R.I.P. Bert Schneider, the Godfather of the Monkeemobile
Hollywood producer Bert Schneider passed away earlier this week at the age of 78. He produced some artistically and culturally notable films like “Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces” and “The Last Picture Show.” He also produced tv shows that were a bit more lowbrow, including The Monkees. Now the Monkees may have been a packaged rock and roll band, the so-called "pre-fab four", but the fact remains that Schneider hired great talent. Besides the four undeniably charismatic actors & musicians they hired to play the band, Schneider and his partner Bob Rafelson engaged the cream of Hollywood's pop songwriters, producers and session players to back up the "band" (after the first two albums, the members of the Monkees rebelled, insisting on being allowed to do more than vocals - Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork were experienced musicians before they auditioned for the show). When it came to providing the tv series' fictional band with wheels, Schneider turned to custom car virtuoso Dean Jeffries to create what would become the Monkeemobile, one of the most identifiable movie or tv cars that there is.