Micky Dolenz, the last surviving member of the 1960s and 1970s hit band The Monkees, filed a lawsuit on the FBI over a “secret dossier” that he believes the bureau has on him and his late band mates.
Dolenz, the frontman of the famous 1960s group, already knows his rock band has a file with the FBI.
At least a portion of the FBI’s report on the Monkees has already been made public — but Dolenz, 77, wants to know if there’s more.
He’s tapped a lawyer that specializes in freedom of information, Mark Zaid, to lead the lawsuit.
Zaid told Rolling Stone magazine he thought “it might be fun to see if the FBI had a file on him” after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the FBI allegedly fell short in June.
“This lawsuit is designed to obtain any records the FBI created and/or possesses on the Monkees as well as its individual members,” the lawsuit filing said.
“Mr. Dolenz has exhausted all necessary required administrative remedies with respect to his FOIA request,” it read.
In the band’s inaugural 1967 tour, Rolling Stones magazine reported that “at least one FBI informant” was embedded in the crowd taking notes on the Monkees message.
“During the concert, subliminal messages were depicted on the screen which, in the opinion of [redacted], constituted ‘left wing intervention of a political nature,’” the public portion of the Monkees FBI 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 from the audience.”
It is part of a heavily redacted, seven-page report initially released in 2011.
“That just kind of reinforced for me that there was actually something here,” Zaid told Rolling Stones. “It’s not just a fishing expedition. I mean, we’re still fishing, but we know there’s fish in the water.”
Zaid isn’t just a lawyer — for decades he’s also been a huge Monkees fan.
“My babysitter, who was about ten years older than me, gave me her collection of Monkees albums in 1975 when I was just a little kid,” he told Rolling Stones. “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.”
The FBI did not comply with Dolenz’ initial FOIA request this summer, so “we’re headed into court” his lawyer said.
“I tell all my clients, ‘If you are serious about getting your documents, then we need to litigate it.’ What happens from here is that we’ll be assigned a judge within a matter of a couple of days,” Zaid reportedly said. “After that, the process will start.”
What could the FBI have on the Monkees and their counterculture message is a mystery.
“Theoretically, anything could be in those files though,” Zaid said. “We have no idea what records even exist.”
“It could be almost nothing. But we’ll see soon enough.”