Running for two seasons between September 12, 1966 and March 25, 1968, The Monkees was a musical sitcom which followed a young band as they tried to make it in the music business. Created by Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, the show was inspired by the success of The Beatles’ films A Hard Days Night and Help!.
Starring Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davy Jones, The Monkees was also used as a way to market music from the series that was sung by the actors but played by session musicians. Nesmith led the creative charge for the quartet to put their musical stamp on the Monkees songs and ultimately bankrupted himself by buying out his own contact in 1970. However, the band had a slew of hits singles as several hit albums.
In 1968, The Monkees would hit the big screen in the psychedelic feature film, Head. The film was directed by Bob Rafelson, who co-wrote the screenplay alongside Jack Nicholson. At the time, Nicholson was a struggling actor looking to break into the movie business – something that would happen following the success of Easy Rider in 1969. During this period, Nicholson became close friends with Monkees member Michael Nesmith and the pair had a strong friendship.
Nicholson and Rafelson would continue to collaborate over the years on film such as Five Easy Pieces, The King of Marvin Gardens, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Man Trouble and Blood And Wine.
Budgeted at $750,00, Head was a box office disaster, grossing just $16,111.