The summer Jimi Hendrix and The Monkees toured together

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In the summer of 1967, Jimi Hendrix joined The Monkees tour (Ebay)
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The Monkees asked Hendrix to join their tour in 1967 (Ebay)
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Jimi Hendrix was a late addition to The Monkees 1967 tour (Ebay)
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Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz documented the odd summer when Jimi Hendrix toured with the band (Courtesy Micky Dolenz)
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While Hendrix and The Monkees didn’t gel musically, they were friendly toward each other (Courtesy Micky Dolenz)
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May 30, 2024 | The summer Jimi Hendrix and The Monkees toured together (Neal Augenstein)

WASHINGTON — It seemed like a good idea.

The Monkees in 1967 were at the top of the music world, but not because of their virtuosity.

Critics called them the “pre-fab four” — a group created for a children’s TV show.

Yet, The Monkees wanted to be taken seriously as musicians, and so they asked budding guitar legend Jimi Hendrix to join their summer tour.

“Micky got him,” Monkees keyboard and bass player Peter Tork told WTOP, during a 2013 interview.

Tork and drummer Micky Dolenz had seen Hendrix at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June.

“We saw Jimi do what he did, and Micky got it,” Tork admitted. “I didn’t get it.”

Hendrix’s first show with The Monkees was at the Jacksonville Coliseum, July 8, 1967.

Young fans, and their parents, anticipating the bubble gum antics of Tork, Dolenz, singer Davy Jones, and guitarist Mike Nesmith didn’t appreciate Hendrix’s guitar pyrotechnics.

“It didn’t cross anybody’s mind that it wasn’t going to fly,” Tork smiled.

The Monkees/Hendrix billing didn’t last long — only seven shows. Hendrix dropped off the tour after a July 17 performance.

Soon after leaving the tour, Jimi’s “Are You Experienced” album began climbing the charts.

“I don’t know, being thrown off The Monkees tour was probably one of the better things that ever  happened to Jimi Hendrix’s career,” laughed Tork.

 

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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