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The Monkees and Sherlock Holmes

The Monkees and Sherlock Holmes

“A monkey, then?”

– The Adventure of the Crooked Man (CROO)

Monkees2
Davy Jones as Watson and Micky Dolenz as Holmes (l to r)

On September 19, 1966 (your editor was 136 days old at the time) the NBC television network aired the second episode of The Monkees, a situational comedy about four young men trying to make it as a rock n’ roll music group.  The series would only last 2 years, but did make its mark on the American culture, with the group making several records and doing reunion concert tours.

This particular episode, Monkee See, Monkee Die is of interest to Sherlockians. In order to claim an inheritance, the Monkees spend the night in a haunted house. There is one scene where Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones are dressed as Holmes and Watson.  At the end of this post is a video of the complete episode.

Monkees coins

Clockwise, from top left: Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz

In 2011, 300 sets of double-sided Monkees coins were produced as a promotion for the book Monkee Business and were bundled with the books for sale. A nice item to have if you wanted to flip a coin to settle a wager. Just be sure to call heads!

Monkees Picture Coins

Series sponsor, Kellog’s, issued a 12 coin set of Monkee Coins. Each of the 12 coins featured photos from the television show. The plastic reverse encouraged folks to collect all 12 designs in both French and English. There were four covers for the reverses – yellow, red, blue and black – so actually there were 48 coins to collect.

Bill Barton, of Indianapolis’s The Hated Rivals on the Surrey Shore, wrote these lyrics to The Monkees’ hit tune, Last Train to Clarksville.

Take the Train (With Sherlock Holmes)
Lyrics © 2003 by William A. Barton
(To the tune of “Last Train to Clarksville” by the Monkees)

1. Take the train with Sherlock Holmes
And Dr. Watson to adventure.
Sixty stories in the Canon—
Lives to save, villains to censure—On that train
You’ve much to gain . . .
So much to gain . . . .

2. ’Cause that train rolls out from London
To all points across the nation.
Holmes’ investigation starts
Soon as he steps down from the station—afoot’s the game!
You can play that game . . .
Riding on that train . . .
From London to Devon’s moors and back again!

3. Take the train to Boscombe Valley,
Holmes is sure to solve the mystery.
When he’s done, good will have triumphed,
And the villain, he’ll be history—Holmes always wins,
And he will again,
Yes he will again . . .

Bridge (Spoken, against “Do-Do-Do’s”):
Take the train to Sussex, Surrey, Cornwall and beyond—
Take the boat train to Calais across the pond.
Watch out for Moriarty, Stapleton, Roylett, Moran—
Help the Queen and for old England take a stand.

4. Take the train on down to Dartmoor,
Land of bogs and numbing chill.
Holmes will break an ancient curse
Upon the family Baskerville—Run it to ground.
Whether man or hound—
Holmes sure gets around . . .
From London to Devon’s moors and back again.

High Part/Ahhs:
Take the train . . . . . . . . . . . . To adven. . . ture . . . .
Take the train. . . . . . . . . . . . It’s elemen….t’ry . . .
Take that train!

5. Take the train with Sherlock Holmes
And Dr. Watson to adventure.
Sixty stories in the Canon—
Lives to save, villains to censure—On that train
You’ve much to gain . . .
So much to gain . . . .
From London to Devon’s moors and back again!
Take the train . . . (with Sherlock Holmes . . . .)
Take the train . . . (to adventure . . . .)
Take the train . . . (with Sherlock Holmes . . . .)
Take the train . . . (to adventure . . . .)
Take that train!

Lastly, here is the September 19, 1966 episode of The Monkees – Monkee See, Monkee Die. Look in at the 12:15 mark.

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