The Monkees’ Songwriter Screamed on 1 of Their Hit Songs

The Monkees‘ songwriters performed backup on some of their classic rock songs. During the recording of the song, one of the songwriters screamed. He had a strong reaction to how the scream sounded on the song.

The Monkees' Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, and Davy Jones in front of a curtain
The Monkees’ Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, and Davy Jones | Fairfax Media via Getty Images

What 1 of The Monkees’ songwriters thought of each of them as singers

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart comprised a songwriting duo named Boyce & Hart. They wrote songs for The Monkees, including “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I Wanna Be Free,” and “Valleri.” In his 2015 book Psychedelic Bubble Gum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees, and Turning Mayhem Into Miracles, Hart discussed members of The Monkees as vocalists.

Hart said Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith could sing; however, he preferred the voices of Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz. Hart said Jones’ voice was good because it made his songs sound like the music of the British Invasion. In addition, the songwriter praised Dolenz’s range.

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart of Boyce & Hart pointing at each other
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart of Boyce & Hart | GAB Archive/Redferns

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What Bobby Hart thought of his scream on The Monkees’ ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’

Boyce & Hart performed backup on some of The Monkees’ songs. “Having the records completely finished and sounding like hits when we proudly and loudly played them for Davy or Micky in the studio, lent a certain excitement to the process and a bit of inspiration to the vocal sessions,” Hart said. “And having the background vocals already on the tracks gave an instant support to the leads. Maybe all the producers had done that.”

The songwriter was impressed with the way Dolenz’s lead vocal melded with Boyce & Hart’s backing vocals on “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.” “On a song like ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,’ for instance, it’s easy to notice the symbiotic relationship between our voices and Micky’s,” he said. “It’s not just the blending of our voices on the three-part harmony of the chorus and the call and response background parts — Tommy’s adlibs of ‘No!’ and ‘Oh, no not me’ and my scream of ‘Noooo!’ fit seamlessly into the breaks between Dolenz’s impeccable performance.”

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How ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

“(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” became a modest hit in the United States. The song reached No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for eight weeks. “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” appeared on the band’s sophomore album More of the Monkees. The album was No. 1 for of 18 its 96 weeks on the Billboard 200. None of The Monkees’ other albums lasted longer on the chart.

On the other hand, “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” did not have the same impact in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the song did not chart there. Meanwhile, More of the Monkees topped the chart for two weeks. It stayed on the chart for 25 weeks in total.

“(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” was a hit and Hart was impressed with Dolenz’s vocals on the song.

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