March 4, 2012 – 4:27 am

Did you know The Monkees were big in Asia?

Davy Jones R.I.P. 1945-2012

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Budokan 1968 [no label, 1CD]

Live at Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan, Oct 4, 1968. VG+ TV broadcast sound.

In the Hong Kong movie, Echoes Of The Rainbow, Davy Jones’ voice resounds throughout the 2010 film singing the Monkees’ hit, I Wanna Be Free. The tale of two brothers, one - the pride of the family - is the Monkees fan, the other is the younger brother who is telling the story about what it was like growing up in ’60s Hong Kong.

I wanna be free,
Like the bluebirds flying by me,
Like the waves out on the blue sea.
If your love has to tie me, don’t try me,
Say goodbye.

The Monkees were the acceptable face of “yellow culture”. The rest including the Beatles and the Stones and Dylan were unacceptable to the dictators and strongmen of Asia. The Monkees were pop, the rest were revolutionaries promoting a counter culture.

I wanna be free,
Don’t say you love me, say you like me.
But when I need you beside me,
Stay close enough to guide me, confide in me,

So while rock songs and whole albums were banned, The Monkees’ pop slipped through onto our black-and-white, 21-inch TV screens and mono-only transistor radios.

I wanna hold your hand,
Walk along the sand.
Laughing in the sun,
Always having fun.
Doing all those things,
Without any strings to tie me down.

The way writer-director Alex Law weaves the song I Wanna Be Free into the film shows how much pop culture also shaped Asia’s youths.

I wanna be free,
Like the warm September wind, babe.
Say you’ll always be my friend, babe.
We can make it to the end, babe, again, babe,
I’ve gotta say.
I wanna be free.
I wanna be free.
I wanna be free.

Like the rest of the world, Asians also wanted to be free. Free from old ideas, old fashion, old music and old politics to become daydream believers. Some parts of Asia developed their own music. From Tokyo to Bangkok and Java and Bali, musicians had to hide their western influence away from censors. Others conformed, content to play cover versions of western pop in bars, cabarets and lounges. Some survived, many floundered.

The echo from the film that “time is the greatest thief” is something we have all learnt. To do something now before we all get old.

This show is a rare visit to Japan by the Monkees in 1968. The Japanese, more than any Asian country, embraced pop culture, eager to learn and imitate. The concert was filmed and broadcast. There is a voiceover between tracks introducing the songs to the Japanese audience.

Alex Law’s Echoes Of The Rainbow will remain both a memory of his coming of age as well as a loving homage to the Monkees. Our copy of this show was short. We managed to find the complete broadcast at DIME, shared by TheCommish. Thanks for keeping the show alive. Thanks Davy for all the songs.
- The Little Chicken

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Last Train To Clarksville (5.2MB)
Track 02. I Wanna Be Free (4.2MB)
Track 03. D.W. Washburn (4.4MB)
Track 04. Daydream Believer (3.6MB)
Track 05. Cuddly Toy (4.1MB)
Track 06. Salesman (5.6MB)
Track 07. It’s Nice To Be With You (4.5MB)
Track 08. Mary, Mary (3.8MB)
Track 09. Cindy, Cindy (Peter Tork solo spot) (3.0MB)
Track 10. Peter Percival Patterson’s Pet Pig Porky (Peter Tork solo spot) (1.2MB)
Track 11. Johnny B. Goode (Michael Nesmith solo spot) (3.5MB)
Track 12. Gonna Build A Mountain (Davy Jones solo spot) (5.9MB)
Track 13. I Got A Woman (Micky Dolenz solo spot) (10.3MB)
Track 14. I’m A Believer (3.4MB)
Track 15. (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone (7.9MB)

Tracks 11-13 feature musical backing by the Floral (opening act that night).

Micky Dolenz - drums, vocals
Davy Jones - perc, bass, vocals
Michael Nesmith - guitar, vocals
Peter Tork - bass, organ, banjo, vocals

The Best Of The Monkees contains 25 songs on one disc and includes a free bonus CD of five instrumentals for you to singalong. Released by Rhino in 2003, it remains the best bargain of the many Monkees compilations. Buy it here.

Western fans curious about Alex Law’s Echoes Of The Rainbow can buy the DVD here.

Or read more about the film first - click here.

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  1. 26 Responses to “I WANNA BE FREE”

  2. Thanks! I have several shows from The Monkees but not this one.

    By Tom on Mar 4, 2012

  3. God bless the Monkees and God bless Davy Jones.

    By Nick on Mar 4, 2012

  4. Thanks BigO. I knew you’d come through. The Monkees were a child’s introduction to psychedelic music. Yes, there was a time in my life when pop or commercial music in my collection became an embarrassment and I gave away my albums by The Monkees, Grass Roots, Three Dog Night and others. But in more recent times I went back to rediscover these pop gems as I was now too old to be embarrassed. Pop music by definition is what is popular in a given era and it reflects what was going on in those times only sugar coated. So I am once again embracing the songs of my youth that led me along the path to the more experimental music I love. If I had been born a bit later however and had to begin my journey with The Partridge Family I hate to think what I’d be listening to today.

    And those that rejected the Monkees for being manufactured should compare them alongside the computer generated pop music tripe that is being spoon fed to our children.

    The End. Thanx

    By sking on Mar 4, 2012

  5. hey bigo, i’m sure there are monkees fans out there who like montrose too. rest in peace, ronnie montrose. he died yesterday. maybe you could post an old montrose show with sammy hagar on vocals. that’d be good.


    By Ed Saad on Mar 4, 2012

  6. What a pleasant surprise, bigo! Can’t imagine there are many quality Monkees bootlegs (from the 60’s I mean) out there.

    If you ever come across a high quality recording of their 1969 tour (unlikely, but it’s worth asking) I’d love for you to post it. Thanks again! I’m a believer!

    By Shaun on Mar 4, 2012

  7. Like sking and so many others, The Monkees were a huge part of the soundtrack of my childhood. (Not to mention Davy and Peter being my first “crushes.”) For the most part, the only music I heard at home were polkas and even at such a tender age I knew that this was not my musical destiny. The Monkees let me know that I did indeed “have something to say” and were the stepping stone to my life-long fascination with Woodstock (too young to be there) and my love of The Band, Creedence and Janis.

    In recent years it has been a thrill and source of pride for me that Davy maintained a home and horse ranch here in Pennsylvania. Davy was in the process of turning an old church into a theater and museum — a project that I hope will go forward. I would like to see that happen. We will miss you, Davy!

    Thanks BigO! I knew you would come through with a proper tribute!

    By LongBlackVeil on Mar 4, 2012

  8. Another part of my childhood is gone with the passing of Davey Jones. Although not a huge fan I did watch the show all the time back when it originally aired in the 60’s. Now today I find out that Ronnie Montrose has passed as well. What a bummer. The first Montrose album is one on the finest pieces of american 70’s hard rock. It is where Sammy Hagar got his start.I agree with ED Saad if possible please post a Montrose show to honor Ronnie. Thanks Big-o

    By Bill H. on Mar 4, 2012

  9. Happy trails Davy, give our love to Ena.

    By Creatist on Mar 4, 2012

  10. Sad to hear about Davy Jones. A lot of the musicians I grew up with seem to be dying these days. Makes me feel old. Thanks to you Bog O, we’ll always have these artists in our music collections in addition to our memories. Also, its my understanding that when the Monkees toured they sometimes relied on additional backing musicians, like in 1967 with a band called The Sundowners. I believe for their Asia tour in 1968 they were augmented on some tunes by a band called The Floral. Unlike the Sundowners, I’ve never been able to find out anything about them. We’ll miss Davy, but we still have his music, thanks to you.

    By Mike Cummings on Mar 5, 2012

  11. I’ve been watching a Monkees marathon on TV this weekend, featuring their movie “Head” and all their TV episodes. My daughter has been enjoying watching the pop stars I watched when I was young. She doesn’t care how old it is. She likes the music and the humor. Pleased to find this here today. Thanks BigO! Rest in peace, Davy.

    I hadn’t heard about Ronnie Montrose. I liked his band, too. Rest in peace, Ronnie.

    By aking on Mar 5, 2012

  12. This should satisfy the guy who was ticked off a few days ago that the music on this site isn’t heavy enough!!

    By ken on Mar 5, 2012

  13. Thanks for another one, bigO!

    Despite the “bubble gum music” label, there’s some great material here.

    By NAMoosedog on Mar 5, 2012

  14. @Mike: It’s true that, in the 60’s, when the Monkees toured they had some backing help. But, in 1967 and ‘68 it wasn’t a lot.

    Basically, they had an opening band and then the four Monkees, when they came on, played as a foursome only, generally, until the “solo section” in the middle of the show (just like on the one presented here). The opening band would then back each individual Monkee for their “solo” number. Micky and Davy stuck with the same song from tour to tour (Micky, singing Ray Charles but doing a James Brown routine), while Mike and Peter changed it up. Tork would pick up the banjo for his number.

    In 1969, a tour I’d be very curious to hear, Tork had left the group and the remaining three toured backed by an R&B group (Sam & The Goodtimes) that had worked with Ike & Tina. Apparently those shows were really good, and very different from the previous Monkee tours.

    By Shaun on Mar 5, 2012

  15. Thank you Davy for teaching Axle Rose how to dance.

    By sking on Mar 5, 2012

  16. Thank you very, very much for this!

    The first vinyl record I purchased (way back when) was The Monkees 2nd album - ‘More Of The Monkees’.

    RIP Davy.

    By datdemdar on Mar 8, 2012

  17. http://www.earcandymag.com/gpg-monkees-0312.htm

    By Gary Pig Gold on Mar 8, 2012

  18. Thank you. Really good to hear I Wanna Be Free sung live and with feeling by Davy. So much better than the studio recording. Still saddened by his sudden passing. Like others I watched the show as a child and Davy was my favourite.

    By LizUK on Apr 14, 2012

  19. Thanks. The Monkees were a real band. And a great one.

    By mrbelette on Nov 26, 2016

  20. So, did the Experience back the solo spots when they were the support act?

    By GMAL on Nov 26, 2016

  21. thanks big o, real stupid question GMAL

    By duncan on Nov 27, 2016

  22. Oh duncan, you cut me to the quick.

    By GMAL on Nov 27, 2016

  23. “Duncan”, GMAL’s question was not “stupid”. Supporting and opening bands did in fact back the Monkees on their solo spots during their tours. The JHE did not. But why did you have to tag on a compliment to big O with a slam at another commentator?

    By bernard on Nov 28, 2016

  24. you must be new around here.

    By 23rdDjin on Nov 28, 2016

  25. Just get here? Prepare to be offended..

    By duncan on Nov 28, 2016

  26. Bernard, thank you for your comment

    By GMAL on Nov 28, 2016

  27. I was at the ‘68 concert @ Budokan Hall. I was a 13 yr old Air Force Brat, living at Grant Heights AFB. We (about 8 of us) were among the few Americans there. The Monkees were an hour late. We were saying ” we want the Monkees…..We want the Monkees” over and over. Please email me. I have questions for you about the concert.
    Thank you

    By Lee on Jun 24, 2019

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