While the world was still wrapped up in all the excitement of Beatlemania, Hollywood bigwigs began looking for the next boy band that would whip the teens into a frenzy. Paying close attention to the monumental success of the Fab Four’s debut film, A Hard Day’s Night, television started brainstorming their own madcap version of the mop-topped musicians.
Filmmakers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider sent out a casting call in 1965 for four young male actors who could be molded into the newest group of pop idols. The lucky boys selected would go on to star in a weekly fictional TV show and produce top-charting albums. Among the hundreds of hopeful unknowns, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith were chosen to become the Monkees.
Though both Dolenz and Jones also had musical ability, it was their history as child actors that really won over the producers. As a kid, Dolenz rode around on an elephant while starring on Circus Boy. Jones traveled from his home in Manchester, England, as a teen to perform with the original Broadway cast of Oliver! He was even at The Ed Sullivan Show with the play the very same night the Beatles made their infamous American TV premiere!
Just a couple of years later, this rare footage shows Jones following Dolenz in their audition. They clearly feel more than a little awkward as they try to secure their spots on the now-iconic series. Dolenz couldn’t even narrow down one pair of shoes to wear! It’s easy to see why these charismatic cuties got the job.
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