Drummer Micky Dolenz, the last surviving member of The Monkees, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice to retrieve records the FBI kept on the band during the 1960s. According to the complaint filed, The Monkees were investigated for alleged anti-Vietnam war activities in 1967 after they flashed images and messages protesting the war during one of their concerts.
The 77-year-old Dolenz is suing for the complete case file after a heavily redacted portion was released to the public in 2011 that included testimony from an informant who attended the 1967 concert. The informant described images flashed on the screen behind the band as a “left-wing intervention of a political nature” that included “anti-U.S. messages” on the Vietnam War.
The suit was filed by attorney Mark S. Zaid, a lifelong Monkees fan and Freedom of Information Act litigation expert. Zaid shared with Rolling Stone: “Theoretically, anything could be in those files though. We have no idea what records even exist. It could be almost nothing. But we’ll see soon enough.” Zaid added that under then director J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI in the 1960s was “infamous for monitoring counterculture, whether they committed unlawful actions or not.”
The Monkees had four No. 1 albums and a hit sitcom in the 1960s. Dolenz and his late bandmates, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones and Peter Tork, also were investigated for another matter that was redacted, according to the complaint. Many of the Monkees’ songs included subtle anti-war sentiments, including their hit single, “Last Train to Clarksville.”
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