“(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone” – Sex Pistols

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The Pistols cover the Monkees. One of my all-time favorite covers and one of my all-time favorite Sex Pistols tracks. From “The Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle” soundtrack (though, for the life of me, I can’t remember where or when the song appeared in the film).

“Song to the Siren” – Tim Buckley (from “The Monkees” TV Show, 1968)

Here is the earliest known recorded version of Tim Buckley’s enduring and classic ballad.  It’s quite different than the version that was eventually recorded for Buckley’s 1970’s “Starsailor” album.  The version here (performed for “The Monkees” TV show in 1968) is more of a straight-ahead ballad, instead of the bizarre and heartbreaking version that appears on “Starsailor” that sounds like it was recorded by someone really ready to cast themselves on the rocks in despair.  A great and underrated song that keeps gaining more resonance as the years continue.  In just the last few years, Robert Plant, Bryan Ferry, and Sinead O’Connor have all done covers.  The most famous cover, by This Mortal Coil, has already been posted on Dave’s Strange World.

“Cruisin'” – Michael Nesmith

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Michael Nesmith is a true Renaissance man who has never completely gotten his due. In addition to being one of the original Monkees, Nesmith is a superlative singer-songwriter (he wrote Linda Ronstadt’s hit “Different Drum”), music video pioneer, film producer (he financed “Repo Man”), and media mogul.

“Cruisin’” was one of the first (if not THE first) music video I remember seeing, around 1981 or so. I saw this on HBO of all places (yes, HBO used to play music videos, usually between movies, but also on a 30-minute show called “Video Jukebox”). Very funny and weird song/video.

“Randy Scouse Git” – The Monkees

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The Monkees were criticized early in their career because they didn’t write their early hits. “Randy Scouse Git” is a great example of what they could do on their own. This went Top 5 in Britain in 1967 under the name “Alternate Title” since “Randy Scouse Git” is English slang for horny lad … or something like that. Even 45 years later, it still sounds unusual and makes one wonder what kind of band they’d have been had they not been locked into their TV show and making hits.