Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2014 MONKEES CONVENTION Coverage! Micky Dolenz! Mike Nesmith! Peter Tork! And--Me!

Just back from the 2014 Monkees Convention in New Jersey! Here is my report, complete with super-rare pics of the fans, merch, events, and the Monkees themselves! A great time was had by all, so look below for a "you-are-there" account of this wild weekend! Click images to enlarge!

Above: Colossal crowds line up at registration booths to start
the show! At times, it was "standing room only" status!

Above: Tons of fans (from around the globe) came armed with 
custom-made shirts, pillows, hats, banners, and throw rugs, 
festooned with personal Monkees-themed event pics!

Above and below: Let's venture into the dealer's room, where lots 
of rare goodies were on display! Dig this cleverly-adorned booth! 
Hardcore Monkees fans will get the gag immediately! Pics below 
courtesy Natalie Panaia!

Above: Another fun fan-produced item found, aimed squarely at super-fans! 
Funny! Who created this? I ain't talking! Utter secrecy! "Secrecy, secrecy, secrecy.."

Above: Custom t-shirts were available at every turn, including these 
gems! Take a close look at the clever detail on these tees!

Above: A talented artist works on an exacting portrait of Michael Nesmith!

Above and below: Scott Murray, the proud owner of this amazing custom guitar
(complete with autographs) shows it off to waves of awed fans!

Above: Another collector displays his "Monkees Gretsch"
guitar model, also emblazoned with signatures!

Above: It's me, with Mike's son, Jonathan Nesmith, one of the
nicest (and most talented) guys you'll ever meet!

Above: There's no need to fear! Monkeeman is
here! Dig this fan's exacting costume!

Above: Another fan in a fantastic custom shirt!

Above: Fans are interviewed for a local magazine piece! Young
and old, guys and girls, black and white, they all have their own 

Monkees-related stories! Note the "Mike Nesmith" proxy (Kristy 
Hoffman) in the background!

Above: At the show, I was asked to sign tons of the covers I drew for 
MONKEE BUSINESS FANZINE, my comics, and (for some reason) the cover 
of Kristy Hoffman's copy of the 1976 MONKEES GREATEST HITS album!

Above: Got to see the Boyce & Hart documentary, THE GUYS WHO WROTE  'EM, put 
together by Rachel Lichtman (who also hosted the screening)! Great film, full of previously 
unseen pics and footage of not only B&H, but the Monkees, too!

Above: Michael Nesmith signs for the fans! Mike was presented with anything
you can plaster a signature upon! Posters, shirts, toys, CDs and LPs, guitars…
He engaged each fan in conversation, and was his usual witty self!

Above: Mike signs the 1967 HEADQUARTERS record album!

Above: Michael adds his signature to a fan's Monkeemobile die-cast! Mike and I
had to convince the fan that the real Monkeemobile was parked right downstairs!

BONUS! Click below to watch Michael sign the Monkeemobile toy!

Above: What did have Michael sign? This 1996 catalog cover, which already
sports the signatures of the other three Monkees, who signed it at a '96
"meet-and-greet" event in Charlotte, North Carolina! It's bordered by
attached pics of me and the Monkees (and their famed mode of
transportation) from various previous events...

Above and below: Did somebody mention the Monkeemobile was making
an appearance at the show? Here it is, graced by my presence!

Above and below: The Monkees appear live, to accept their award plaques
during their induction into the American Pop Music Hall of Fame! They also used
the occasion to announce a new 2014 tour! "Hey! I've got a drum, Peter has a
banjo, Mike has a--microphone…Let's go on tour!"

Above pic courtesy MONKEES CONVENTION FaceBook page!

BONUS BONUS! Click below to see the Pop Hall of Fame Induction!

BONUS BONUS! During the convention, Michael also presented his amazing "Movies of the Mind" live show, backed by a fabulous band! Click below to see (and hear) one of the most exciting portions of the set, as Mike performs some of the INFINITE RIDER cuts that fans have loved for over thirty years now! Thanks to "Spikedrice" for this and the above video clip!

Above: The Monkees are ready for the awesome onslaught of fevered fans, looking
for their chance to snap a personal pic with them! Photo by David Levin!

Above: The latest chimp off the ol' block? It's me, happy as a clam in
red sauce, caught in a clutch as the "Monkee in the middle!" Micky and
Mike warmly embraced me, as we all shook hands, while Peter broke into
his own rendition of Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al!" Micky: "I call Peter
'irresponsible.'" Wow.


david_b said...

WOW and wow... I wasn't even aware of this con..!!!

I was buzzed enough just to get my pic with Peter in Detroit last may. But to have Papa Nez and Mickey there as well..?!?

Gobsmacked, purely gobsmacked.


Unknown said...

Lol I Am the Proxy! Great job Al! Glad you featured my famous memory" Record signed by some of my Monkee family!

Scott Murray said...

Hey Hey Al!! It was nice meeting you at the Convention.Thanks for posting picks of my Monkees Guitar!

Al Bigley said...


Thank YOU for bringing it, and sharing it with fans!

Al Bigley