Skip to main content


  • Paul Williams was not allowed to join The Monkees.
  • He explained why he thought this worked out better for him in the long run.
  • He later wrote the B-side of one of The Monkees’ hits.
The Monkees’ Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork wearing blue
The Monkees’ Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Image

Paul Williams auditioned for The Monkees. Subsequently, he explained why he believed he was rejected. Despite being excluded from the group, he later wrote the B-side of one of The Monkees’ songs.

Paul Williams thinks he and Stephen Stills were excluded from The Monkees for the same reason

Williams is a singer, songwriter, and actor. During a 2012 interview with Mandatory, he discussed losing out on joining The Monkees.

“Well, I auditioned and Stephen Stills auditioned, but we were both contract writers or songwriters with publishing deals other places,” he said. “So I think that we were never really in the running because it was going to be a Screen Gems publishing situation.”

Paul Williams said he knew 3 of The Monkees were ‘good guys’

Williams discussed his relationships with each member of the Prefab Four. “Mike Nesmith and I shared the same manager for a while,” he said. “I saw Davy about six months ago down in Hilton Head. Micky is the one who took Bugsy Malone and adapted it for the stage. So I’ve had interactions with almost all of them except Peter and good guys, all good guys.” For context, Bugsy Malone is a movie musical featuring songs by Williams.

Williams discussed the Prefab Four in the larger context of his career. “I’m blessed,” he said. “In my life, no is a gift. When I don’t get something that I think I want, turns out my life turned out much better than it would’ve if I’d been a Monkee.”


The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz Learned to Sing Songs ‘Properly’ When He Was in an Elton John Musical

The singer wrote songs for The Carpenters, Barbra Streisand, Three Dog Night, and the Prefab Four

Williams had incredible success as a songwriter. He wrote two of The Carpenter’s greatest hits: “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays.” He also wrote Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born),” Three Dog Night’s “An Old Fashioned Love Song,” and “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie.

He also wrote a song called “Someday Man” which appeared on his album of the same name. The Monkees’ rendition of that song appeared as the B-side of “Listen to the Band.” The latter song reached No. 63 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for eight weeks. The tunes appeared on the album The Monkees Present, which hit No. 100 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 15 weeks.

Williams never joined the Prefab Four but he became a part of classic rock history anyway.