"Last Train To Clarksville" (1966)
Micky Dolenz: It's about a guy going off to war. Frankly, it's an anti-war song. It's about a guy going to Clarksville, Tennessee, which is an army base if I'm not mistaken. He's obviously been drafted and he says to his girlfriend, "I don't know if I'm ever coming home." Considering that it was a Monkees song and the first one, I was always surprised that the record company even released it unless it just went right over their head.
I don't recall recording it because there was just so much going on at that time. I was recording two or three songs a night after filming the TV show all day. [Co-writer] Bobby Hart tells me I went in to sing one night. He says that I'd learned the song and routined it. We'd done the keys and all that stuff. There was a bridge part of that song. You know the bit where I go "di da di di da di da?" Well, there were words to that. I said, "Bobby, I just can't sing that." I just couldn't learn it in time. He said okay. "Well, we need to get it done so just go, 'di da di di da di da."
I have a very fond memory of hearing it on the radio for the first time on KHJ, a big station out here at the time. Davy and I were renting a house up in the Hollywood Hills. We were pulling up to this big, beautiful rented house in Beverly Hills when they went, "Here they are, the Monkees' 'Last Train to Clarksville.' We pulled over and just had the biggest grins on our faces.