Jeff: So, Jason, as I believe we’ve mentioned before, this is our fifth Mellowmas together.

Jason: Yes. Please stop mentioning it.

Jeff: I know it makes you a little weepy. But I bring it up now because I’ve been thinking about how, in the beginning, we tended to focus on artists of a … shall we say … more “refined” vintage.

In other words, old.

Jason: That’s true. And we’ve headed towards younger artists in recent years, mainly because they’re so stupid.

Jeff: Yes! Younger artists are so much fun. But in this, our fifth year, I thought it might be a good time to go back to our roots.

Jason: How far back, exactly?



Jeff: How does 1987 grab you?

Jason: I love 1987! That’s, like, one of my favorite years of music.

Jeff: I guarantee that statement does not include this performance. But I understand how you feel.

Jason: George Michael!

Jeff: T’Pau!

Robbie Nevil!

Jason: Whitesnake!

Jeff: Expose!

Jason: Debbie Gibson! gasp Please tell me you’ve found a track that features ALL OF THEM SINGING TOGETHER.

Oh wait, that’s “Voices That Care,” isn’t it.

Jeff: We could do this all day. But we’d never, ever get around to mentioning the artists we’ll be covering today. This is a very special track, Jason.

Jason: Uh oh. I don’t like the sound of this.

Jeff: What we have before us is what I believe to be the first and last Christmas compilation appearance by an artist who had already been dropped by the label by the time the compilation was released.

Jason: Do you mean “very special” in the mentally-and/or-physically-challenged sort of way? Whoa! I’m intrigued!

Jeff: Yes! I knew you would be! And it gets better!

Jason: …it does? Jesus Jumping Christ, this is like Christmas morning! Tell me!

Jeff: Because the artists were also the stars of a TV show that had ALSO been canceled by the time this compilation was released! In 1987!

Jason: Hang on. Artists were stars of a TV show canceled by….

oh no.

Jeff: Do you hear what I hear, Jason?

Jason: jams fingers in ears

Jeff: Hee hee hee!

Jason: You don’t mean…

Jeff: Mulleted primates!


Jeff: Yes! The one and only!

Jason: Okay, so you did mean “very special” in the way I thought you did. I am no longer as intrigued as I was 30 seconds ago.

Jeff: So apparently, the Warner Bros. Christmas compilation for 1987 — titled Yulesville!, for all you folks keeping score at home — included a New Monkees song.

Jason: Dear God, why couldn’t it have been T’Pau?

Jeff: Because T’Pau was on Virgin, and Virgin was too cheap for these things.

Jason: Goddammit.

Jeff: Man, those Warners holiday collections were cool.

Jason: How did we find this track?

Jeff: Marty Ross put it in a bag of poop, lit it on fire, and left it on my steps!

Jason: Seems like the bag was kind of unnecessary, but okay.

Jeff: Poor New Monkees.

Jason: Don’t feel sorry for them, Jeff. Two houses, remember?

Jeff: Yulesville! contains tracks by artists such as Ice-T, Los Lobos, Randy Travis, and Prince, making this the closest to cool those poor fellas ever got.

Jason: Also on the compilation: Christine McVie and Force M.D.’s. Sadly not together.

Jeff: But wait! Further indignity awaited our recently canceled TV stars.

Jason: Lay it on me.

Jeff: Because the song we’re going to listen to, Jason? The song on this compilation?

Jason: Yes?


Jason: They pulled a Tommy Tutone! Only it was years before Tommy did it, so I guess that makes them visionaries.

Jeff: Yeah, except we were only guessing where Tommy’s song was concerned, right?

Jason: Uh, I don’t think so. I believe the song was called “Santa Jenny” or something.

Jeff: Right, but here’s what I’m saying. Not only did the band use the same ARRANGEMENT, but I would bet one of Marty Ross’ houses that they used the same TRACKS.

Jason: I want to say two things.

1. You are awesome for knowing this.

2. You are awful for knowing this.

Jeff: Agreed on both counts.

Jason: I mean, I only really know OF The New Monkees. I watched the first episode, because I was a big Monkees fan. I didn’t get it, turned it off, and never watched it again.

Jeff: But this is why I feel bad for the New Monkees. Because I think Warner Bros. came to them and said “Hey, good news! You’re going to be on this year’s holiday album! …and you get $100 for studio time!”

Jason: I wouldn’t know a New Monkees song if it smacked me in the ass.

Marty, we know you’re reading this. Seriously, we want to know the backstory.

Jeff: Yeah, I’m actually curious. I’m sure it’ll be more entertaining than what we’re about to hear.

Jason: I can’t believe I’m going to listen to my very first New Monkees track during Mellowmas.

Jeff: So, the original song in question was called “What I Want.” The “band” “performed” it on their show.

Jason: And what’s this one called? Something like “What I Want (For Christmas)”?

Jeff: You win! Your prize: Christmas lyrics over a New Monkees song! Ready to get synthy?

Jason: Sure, why the hell not?

Jeff: That’s the spirit!

New Monkees – What I Want (For Christmas)

Jason: “Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!” This IS very special!

Jeff: I would bet Marty Ross’ other house that these vocals weren’t really mastered. What I want I ain’t got! Peace on Earth you can give me!

Jason: Wow. I can predict the last word of each lyric with frightening accuracy. Listen to all those na nas.

Jeff: I’m going to predict something else: You and I are the first people to listen to this song all the way through since December of 1987.

Jason: You think we’re the only sadistic fucks on the Internet?

Jeff: We can have a better world, Jason.

Jason: Oh, hang on, uninspired guitar solo.

Jeff: It starts with me and — hey! — it starts with you. Give me peace on Earth, you asshole.

Jason: This track sounds like it’s trying to be a little zany. Like, just on the outskirts of it.

Here come the na nas again!

Jeff: Yeah, that was kind of the New Monkees’ thing. Late ’80s zaniness. Remember when everything was trying to be the Mac Ransom font?

Jason: It’s like Warner said the song had to be x number of words, and they were 300 short.

Jeff: Merry Christmas, everybody! applause

Jason: Is it just me, or were there only jingle bells at the very end? “Shit, the song’s over! Quick, grab the jingle bells!”

Jeff: I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s actually how it happened. “We don’t have any money for overdubs!”

Jason: Did Warners sell this compilation? I don’t remember it at all.

Jeff: Well, a lot of the tracks are 30-second “messages” from the artists, so I kind of doubt it. I’m guessing it was shipped to radio stations. Who promptly never played the New Monkees’ “What I Want (For Christmas).” In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone lost their job over the New Monkees even BEING on this, because, as I said, I’m pretty sure the show was canceled before Christmas.

Jason: Well, I have to say, I’m at least pleased that we found something from the ’80s that very few people have heard. And Marty, come on. Give us the goods.

Jeff: All is forgiven, Marty Ross.

About the Author

Jeff Giles and Jason Hare

Two people, separate rooms Trying to hurt the other Bound together by destiny Is there nothing they won’t do? Will we never see them through?

View All Articles