Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
The Monkees, (I’m Not Your) Steppin Stone. Album: More Of The Monkees (1966)
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart wrote this, but intended it for Paul Revere And The Raiders. Boyce and Hart also wrote The Monkees hits “Last Train To Clarksville” and “Valleri.”
The song is about a girl who walks all over a guy, but now he’s decides he’s not going to take it any more, telling her, “I’m not your steppin’ stone.” He’s wise to the fact that she’s just using him to boost her status.
Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz sang lead, and was the only Monkee to perform on the song. In their early years, The Monkees songs were usually recorded by top session musicians. The Monkees had a popular TV show where their songs (including this one) aired, which helped them climb the charts.
The Sex Pistols covered this song for their 1979 album The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. Their version, which was also released as a single, features a snarling lead vocal from their ill-fated bass player Sid Vicious.
British group The Farm had their first hit with a 1990 remake of this called “Stepping Stone.”
Monkees keyboardist/bass guitarist Peter Tork on the song’s relevance: “The songs that we got [in the ’60s] were really songs of some vigor and substance. ‘(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone’ is not peaches and cream. It comes down hard on the subject, poor girl. And the weight of the song is indicated by the fact that the Sex Pistols covered it. Anybody trying to write ”60s songs’ now thinks that you have to write ’59th St. Bridge.’ [Sings] ‘Feeling groovy!’ Which is an okay song, but has not got a lot of guts. ‘Stepping Stone’ has guts.”