The Beatles and Rolling Stones Requested Private Screenings of This Psychedelic Monkees Film

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones reportedly requested private screenings of The Monkees‘ first and only psychedelic film titled Head. Unlike their family-friendly television series, the film played into the psychedelic era of the late 1960s. Head was a stream-of-consciousness concept reportedly created to change The Monkees image.

The Monkees on the set of their television show in 1968.
The Monkees | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

What was The Monkees’ ‘Head’ about?

The film was a series of linked vignettes.

Head featured Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork in scenarios unlike the happy, slapstick personas made famous on their television series.

Moviegoers were likely not ready to see Dolenz running through a municipal ribbon-cutting ceremony and subsequently jumping off a bridge to the band’s “Porpoise Song.”

In Head, the band members broke through thier manufactured television image and was a financial and professional disaster for the band.

However, The Guardian claimed the film was not well-received.

“The movie dropped like a ball of a dark star. The simile of a rock in the water is too mild for how badly that movie did,” said Peter Tork.

The Beatles and Rolling Stones asked for private screenings of ‘Head’

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in side by side images.
The Beatles and The Rolling Stones | Potter/Express/Keystone/Getty Images

According to The Guardian, Monkees producer Bob Rafelson claimed both The Beatles and Rolling Stones reportedly requested private screenings of the movie.

The Monkees and Beatles were already friends before Head, directed by Bob Rafelson and written by Jack Nicholson.

The Beatles lent a snippet of the song “Good Morning, Good Morning” used in the final episode of The Monkees TV series “The Frodis Caper,” directed and written by Micky Dolenz.

As The Monkees filmed Head, the Rolling Stones starred in Jean-Luc Godard’s Sympathy For the Devil. One year earlier, The Beatles starred in the TV film, Magical Mystery Tour.

Micky Dolenz said Jack Nicholson wrote ‘Head’ after spending a weekend with The Monkees

Micky Dolenz underwater shooting a scene from Head.
Micky Dolenz underwater shooting a scene from ‘Head’ | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In an interview with Esquire, Rafelson said idea was to make a bunch of different movies and put them together into one package.

The result was the destruction of The Monkees’ wholesome made-for-TV image Rafelson and his partner Bert Schneider had co-created.

Rafelson considered Head an audacious film, “so audacious that nobody saw the [expletive] thing.”

Head has since become a cult classic among Monkees fans.

It was conceived after the band members and struggling actor Jack Nicholson spent time together at an Ojai, California resort.

“He was such a wonderful, charismatic, funny guy. Jack spent a lot of time with us. He hung out on the set and came out on tour, just picking up the vibe,” Dolenz claimed to The Guardian.

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