With hundreds of screaming fans outside, and 200 journalists inside, the Royal Garden Hotel's press conference welcomed the biggest pop act on the planet in 1967 - The Monkees.
With their own comedy TV show, and a series of musical hits, The Monkees were hot property when they toured England for the first time in June 1967. At the time their records were selling more than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined. After being met at Heathrow Airport by an army of girls, they caused mayhem when they later appeared on balconies at the Royal Garden Hotel to wave to the huge crowds below them.
They didn’t have it all their own way, though. They drew heavy criticism from the musical press, who called them the 'pre-Fab Four' in reference to their birth as a manufactured band for a TV show about an imaginary band who dreamed of being The Beatles… before fiction became reality when they started releasing records. They’d just released their third album, Headquarters, which was the first written by the band themselves rather than a team of producers, but they still received accusations of not playing all of their own instruments on the record.
However, they were warmly received at the Royal Garden Hotel for the press conference, with Americans Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz and Englishman Davy Jones charmed the packed room of reporters and photographers.