I saw A Beautiful Noise tonight. In all honesty I was a bit disappointed. The singing was fine, and the cast was ok, but overall it just left me a bit cold. One problem was that they took liberties with the facts. Most people won’t notice but having read as much about Neil as I have, it was somewhat disconcerting. The set was also a bit low budget. Interesting concept with Neil at his shrink, and it was a pleasant evening, but just not a rousing production.
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Can you be more specific as to what facts the producers took liberties with?
Some of the historical errors
When Neil met Ellie Greenwich he was portrayed as having no interest in performing his songs. In fact, Neil and Jack had 4 songs previously released and Neil 2 songs (albeit unsuccessfully). While Neil wasn’t a great performer early on, he wasn’t as inept as portrayed and he wanted to sing his songs.
They also showed I’m a Believer as being the song that got Neil noticed, ignoring Solitary Man and especially Cherry Cherry, which were both released before the Monkees released I’m a Believer, as being the impetus for Neil’s rise.
In addition, they weirdly had Crackin Rosie as an early hit, with it playing a role in Neil leaving Bang Records. In that regard, the whole story around Bang Records and Bert Berns was odd. I know Neil thought there were some shady characters around Bang Records, and he claimed a gunshot went off at the Bitter End as a threat, the musical has Berns actually tied in with the mob (with Neil being somewhat aware of it) and a mobster threatening Neil with a gun in Bert’s office. The musical then goes on to have Neil and Bert resolve the Bang Records contract issue by Bert asking Neil to give him three good songs. Neil is then shown as having given Bang two good songs but struggling to get a third song. In despair, Neil flees to Memphis and ultimately comes up with Crackin Rosie, at which point Bert says he got his three good songs and tears up Neil contract. Of course, that isn’t anything close to what happened.
There were also some things about Neil’s marriages that didn’t ring quite true (such as Jaye being not as pissed as is suggested in Solitary Star). None of these things were deal breakers, but they were a distraction because I couldn’t help thinking “wait, that isn’t what happened.”