Described by Dolenz as initially being "a TV show about an imaginary band [...] that wanted to be The Beatles, [but] that was never successful", the actor-musicians soon became a real band. As Dolenz would later describe it, "The Monkees really becoming a band was like the equivalent of Leonard Nimoy really becoming a Vulcan."
For the first few months of their almost five-year initial career, the four actor-musicians were allowed only limited roles in the recording studio. This was due in part to the excessive time spent filming the television series, which in turn limited the amount of time available to the group to rehearse and coalesce as a band. Nonetheless, Nesmith did compose and produce some songs from the beginning, and Peter Tork contributed limited guitar work on the Nesmith-produced sessions. They soon fought for and earned the right to collectively supervise all musical output under the band's name. Although the sitcom was canceled in 1968, the band continued to record music through 1971.
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