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Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz sues FBI for secret files on band

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Micky Dolenz, the last surviving band member of The Monkees, has filed a lawsuit against the FBI to retrieve a complete case file on the band from the 1960s. File photo by Michael Bush/UPI. | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/a29c1d405ddbc9e915c963fecb3aacec/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Micky Dolenz, the last surviving band member of The Monkees, has filed a lawsuit against the FBI to retrieve a complete case file on the band from the 1960s. File photo by Michael Bush/UPI. | License Photo

Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The last surviving member of The Monkees, Micky Dolenz, has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice to retrieve records the FBI kept on the band during the 1960s.

The Monkees, which had four No. 1 albums and a hit sitcom in the 1960s, were investigated for alleged anti-Vietnam war activities in 1967 after they flashed images and messages protesting the war during one of their concerts, according to the complaint filed Tuesday.

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Dolenz, 77, is suing for the complete case file after a heavily redacted portion was released to the public in 2011 that included testimony from an informant who attended the 1967 concert.

The informant described images flashed on the screen behind the band as a "left-wing intervention of a political nature" that included "anti-U.S. messages" on the Vietnam War.

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The suit was filed by attorney Mark S. Zaid, a lifelong Monkees fan and Freedom of Information Act litigation expert, according to Rolling Stone, which first reported the lawsuit.

"Theoretically, anything could be in those files though," Zaid told Rolling Stone. "We have no idea what records even exist. It could be almost nothing. But we'll see soon enough."

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Under then director J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI in the 1960s was "infamous for monitoring counterculture, whether they committed unlawful actions or not," Zaid said.

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A Freedom of Information Act request filed in June failed to get a response from the FBI, the complaint said.

"This lawsuit is designed to obtain any records the FBI created and/or possesses on the Monkees as well as its individual members," the suit said. "Mr. Dolenz has exhausted all necessary required administrative remedies with respect to his Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act request."

Dolenz and his late bandmates, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones and Peter Tork, also were investigated for another matter that was redacted, according to the complaint.

Many of the Monkees' songs included subtle anti-war sentiments, including their popular single, "Last Train to Clarksville."

The lawsuit said the FBI kept files on other high-profile entertainers including legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles.

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