The group was created for a NBC television show. 437 young men auditioned for the roles - mostly struggling musicians and actors. Steven Stills and John Sebastian both auditioned and were turned down for roles on the show. It was rumored that Charles Manson tried out, but this was not true
58 Episodes of the TV show were made. It lasted two seasons and aired from 1966-1968. The idea for the fictional group came from the 1965 Beatles' movie A Hard Day's Night.
At first, the group did not play their own instruments - their vocals were recorded over tracks recorded by a group of session musicians who played on many hits from the '60s. The turning point came in 1967 when they insisted on playing their own material and getting producer credit as well.
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