Happy Birthday to the Monkees‘ Micky Dolenz, who turns 73 today (March 8th)!!! Micky Dolenz will always be best remembered for singing lead on such group classics as “(Theme From) The Monkees,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” along with the Monkees’ first two singles — and chart toppers, “Last Train To Clarksville” and “I’m A Believer.” Over the years, Micky has appeared in such Broadway, regional, and touring casts of Elton John and Tim Rice‘s AIDA, Pippin’, Grease, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, and Hairspray. In recent years he’s also performed a solo revue of Monkees classics with his sister Coco.
Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith recently announced their first ever tour as a duo, dubbed — “The Monkees Present: The Mike & Micky Show.” The 16-show run kicks off on June 1st at Chandler, Arizona’s Chandler Center for the Arts and winds down over three weeks later on June 25th at Red Bank, New Jersey’s Count Basie Theatre. Peter Tork will not take part in the tour. Instead, he’s focusing on promoting his new album, Relax Your Mind, by his band Peter Tork & Shoe Suede Blues that honors the music of Lead Belly.
Earlier this week, Mike Nesmith posted a message on Facebook on the upcoming duo tour, which reads in part: “The set list doesn’t exist yet. (Micky) and I will sit around and sing try to find out what makes sense with the two of us — maybe the occasional guest. If all goes as planned I think we will put together a fine show. I love singing with Mick. . . As I say I suppose we will play the deep cuts from the Monkees catalog — and songs (Micky) & I have written over the years. . . I’m looking forward to the trip and to seeing Mick appear singing along beside me in the same room. One of my life’s gifts and blessings.”
- Last November, Dolenz released his latest album, Micky Dolenz & The Metropole Orchestra: Out Of Nowhere. The album features new takes on such Monkees favorites as “Last Train To Clarksville,” “Sometime In The Morning,” “D.W. Washburn,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “Porpoise Song,” “Randy Scouse Git,” “Daydream Believer,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” and “I’m A Believer” — along with covers the Beatles‘ “Hey Bulldog” and Lenny Welch‘s “Since I Fell For You.”
- In 2016, the Monkees scored their biggest hit in 48 years with their latest album, Good Times! The set, produced by Adam Schlesinger from Fountains Of Wayne, is the band’s highest charting album since 1968’s The Birds, The Bees, And The Monkees, hitting Number 14 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and debuting at Number Six on Billboard Top Albums chart.
- Good Times! features songs the group passed over back in the day from such heavyweights as Carole King & Gerry Goffin, Harry Nilsson, and Neil Diamond. The main draw of the new album is the inclusion on newly written songs by such “modern” songsmiths as Weezer‘s Rivers Cuomo, Oasis‘ Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Death Cab For Cutie‘s Ben Gibbard, XTC‘s Andy Partridge, and Adam Schlesinger.
- Micky has always tried to separate himself from the politics and drama surrounding the Monkees over the years, and looks at it as just another facet of a long and successful career: [“Y’know, you can be brothers in arms, and you have your good times and your bad times, and you have your sibling rivalry which always exists. But the bottom line for me was that I always looked at it as this cast of a television show and I was playing the wacky drummer. And when I get back together (with them) I put on that mask, and I go out onstage as “Micky — the wacky drummer.'”] SOUNDCUE (:23 OC: . . . the wacky drummer)
- Micky Dolenz told us that out of the four, he and the late-Davy Jones shared a particularly strong bond: [“David and I hung out together, we had similar backgrounds, so we tended to gravitate toward each other, ’cause I guess for the show-business; but also, we had children. We got married and had children at the same time in Los Angeles.”] SOUNDCUE (:12 OC: . . . in Los Angeles)
- Dolenz explained that cross-promoting the Monkees using all the popular mediums of the day was a cutting edge marketing technique that paved the way for how all future pop bands would eventually be sold: [“The thing the Monkees did was — the project, not us, four guys — but the Monkees ‘project,’ was really the first time that the television and radio and record industry had sort of had this convergence. There’d been slight, little bits of crossover here and there; people like Ricky Nelson, y’know, and like, Paul Peterson from The Donna Reed Show, um, but not nearly to the level that happened with the Monkees.”] SOUNDCUE (:26 OC: . . . with the Monkees)
- We asked Micky Dolenz, if seeing how Rhino owns the Monkees brand — along with their ’60s masters and the TV show — if they had stringent guidelines for the musical direction for the critically acclaimed Good Times!: [“No, no, no — it was ‘Let’s get everybody involved (that) we can.’ Obviously not David, except (laughs), we found this tune with him singin’; and I called the family and I said, ‘You guys have a problem with us including this, an old session’ And they said, ‘Absolutely not.’ So Rhino got very excited about these tunes, these unfinished ’68 tunes, for the 50th anniversary — with the ‘Wrecking Crew’ on it. Then, the next thing that happened was they introduced me to Adam (Schlesinger), and I knew who he was, and I knew who (his band) Fountains Of Wayne was.”] SOUNDCUE (:26 OC: . . .of wayne was)
- Micky Dolenz & Mike Nesmith: ‘The Monkees Present: The Mike & Micky Show’ tour dates (subject to change):
June 1 – Chandler, AZ – Chandler Center for the Arts
June 2 – Los Angeles CA – The Orpheum
June 3 – San Diego CA – Humphrey’s
June 5 – Anaheim, CA – The Grove
June 6 – Saratoga, CA – The Mountain Winery
June 8 – Stockton, CA – Bob Hope Theatre
June 9 – Stateline, NV – Harrah’s Lake Tahoe
June 12 – Denver, CO – Paramount
June 14 – Chicago, IL – Copernicus Center
June 15 – Huber Heights OH – Rose Music Center
June 16 – Cleveland, OH – Cain Park
June 18 – Toronto, ON – Sony Center
June 19 – Kitchener, ON – Centre In the Square
June 21 – Philadelphia, PA – Keswick Theatre
June 22 – New York, NY – Beacon Theatre
June 25 – Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre