The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz Suing the FBI to Access Bureau’s File on Band
Plenty of musicians spoke out against and wrote songs about the Vietnam War during the late 1960s — it was part of the counterculture. Apparently, the FBI kept a close eye on these artists, one of which were The Monkees. Micky Dolenz, the only surviving member of the band, is now suing the Bureau after they failed to fulfill his request to see a file they have on the band, according to Rolling Stone.
The report was filed by an FBI informant in 1967 after they attended a Monkees concert. It was the rockers' very first tour, and "during the concert, subliminal messages were depicted on the screen which, in the opinion of [informant’s name redacted], constituted ‘left wing intervention of a political nature,'” a portion of the file reads. "These messages and pictures were flashed of riots, in Berkley, anti-U.S. messages on the war in Vietnam, racial riots in Selma, Alabama, and similar messages which had unfavorable response[s] from the audience.”
This part of the file was released to the public in 2011, but Dolenz wants to view it in its entirety. Back in June, the musician's attorney Mark S. Zaid filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see the full FBI file, as well as any others on Dolenz and his Monkees bandmates, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. However, the Bureau didn't respond within the required 20-business day timeframe, therefore, it's become a lawsuit.
“This lawsuit is designed to obtain any records the FBI created and/or possesses on the Monkees as well as its individual members,” the suit explains. “Mr. Dolenz has exhausted all necessary required administrative remedies with respect to his [Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act] request.”
Rolling Stone notes that Zaid met Dolenz rather recently, and the attorney suggested they see if the FBI had any files on the musicians without realizing one actually existed.
“That just kind of reinforced for me that there was actually something here,” Zaid affirmed. “It’s not just a fishing expedition. I mean, we’re still fishing, but we know there’s fish in the water.”
During the 1960s, J. Edgar Hoover was the director of the FBI, and Zaid added that they kept a close watch on the counterculture, so sending an informant to a concert would not have been out of the realm of possibility.
“Theoretically, anything could be in those files though,” Zaid stated. “We have no idea what records even exist. It could be almost nothing. But we’ll see soon enough.”
Check out the full lawsuit below.