Micky Dolenz, Still Evolving

by Ellen Ann / 87 days ago / Comments

August has been an amazing month for this first-generation Monkees fan.  I have been a fan of The Monkees since the show first aired in 1966.  Decades later I was given the opportunity for a phone interview with Micky Dolenz, lead singer of the Monkees.  His sister, Coco, calls that a "phoner". 

Dolenz was funny and gracious.  Though I had trouble with my phone and had to call him back three times before we got a good connection,  he was totally understanding and I am so grateful for that. 

We spoke about several aspects of his busy life.  Dolenz is not only a “Monkee”; he is a director, an author, a talented actor, and apparently a furniture maker.  Along with his daughter Georgia, he is co-owner of Dolenz and Daughters Fine Furniture.  He explains during our conversation how his hobby unexpectedly turned into a successful business. Listen to our full conversation for the complete story on how it all happened.

Dolenz has been in the entertainment industry for over fifty years and has no intentions of slowing down.  He would like to do another Broadway show and will continue to tour solo and with fellow Monkee, Peter Tork.

His latest album, A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock and Roll was recorded live in a cabaret-style theater.  It is, as the title suggests, a compilation of Broadway show tunes and rock.   He was in San Francisco the weekend I spoke with him, August 4th and 5th, to perform this show.

Hear for yourself as Dolenz talks about the loss of Davy Jones, his own plans for the future, his sister Coco, and her role in his life.  Micky Dolenz is an amazing entertainer.  I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did.

I never get tired of seeing Dolenz perform. On August 19th he played The Marquee in Tempe, Arizona.  The Marquee is a small, intimate theater with about a thousand seats. Not surprisingly, there were many younger people at the show.  The Monkees along with Dolenz have fans of all ages.

Dolenz is a good story teller.  He told us "this is the song that got me the gig" as a Monkee, and jumped into Chuck Berry's "Johnny B Goode".  He talked about the first Monkees tour and what happened when Jimi Hendrix opened for them. To illustrate why Hendrix left the tour, Dolenz, with band backup, started singing "Purple Haze" then stopped in the middle.  He started chanting "We want Davy, we want the Monkees" just like the fans did back in the '60's.  Dolenz expressed that it was shortly after that experience, Hendrix quit the tour.  Yes, Dolenz continued and sang the rest of "Purple Haze".  I was surprised when he sang these tunes because they seem out of context for a Monkees concert, but he delivered them so well.  One other surprise was Dolenz's rendition of The Beatles' "Oh Darlin'".  

Dolenz was very expressive and grateful to the many songwriters who contributed to the success of The Monkees.  The first Monkees hit, "Last Train to Clarksville", was written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.  "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and my favorite, "Sometime in the Morning" were written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King.  Neil Diamond gets the credit for the smash hit, "I'm a Believer".

Michael Nesmith, a fellow Monkee, wrote "Different Drum" for the 1960's sitcom.  The producers nixed it.  Nesmith then gave it to Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys.  It was an instant success and Ronstadt's career was launched.  At this point in the show, Coco sang a beautiful version of "Different Drum".  She later sang "White Rabbit", the Jefferson Airplane classic.

After the concert, Dolenz signed autographs at the merch table and then did a meet and greet with about fifty fans.  I did get to talk to him again for a couple of minutes.  I also had the pleasure of talking to Coco.  Proceeds from these two events were donated to The Make A Wish Foundation.  I love when celebrities support fantastic charities. Overall, it was a fabulous concert and a flashback to my childhood.

Enjoy the interview...~Ellen Ann

 

 

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12/07/2017 ~ CLEARWATER CASINO Suquamish, WA

About Ellen Ann

Ellen Ann Journalist

I grew up in Philadelphia which is rich in the culture of music and arts. I played the cello for 3 years in elementary school and for a short time I was a part of the Philadelphia Children's Orchestra. I believe every home should have a piano whether anyone plays it or not. Someone will almost always try to learn and there is always a friend or relative who will just sit down and play. I enjoy most music, live theater, and live comedy. Music brings back memories, soothes the soul, changes my mood and outlook. Sometimes all it takes is a favorite song to make the day beautiful! I now live in the Phoenix, AZ area where I am a not-so-boring accountant. I try to make time to travel, explore the area where I live, the music and arts in the southwest, and just, in general, learn who I really am and who I want to be.