It's..... The happiest blog on earth

The Monkees couldn't play their instruments? Actually, there's more to the story. They were furious at this criticism, and learned how to play instruments. They performed live on stage, and two decades later Rhino records even released a live album of one 1967 concert.

The studio still preferred using hired musicians, but let the Monkees perform on their third album, Headquarters. On the back of the album, the four Monkees put the following note.

We aren't the only musicians on this album, but the occasional extra bass or horn player played under our direction, so that this is all ours.

Each one of us has some musical thing, from Manchester to Texas, from the East Coast to the West, and when four people just go with their thing, what comes out is a whole. Don't ask "a whole what?", just listen. If only the smallest part of how much fun it was to make this record gets heard, it was all worthwhile.

Mike, Davy, Mickey, Peter

The controversy still haunts them. A 2002 reunion tour made one Amazon reviewer note that "it's mainly a Monkee sing-along to the sounds of a large generic backup band."

But even then, he concedes that "Peter really does play a variety of instruments here (and quite well)," and "There is one song where Mickey plays the drums... And Mickey's drumming is great on that song, for me it's one of the highlights of this DVD.