Monkee business

The late, great Hollywood photographer Gene Trindl shot a lot of TV Guide covers–over 200 in total. The shoot that kept on giving, he once told me, was the day he spent with The Monkees.
Trindl got a call in 1966 to photograph the four young stars of the NBC comedy. Think Beatles, he was told. Gene met Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork on the old Warner Bros. Western lot in Burbank, Ca. They horsed around the swimming  pool, did set ups in the street, and generally clowned around while Gene snapped his way though several rolls of Kodachrome.
This was well before the series hit the air. It was just another job, Trindl thought. Then the cheques started coming in. Not just from the Guide but from the teeny bopper magazines and other editorial use. Then there were the lunchboxes, posters, album covers, foreign album covers–and on and on and on. The Monkees were a merchandising phenomenon, the first U.S. network TV series to define and exploit the 12- to 34-year-old demo. Every reunion tour or Greatest Hits CD, Trindl pocketed another payday.
Gene was always called upon for group shots, one of his specialties, as was his use of available light. Interesting to see how he stacked these kids, then 21 to 24 years of age, and how this one shot captured their personalities.

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