Hey, Hey Let Them In: 10 Reasons The Monkees Should Be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Twelve performers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. The Monkees weren't one of them. TIME makes a case for the pop-rock group that changed music forever — one sitcom episode at a time

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SusanKirklandEmbry
SusanKirklandEmbry

I was one of those'teeny-boppers' in the '60's who saw The Monkees in Houston,Tx-(at that same concert,we also saw an unknown crazy-acting genius named Jimi Hendrix!) Then many yrs later, I took my teenage daughters to see them,after they literally BEGGED me! I don't know too many artists that can draw that diverse of an age group even to this day. We all still love their music. It's always fresh-sounding & cool. Absolutely, they should be in the Hall of Fame. It's ridiculous they aren't! Too bad they let our favorite in the group, Davy Jones, pass away without this honor. May he rest in peace. 

meaghanannallen
meaghanannallen

The instrument thing is basically irrelevant. I completely agree that they should be added, and I'm very well aware that they did play their own instruments... but there really should be no need to justify that they did and are thus deserving of induction. 

Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Jackson 5, etc... All the work of the Funk Brothers. 

Then we've got Run DMC, and now Public Enemy? Seriously. If "Flavor Flav" can be inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, there's no reason Mickey, Peter, Mike and Davy should be kept out. I think it's coming. These kinds of things always seems to happen following an untimely death. Didn't Donna Summer fans fight for her place for a while, too? 

Plus, Mickey owned one of the first 20 Moog synths ever in existence. I can't remember the last time I heard a modern-ish song on the radio that didn't use a synthesizer in it for some purpose... 

DeanOrfanoyannis
DeanOrfanoyannis

When you listen to Everything the Monkees recorded back in the '60s, both the hits and the album tracks, both the songs written by the Monkees themselves and the songs written by others --  there's no reason why they can't be regarded at the same level as other great '60s guitar-pop bands like The Young Rascals, The Lovin' Spoonful, and The Turtles ---  and All 3 of those bands are in the Rock Hall of Fame, so why not the Monkees?   And by the way, The Turtles and the Rascals did not always play all their own instruments, either.

DeanOrfanoyannis
DeanOrfanoyannis

It was only the first 2 albums out of 8, that the Monkees didn't play any of the instruments on. (I'm not counting the obscure final 1970 Monkees album "Changes", which was just Mickey and Davy with studio musicians).....From the 3rd album ("Headquarters") onwards,   Mike, Peter and Micky played most of the guitars and keyboards between them, Peter occasionally played bass guitar, and Davy played various percussion instruments. Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork were experienced musicians as guitarists and keyboardists, but none of the 4 had experience playing bass or drums, so it made sense that they used studio talent for the rhythm section.

DeanOrfanoyannis
DeanOrfanoyannis

The members of the Monkees actually wrote and recorded some good Monkee songs of their own in the '60s -- many of which were not released until long after they broke up. I was a fan of the hits when I heard them as a kid in the '70s.  In the '80s, I grew to love some of the lesser-known album tracks.  But recently I discovered some rarities and box set collections released over the past 20 years that include some very good songs that the individual Monkees wrote on their own.  They were left off the original albums probably because they didn't Sound like the typical Monkee hit song... I've put together a double-CD compilation entirely of Monkees songs written by Mike, Micky, Peter and Davy.  Peter, believe it or not, was the classic-sounding rocker of the bunch, Mike was the country-rock pioneer, Micky wrote some freak-ishly unforgettable psychedelic pop tunes with provocative lyrics, and of course, Davy was mostly about melodic pop -- although even he co-wrote a couple of straight rock tunes.

ThisIsJohnGaltSpeaking
ThisIsJohnGaltSpeaking

The reasons we usually hear -- I don't know from whom -- for their non-inclusion are (1) they didn't play their own instruments, (2) they were a "manufactured" group, and (3) they didn't write most of their hits.

To these, I offer:  (1) The Beach  Boys, whose work in the 1960s was played largely by Glen Campbell, Hal Blaine and the Wrecking Crew, and also Crosby Stills & Nash, whose albums featured them playing guitars, but with exceptional session musicians behind them.   (2) Other bands in the RRHOF came together as "manufactured" rather than just friends who grew up together. The aforementioned CS&N, for example, were introduced to each other through other professionals while they were still with The Byrds, The Buffalo Springfield, and the Hollies respectively. A better example would be the Jimi Hendrix Experience, which was Jimi plus Noel and Mitch, who were recruited and contracted to be his band.   Finally (3) Elvis wrote none of his own songs.  Nuf sed.  

The omission of The Monkees from the RRHOF is the Hall's most glaring snub and most egregious flaw.  ...and this organization has MANY flaws.   Why on earth are Public Enemy and Run DMC in the ROCK AND ROLL Hall of Fame?  They were big artists with big popular hits?   OK, then I would expect Frank Sinatra to be inducted immediately, based on those criteria.  Either keep it as a "Rock Hall of Fame", which excludes rap (which isn't music anyway because it doesn't meet the definition), hip-hop, and maybe even disco,  or make it a "Music Hall of Fame" and get Beethoven, Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong in there right away.   Right now, it's basically the Wenner Hall of Fame, and between him and Greil Marcus, their tastes are notoriously inexplicable. (Rolling Stone HATED HATED HATED Led Zeppelin.  HATED Cream.  And don't even get me started on the ridiculous artists they loved that didn't deserve it.)

AdrianaMarieGrenot
AdrianaMarieGrenot

because they rock!!:) I love the monkees they have a gift when it comes to music  they should be in the rock and hall of fame please!!!!!:):)

TomHolste
TomHolste

Great article, and I completely agree!

One correction: "Sugar, Sugar" was never actually offered to the Monkees. That's a common myth that appeared in many biographies, but Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval has determined that the song hadn't even been written by then! Instead, there was a song in 1967 called "Sugar Man" which was more likely the song that Don Kirshner offered them.


JoyBitterman-Gandolfini
JoyBitterman-Gandolfini

Why shouldn't the Monkees be added into the Hall of Fame? They were at a changing point of our lives, with Viet Nam and soldiers coming back to homes they found familiar and changed. We went thru hell during the 70's and music reminded us who we were and what we felt. Last train to Clarksville was for all those small town boys, coming home from war, hoping that their lives will be the same and that she would be there for him. Cheer Up sleepy Jean, was for all those young ladies who dreamt of the day being with the one she loved and building a life, with hope to have one. Even Randy Scouce Skit had it's own meaning, of the insanity that was around us, the uncertainty what's ahead of us and how we will react when we are faced with it all.  The Monkees brought all that to us in music, whether they wrote it or not, they delivered it to the masses and the fans cheered them and we're still cheering for them. Let the Monkees in!

ohozzie
ohozzie like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

The criteria that the Rock and Roll HOF says they operate under is not their actual criteria. They look for people to induct who will bring crowds to the Hall of Fame itself. And it's the Gospel according to Jan Werner. It reflects who he likes and does not like. And he does not like the Monkees. That's fine, but then don't pretend to speak for all of Rock and Roll. It's HIS hall of fame, not Rock and Roll's.

RandyBurbach
RandyBurbach like.author.displayName 1 Like

#6 & #3 are weak - and #6 ignores things like them inventing the multi-media concert. #4 is the best and - Hey! no Nesmith's songs?  It is really a joke - the Rock and Roll Hall of People Jann Wenner likes.

SteveBenger
SteveBenger

I do not see why they are not in the hall of fame.