"Randy Scouse Git" (1967)
Micky Dolenz: Up until this point, we hadn't been allowed to have anything to say with the albums. It wasn't a case of us not wanting to. They just basically said, "Just shut up and cash the check." Mike and Peter, especially Mike, were very frustrated. You can't blame him. He was a singer/songwriter and he was promised they'd use his music. He wrote "Different Drum" and they said to him, "That's not a Monkees song." Michael said. "Wait a minute, I am one of the Monkees." He gave it to Linda Ronstadt, and the rest is history. Another time, Peter went into a recording studio with his bass guitar and they said, "What are are you doing here?" We didn't even see the album covers until they were in stores.
With Headquarters, we wanted to do it all, and we did. I wrote "Randy Scouse Git" when we went to England on tour. The Beatles threw us a party at a very famous nightclub, and the Stones were there and all sorts of other people. The morning after I was sitting in my room with a guitar and I wrote the song stream-of-conscious. The "four kings of EMI" are the Beatles, of course. I was watching an English television show called Till Death Us Do Part, which became All In The Family over here years later. The father figure calls the young song a "randy scouse git." I didn't know what it meant, but in my frame of mind I just thought, "Whoa, that's really cool, man. I'm gonna call my song that."
When I got back to the States I heard the English record company wanted to release it as a single, but they wanted to change the title. Here's a letter Ward Sylvester, one of the producers of the show, received on April 18th, 1967. I want to read you the text:
"Dear Ward, following up my recent cable to you concerning 'Randy Scouse Git.' You are no doubt aware that many English expressions have a totally different meaning in America and vice versa. In this it is a question of the versa being vice. To give you a perfectly straightforward translation of the title, you are referring to someone as being an oversexed, illegitimate son of a prostitute from Liverpool. The word git has been used on television in this country but only in a late-night adult program. The British press look upon the Monkees as being clean cut all-American boys and therefore the title could do them a great deal of harm. If it is not too late, I would strongly recommend that you change the title in the USA also. However, my main concern is for this territory."
Isn't that wonderful? They told me I needed an alternate title so I said, "Okay, that's it." In England the song is known as "Alternate Title."