MONDAY, APRIL 14, 1969
33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, a 60-minute special in color on videotape featuring The Monkees, aired at 8:00 p.m. (EST) on NBC.
It guest-starred Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and The Trinity, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Little Richard, The Clara Ward Singers, The Buddy Miles Express, Paul Arnold and The Moon Express, and The We Three Trio. The special was sponsored by Aerowax, and the commercials originally shown were Aerowax (natch), Easy-On, American Oil, 7-Up, Woolite, and an NBC Promo for a Don Ho special.
NBC went on strike just as the 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee cast and crew were about to commence recording, thus forcing them to switch taping locations to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's studios, where production was done on the fly through remote trucks parked right outside.
This was the first and only Monkees TV project to be captured on videotape, whereas all their previous celluloid endeavours (the TV series and the movie HEAD) were filmed on either 35mm or 16mm. This was done to take full advantage of special techniques and effects which were common to film, but never before used on videotape. Speed-ups and slow-downs and psychedelic color keying were done in New York with available equipment to accommodate the producers.
33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee was the last performance as a quartet The Monkees ever gave. Peter Tork, reportedly suffering from exhaustion, bought out his Monkees contract @ the end of 33 1/3's production, reducing The Monkees to a trio and making 33 1/3, in its initial NBC-TV telecast (pre-empting Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In), look dated! The Monkees would not be seen on network TV as a foursome again for 28 years.
Negotiations were originally made in early 1968 for The Monkees to star in three NBC-TV specials to air in 1969; 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee was the first. When The Peacock Network saw the final edit of 33 1/3, they realized that they had much more than what they bargained for, and sensed it was too subversive for John Quincy Public, hence their decision to air it opposite The 41st Academy Awards Presentation on ABC--on the Pacific coast, anyway. Further damage was done to the telecast by an engineer who accidentally presented 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee out of sequence, making it more confusing than it already was. All this prompted NBC to scrap plans to produce the other 2 Monkees specials.