The Monkees often released bubblegum pop songs; however, they could be musical innovators as well. For example, The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz said he believes he is the first musician to use a certain instrument on a pop/rock record. He appears to have been the first musician to use the instrument on a song that reached the mainstream.
The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz had to have this cutting-edge instrument
During an interview with Under the Radar, Dolenz discussed using the Moog synthesizer on The Monkees’ songs “Daily Nightly” and “Star Collector.” “I believe I am the first to have used the Moog on a pop/rock record,” he said. “There had been some recordings before that but I think it was classical music. I just heard about the Moog and saw one and said ‘I gotta have one of those.'”
Dolenz gave fans insight into what it was like to use a synthesizer in the 1960s. “It was tough to use, I’ll be honest, the early synthesizers,” he said. “First of all, they were monophonic, you could only play one note at a time, which made it tricky to record but it took a heck of a long time to set it up.”
Dolenz revealed he used his synthesizer with one of the most famous musicians of the 1960s. “I had it in my studio and, one of my claims to fame, I don’t like it drop names, but one night John Lennon sat on the Moog synthesizer in my studio and made flying saucer sounds all night long,” Dolenz recalled.
How Micky Dolenz was ahead of the curve
Was Dolenz the first musician to use the Moog synthesizer on a pop/rock record? The A.V. Club says “Daily Nightly” was the first rock song to use the Moog synthesizer that reached a wide audience because The Monkees performed it on their show. Dolenz was definitely ahead of the curve. Other bands like The Beatles, The Doors, and The Byrds embraced the Moog synthesizer after The Monkees did.
How the world reacted to The Monkees’ ‘Daily Nightly’
“Daily Nightly” was included on the Prefab Four’s album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, And Jones Ltd. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, And Jones Ltd. reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 64 weeks. “Daily Nightly” was not a single, so it didn’t chart on the Billboard Hot 100.
Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, And Jones Ltd. was a hit in the United Kingdom as well. The Official Charts Company reports the album reached No. 5 in the U.K., staying on the chart for 11 weeks. “Daily Nightly” wasn’t a single, but it found its way into a lot of consumers’ hands. While the song was not a hit, it remains a footnote in the history of the Moog synthesizer becoming a popular instrument in mainstream music.