Monkees’ Singer Sues The FBI

( The only living member of the one-time very popular rock band the Monkees has filed a lawsuit against the FBI, seeking to get his hands on the full file the agency has on him and his now-deceased band members.

Back in 1967, the band launched their first tour. In the audience at one of those shows was at least one informant for the FBI. Because of that, the FBI has a file on the Monkees. One of the documents that’s included within reads:

“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.’ 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.”

That’s the only portion of the file the FBI has on the Monkees that has been released to the public, and that happened more than 10 years ago.

Micky Dolenz, the only surviving member of the band at 77 years old, wants to see the rest of that file. He attempted to see it by filing a Freedom of Information Act request, but after not being given access, he’s now filed a lawsuit against the FBI.

His suit reads:

“This lawsuit is designed to obtain any records the FBI created and/or possesses on the Monkees as well as its individual members. Mr. Dolenz has exhausted all necessary required administrative remedies with respect to his [Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act] request.”

Mark Zaid, Dolenz’s attorney, filed the suit on behalf of the former member of the Monkees. He’s an expert in litigation regarding FOIA requests.

He may be most known, though, for being a member of the legal team that represented the government whistleblower in the 2019 scandal regarding Ukraine and former President Donald Trump. Ultimately, that whistleblower led to Trump being impeached the first time.

For his part, Zaid has said he was a huge fan of the Monkees. As he explained:

“My babysitter, who was about 10 years older than me, gave me her collection of Monkees albums in 1975 when I was just a little kid. That turned me into a big fan, and I went to see their initial reunion tour in 1986. I’ve seen them about eight times after that, and I even got to meet Davy Jones right before he died.”

In recent years, Zaid met Dolenz through mutual friends. He suggested to Dolenz that it would be fun to see whether the FBI had a file on the Monkees. When he suggested that, he was unaware of the fact that the FBI had released a small report on the band back in 2011.

As he explained about the whole situation:

“That just kind of reinforced for me that there was actually something here. It’s not just a fishing expedition. I mean, we’re still fishing, but we know there’s fish in the water.”