Celebrating the Monkees is bittersweet for Micky Dolenz: 'It was tough to get through the first few shows'

George Varga, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

SAN DIEGO — Micky Dolenz is the last Monkee standing.

That makes his current "The Monkees Celebrated by Micky Dolenz" tour a bittersweet affair for the 78-year-old music, TV and film veteran.

The other three former Monkees are all deceased. Davy Jones died in 2012, Peter Tork in 2019 and Mike Nesmith in 2021. Re-creating the music the four made together enables Dolenz to pay heartfelt homage to the group and celebrate its legacy with fans. But the demise of the other Monkees is on his mind, even as he celebrates them in song.

"Oh, it's very bittersweet," Dolenz said.

"The first few shows I did of this tour, it was tough to get through them — especially if I watched the (archival Monkees') videos. If i don't turn around on stage to watch the videos, I'm OK. But, with some of the videos, yeah, there are a lot of memories that come up."

Dolenz was just 20 when he was cast in 1965 alongside Jones, Nesmith and Tork for "The Monkees." The TV comedy series about the adventures of a young pop-rock band was inspired, in part, by The Beatles' feature films "Help!" and "A Hard Day's Night."


Almost as quick as you can sing "Here we come!" — to invoke the opening line of the show's theme song — the fictional band featured on "The Monkees" was catapulted to stardom.

The Monkees scored nine Top 40 singles in less than two years. Three of them were chart-topping hits, including "Last Train to Clarksville" and the Neil Diamond-penned "I'm a Believer," both of which featured Dolenz on lead vocals. The group's third No. 1 song, the Jones-sung "Daydream Believer," was written by John Stewart, formerly of the Kingston Trio.

Outsold the Beatles and Stones

In 1967, recordings by the Monkees outsold those by the Beatles and Rolling Stones, combined. The made-for-TV band played sold-out national concert tours. The not-yet-well-known Jimi Hendrix was briefly their opening act, at Dolenz's suggestion.


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