10 other funny, fake bands that appeared on The Monkees

Give a little love to the Four Martians and the West Minstrel Abbeys.

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Davy, Peter, Micky and Michael were not the only musicians seen on The Monkees. And we're not just talking about that time that Michael Nesmith slipped into his folk-singer alter-ego Billy Roy Hodstetter. No, the Monkees existed in a phony scene, in a spoof record industry.

The sitcom offered up rival groups and other quirky acts. Many of them were better concepts and band names than the real rock 'n' roll on offer today. Wouldn't you want to watch a trio dressed up as giant asparagus men?

Here are 10 delightful acts seen on The Monkees. The official comic books from the Sixties dreamt up even more, like the Psychos, but we're sticking to the musicians seen on the TV screen.

1. Frankie Catalina

"Monkees at the Movies"

Frankie Catalina was a pompous boob with a blond pompadour. Perfectly portrayed by Bobby Sherman, a teen idol himself, this Hollywood stereotype poked fun at the heartthrob crooners seen in beach movies. The ham surfer lip-synchs his songs in the film, so Michael naturally messes with the record speed to mess him up. Davy ends up the true star. In a way, that mirrored the real world, which say Davy Jones quickly supplanting Frankie Avalon as a primo pin-up.

2. Lester Crabtree and the Three Crabs

"Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers"

The Monkees get embroiled in a kidnapping-for-publicity-scheme-gone-wrong as they try to win a recording contest. Turns out, our four boys are the ones being played, by their rivals, The Four Swine [see below] and a manager named Trump. In the end, Trump and the Four Swine go to jail… but Lester Crabtree, a businessman, and his Three Crabs win the battle of the bands at the Vincent Van Gogh-Gogh Discotheque. Rabid fans proceed to rip off Lester's clothing, which gives the Monkees the notion that they, too, should rip off each other's clothing, as that must the sign of a popular band.

3. The Foreign Agents

"Find the Monkees"

Episode 19, a.k.a. "The Audition," delivers the richest array of colorful fake bands. It kicks off with Micky awaking from a nap in a hammock to find four aliens in the pad. Not real aliens, merely The Four Martians, a rock outfit who look straight out of the Jetsons. The need a guitar string for a TV audition. Hey, what TV audition? The Monkees didn't receive any invitation for a TV audition. But the Foreign Agents, who appear to be a kinda cool mod combo, also received an invitation to the audition. Actually, there was a mod band in the late 1970s called Secret Affair.

4. The Four Martians

"Find the Monkees"

Sparkling gold smocks and pantyhose on the head — who says it's not a good look? We link to imaging Devo go some of their ideas from the Four Martians.

5. The Four Swine

"Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers"

Clad in leather and denim, the aforementioned Four Swine end up in the hands of the police after pulling a scam on the poor Monkees. They all kind of look like the singer of AC/DC.

6. Sven Helstrom and the Swedish Rhythm Kings

"Here Come the Monkees"

Out with the new, in with the old. That was the sentiment of many parents in the 1960s, who scoffed at the shaggy-haired rockers on their children's stereos. The Monkees pilot played up that generational divide for yuks, as a girl named Vanessa celebrates her sweet 16. Her rock-hating pops refused to have the Monkees play. Instead, he prefers the traditional jazz sounds of Sven Helstrom, who would fit right in on Lawrence Welk.

7. Honey and the Bear

"The Spy Who Came in from the Cool"

Folkie duo Honey and the Bear are posers — and not just because they deceptively sound like cereal mascots. No, turns out they are Russian spies Madame Olinsky and sidekick Boris.

8. The Jolly Green Giants

"Find the Monkees"

Ho, ho, ho — this seems like an act that might come into some legal trouble with the frozen vegetable manufacturer. We like to image they got really into prog rock in the '70s.

9. The Swingin' Android

"I Was a Teenage Monster"

Mad scientist Dr. Mendoza has been playing Frankenstein. He's created a monster — literally — in the 7" tall "android" played by Richard Kiel, best know as "Jaws" from the James Bond films. Mendoza hires the Monkees to teach his beast how to rock 'n' roll. The boys are reluctant to offer up the secrets of their craft. Until offered $200 for their services.

10. The West Minstrel Abbeys

"Some Like It Lukewarm"

Honestly, that's a great band name. If we could wish any of these bands into existence, it would be the Abbeys. Harmony, Melody, Caphophone and William the Conqueror comprise the band. But "William the Conqueror" is really just Daphne in drag, complete with fake mustache. The Abbeys rip through "Last Train To Clarksville" at 78 RPM, which scored them a 98.6 on the Applause-O-Meter. Does this mean they invented punk?

SEE MORE: 10 things you might not know about the Monkees

Learn how the foursome influenced Star Trek, David Bowie and Happy Days. READ MORE

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Kevin 8 days ago
I looked up "Madame Olinsky" because she looked familiar, and it turns out she was also Mr. Spock's intended.
ETristanBooth 9 days ago
It says, "Richard Kiel, best know[n] as "Jaws" from the James Bond films."

Not to me. I know him as the lead Kanamit.
WaltDatedWorld 10 days ago
The name of the girl band in "Some Like it Lukewarm" is actually the "Westminster Abbeys". There are also several typos in this article that need to be fixed.
stephaniestavropoulos 12 days ago
I think it would have been groovy, cool, uptight outta sight if there had been an episode/scene showcasing all of the bands/singers on The Monkees. A far out jam session "right here on our stage," {to quote, I think, Ed Sullivan.} During the jam fest, fans storm the stage, and proceed to rip off Lester Crabtree and The Three Crabs clothes! Along with everybody else's!
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