Micky Dolenz Keeps The Monkees Business Going

WARREN, Ohio – As the only surviving member of The Monkees, Micky Dolenz feels a responsibility to keep the band’s legacy going.

Since the death of Michael Nesmith in 2021, Dolenz has continued to tour solo, performing the music of the 1960s-era act.

Once dubbed The Prefab Four for its obvious attempt to ape The Beatles’ early fame, The Monkees built a huge fanbase with a slew of hits and the power of television. For millions, the act was a part of their childhood.

The Monkees were never meant to be a real band; they were a television sitcom about a fictional band that was trying to make it big.

The show, which premiered in 1966, ran for only two seasons – or 58 episodes – during which time the band released four albums. But Dolenz, Nesmith, Davy Jones and Peter Tork were not just actors but also musicians, and with help from some top-notch songwriters, they released Top 10 singles such as “Daydream Believer,” “Steppin’ Stone,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “I’m a Believer,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” and “Last Train to Clarksville.”

Despite their contrived beginnings, the four eventually did morph into something of a real band.

They would go their separate ways after the show fizzled out in 1968. But the four were forever linked by their shared past – even if it was marred by dissatisfaction over lack of creative input.

Jones died in 2012, and Tork in 2019.

Nesmith skipped most reunion concerts in the latter years but eventually made peace with The Monkees. When he died two years ago, he and Dolenz were in the midst of a tour as The Monkeez.

The current touring show, The Monkees, Celebrated by Micky Dolenz, will come to Robins Theatre in Warren on Tuesday, April 18. Dolenz will sing selections from the “Headquarters” album and other hits, with a backing band and video memories.

The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $40 to $70; click HERE.

Dolenz was the singer for several of The Monkees’ biggest hits, including “Last Train to Clarksville” and “Steppin’ Stone.”

In an interview with Mojo magazine last year after the death of Nesmith, Dolenz, 78, put the band’s story into perspective by borrowing his bandmate’s words.

“If you think of it as a band, it gets very confusing,” Dolenz said. “‘The Monkees’ was a television show about a band, an imaginary band. But [Nesmith] always said that because we could play, and you had to play and sing to get through the casting, it was like Pinocchio becoming a real boy. That was the interesting part – fantasy becoming reality. Art becoming life.”

In an interview with “CBS This Morning” last year, he talked about the responsibility he feels to keep the band going – and how much he enjoys doing it.

“I love singing those old songs,” Dolenz said. “How can you not love singing ‘I’m a Believer’?”

Dolenz is not done paying tribute to The Monkees. On Nov. 7, he will release his book, “I’m Told I Had a Good Time: The Micky Dolenz Archives, Volume One” (Beatland Books). The 500-plus page book includes information culled from Dolenz’ collection of photos, artwork, handwritten lyrics, scripts and other assorted items from his young life to the 1970s. It will be available for preorder in June.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.