Preview: The Monkees in HEAD

Debuting in September 1966, the ABC-TV series The Monkees was an immediate hit. The four lovable moptops were created as an answer to The Beatles as they were portrayed in their own 1964 motion picture A Hard Day’s Night. But the Monkees – sometimes derided as the “prefab four” because of their Hollywood casting call origins – were an undeniable success. Thanks to behind-the-scenes help from many of music’s top musicians, composers and arrangers, they churned out an impressive string of hit singles and albums.

Chafing under the restrictions of the television show, The Monkees were anxious to flex their creative muscles. Unhappy with the lightweight image with which they had been saddled, the group set out to destroy their collective cuddly persona. Aided by show creators Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson (and a young screenwriter friend of theirs named Jack Nicholson), they created Head.

Released in 1968, Head was the big-screen version of The Monkees TV show, but only if the TV show were dipped in LSD. A surreal, deliberately disjointed affair, Head’s plot line features the group moving forward in a post-TV show world, coming into contact with a bizarre assortment of characters that includes matinee idol Victor Mature, former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello, prize fighter Sonny Liston and musical iconoclast Frank Zappa.

Is Head weird? You bet it is! Is it fun? Absolutely.

But in the years since its release, Head has rarely been screened. It’s the very definition of a cult film. But for anyone who enjoyed the TV series and who has an adventurous spirit, Head is must-see. And now Head returns for a one-night-only showing at Grail Moviehouse on Monday, July 10. Hosted by author, speaker and music journalist Bill Kopp, the evening will feature a screening of the film followed by an interactive discussion. Head is the latest in Grail Moviehouse’s popular series, Music Movie Mondays.

WHAT: Music Movie Mondays Series: Head
Special screening + moderated discussion hosted by Bill Kopp
WHERE: Grail Moviehouse, 17 Foundy Street, Asheville
WHEN: Monday, @ 7 p.m. / Tickets are $15 and likely to sell out!