The Monkees are about as real as a fake band can get. After the success of the Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night, Hollywood decided to create a television series about a fictional mop-topped foursome whose similarities would have given a later generation of lawyers night sweats. They hired four actors/musicians — Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork — with varying degrees of musical skill and experience. Instruments on the television set were unplugged and the songs re-recorded later in a music studio. As the show progressed, the Monkees began writing their own songs, which the television studio wouldn’t let them record. Mike Nesmith, who regarded himself a musician first and an actor second, pushed especially hard to make his fake band real, and the producers eventually relented. By the band’s third album the musicians were actually playing and singing much of their own music (with the frequent aid of session musicians). With six albums by the original line-up, a television show that lasted two seasons, a feature length movie and songs still played on the radio today, it’s hard to tell where the actors ended and the real band began.