The Monkees dropped their first-ever Christmas album in early October, and they’ve just released a video for the Andy Partridge-penned tune “Unwrap You At Christmas” to promote it. It shows the group as figures in a comic strip created by illustrator Michael Allred. Old school fans of the group will recognize elements from their Sixties television sitcom, including their mannequin Mr. Schneider and the Jiffy IQ Test that said Peter Tork had “total stupidity.”
Christmas Party features a mixture of songs written just for the album along with classics like “Wonderful Christmastime,” “Silver Bells” and “Angels We Have Heard On High.” Everyone from Rivers Cuomo to writer Michael Chabon and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck contributed tunes and all three surviving members of the Monkees sing on it. It also features two vintage recordings by the late Davy Jones.
Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz ended their 2018 Mike and Micky Show tour prematurely when Nesmith required quadruple bypass surgery, but he’s fully recovered now and they are heading back out on the road in March of 2019. Peter Tork will once again be sitting the tour out. Micky Dolenz recently told Rolling Stone that Tork was dealing with unspecified “health issues.”
“While it is true that my health has required a little more attention these days, I’m feeling pretty good,” Tork wrote on Facebook in October. “I’m also cherishing this time with family and friends, and making music. Keep your eyes open for some possible web concerts with friends and other musicians; we’ll see what comes down the pipeline. As for the rest, thanks for your good wishes. This is a private time and I won’t be posting updates.”
Before the start of the Monkees tour, Michael Nesmith will play a brief solo tour where he’ll play his 1972 album And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ in its entirety. Contrary to its tongue-in-cheek title, the album had no actual hits. It has, however, become a cult favorite among Nesmith fanatics.