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Geez, first time in years I ever seen a fun group of guys hanging out.
The Monkees were artist of the year in 1967. They still hold the record for the fastest three #1 albums and the fastest four #1 albums. They were not allowed to play by contract. Before The Monkees, Tork was a classical pianist, (Bach), banjo, bass, guitar, etc. Nesmith had a few singles out and Linda Ronstadt did Different drum written by Nesmith. Dolenz was a guitarist and recorded a single. Davy Jones was a Broadway performer and had a single and an album out. The last episode of the first season actually showed the Monkees playing live.
Every Monkees album had songs written by at least one member, usually Nesmith who had two tracks per album that he was a part of.