The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz sues DOJ to get secret FBI files

He’s no longer monkeying around.

The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz sued the Justice Department on Tuesday to try to get secret files the FBI compiled on the pop rock band while they protested the Vietnam War in their 1960s counter-culture heyday.

The 77-year-old singer — the sole surviving member of the made-for-TV band — filed the lawsuit in Washington, DC, federal court after his attempts to obtain the records via the Freedom of Information Act were ignored, the legal papers say.

Dolenz is the only surviving member of the 1960s pop band.
Getty Images

“This lawsuit is designed to obtain any records the FBI created and/or possesses on the Monkees as well as its individual members,” it says of the “renowned and beloved rock band.”

The FBI’s website confirms the band is a subject of two files — including, mysteriously, one that is “redacted entirely.”

The other is a 1967 Los Angeles Field Office memorandum that was released in a heavily redacted form in 2011 — unknown at the time to Dolenz and his attorney.

Under the misspelled subject “THE MONKEYS,” the file said it had looked into “four young men who dress as ‘beatnik types’” who “sang as a ‘combo.’”

FBI files on The Monkees.
One FBI file on the band is misspelled “The Monkeys.”

An FBI informant — whose identity was redacted — detailed how The Monkees played live with “subliminal messages” on a stage — which “constituted ‘left-wing intervention of a political nature.’

“These messages and pictures were flashed of riots, in Berkley, anti-US messages on the war in Vietnam, racial riots in Selma, Alabama, and similar messages which had received unfavorable response from the audience,” the file said.

There was no mention of further action.

Heavily redacted FBI file on The Monkees.
A heavily redacted FBI file on The Monkees is just one of two the bureau confirms exists.

Dolenz did not even realize the redacted document existed when his lawyer pal and self-proclaimed “big fan” Mark Zaid first suggested on a whim that they see if the FBI had a file on him, Zaid told Rolling Stone.

That redacted document “just kind of reinforced for me that there was actually something here,” Zaid told the rock mag.

“It’s not just a fishing expedition. I mean, we’re still fishing, but we know there’s fish in the water,” he said, conceding that the completely redacted document “may be peripheral” to the band.

“Theoretically, anything could be in those files,” Zaid noted. “We have no idea what records even exist. It could be almost nothing. But we’ll see soon enough.”

The lawsuit noted that Dolenz and his late bandmates — Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones — hung out with other rock stars eyed by the FBI, such as Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon.

Lawsuit filed by Micky Dolenz.
Micky Dolenz filed the lawsuit in DC on Tuesday.
Law Office of Mark S. Zaid

And, despite being a fun-loving pop band, The Monkees also sprinkled anti-war sentiments into chart-topping songs like “Last Train to Clarksville,” Zaid noted.

The FBI at the time “was infamous for monitoring the counterculture, whether they committed unlawful actions or not,” the attorney stressed.

The lawsuit seeks “reasonable costs,” fees and relief as well as expedited copies and attorney’s fees as well as expedited copies of the withheld files “in their entirety.”

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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