The last living member of the 1960s band, the Monkees, is suing the FBI for the bureau’s secret files on the made-for-TV pop group.
Micky Dolenz, who played drums and occasionally sang for the band, filed a lawsuit Monday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The suit is to get access to the FBI’s file on the group, according to Law&Crime.
“This lawsuit is designed to obtain any records the FBI created and/or possesses on the Monkees as well as its individual members,” the lawsuit states. “Mr. Dolenz has exhausted all necessary required administrative remedies with respect to his FOIA/PA request.”
Dolenz, now 77, knows the FBI gathered information on the group he played in along with Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith. A redacted version of documents on the group was posted by the bureau in 2011.
The document titled “Additional Activities Denouncing the U.S. Policy in the War in Vietnam.” Unredacted portions include comments by an informant who said “subliminal messages” were shown on a screen behind the band during a 1967 concert. The “messages” that “constituted ‘left-wing innovations of a political nature,'” included messages and images related to the Vietnam War.
According to the New York Post, Other files have been released completely redacted.
Dolenz filed a Freedom of Information Act request in June. He has decided to sue after getting no response, according to Billboard.
Dolenz got the idea to pursue the possibility the FBI kept files on the band when attorney Mark Zaid, who represents him in the lawsuit, suggested they research it, the lawyer told Rolling Stone. It has long been known that the FBI kept files on John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and others.
The FBI “was actively monitoring war dissenters, perceived radicals and anyone counter to J. Edgar Hoover’s cultural beliefs, and that included the Monkees,” Zaid said.
The redacted documents the bureau released in 2011 “just kind of reinforced for me that there was actually something here,” Zaid said. “We’re still fishing, but we know there’s fish in the water.
“Theoretically, anything could be in those files. … It could be almost nothing. But we’ll see soon enough,” he added.
The FBI has not responded to numerous media inquiries about the lawsuit and reported documents.