of a complex coordination of talented individuals, from songwriters to studio musicians to producers—in short, the 1960s Hollywood music industry. At the time, the new rock criticism bewailed the “fake” band while fans and audiences pushed the Monkees to the top of the charts. Through the Monkees’ unlikely success, this book illustrates the commercial genius of the Hollywood system and its legacy in popular music today.
Tom Kemper (left) is currently at work on a book about the Beatles, another on modern architecture, and just finished another on pop music: “The Monkees: Made in Hollywood,” out in August. It covers LA’s pop music industry in the 1960s and how it fabricated the Monkees.
Title The Monkees: Made In Hollywood
Author Tom Kemper
Publisher Reaktion Books (August 31, 2023)
Language : English
aperback : 248 pages
ISBN-10 : 1789147077
ISBN-13 : 978-1789147070
Item Weight : 11 ounces
Dimensions : 5.75 x 0.7 x 8.25 inches
“Kemper astutely explains how the highly integrated music industry created, developed, and eventually abandoned the Monkees.” Library Journal
“A keenly incisive—and, at times, refreshingly objective and even-handed—analysis of the entertainment machinery of the era, and the manner in which radio, television, and other areas worked together to manufacture The Monkees seemingly out of thin air.” Musoscribe
“I spent the entire summer of 1987 on the road opening up for The Monkees, and I didn’t learn 1% as much about them as I learned from this thorough and remarkable book by Tom Kemper.” “Weird Al” Yankovic
“The Monkees gets into the vast machinery that goes on behind the scenes of producing perfect pop – still relevant today even if the names and corporations have changed – and does it with a lot of fun.” Chris Shiflett, Foo Fighters
“Kemper’s book clarifies so much that is misunderstood in the Monkees story.” Susanna Hoffs, The Bangles
“A knowledgeable and incisive portrait of the popular music industry.” Paul Hirsch, Northwestern University
“Fascinating and witty . . .The book is full of interesting insights . . . [and] Kemper is impressive in unpacking particular songs . . . a fresh and engaging take on an oft-told story.” Shindig!
” Valuable, interesting, well-argued, and built on a pile of documented evidence. ” Psychobabble
“Belittled at the time of their creation in the mid-Sixties, as made-for-TV Help-era Beatles clones, The Monkees’ music has stood the test of time, and then some. Tom Kemper suggests, in his excellent book, that the initial snobbery surrounding the group, at least in elevated critical circles, came about because of the rise of a new rock culture based on authenticity, individual expression and idealism.”
Pick of the Week, Choice
“Kemper helps us understand what it is that continues to make the Monkees phenomenon ‘compelling, fascinating and divisive.” The Spectator
This absorbing new book…offers an intelligent, insightful look at the many factors that melded to create the Monkees phenomenon and the band’s lasting impact. He goes into the evolving Los Angeles music scene and the rise of Top 40 radio, the burgeoning pop art world – factors that helped to nurture the Monkees’ massive reverberations . . . Kemper documents the band’s amazing journey and how the world responded. Pop Culture Classics