The Monkees' Micky Dolenz sues FBI over secret file on band

The only surviving member of the group Micky Dolenz is suing the FBI for access to a file it compiled during widespread opposition to the Vietnam War. Robert Moore reports

The last surviving member of The Monkees is reportedly suing the FBI over a heavily redacted file the agency holds on him and his bandmates.

Mickey Dolenz, 77, who drummed in the popular 1960s band, wants the FBI to release the full contents of the file, his attorney Mark Zaid told Rolling Stone.

The file was part of a wider 1967 memorandum on anti-Vietnam war activities, but was released to the public just over a decade ago.

Erroneously titled 'The Monkeys', the file describes the American-British group, known for hits like I'm A Believer, Daydream Believer and Last Train to Clarksville, as “four young men who dress as ‘beatnik types’… geared primarily to the teenage market”.

A entirely blacked out section marked 'additional activities denouncing the US policy in the war in Vietnam' appears early in the document.

At a Monkees concert, “subliminal messages were depicted on the screen", which, an informant said, included "anti-US messages on the war in Vietnam" and "racial riots in Selma, Alabama".

A section of the heavily redacted file Credit: FBI

The Monkees were not known for being political, particularly as they were originally manufactured for a television show.

Dolenz's attorney said he filed a Freedom of Information Act on behalf of the musician in June, with the hopes they'd get their hands on the full file.

They launched the lawsuit after the FBI failed to respond.

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"What happens from here is that we’ll be assigned a judge within a matter of a couple of days. After that, the process will start,” he told the Rolling Stone.

Alongside Dolenz, the band consisted of Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones. They split in 1970.