Definitely the only song to ever have been covered by The Monkees and The Sex Pistols — though it woulda been fun to hear the Monkees take on “No Fun” or “Substitute” — the garage-y rave-up “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” was actually given by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart to proto-Monkees Paul Revere & The Raiders first.
But for some reason — probably because they were too busy churning out classics like “Just Like Me” and “Kicks” — The Raiders never released it as a single, so The Monkees recorded it, stuck it on the b-side of “I’m a Believer” and it became a hit on its own recognizance, making #20 on the U.S. charts and #1 in Canada, where the Monkees were even more popular than they were here in the States. Though not popular enough, I guess, for Rush to include any Monkees song on their all-1960s-covers album, Feedback.
You’re trying to make your mark in society
You’re using all the tricks that you used on me
You’re reading all them high-fashion magazines
The clothes you’re wearing girl
They’re causing public scenes
With Boyce and Hart on the backing vocals, Micky Dolenz sings the verses of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” with coiled menace and thinly disguised contempt. And I wonder if he was thinking about Boyce & Hart when he was singing it, as their histrionics throughout almost ruin the song.
Almost. But of course, any song that starts off with handclaps over growling organ and leads with the chorus is irresistible from the start, and drummer Billy Lewis is on fire throughout: backbeats on the chorus, rumbling rolls after the rave-ups, and of course, the rave-ups themselves, where there’s just a bit of a pause before everybody goes nuts.
And while it wasn’t quite Nuggets level raw — the Count Five were probably sniggering behind their backs — it actually fit in quite well with More of The Monkees, the album on which it landed.
“(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone”
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