ATLANTA — The groups R.E.M. and the Monkees don’t often end up in the same sentence.
But here we go: Micky Dolenz, the last surviving member of the Monkees, is coming to Athens Nov. 3 to celebrate a new EP in which he sings his favorite R.E.M. songs.
Dolenz, 78, will be at Wuxtry Records at 5 p.m., according to record label 7aRecords, which is releasing the four-song EP. Athens mayor Kelly Girtz is scheduled to give Dolenz a key to the city.
“R.E.M. would regularly cover [Monkees song] ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’ in their early years, and it is wonderful to have him return the favor with recordings of four of their classics,” Girtz said in a press release.
Dolenz, in the release, said: “Once again, this EP reaffirms my long-held conviction that a solid recording always begins with solid material. You don’t get much more solid than R.E.M. What a joy to sing these classics and honor a team of outstanding writers.”
The four songs he chose are “Shiny Happy People,” “Radio Free Europe,” “Man on the Moon” and “Leaving New York.”
“‘Shiny Happy People’ sounds incredible,” raved Michael Stipe in the release, adding, “Never thought you or I would hear me say that!!! Give it a spin.”
“Let’s help make this as huge as we possibly can,” Mike Mills added.
Fellow Monkee Michael Nesmith’s son Christian produced it. (Nesmith died in 2021 after Peter Tork in 2019 and Davey Jones in 2012.)
The EP release coincides with the release of Dolenz’s latest book “I’m Told I Had Good Time – The Micky Dolenz Archives, Volume One.” It features 1,200 rare and unpublished images from Dolenz’s private collection covering 1945 to 1978.
©2023 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at ajc.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.