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SoundTRAX: The Monkees from "Head"

The members of the band The Monkees are pictured on the poster for the movie "Head."
Columbia Pictures

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

Micky Dolenz, the only surviving member of The Monkees, turns 78 today.

Now when you think of The Monkees you most likely think of their iconic TV show from the Sixties and infectious classics like "I'm a Believer," "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and "Last Train to Clarksville."

But did you ever see their 1968 film Head?

It must have seemed at least a little appealing at the time— the lovably goofy band in a movie co-written and co-produced by actor Jack Nicholson?

Whew. Let's just say it's an acquired taste.

Filmmakers under the influence of LSD married with appearances by everyone from Annette Funicello to Frank Zappa to Louisville native Victor Mature, make for one bizarre piece of celluloid.

Don't believe me? Watch the trailer.

But the soundtrack has some bright spots, including songs written by the likes of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, as well as Harry Nilsson.

Two of the best, in my opinion, were penned by Monkee Peter Tork, including the very Sixties-sounding "Can You Dig It?", which he described this way:

"This started as a set of changes I wrote in college and didn't know what to do with. Then one afternoon on the set of The Monkees we were making the TV show and I had my guitar in my dressing room. The basic lyrics came to me and these changes I had stored in the back of my brain spring forth and dictated that kind of vaguely Spanish/North African harmonic sense. I was writing about the great unknown source of all. It was perfect for the Head soundtrack."

Since Micky Dolenz is celebrating a birthday today, my SoundTRAX selection is "Can You Dig It" by The Monkees.

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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