The Story Behind Neil Young’s Session With The Monkees
Neil Young live in 1995 - Farm Aid / Youtube
Even though Stephen Stills never became a member of the Monkees, he did perform in a few of their sessions and audition for the band and their wonderful TV program. He even encouraged his friend Peter Tork to join the band instead, and later on, Stills would help record four songs for the group.
Stills recalled the time he auditioned for the hand-picked American group who were supposed to mimic the antics of the British band The Beatles. “When I auditioned for The Monkees, I sang and hung out for a while,” Stills said. “They called me the next day to tell me they were interested and could I come another day… They were polite, and I sensed they were interested in me as a person. I was real upfront with them. I said, ‘Basically, I’m not that interested in the show, but mainly, I want to write the songs because that’s where the moola is.’” Around this time, he suggested the name of his friend, Peter Tork, and the rest is Monkees history.
However, not many people are aware that Stills’ former bandmate and member of Buffalo Springfield and CSNY, Neil Young, appears on more Monkees’ recordings than Stills himself. His fretwork can be heard on “As We Go Along,” “Smile” and “That’s What It’s Like Loving You.”
As the cooperation took place in 1968, before Young became a prominent figure, he had to take a session gig with The Monkees. In 1965, Young and Monkees member Mike Nesmith met at The Troubadour and instantly hit it off, leading to a lifelong friendship and eventual cooperation. In spite of the fact that the musician wasn’t a session player in the first place, he agreed to help out his pal Nesmith. Below, listen to “That’s What It’s Like Loving You.”