Thursday, May 22, 2014

Musical Interlude: What Am I Doing Hanging Around? (1967)

The Monkees go country with this number, written by future pop-country star Michael Martin Murphey, who scored with "Wildfire" in 1976. "What Am I Doing Hanging Around?" has Mike Nesmith on lead vocals, clearly showing a little Stephen Stills influence in his singing. Of course, there is the legend that Stills himself had auditioned for the band, but was turned down. Stills still became a music icon, thanks to Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, & Nash (and sometimes Neil Young).

It's amazing how they managed to make all those songs work without any of the boys playing bass.


magicdog said...

I'm a Monkee fan from way back and this song was always a fave. They've played it at every concert too.

FTR, Peter played bass.

Funny you should mention Stills. There were times when I mistook a song he sang for Nesmith. But it never turned up on Nesmith's solo work (like the First and Second National Bands). I wondered if I'd ever find it! It wasn't until the DJ finally mentioned who the artist was that the mystery was solved.

Of course stills wasn't the only future star to audition for the group, Danny Hutton and Paul Williams did as well. Stills might have made it if his teeth had been straighter. That's how Peter Tork got involved! He and Stills looked a lot alike back in '65 and he referred Peter to the audition. If you want to see the finalists auditioning (they're running through scenes from the show's pilot), it's all on YT. They were extras from a DVD release showing all four Monkees and the other four finalists that almost made the cut.

hobbyfan said...

I know Peter also played keyboards and some guitar, or was that the bass he was using in some cases?

It's just too bad I never saw Peter's later band, The New Monks, back in the 80's, before the reunion. I did read an interview he gave to a local weekly to promote the New Monks hitting the area, but that seems like a lifetime ago.