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Last Surviving Member of the Monkees is Suing the FBI

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The last surviving member of the Beloved 60’s pop band, The Monkees, is suing the FBI over the information he says the FBI may have on him and the band members. Mickey Dolenz, 77 and the last surviving member of The Monkees,  filed a lawsuit this week requesting the Department of Justice to disclose copies of records the FBI has on the group, which includes “a 1967 Los Angeles Field Office memorandum on anti-Vietnam war activities and a second document redacted entirely.”

The lawsuit states that Dolenz has made previous efforts to obtain these documents by requesting them through the Freedom of Information Act. The FIA grants the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. Mr. Dolenz is yet to receive a response. 

The Monkees rose to fame in the 1960s as a sitcom on NBC titled “The Monkees.” The show centered mainly on the antics of a rock ‘n’ roll foursome pop band. Their television debut in 1966 gave the group instant overnight success, turning them into rock stars that scored number one albums and hit songs including “I’m a Believer” and “Daydream Believer.” Davy Jones even appeared on Gilligan’s Island and the Brady Bunch. The four band members were Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith. Nesmith passed away last December, leaving Dolenz as the only surviving member. 

 The band went on an extended concert tour where members of the band performed many of their songs and played their own instruments in front of numerous fans that adored the foursome. Even Jimi Hendrix occasionally opened for them. The group broke up just a few years after they rose to fame in 1970.

According to Mickey Dolenz, the FBI has been withholding records regarding the band, and he wants these records released. FBI records online reveal seven pages on The Monkees that have been heavily redacted, including reports from an FBI agent who apparently attended a 1967 Monkees concert.

The Monkees FBI file reads, “‘The Monkees’ concert was using a device in the form of a screen set up behind the performers who played certain instruments and sang as a ‘combo.’ During the concert, subliminal messages were depicted on the screen, which in the opinion of (name redacted), constituted ‘left-wing innovations of a political nature.’  “These messages and pictures were flashes of riots in Berkeley, anti-U.S. messages on the war in Vietnam, racial riots in Selma Alabama, and similar messages which had received an unfavorable response from the audience.”

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According to Mickey Dolenz’s lawyer, Mark Zaid, the lawsuit seeks to discover why the FBI was monitoring the Monkees in the first place.

“We know the mid-to-late 1960s saw the FBI surveil Hollywood anti-war advocates and those who represented the counter-culture of the flower/hippie/drug use movement,” Mark Zaid’s said in a statement. “And the Monkees were in the thick of things spending time with musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon, both of whom were in the sights of J. Edgar Hoover.”  

Revealing these files on The Monkees to the public can help the public learn more about what was a significant era in the history of the United States.