The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz is suing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to obtain any records that the organisation has on the band and its members.
In 1967 an FBI informant attended a concert on the band’s first tour in the US and filed a report that claimed the concert featured “subliminal messages […] depicted on the screen which, in the opinion of [informant] constituted ‘left wing intervention of a political nature’”.
The report continued to describe the messages as showing “riots in Berkley, anti-US messages on the war in Vietnam, racial riots in Selma, Alabama, and similar messages which had unfavourable response from the audience”.
The Monkees file was released to the public in 2011 but was heavily redacted. In June 2022, Dolenz – the only surviving member of the band – filed a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the full file but failed to achieve his goal.
A lawsuit has now been filed against the FBI via lawyer Mark S. Zaid in a bid to get access to the full file and any other files relating to the band and its individual members.
The Monkees CREDIT: Bettmann/Getty Images
“The Monkees reflected, especially in their later years with projects like Head, a counterculture from what institutional authority was at the time,” Zaid told Rolling Stone. “And [J. Edgar] Hoover’s FBI, in the ‘60s in particular, was infamous for monitoring the counterculture, whether they committed unlawful actions or not.”
Zaid also said that there is reported to be another document relating to The Monkees that was redacted entirely. “The redacted information may be peripheral to them,” he explained.
“Some of them likely reflect an informant’s identity, which was probably the person attending the concerts… Theoretically, anything could be in those files, though. We have no idea what records even exist. It could be almost nothing. But we’ll see soon enough.”
Last December, Dolenz’s former bandmate Michael Nesmith died. He was 78 years old.
The pair had played together at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre a month before Nesmith’s death as part of a Monkees farewell tour.