Headquarters (album)

Headquarters (album)

Infobox Album | Name = Headquarters
Type = Album
Artist = The Monkees

Released = May 22 1967
Recorded = February - March 1967
Genre = Rock
Length = 30:00
Label = Colgems Records
Producer = Chip Douglas
Reviews =
*Allmusic Rating|4.5|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:sjdovwnva9tk link] | Last album = "More of The Monkees"
This album = "Headquarters"
Next album = "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd."

The third album issued by The Monkees, "Headquarters" was their first LP recorded primarily by the four members of the group. After a struggle for creative autonomy, the group was allowed to record by themselves. Michael Nesmith recruited fellow folk musician Chip Douglas, a member of The Modern Folk Quartet and The Turtles, to produce the album. Douglas was credited under his birth name, Douglas Farthing Hatlelid. Along with "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.", "Headquarters" constitutes what both critics and supporters alike believe to be the ultimate Monkees recordings. The gamble to attain full artistic control seemed to pay off when "Headquarters" moved nearly two million copies immediately upon its release.

During the early months of 1967, the four Monkees sequestered themselves in the RCA Music Center of the World Studios, on Sunset Boulevard near Vine Street in Hollywood. Many of the songs were written by the four group members, or came together organically in jam sessions. A few of the songs were also written by songwriters Boyce and Hart.

The only session musicians used on the album were producer Douglas, who played bass guitar on several songs, and the occasional cello and French horn player.

The album was released on May 22, 1967 and charted at the number one position in the United States. It stayed at that position for only one week, when it was replaced by The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". It then began a run of 11 consecutive weeks at the #2 position as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" remained at #1. The album was issued on the compact disc format for the first time by Arista Records in 1987 remixed from the multi-tracks, then later from the original stereo mastertape in 1995 with several bonus tracks on Rhino Entertainment.

In 2003, Rhino Entertainment, through their Rhino Handmade division, issued "The Headquarters Sessions", a multiple disc box of outtakes from the session as well as the album's original monophonic mix presented in an alternate running order that was rejected before release.

Original album track listing

ide 1

#"You Told Me" (Nesmith)
#"I'll Spend My Life With You" (Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart)
#"Forget That Girl" (Douglas Farthing-Hatlelid)
#"Band 6" (Jones, Nesmith, Tork, Dolenz)
#"You Just May Be The One" (Nesmith)
#"Shades of Gray" (Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil)
#"I Can't Get Her Off Of My Mind" (Boyce, Hart)

ide 2

#"For Pete's Sake" (Tork, Joey Richards)
#"Mr. Webster" (Boyce, Hart)
#"Sunny Girlfriend" (Nesmith)
#"Zilch" (Jones, Nesmith, Tork, Dolenz)
#"No Time" (Hank Cicalo)
#"Early Morning Blues and Greens" (Diane Hilderbrand, Jack Keller)
#"Randy Scouse Git" (Dolenz)

ession info

"You Told Me"
*Written by Michael Nesmith
*Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith
*The opening parodies the Beatles' "Taxman," from their album "Revolver"
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 3 and 9, 1967

"I'll Spend My Life With You"
*Written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
*Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
*A remake by the band; the earlier version featured studio musicians
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 4, 9 and 18, 1967

"Forget That Girl"
*Written by Douglas Farthing Hatlelid
*Lead vocal by Davy Jones
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 7 and 8, 1967

"Band 6"
*Written by Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz
*Spoken words by Chip Douglas
*A studio exercise, based on the "Looney Tunes" theme
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 2, 1967

"You Just May Be the One"
*Written by Michael Nesmith
*Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith
*A remake by the band; the earlier version (on "Missing Links, Volume 2") featured studio musicians including Glen Campbell; this earlier version was used several times during Season One of the Monkees' television series.
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 2, 1967

"Shades of Gray"
*Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
*Lead vocals by Davy Jones and Peter Tork
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 16 and 22, 1967

"I Can't Get Her Off My Mind"
*Written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
*Lead vocal by Davy Jones
*A remake of a June 1966 recording featuring studio musicians
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 17 and 19, 1967

"For Pete's Sake"
*Written by Peter Tork and Joseph Richards
*Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
*An edited version became the closing theme for the show's second season
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 23, 1967

"Mr. Webster"
*Written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart
*Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
*A remake by the band; the earlier, slower version with studio musicians is featured on "Missing Links Volume 2"
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, February 23, 1967

"Sunny Girlfriend"
*Written by Michael Nesmith
*Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 23, 1967
*Mike and Micky recorded the song's vocals on a separate track featuring Mike on guitar and Micky with shaker.

*Written by Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz
*Spoken words by Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz
*A fugue made up of disparate phrases; the Monkees would sometimes enter public places performing it
*"Mr. Bob Dobolina" was a name heard over a paging system, "China Clipper..." came from the movie "China Clipper", "Never mind the furthermore..." from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Oklahoma!", and "It is of my opinion..." from a political speech.
*The line "Never mind the furthermore, the plea is self-defense" is also performed in the song "No Time"
*"Zilch" was the 'hidden meaning' of it all; it added up to...nothing. It was simply entertaining nonsense, a fact betrayed by the laughter of Micky and Mike as they break up during the session.
*The "Headquarters Sessions" compilation features the four spoken tracks separately to reveal everything that was said
*"Zilch" was used in the TV series episode "The Picture Frame" during the police interrogation scene when Mike, Micky, and Davy are commanded by the Sergeant (Dort Clark) to "start talking!" and the boys initially respond with "Zilch"'s lyrics.
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, 1967

"No Time"
*Written by Hank Cicalo
*Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
*"No Time" was actually composed by the four Monkees (according to Peter, composition was done primarily by Micky and Mike), but as a reward for his hard work, the band decided to credit the song to engineer Cicalo, guaranteeing him a large royalty check. The released version of the song was the second version recorded for the album; the first included session help from guitarists Keith Allison and Jerry Yester, but the released version has only Chip Douglas assisting the quartet.
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 17 and 22, 1967
*Micky references The Beatles song "Honey Don't" when he says "Rock on George for Ringo one time."

"Early Morning Blues and Greens"
*Written by Diane Hilderbrand and Jack Keller
*Lead vocal by Davy Jones
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 22, 1967

"Randy Scouse Git"
*Written by Micky Dolenz
*Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
*Title is a British slang phrase gleaned by Dolenz from television, likely the UK sitcom "Til Death Us Do Part"; it roughly translates as "lustful fool from Liverpool" (Wiktionary: , , ). In the series the insult was aimed by Alf Garnett at his son-in-law, played by Tony Booth, who is former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's father-in-law.
* To avoid offence in the UK the song was billed as "Alternate Title."
*"The four kings of EMI" is a reference to The Beatles, who were signed to EMI's Parlophone label at the time
* The opening drum riff of "Randy Scouse Git" can be heard in the Season One episode, "Monkees A La Mode," played absentmindedly by Micky on a table.
*Recorded at RCA Victor Studio C, Hollywood, March 4 and 8, 1967

CD bonus tracks

"She's So Far Out, She's In"
*Written by Thomas Baker Knight
*Recorded at Goldstar Studios, Hollywood, January 16, 1967
*A staple of the group's 1966-67 concert tour, this was the first official recording of the group with producer Chip Douglas. The group ran through several takes, but none came through to the satisfaction of Douglas. One full take (available on "Headquarters Sessions") came through in which Mike's lead guitar changed volume scant seconds into the performance.

"All of Your Toys" (single mix)
*Unused track that was the proposed A-side of the next Monkees single, but song was not controlled by the Monkees' publishing company, Screen Gems; publisher Tickson Music refused to sell the copyright
*Written by Bill Martin
*Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
*Recorded at Goldstar Studios, Hollywood January 16, 1967 and RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood January 19, 23, 30 and 31, 1967

"The Girl I Knew Somewhere" (Nesmith version)
*Written by Michael Nesmith
*Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith
*First known recording for the "Headquarters" album
*Recorded at Goldstar Studios, Hollywood, January 16, 1967
*Originally recorded with just electric guitar (played by Mike), acoustic guitar (Peter), drums (Micky), bass (John London), and tambourine (Davy), a complex harpsicord piece was added when Peter accidentally played the harpsicord during a rehearsal and the note that came out blended with the song to the enthusiastic satisfaction of Mike.

"Peter Gunn’s Gun" (jam session)
*Written by Henry Mancini
*This was one of numerous studio jams the boys concocted during recording.

"Jericho" (studio dialogue)
*(Trad.) This was recorded during a break from regular sessions; when Davy starts fooling around with a French horn, Peter and Chip make fun of his playing. Micky soon cuts in with a shtick about "Jericho's Wall," after Douglas mentions it and amid the laughter, the conversation spirals into a spontaneous vocal jam by Peter and Micky of the song "Jericho."
*A longer, unedited version appears on the "Headquarters Sessions" compilation

"Nine Times Blue" (demo version)
*Written by Michael Nesmith
*Lead vocal by Michael Nesmith

"Midnight Train" (demo version)
*Written by Micky Dolenz
*Lead vocal by Micky Dolenz
*Harmony vocal by Coco Dolenz (Micky's sister)
*(available on "Headquarters Sessions")

"Pillow Time" (studio dialogue)
*Written by Janelle Scott (Micky's mother) and Matt Willis
*Spoken words by Micky Dolenz
*This was recorded during a session when Micky was helping engineer Hank Cicalo with studio echo effects. Micky also plays on a zither that can be heard on the opening of the original album.
*A longer, unedited version of this session is featured on the "Headquarters Sessions" compilation

Original album

The track line-up for the album, compiled on April 21, included the following songs:

Side 1:

# "For Pete's Sake"
# "I'll Spend My Life With You"
# "Forget That Girl"
# "You Just May Be The One"
# "Shades of Gray"
# "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You"
# "Band 6"

Side 2:

# "Sunny Girlfriend"
# "Mr. Webster"
# "You Told Me"
# "The Girl I Knew Somewhere"
# "Zilch"
# "Early Morning Blues And Greens"
# "Randy Scouse Git"

Chart positions


*"Randy Scouse Git" was nearly replaced on the album for its UK release; writer Micky Dolenz had heard the title phrase on the BBC-TV programme "'Til Death Us Do Part", not realising it was actually considered obscene (translating roughly as "horny Liverpudlian bastard"). Since the phrase did not appear in the lyrics, their UK label was willing to accept an alternate title for the song, so Dolenz gave it the name "Alternate Title." So much interest had been generated from media commentary about the song that a single was released, which later went to #2 on the UK charts.

*During rehearsal and set-up for recording of "Randy Scouse Git" a demo of Mike's instrumental "Cantata & Fugue In C&W" was inserted in the mistaken belief that it was part of Micky's guitar demo of his song.

*On the Monkees' 1967 summer tour, Jimi Hendrix was the opening act.

*Several instrumental jams (available on Headquarters Sessions) were taped by Chip Douglas which The Monkees apparently intended for inclusion on the album. The group (with bassist John London) jammed an instrumental cover of the song "Memphis Tennessee" in which Peter's guitar grooving (and some of London's bass work and Davy's tambourine) overshoots the ending; after Micky good-naturedly curses out Peter ("Aw, Peter! You had to screw it up!!!") and bashes his drums for effect, he decides, "We'll cut him off, just cut off the track (for the ending)," to which Mike replies, "No, don't cut off the track, it was groovy until (the ending)." Following this jam the group broke into a ferocious three-minute improvisation (dubbed "Twelve-String Improvisation" on Headquarters Sessions) led by Mike's take-off of the opening guitar riff from The Beatles' "Day Tripper" that was quickly joined by Peter's riffing, Micky's drums, London's bass, and Davy's tambourine. Following the jam Micky is heard laughing and says, "Whoa! I gotta hear this!" and Peter asks Douglas, "Can we hear that back?" while a surprised Mike says, "Oh, they didn't tape that, did they?"

*Another instrumental track intended for the album was a Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil rock number, "Masking Tape," which the group recorded with bassist Jerry Yester. One take was recorded; before the take Micky and Chip Douglas run through one of the song's verses. At the end of the performance Micky exclaims, "Whoa! That was it!" but producer Douglas protests, "No, that wasn't it, it slowed down in the middle, but it's getting close." For some reason the song was never finished.

*Peter, Mike, and Micky with his sister Coco recorded demos early in the sessions. Peter's demo of "Seeger's Theme" was instrumental, while Mike and the Dolenzes' demos ("Nine Times Blue" and the Buffy Saint Marie composition "Until It's Time For You To Go" by Mike (who had first released it as a single in 1965); "She'll Be There" and "Midnight Train" by Micky and Coco) featured full vocals over acoustic guitar. Mike and the Dolenzes' demos took place in one session, as before Mike's demo of "Until It's Time" Chip Douglas is heard teasing that Mike is demoing under his old pseudonym 'Michael Blessing' to the laughter of Micky and Coco.


*Michael Nesmith: vocals, pedal steel guitar, 6-string guitar, 12-string guitar, organ
*Davy Jones: vocals, tambourine, jawbone, maracas, etc.
*Micky Dolenz: vocals, drums, guitar
*Peter Tork: vocals, keyboards, 12-string guitar, bass guitar, 5-string banjo
*Chip Douglas: bass guitar
*John London: bass guitar on "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" and "All of Your Toys"
*Vince DeRosa: French Horn on "Shades of Gray"
*Fred Seykora: cello on "Shades of Gray"
*Jerry Yester: additional guitar on "No Time"
*Keith Allison: additional guitar on "No Time"


*All information can be found on the Rhino Reissue of the Monkees' "Headquarters"
*"The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story of the 60s TV Pop Sensation" by Andrew Sandoval

succession box
before = "Sounds Like..." by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
title = "Billboard" 200 number-one album
years = June 24 - June 30 1967
after = "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles

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