A band conceived entirely for an NBC television series debuting in 1966, the Monkees lived down and broke away from their cynical "prefab four" origins just a couple of years into their brilliant career—with the end of their show and the self-mocking psychedelic cult film Head, co-written by Jack Nicholson. Still, it took the '80s embrace of MTV, Minor Threat, and Run-DMC (sampling "Mary, Mary") for another generation to consider them cool, with Rhino reissues, live comebacks, and widespread recognition of an undeniable hit list to follow. This reunion, minus Michael Nesmith, seems handsomely mounted, with video breaking up the hits and obscurities, and outrage over "prefab" itself now seeming quaint.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7 p.m. Starts: July 1. Continues through July 2, 2011