Hey, what ever happened to the New Monkees?

Remember Dino, Larry, Jared and Marty?

Image: The Everett Collection

First, let's clear up a couple of things. Yes, there was really a sequel to The Monkees in 1987 called New Monkees. No, it did not involve Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones nor Michael Nesmith. But the Professor from Gilligan's Island did show up.

Larry, Jared, Dino and Marty failed to reach the stardom of Peter, Micky, Davy and Michael. The syndicated series lasted a mere 13 episodes. Warner Bros. Records released a tie-in album, also titled New Monkees, that flopped. Part of that was perhaps due to the music itself. With cavernous gated drums, pulsing synthetic bass, and shrill guitar solos, the tunes took a deep dive into the plastic pop and hair metal of the era. Prog and jazz fusion musicians, alongside slick producers with ties to acts like the Carpenters and Gordon Lightfoot, while well-intentioned, were crafting the songs. Essentially, the music sounded like yacht rock session dudes trying to mimic the Cars while appealing to kids who just wanted to hear Def Leppard.

Why not mine the happy '60s jangle of "Last Train to Clarksville?" R.E.M. would prove months later that the public was still hungry for such stuff, when it's bubblegum throwback "Stand" became its biggest hit to date. Heck, the top hit of 1987 was "Walk Like an Egyptian," the crossover hit by the Bangles, a contemporary pop band that had sprung from the Los Angeles "Paisley Underground" scene, a collective of like-minded acts nostalgic for the 1960s. There was a way to make this work. It wasn't a crazy idea.

Unfortunately, New Monkees misjudged the key appeal of the original Monkees. On the 1960s series, the band struggled to make it. Their desperation fueled the comedy. In the reboot, the four live in a massive mansion that would make the Fresh Prince and Ricky Stratton drool. A butler tended to their needs. Heck, there was even a diner inside their house, complete with a retro soda fountain and a waitress named Rita. It was the '80s. Everybody wanted to be a yuppie.

Oh, and there was a reason for all that soda. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this attempted syndicated reboot was its parent distribution company: Coca-Cola Telecommunications. You would have thought they learned their lesson with New Coke. 

Coca-Cola Telecommunications had a thirst for reviving the past. Around the same time, the production house, a collaboration between the Coca-Cola Company and Columbia Pictures, was launching reboots like The New Gidget and What's Happening Now!! At the end of 1987, Coca-Cola Telecommunications folded as Columbia slurped up the remains. The soft drink giant found far more success in the apparel industry. Every kid wanted a Coca-Cola branded rugby shirt in 1987.

Speaking of fashion trends, it's easy to chuckle at the New Monkees' look in hindsight. Especially the hair. A poofy pompadour mullet perched atop Dino's head. Larry used enough hairspray to supply a Mötley Crüe green room. Their wardrobe contained plenty of gaudy sweaters and acid-washed denim. But the young guys in the band certainly had charm and talent.

Marty Ross had been playing in bands since he was a kid. At the dawn of the '80s, Marty sang for the Wigs, a power-pop band in the vein of the Knack or the Romantics. The Wigs' 1981 album File Under: Pop Vocal could have easily served as a New Monkees record. Konstantinos "Dino" Kovas, the drummer, was a Michigan rocker who had been playing in basements, touring in vans and delivering pizzas. Like Dino, Larry Saltis, the youngest, came from the Midwest. He had a black belt in Tae Kwan Do, dug U2, and put aside studying music at Kent State to join the New Monkees. Army brat Jared Chandler showed his affection for '50s rockabilly with his slicked-back hair. He landed a few small roles in films and surfed before joining the band.

Coca-Cola planned to make 22 episodes but only ended up with a baker's dozen. So what happened to the boys?

Larry fronted Tower City in the '90s. The band strived to keep the '80s alive and seemed to garner a following in Japan. Dino hopped to the other side of the camera. In 2018, he directed a film called Sleeping Dogs Lie. Jared Chandler served in the Army Reserves and used his military experience to become a technical advisor in Hollywood. He was a military advisor on flicks like Clear and Present Danger and xXx: State of the Union. Marty stuck to the realm of television music, composing for the screen.

But the most fascinating development has been the melding of the New Monkees with the original Monkees. Marty Ross began playing concerts with Micky Dolenz. At first, Marty and Micky merely shared a bill. Finally, in August 2018, Marty performed with Micky, marking the first time a New Monkee played with a Monkee. 

Finally, in February 2019, all four New Monkees hit the stage at a pub on Hollywood Boulevard called the Pig n’ Whistle. The reunited New Monkees welcomed Micky Dolenz onstage. The hybrid Monkees ripped through "Last Train to Clarksville." You can see for yourself.

If the New Monkees have earned the respect of Micky, perhaps its time the rest of us give the '80s dudes their due.

Save with
Enjoy even more classic shows on-air! Find where to watch MeTV in Washington D.C.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

45 Comments

Post a comment
Click here to learn about MeTV's new commenting system!
DianeCarolClifton 17 days ago
Who owns the episodes? Too bad ME TV can't do an 80's or Monkees weekend and air them?
DianeCarolClifton 18 days ago
I enjoyed both groups and it make me upset at all the hate. Let's hear from some more New Monkees fans!
JLanda 20 days ago
Are you kidding? The music is incredible, still in my playlist rotation as of this day! If you've only heard one song, you've missed out on excellent songs like "Affection" "Boy Inside the Man" "Corner of My Eye" and "Do It Again." The show was silly but I loved it, and the guys are great. Bring the show back! Would love to see it on DVD and MeTV. I've been wanting to show my son an episode for ages so he can place the music with the fun. Bring back the New Monkees!
Rascal2099 20 days ago
We want the New Monkees! Fun, zany show....and a very good album to boot!
kouroo 21 days ago
Loved the New Monkees. Would love to see them on MeTV!!! Thanks for the article. Hope you play the show soon!!
JulieHorn 21 days ago
Yes! Please keep playing the new monkeys! I loved them growing up in the 80's! I loved their music and the show was hilarious! Please keep playing them!!!!!!!!!! They don't make funny shows like they used to back then that were funny but clean! This show I wouldn't be afraid to let my daughter watch it! Thank you for playing it! Keep it going!
Dawn 22 days ago
Thanks MeTv, I had conveniently forgot about them. Give me the originals any time.
BridgetSirovetz 22 days ago
The New Monkees deserve a Second Chance! MeTV play their shows again. Their music is great and the guys are really nice. NM forever!
DennisCummings 22 days ago
New Monkees are amazing! The guys are incredibly talented. The music holds up 30 years later. I loved this show and watched every weekndurung the short time it was on. But I haven’t seen it since it aired and I can’t find the episodes online. Please air this show. I would love to see it again. It was so funny!
JaneKnight 22 days ago
Hey hey MeTV I would love seeing The New Monkees. It would go great with the original show! Something new to watch. Please add this to the line up.
christinewolfe 22 days ago
I would LOVE to see all 13 episodes of the New Monkees on MeTV! Please air it!
kenmills 22 days ago
Please show all 13 episodes of the New Monkees. would love to see it air again...please!
DennySpangler 22 days ago
Hey MeTV, why not run the show? Give TNM the weekend marathon treatment like MTV did with The Monkees in Jan 1986?
LindaSue2 22 days ago
The 80’s. The hair, the bands, the music, the dancing…. I look back on much of it now and wonder why? How? What were we thinking?? But some things remain, mainly, the music and a huge part of the music, for me, was/is The New Monkees.
They were never meant to replace the originals (whom I have loved since age 3). They were meant for the next generation. Come on… as much as I loved “my mom’s Monkees”; they were too old for me to dream about marrying someday.
The album is fantastic, and I still wish for more. The show was silly, fun, and upbeat. It took us out of our own reality and into crazy, anything goes for a half an hour. Something the teenage brain needs. I never missed an episode then and I wouldn’t miss one now. Bring back our boys!!!!!
LisaDuclo 22 days ago
Promoter Jodi Ritzen, who originally worked for the classic Monkees, but now also works with The New Monkees (both bands) has made so many dreams come true for us fans. She has done this wonderful thing of bringing together Classic Monkees fans with New Monkees fans, including those of us who wrote off The New Monkees back in the day. We only did that because we were so protective of The Monkees, but now that we are older, and hopefully wiser, many of us have realized that we made a mistake, and now we’re making up for lost time. I was lucky enough to meet Marty and Dino, when Jodi Ritzen and Micky Dolenz invited them to sing with him at his karaoke show in Winnetka, CA last year, and I found out how nice they are, and how talented they are, and I was able to apologize to both of them in person, for being a jerk in my 20’s. Now I can truly say that I am a fan of both Classic Monkees and New Monkees and am so happy that these two fandoms have finally come together in peace and harmony. A feat no one thought possible. Because of that show, us fans really wanted more. So Jodi Ritzen put together a New Monkees reunion show at The Pig and Whistle in Hollywood, earlier this year (February 2019) and Micky Dolenz got up on stage and sang with them. There was so much buzz, and excitement, that fans have been clamoring for more. Luckily, Larry Saltis, of The New Monkees has a new CD coming out next month with his other band Colorvine, and everybody is very thrilled about that. We would love it if MeTV would considering doing a marathon airing of all 13 New Monkees episodes, along with an in depth new interview with Marty Ross, Dino Kovas, Larry Saltis, and Jared Chandler. I’m pretty sure Jodi Ritzen could help facilitate such a thing, and provide commentary, and background information. These guys got screwed in the 1980s, by no fault of their own. Clearly, they’ve got tons of talent, and the fans want to see them, and hear them, and meet them. MeTV might just be the place to let it all happen, and un-screw The New Monkees. What do you say?




Maybe the place for the New Monkees to try and make a comeback, is on the station that has a connection with the original Monkees: MTV. Which as a lot of you do know, {and some do not,} was created/founded by Papa Nez himself! It was good luck for the Monkees in the '80s [even though they still had a bunch fans, MTV helped introduce a new generation to them.] Seeing Davy Mike Peter and Micky again, brought back a lot of joy and memories to their original fans!
I'm not saying that NM fans wanting METV to air the 13 NM episodes is a bad idea, just saying that an original Monkees connection as an outlet to air the episodes might bring them luck!
Just had a thought: with the way MTV is nowadays, I sincerely doubt if they would consider doing this. Oh well, just an idea I had.
CherylB 22 days ago
I've been a fan of the New Monkees since 1987 and would love to see their show on MeTV! I was at their sold out show with Micky Dolenz in LA a few months ago and it was great to see them all together again. They even signed my guitar, a dream come true after 32 years. :)
AdamHarris 22 days ago
The New Monkees are awesome,and because of the name,never had a chance to shine,which they deserved.-four very talented guys.Micky never thought badly of these guys,and now knows them personally after performing live with them The album is great 80's pop-get this show on tv and stop all the NM hate its a waste of time..Give the album a listen!!!actually LISTEN to it before making quick judgements..the Monkees and New Monkees are both a prt of that universe and can live side by side..
FredVelez 22 days ago
I went to the New Monkees auditions in NYC and received a visor too. As an original Monkees fan, I’ve grown to like the New Monkees for their own talents and have become friends with Marty Ross and Dino Kovas from the band. Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith have also become friends with the New Monkees and have accepted them as part of The Monkees legacy. It’s time for all Monkees fans to accept them, too. I really hope MeTV will consider showing the New Monkees episodes.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?