But not for long. They chafed at their "boy band" restrictions; they wanted be known as serious artists, to move beyond teeny-bopper love songs, to tackle serious issues. They wanted to be free. Their handlers disapproved.
In the spring of 1968, they wrote and produced a movie, Head. It premiered with great anticipation; fans thought that it would be a comedic documentary, like the Beatles' Hard Day's Night.
You say we're manufactured -- to that we all agree.
So make your choice and we'll rejoice in never being free!
But every set leads to a new story.
They think they have escaped, and settle down to throw a birthday party for Mike. But he starts yelling that this is not his apartment, these are actors, not his real friends, it's all a fake.
They escape from a box only to find themselves in a bigger box.
They try to commit suicide, only to find that that, too, isn't real; there is no escape.
We've seen it in Easy Rider and Alice's Restaurant, in the Tripods series of dystopian mind-control novels, in Richard Schaal trapped in The Cube; in Number 6 trapped in The Village, even in the Castaways trapped on Gilligan's Island.
1. The clever "box inside a box" concept
2. The frequent beefcake. You see more of Micky and Davy than ever before, constant shirtless and semi-nude scenes, and all of the guys gets close-ups of their very, very tight pants.
3. The homoerotic buddy bonding that shines through, in spite of the frequent girl-kissing. These guys are into guys.
But, 46 years later, the memory remains.