PTsgirl Purple Haze - Micky Dolenz Concert Dates, Monkees Related Items, Monkees Solo Concerts & Appearances
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    Monkee Micky Dolenz loves science, excels in all forms of entertainment
    By Jeff Piorkowski, Sun News Sun News
    March 25, 2012

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The interview with Micky Dolenz was conducted prior to the Feb. 29 death of his friend and fellow Monkee Davy Jones.

    If there is one thing most people don’t know about onetime Monkee Micky Dolenz is that he’s nuts about science.

    “I’m kind of a geek,” said Dolenz in a recent phone conversation from his Los Angeles home.

    That science-loving side of Dolenz may not be well known, but much of the rest of his life has been carried out in public, from the days (1956-58) when as a child actor he starred as “Corky” in “Circus Boy,” to his 1966-68 stint on NBC TV’s “The Monkees,” to the millions of recordings he’s helped to sell, to the stage acting he has done the past couple of decades.

    And, oh yeah, he still makes time to tour with Davy Jones and Peter Tork of the Monkees (they toured in 2011), and as a solo act.

    It’s a fact that while living in England in the mid-‘80s, Dolenz gave in to his “geeky” side and decided to go back to college to study physics. That plan was interrupted in 1986, however, when “The Monkees” TV series began to be shown in the states in reruns, and the group’s music once again started flying off store shelves.

    “The show stands up through the years,” Dolenz said of “The Monkees TV series.

    As displayed by the regular generational rediscoveries of the group, the music has held up, as well.

    Dolenz has, of course, heard from the critics over the years about The Monkees, shots against the band because they didn’t play their own instruments or write their own songs. Or, that they were simply Beatles copycats. Some cite The Beatles’ 1964 “Hard Days Night” movie as a direct influence on “The Monkees.” Not so, said Dolenz.

    “‘The Monkees’ was a TV show about an imaginary band, a band that wanted to be The Beatles. Bands all over the country wanted to be The Beatles. We were a band (as portrayed on the TV show) that was never successful. The Beatles were already The Beatles in ‘Hard Days Night,’ they already were successful.

    “John Lennon got it. He said The Monkees were the like the Marx Brothers, which was very true.”

    As for the music and playing their own instruments, Dolenz said, “A lot of bands in the ‘60s didn’t play their own instruments. A lot had to use studio musicians. That was the way it was done then.”

    By the time The Monkees recorded their third album, “Headquarters,” Dolzenz, Tork, Michael Nesmith and Jones were playing instruments in the studio. Dolenz, who sang most of the groups hits (“Last Train to Clarksville,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “I’m a Believer”) learned to play the drums for Monkees recordings and stage shows.

    “They (producers) told me, ‘We have enough guitar players, you’re going to be the drummer,’” Dolenz recalled. “‘Great, when do I learn?’ I was a musician already, I wanted to do that.”

    The Monkees always benefited from the finest songwriters, such as Neil Diamond, Carole King and the team of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.

    Before Dolenz was a Monkee, and after he acted in “Circus Boy,” his show business family (his parents were actors) decided it would be best to take a break from the business. He attended Grant High School in L.A. with other child actors and sons and daughters of actors, but for the most part stuck to his studies. But, he also formed a couple of bands with which he sang and played guitar.

    “I started playing Spanish guitar when I was 10 or 12,” he said.

    Hundreds of actors tried out for The Monkees in 1965, a list that famously included Stephen Stills. Dolenz got the part of the zaniest of the always zany Monkees.

    “Filming of the show was a lot of fun – only speaking for myself,” Dolenz said. “They let us improvise a lot.”

    Things did become hectic, though, as the group often had to go directly into the recording studio after filming.

    “There were a lot of 10-12 hour days (filming), then we’d do two-three hours of recording. Then, on weekends, we’d go on the road and do concerts.”

    The showed aired from 1966-68 and won two Emmy Awards in 1967. The band recorded into 1970 before breaking up, at least for a while.

    Mostly without Nesmith, the band reformed several times throughout the years. Dolenz has also worked over the years doing voice-over parts for cartoons and acting. He has performed in musicals in England and the U.S. such as “Pippin,” “Aida,” and “Grease.”

    He is also a painter, incorporating his love for science into his art. In 2010 Dolenz released his latest album, “King for a Day,” featuring the songs of Carole King. He will soon release his next album including songs that influenced him as a youth.

    A seeming renaissance man of the arts, Dolenz, due to his enthusiasm for making people smile, might be termed “an entertainment geek.”

    Micky Dolenz, KC & the Sunshine Band, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, and Sam & Dave’s Sam Moore will perform March 31 at the 2012 Majic 105.7 Moondog Ball at Quicken Loans Arena. Tickets are $37.50-$67.50. Call (888) 894-9424.

    Why Monkee Micky Dolenz envies Scouse soap star Sinbad
    ECHO Entertainment News - Entertainment - Liverpool Echo
    By Dawn Collinson
    May 5, 2011

    YOU’D think being a bona fide Sixties music icon would be enough lifetime achievement for anyone.

    But it seems Micky Dolenz, one quarter of US pop legends The Monkees, is a little envious ... of former Brookie window cleaner Sinbad!

    Actor Michael Starke, who played the soap favourite, has been enjoying rave reviews for his cross-dressing turn as Edna Turnblad in the national tour of the hit musical Hairspray.

    He tells Insider it's been a joy to be working with American idol Micky, the charismatic Monkees drummer, who played his on stage hubby Wilbur.

    And the feeling is quite mutual. Because, while Michael is a big fan of Micky – Micky’s pretty fascinated by Michael and his Scouse background too.

    The former soap star, who’s also now starring in the latest instalment of the Daz soap powder commercials, tells Insider: “When we were backstage, Micky Dolenz wanted to know everything about The Beatles and Liverpool.

    "He lives in California but he remembers being mobbed everywhere as a Monkee and we were talking about what it must have been like for the Fab Four.

    “He said to me: ‘Michael, you were there ... living around the corner from them’.

    “Micky told me he loved the fact that The Beatles were true Liverpudlians who respected their audiences and he laughed when he recalled how he mentioned them in the song Randy Scouse Git and finally met them for real. He said they were awesome."

    Although Michael’s stint on the Hairspray tour is now over there will be a reunion between the two Michaels – Mr Starke and Mr Dolenz – next week.

    The Monkees kick off their 45th anniversary tour at the ECHO arena on May 12 and Micky can look forward to spotting a familiar face in the audience. Says Michael, “I wouldn't miss it for the world.”

    Stage star Micky Dolenz reveals truth behind America's first boy band The Monkees
    By Billy Sloan, Sunday Mail
    The Daily
    December 5, 2010

    MONKEES' legend Micky Dolenz yesterday looked forward to celebrating 60 years in showbiz while starring in a hit musical north of the border.

    The US star will hit Edinburgh in Hairspray six decades after attending his first movie screen test which paved the way for a career of hit records, movies and Broadway shows.

    Micky plays Wilbur Turnblad opposite Michael Ball as his longsuffering wife Edna in the rock 'n' roll musical set in 1962.

    It tells the story of how his daughter Tracy - a big girl with big hair - dreams of singing on The Corny Collins Show, a TV pop music programme in Baltimore.

    He reprises the role played by Christopher Walken in the 2007 Hairspray movie.

    Micky, 65, said: "Wilbur is a very lovable character, one of the most fun roles I've played. He's devoted to his daughter Tracy. I have four daughters myself so can relate to that."

    The star, who has been married three times, added: "Tracy knows just how to twist him around her little finger. My girls do exactly the same - it happens to all dads - and we get along great."

    Micky grew up in LA with actor parents George and Janelle and followed them into showbiz.

    At age 11, he got his first big break in the hit TV series Circus Boy and became a child star, playing Micky Braddock, an orphan who is water boy to the elephants in his uncle's travelling circus.

    He said: "My earliest childhood memories are of going on to movie sets with my dad. At that young age I thought everybody's parents were actors.

    "When the audition for Circus Boy came along, I told my mother I didn't want to go - I wanted to play baseball with my friends. I'd seen my dad in movies so it wasn't unusual to suddenly appear on TV myself.

    "I remember being handed my first contract for Circus Boy and looking up to the stars and thinking - this is a huge, life-changing experience. Even at 11, I fully understood the power of a popular TV series."

    Micky was taught how to ride an elephant and work with a chimpanzee for the show.

    He said: "I had no issue with animals at all. For one publicity stunt, I had to ride on the back of the MGM Studios' lion - the one that you see roaring in the titles at the start of all MGM films." In 1965, Micky was shot to superstardom when he answered an ad in Variety maga-zine for "four insane boys to star in a TV show".

    He auditioned alongside aspiring US musicians Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork and ex-English jockey and Coronation Street actor Davy Jones and they became The Monkees, America's answer to The Beatles.

    Micky was taught to play drums for his role and sang lead vocals on the fictional group's classic hits I'm A Believer - written by Neil - Diamond - Last Train To Clarksville and (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone.

    When The Monkees' first show was aired on NBC TV on September 12, 1966, and their debut album hit No1 in the US charts, he became a pop idol overnight.

    Micky revealed: "When The Monkees came along, I was at college studying to be an architect. I'd been playing guitar in rock 'n' roll bands with little success.

    "When I went for the audition, I thought 'This could be a really good show' but I knew 90 per cent of TV pilots made didn't sell. So I didn't want to quit school."

    The Monkees' success forced the group to hit the road for real and they became a pop phenomenon.

    Micky recalled: "We sang, toured and played live but fundamentally I was an actor hired to play the wacky drummer in a make-believe pop group.

    John Lennon called us 'The Marx Brothers of rock' and he was right." "On tour we couldn't step out of our hotel without being torn apart by screaming girls - it was crazy.

    "In 1966, I went to a local mall to do my Christmas shopping and as soon as I stepped through the glass doors all these people began screaming and running towards me.

    "I thought the building was on fire so I held open the door and shouted 'This way, don't panic'. All of a sudden I realised they were running at me to grab my hair or tear my clothes off." In 1968, The Monkees starred in their first movie, Head - a bizarre psychedelic comedy written by a then unknown Jack Nicholson.

    The oddball cast included actor Victor Mature, boxer Sonny Liston and rock star Frank Zappa. It was a box-office disaster but has since become a cult classic.

    The following year, Peter Tork quit, frustrated at the producer's refusal to let the group members write their own material.

    And when Mike Nesmith walked out two years later, it was the beginning of the end for the group.

    Micky said: "Mike had very strong feelings about writing and performing our own music while it wasn't as much of an issue to me.

    "But we did all back him up when he went to the bosses with it.

    "We were extremely blessed to be working with great songwriters such as Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Neil Diamond and Paul Williams.

    "All we really wanted was to have some say in what was going on with The Monkees.

    "We had no control in what songs we sung, who recorded them or even what picture we'd use on the album cover.' "I'm extremely proud of the records we made but The Monkees were never a real pop group.

    "It was a TV show about an imaginary band that lived in this imaginary beach house in California and had these imaginary adventures.

    "When we eventually made records and went on the road to play gigs, Mike said it was like Pinocchio becoming a real little boy."

    Micky stars in Hairspray at the Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh, from December 14 to January 9. Tickets at or call 0844 847 1600.

    He will also appear in the show at His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen, on March 29-April 9.

    A Monkees believer
    By Steve Spears, Times Staff Writer
    St. Petersburg Times
    Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    It's been 30 years since the television show that made him a star went off the air, but Mickey Dolenz knows that when he takes the stage these days, there's only one thing the fans want to hear.

    The Monkees!

    Hits including I'm a Believer, Last Train to Clarksville and Pleasant Valley Sunday once were the backdrop of weekday afternoons for teens weaned on reruns of a show that aired for only two seasons in the late 1960s.

    Playing the wise-cracking drummer for the fictional, down-on-its-luck rock group gave Dolenz a rare open door into pop culture's elite circles, once even scoring him an invitation to hang out with the Beatles during the Sgt. Pepper's recording sessions.

    These days Dolenz plays on without his famous bandmates. His sister, Coco, joins him for a series at shows at Busch Garden's Stanleyville Theater today through Saturday. On Tuesday, he sat down for a quick chat about his career, his recent flirtation with country music and the chances for a Monkees reunion tour.

    Between standing in line for the Kumba and the Congo River Rapids, what can fans hear at Busch Gardens this week?

    They're going to hear all the Monkees' hits for starters, most of which I sang originally. I do them just as people remember them. Then I sprinkle the rest of the show with stories -- like Jimi Hendrix once being our opening act.

    A similar thing happened back in '86 when the Monkees played in Clearwater. You had Herman's Hermits and the Grass Roots as opening acts. None of the kids in the audience knew who they were!

    [Laughs] It's happened before! There are classic stories about Guns N' Roses opening for the Rolling Stones and everyone yelling "Get off!" Those stories go back a long, long time.

    What accounts for the enduring appeal of the Monkees?

    Foremost, it's the songs and the songwriting. I had some of the greatest songwriters of all time writing for me. People like Carole King, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka and Paul Williams. And when you start with material of that quality, the songs stand up over the years regardless of the times and the production.

    Carole King wrote Pleasant Valley Sunday. What a classic.

    I just signed a record deal to do a tribute album to Carole King called King for a Day. I'm going to sing all Carole King tunes because she wrote so many great tunes for me, including As We Go Along and The Porpoise Song for the movie Head.

    Yes, Head, the 1968 movie written by Jack Nicholson. That was a little deep for average Monkees fans.

    I still don't know what it's about — and I was in it!

    Are you comfortable with people calling you "the funny Monkee?"

    [Laughs] I don't think about labels much at all. People forget the Monkees were not a group. It was a television show about an imaginary group, and I was an actor playing the part of the wacky drummer. That's still the way I look at it. If people say "you were very funny," well, that was the point. I worked at it. I took improv classes. It wasn't just a coincidence.

    Could someone replicate the Monkees' success on TV?

    If you look at Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, there have been other instances. There have been so many attempts to develop another Monkees. But the problem is you really can't reverse engineer projects like that.

    So what was the secret?

    A lot of people miss this: On the television show, the Monkees were never successful. We were always struggling for success, and that spoke to all those kids out there who were trying to be the Beatles. It was the struggle that endeared us to kids, I think.

    You're back on TV these days, competing on CMT's reality show Gone Country. How did that happen?

    They offered the show, and I turned it down originally. I didn't like reality shows. But it's not like those mean-spirited, back-stabbing shows that I hate. I get enough of that in real life — it's called show business.

    Are you a fan of that music?

    I've never been a huge country music fan, but my lifestyle and my heritage is very close to country. The thing that really hooked me was being able to write a country tune. I thought this would be an ideal opportunity to break into this world. Who knows what will come of that.

    So you'd take a real shot at country music?

    Oh, absolutely. Maybe not even as an artist. Maybe as a writer.

    Any plans to reunite with Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith for another Monkees reunion tour?

    There are no plans, but someone's always talking about it. I've learned never to say never.

    Monkee Micky Dolenz Sojourns to Utopia
    Rock n' Roll, TV Icon Headlines Toronto Concert to Save Historic Mill
    By Winchester -
    July 15, 2008

    Monkee Micky Dolenz headlined a benefit show at the wonderful Capitol Theater recently in Toronto. This was of course the concert to save a 100-year old gristmill in Utopia, Ontario! It's the same old story of art versus commerce. The corporate establishment was attempting to undermine the environmental needs of a community by getting rid of the mill.

    We were fortunate in being able to attend the show, where Canadian-group The Spoons opened and wowed the crowd. The group, which first came to prominence in the late ‘80s, (they started the band in 1979) was no worse for wear and had the crowd in the rocking as soon as they took the stage. Members Gordon Deppe, Sandy Horne; Brett Wickens and Peter Shepherd were just sensational. They drove through their wonderful repertoire of material including, "Romantic Traffic" and "No Lies." They crowd ate it up big time. I immediate embraced the band when they first arrived on the scene, but since then they developed a nice comfortable edge to their music. Who says fine wine doesn't age well?

    As John Lennon used to call Dolenz, the "Monkee Man" put on a performance that was one of the best shows I've seen him do. Micky does a bit about Jimi Hendrix, who opened for the Monkees in 1974, Hendrix used to play something called "Purple Haze." Usually the band does just a few bars, but tonight, they did the entire song. And it was tremendous, positively honoring the artist and the song. It prompted this writer at least, to ponder whether Dolenz should do a CD of songs that resonated to him throughout the ‘60s. Interesting thought ... who knows.

    Dolenz, who many have said, has one of the best voices in rock music ever, didn't disappoint. From Monkee anthems like "Last Train To Clarksville," to "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and "I'm A Believer," he and his band, featuring the terrific guitarist Wayne Avers, were just superb.

    The audience, from tweeners to older gray hairs went wild. It was, one of the best performances I've seen him do. Special kudos to his Micky’s sister Coco, who sang on several of the Monkee hits; she was superb and really shined on Michael Nesmith's "Different Drum" which Linda Ronstadt made a hit. There's really no other artist I know of who has a firmer, saner sense of the past and a realistic take on the present and future than Dolenz — an inventor, painter, raconteur of the highest order and, magnificent performer. It was a great night. Many thanks to organizers Susan Antler and Tyrone Biljan.

    'Monkee man' wows the crowd at CVD
    By Sally Carpenter
    Moorpark Acorn

    Fans came from as far away as Lodi, Calif., to greet Monkees lead singer Micky Dolenz on May 1 at Conejo Valley Days in Thousand Oaks.

    Audience members began arriving at 5 p.m. to stake out front row seats for the 8 p.m. show. Despite Dolenz's long absence from local stages (this critic last saw him and fellow Monkee Davy Jones in a 2002 concert at California Adventure), he didn't disappoint the appreciative audience.

    As the show started, the band played "The Monkees," the TV show's theme song by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. From offstage Dolenz sang, "Here I come, walking down the street, I get the funniest looks from everyone I meet." He entered to screams and applause from an already pumped-up crowd.

    The 63-year-old musician, looking trim and fit, wore a black T-shirt with white designs, a dark jacket and pants, and a fedora that at times hid his face. On his lapel was a photo button of the late John Stewart, writer of the hit song "Daydream Believer."

    Dolenz's voice has matured over the years, adding richness and expression to his singing, which has also been strengthened by recent stints in musical theater ("Aida," "Pippin"). He played an instrument for only a few songs, freeing the animated singer to move around the stage, which made him more interesting to watch.

    His younger sister Coco (who sang backup on some Monkees records) performed backing vocals and played tambourine. During the show, Coco Dolenz sang lead on Michael Nesmith's "Different Drum" and Del Shannon's "Runaway." She's a terrific singer in her own right, with a strong and sultry voice that commands attention.

    The incredibly tight band has performed for more than a decade on Monkees reunion tours, as well as playing for Jones' and Dolenz's solo shows. The musicians are Wayne Avers, guitar; Dave Alexander, keyboards; Nashville's John Billings, bass; Aviva Maloney, woodwinds; and Sandy Gennaro, drums. Several times Avers stepped downstage to showcase a sizzing guitar solo.

    The highly polished and nonstop show had every move and joke choreographed. Dolenz opened with four Monkees songs in a row, starting with the 1986 reunion single "That Was Then, This Is Now."

    He asked, "Are there any Monkees fans out there?" Strapping on an acoustic guitar while the crowd cheered, he said, "This is the song that started it all" to introduce "Last Train to Clarksville," the group's first No. 1 single from 1966. He presented Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Good" as the song he played for his Monkees audition: "This is the song that cinched the gig."

    Dolenz described how Jimi Hendrix opened for a 1967 Monkees tour- while Hendrix played psychedelic rock, the preteen fans yelled out for Davy- before the band launched into a full-throttled version of "Purple Haze" that scorched the stage.

    The versatile Dolenz learned to play the drums for "The Monkees" TV show. He removed his jacket, put on a headset microphone and replaced Gennaro on the drums for "Mary, Mary," "Steppin' Stone" and "Runaway."

    Dolenz was back on a handheld mike to describe meeting The Beatles in London in 1967. When he was invited to attend a recording session at Abbey Road studio, he said, he dressed in "hippie regalia- paisley bellbottoms, tie-dyed underwear, beads." At the studio John Lennon remarked, "Hey, Monkee man, want to hear what we just put down?"

    Then Dolenz gave the crowd a showstopping, searing rendition of Lennon and McCartney's "Oh! Darling."

    At one point Dolenz wiped his face with a towel and pretended to throw it into the audience. Then he stepped back and said, "No way! This is going on eBay!" Later he did toss the towel, which was caught by the woman sitting in front of this critic (missed it by that much).

    Dolenz described how he heard Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's "D.W. Washburn" (a 1968 Monkees single) in the Broadway revue "Smokey Joe's Cafe."

    "Those Monkees songs get in everywhere. They're insidious." He had fun with the song about a skid row bum as he strutted across the stage.

    He said that "Daydream Believer" is usually sung by Jones, so he lowered the mike stand almost to the ground in reference to Jones' small stature. After "Pleasant Valley Sunday" he left to a standing ovation, but he returned for an encore as the audience remained standing.

    This critic has never seen any of the Monkees perform "Gimme Some Lovin'," but Dolenz blasted through it with highpowered vocals as the crowd danced and clapped.

    He closed with his signature tune, Neil Diamond's "I'm a Believer," after telling the young children, "I was doing this song long before 'Shrek.'" The band performed "For Pete's Sake," by former Monkee Peter Tork and Joseph Richards, for the playoff, featuring a drum solo by Gennaro.

    Dolenz came out front to sign autographs and pose for photos with the happy fans. His dynamite performance made believers out of this audience.

    Saluting the 1960s
    Show features plenty of those old familiar songs
    By Don Snider - Correspondent
    The SouthtownStar: Firstlook
    January 24, 2008

    They may be oldies, but they never get old to their fans.

    That is why the "Salute to the '60s" concert has been an annual favorite at Merrillville, Ind.'s Star Plaza Theatre since 2000.

    The Buckinghams have performed at Star Plaza 22 times since 1984.

    The Grass Roots have been on the Star Plaza stage 11 times since 1985.

    And Micky Dolenz has appeared twice since 1991, but an additional six times with one or two of the original Monkees.

    Obviously, these performers would not be asked back to one of the Chicago area's largest (3,400 seats) indoor venues if the audience was not there.

    "I've appeared with the Buckinghams many times all over the country," Dolenz said by phone from his home in California.

    "But we especially like the Star Plaza because their audiences love our kind of music."

    That kind of music, while 40 years old, includes the Grass Roots with lead singer Rob Grill and the group's chart-topping hits such as "Temptation Eyes," "Sooner or Later" and "I'd Wait a Million Years."

    "Salute to the '60s" also includes Chicago natives the Buckinghams, who zoomed to stardom with such tunes as "Kind of a Drag," "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and "Don't You Care"

    Dolenz and the Monkees (Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith) sold more than 65 million records worldwide and starred in one of the most popular TV shows of all time.

    They had three consecutive No. 1 singles - "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer" and "Daydream Believer."

    Will Dolenz reprise those songs for Saturday night's "Salute to the '60s" concert?

    "You better believe it," he said. "I've been a big believer in giving the fans what they come for."

    Dolenz said 1960s Monkees music never gets old with him because, even though that is what made him famous, he never let it totally define him.

    "I've had a great career doing many things," he said.

    "I've been a producer, a director and an author. I've done a children's show, and right now I'm the voice of Snuggles, the fabric softener bear. I don't feel the Monkees typecast me."

    In fact, Dolenz said, he never starting doing oldies shows until the 1990s.

    But he does recall many years ago, when he was a producer and director in England, going to an Everly Brothers reunion concert in London.

    "I wanted them to sound just like I remembered them, and they did," he said.

    "So I promised myself, if I ever did that type of concert, I would honor my 'contract' with the audience and perform what they came to hear.

    "I do all the Monkees' hits in their entirety - no medleys. I take pride in doing them as (fans) remember them.

    "These concerts are a lot of fun. -- They're like going to a birthday party where everybody is celebrating you."

    There was one thing Dolenz did not bring up because he does not want to "wave my own banner," but it is obviously a sticking point with his fans.

    The Monkees are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1967 alone, they sold more records than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined.

    Yes, the Monkees were created especially for the TV series. But there was a myth that they did not play instruments, even though Dolenz was one of the pioneers at using a Moog synthesizer.

    "The Hall of Fame is a private club. It's not a democracy," Dolenz said. "But I do appreciate the fans who think we belong and have created a Web site for us."

    After 40 years, there are still a lot of "Believers."

    Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp Continues 10th Anniversary Celebration In Hollywood
    December 11, 2007

    Following a very successful star-filled weekend in Las Vegas in November, Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp is proud to announce that the anniversary celebration will continue in Hollywood, CA on President's Day Weekend, February 15-18, 2008 with a new group of rock superstars. The Hollywood leg of Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp will feature special guests Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Cliff Williams of AC/DC and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees. Additional guests and counselors include Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Bruce Kulick (KISS), Elliot Easton (The Cars), Alan White (Yes), David Ryan Harris (John Mayer), Simon Kirke (Bad Company), Jeff Foskett (Beach Boys) and many more. The four-day event offers individuals the opportunity to live out the ultimate rock 'n' roll fantasy.

    The Hollywood camp will be held at a major rock and roll studio, and will culminate in a live concert at L.A.'s legendary House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. With each camper assigned to a band led by a rock star counselor, this unforgettable experience brings music lovers of any skill level together with professional rockers for the chance to share the limelight and the stage with some of rock's most influential legends.

    Participants will be treated like rock stars for four days when they live the rock 'n' roll lifestyle day in and day out, learning or perfecting the knowledge of an instrument, practicing and jamming with their band mates and learning the ins and outs of the music business. Highlights include playing and writing an original song, performing live on stage to a sold out audience, a souvenir DVD for each camper of their own jam at the final night, daily jam sessions with the stars, master classes in drums, bass, guitar, songwriting, etc. and much more. The camp welcomes drummers, bass players, guitarists, vocalists, horn players, keyboardists, songwriters and more. For campers who don't play an instrument, but rather learn the "biz," there are plenty of roles to be filled including stage manager, tour manager, tour assistants, etc.

    Registration is now open for the Hollywood leg of the 10th Anniversary camp at the Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp website or 1-888-762-BAND.

    For more information, visit their web site at

    Dolenz sharing holiday spirit and Monkees’ history
    By John Wirt - Music Critic - Music
    November 23, 2007

    Micky Dolenz exploded into national fame when the Beatles-inspired TV series, The Monkees, debuted in 1966. The show’s high-energy comedy, songs written by top tunesmiths of the day and the charismatic four young men who starred as a fictional band called the Monkees made it an instant hit.

    At the crest of Monkeemania, the Monkees replaced the maturing, fame-weary Beatles on the covers of American teen magazines. Although the diminutive Davy Jones won the hearts of millions of girls, it was Dolenz who sang The Monkees series’ theme and many of the group’s hit singles and album tracks.

    Dolenz, Jones and fellow Monkees Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith sold more than 65 million records. They performed for thousands of screaming fans and starred in the 1968 cult classic, Head, written by no less than Jack Nicholson.

    When Dolenz brings his Micky’s Monkees Christmas to the Manship Theatre Saturday, he’ll embrace his inescapable Monkees legacy. In addition to traditional Christmas music and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock,” Dolenz will perform such Monkees hits as “Last Train To Clarksville,” “I’m A Believer” and “Daydream Believer.”

    While Davy Jones sang the original recording of “Daydream Believer,” Dolenz doesn’t let that stop him from singing it at his solo shows.

    “I acknowledge that David sang it,” Dolenz said last week from his home in Los Angeles. “And David does the same thing in his show (when he sings material originally performed by Dolenz).”

    Dolenz also plays guitar during his performances and, depending on the venue, he may assume his Monkees role as a drummer. He’ll be joined Saturday by a six-piece band and his sister, Coco, who sang backup for Monkees recordings.

    “Our parents taught us how to sing when we were kids,” Dolenz said. “We do a couple of songs we learned when we were kids. We’ve been singing together for so long that we have an incredible, Everly Brothers kind of harmony thing going on. So she’s an integral part of the show.”

    After Monkeemania ebbed in the late ’60s, Dolenz appeared in theatrical productions on Broadway and in London and directed and produced television programs in the United States and England. Still, he knows that mention of the Monkees may always be the first line in any print or broadcast story about him.

    “The same thing happens with Paul McCartney and whoever,” Dolenz said. “I don’t mind that, because I understand how success can overshadow anything else I’ve ever done.”

    Yet there was a time when Monkeemania was a dim and distant memory. In 1977, Dolenz went to London to star in the Harry Nilsson musical, The Point. He stayed in England for 12 years, becoming a producer-director for the BBC and London Weekend Television. He also directed music videos and the Monty Python-associated film, The Box.

    But Dolenz was thrust into Monkeemania again in 1986, the 20th anniversary year of the Monkees’ TV debut. MTV rebroadcast the series; Dolenz and Tork recorded a new album; the original Monkees recordings were reissued; and Dolenz, Tork and Jones performed a reunion tour.

    The renewed attention was a shock.

    “I hadn’t sung, hadn’t heard anything about the Monkees,” Dolenz said. “And I came over here and it just exploded. We were the biggest tour that year.”

    During the 20th anniversary tour Dolenz developed a fresh appreciation for the Monkees.

    “After revisiting the music and looking at the TV shows and doing interviews, I realized that, if you go back to the genesis of it, it’s not so surprising.”

    The Monkees’ TV series and movie, Dolenz said, benefited from such behind-the-scenes talent as producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider and writers Paul Mazursky and Jack Nicholson. Monkees songs were written by Neil Diamond, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Paul Williams, Carole Bayer Sager and Neil Sedaka.

    “And then you put the four of us into the mix,” Dolenz said. “I like to think we had something do to with it. You add all of that up, all of those incredibly talented people and, well, it’s not such a surprise. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. It’s that little bit of magic that happens in show business.”

    Micky Dolenz joins the cast of Halloween
    March 5, 2007

    Writer/director Rob Zombie has announced on his Official MySpace page for his Halloween remake, that Micky Dolenz has joined the cast.

    Dolenz, who played Micky on the 1960's television series The Monkees, will play Derek Allen, owner of the gun shop where Dr. Loomis buys his gun.

    Rob Zombie's vision of this film is an entirely new take on the legend and will satisfy fans of the classic Halloween legacy while beginning a new chapter in the Michael Myers saga. This new movie will not only appeal to horror fans, but to a wider movie-going audience as well. It will not be a copycat of any prior films in the Halloween franchise.

    Halloween will be released on August 31, 2007.

    Ex-Monkee follows his muse to stage and writing
    By Julie Mollins - Reuters
    December 16, 2006

    TORONTO (Reuters Life!) - Former Monkee Micky Dolenz, who now also writes books, has a dislike of long-term plans so he relies on his muse to tell him what to do.

    "She's this five-foot-seven blond in a satin nightdress with a nine-millimeter, semi-automatic pistol and she holds it to my head and says: 'Direct this, write that, do this, do that,"' the former singer and drummer for The Monkees told Reuters in an interview.

    "It's my wife," he said laughingly. "But she doesn't really have a semi-automatic."

    It's been almost 40 years since the popular television show, "The Monkees," was canceled by NBC in 1968, but its legacy lingers in part due to some hit singles by the four-man band of the same name such as "Last Train to Clarksville" and "I'm a Believer."

    The quartet became a phenomenon and has reunited to perform concerts many times over the years. As yet, there is no plan for a fortieth anniversary bash, said 61-year-old Dolenz.

    Dolenz's muse keeps him busy. He just finished playing Charlemagne in the play "Pippin" in Toronto. He's also had two books published this year -- a children's book titled "Gakky Two-Feet" (Putnam, 2006) and a trivia game book titled "Micky Dolenz' Rock 'n Rollin' Trivia" (Square One Publishers, 2006).

    Q: What did you do after "The Monkees" was canceled?

    A: "When "The Monkees" went off the air, I had already become very interested in the production side of the business. I ended up getting a job at the BBC directing a television drama. Then I went on to do years and years of sitcoms, films, commercials and music videos. It was great. It enabled me to step back from the whole Monkee thing."

    Q: Have you been able to get away from The Monkees?

    A: "Well, I have in my own mind, but whether or not other people have ... It's sort of a very subjective opinion. I don't dwell on it. It was a long, long time ago. It was a very short period of my life; just a couple of years. It wasn't until I came back in 1986 for a reunion tour did I realize what kind of an impact it had on the cultural landscape."

    Q: What was life like when you were a Monkee?

    A: "It was just a lot of hard work essentially. It was long before the current wave of intrusive paparazzi and maniacal media feeding frenzies so home life was relatively calm. Not only were we filming the television show for 12 to 14 hours a day, but then we'd have to go in the studio and record at night. On the weekends we'd practice and rehearse for touring. There wasn't a whole lot of party time or spare time. I had a family -- I had a wife and a kid -- my spare time I spent in my shop building things."

    Q: You've had offers to be on reality television shows, why haven't you done one?

    A: "I am just not a fan of reality shows. I just can't go and participate in one when I actually don't appreciate the genre. I feel it is kind of dishonest. They just haven't sparked my interest. Who knows why, probably because I grew up in the world of drama and television and scripts and acting and stories and things like that."

    Q: What made you write a children's book about our ancestors first walking upright?

    A: "Basically, a couple of years ago there was a spate of celebrity children's books coming out and a publisher asked me if I'd be interested. I've always been fascinated with those seminal moments in human evolution -- in the case of "Gakky Two-Feet" the first time the hominids started walking on two feet."

    Q: What gave you the idea for a book of rock 'n' roll trivia games?

    A: "I am a trivia buff, not so much pop and rock 'n' roll trivia, but I love history and science trivia. I am really good at that. (Square One Publishers) approached me and said would you like to edit it and I said: "Yeah, absolutely, it sounds like fun."

    Q: What has been the high point of your career so far?

    A: "Besides The Monkees, I would say it might be the children's book. The high point of your career is not necessarily the greatest success of your career."

    Micky Dolenz uninterested in reality show pitches that inundate the ex-Monkee
    By Cassandra Szklarski, Canadian Press
    October 25, 2006

    TORONTO (CP) - Reality shows featuring aging rockers including Ozzy Osbourne and Gene Simmons have proven popular with TV viewers. But Micky Dolenz - who starred in the 1960s sitcom "The Monkees" - doesn't want any part of it.

    Dolenz, who arrived in Toronto this week to mount a stage production of "Pippin," says he's fended off several offers to get involved in such a vehicle.

    "Literally, I've been in meetings and I've been pitched at least half a dozen different shows and ideas for me to be in some reality kind of thing," Dolenz says wearily.

    "I just can't get excited about it. I don't watch them, they bore me to death."

    Ongoing fascination with his early career has been a blessing and a curse to the now 61-year-old Dolenz, who developed a directing career after "The Monkees" ended in 1968, and more recently has popped up in prominent stage musicals like Tim Rice's "Aida" and now the Tony-award winning "Pippin."

    "My identity is not necessarily something that I can control - everybody else has an identity for me, mostly of course, to do with the Monkees," says Dolenz, who plays Charlemagne in the production, which started in Toronto this week and runs until Dec. 3.

    "There's not a lot you can do about it. You can get angry and pissed off and never want to talk about it, which some people do, or you can just kind of go with the flow and deal with it."

    Dolenz and fellow Monkees bandmates Pete Tork, Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith charmed millions of fans with their kooky sitcom and ensuing musical career, spawning catchy number one hits that included "Last Train to Clarksville" and "I'm a Believer."

    After a lifetime in show business, Dolenz has developed his own set of theories on fame, likening celebrity and success to a runaway train.

    "In my case, I got off the train. In the early, mid-1970s I went to England and started directing and producing television shows. I just got off the train entirely for 15 years - never sang, never acted, didn't do anything, nothing to do with the Monkees, I was known as Michael Dolenz, the television director."

    Dolenz said the switch was a "natural kind of progression."

    "Most people thought of me as the drummer in this rock 'n' roll group, but I had started directing and I kind of did want to go that direction."

    These days, Dolenz runs a film production company in Los Angeles, where he has two or three films in development.

    He also recently came out with a children's book, "Gakky Two-Feet," about a fuzzy little guy named Gak who stands apart from the tribe for walking on two feet instead of all fours.

    Dolenz says he'd like to one day return to television, but only for a "good series."

    In the meantime, the busy actor/singer/dancer/director says he has more than he needs to keep him occupied. He says his muse - who he's personified as a persuasive task master he's compelled to obey - steers his passions toward new projects on a regular basis.

    "She's five-foot-10, blond, she has on a velvet night gown and she carries a semi-automatic weapon and she says: Write! Or act! Direct this! That's kind of how it is with me."

    Monkee business
    Dolenz puts past behind him with new challenges on the stage
    By Bill Harris - Other Showbiz -
    October 24, 2006

    TORONTO -- Ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz feels sorry for today's young stars and what they go through with crazed fans and the paparazzi.

    "Oh my God, what a difference with what I would call the brutality and cruelty," said Dolenz, who is co-starring in Pippin, which hits the stage at the Royal Alexandra Theatre today and runs until Dec. 3.

    "I mean, we had our notoriety with The Monkees. I was followed around a few times and people would knock on the door of my house. I had my -- well, today you would call them stalkers -- but back then they were just groupies and fans. Now, man, I feel sorry for celebrities. It's just relentless."

    The 61-year-old Dolenz appreciates being allowed to slip into character for a stage show and not instantly be recognized as the drummer for the Monkees, who were a TV phenomenon and a surprisingly potent musical force in the '60s with hits such as Last Train To Clarksville and I'm A Believer.


    "I'm looking forward to coming back, because I had such a great time the last time I was in Toronto, when I was doing Aida (in 2003),"Dolenz said. "I must say, doing things like the thing I did in Aida -- Zoser, the villain -- and now doing Charlemagne in Pippin, it's a wonderful opportunity to stretch a little bit."

    Opportunities to stretch are not as readily available in film or TV, according to Dolenz.

    "I don't know why that is, exactly," he said. "The only thing that occurred to me is you're so far from the audience in theatre, and you have makeup on, so no one knows it's you.

    "Some people who have seen Pippin have come up after the show and said, 'I had no idea that was you -- I heard your voice and it sounded familiar, and then I Iooked in the program.' "

    Post-Monkees, Dolenz has been part of many theatre shows, as a writer and director as well as a performer.

    "Theatre provides such a little adrenaline kick," he said. "You do get hooked on that.

    "And with Pippin, the scenes are very contemporary but it's a wonderful classic story about this young boy coming of age. There's almost a Cirque du Soleil feeling to this production. And in case you're wondering, I'm the one with the beard."

    Dolenz is proud of his Monkees legacy, but through the years he has worked hard at establishing a balance between appreciating the past and embracing the present.

    "I liken it to, you try to get this train rolling as a metaphor for your career," Dolenz said. "You spend an enormous amount of energy and time getting it rolling in the direction you want, and then one day the train leaves without you.

    "Then you have three choices. You can jump in front of the train and try to stop it. Those are the people who say, 'I'll never sing those songs again.'

    "Then there are others who try to nudge the train sideways. Madonna has reinvented herself that way many times, so I have a lot of admiration for her.

    "And finally there are those -- and I guess this is what I did -- I just got off the train. So 20 years later, when the train came around again for a Monkees reunion, I got back on and was happy to do it, because I hadn't spent all those years getting bitter."

    ‘Pippin’ is latest project for former ‘Monkees’ star Micky Dolenz
    By Christopher Yasiejko
    delawareonline: The News Journal
    October 9, 2006

    A few years ago, when Micky Dolenz was touring with the Tim Rice and Elton John musical, “Aida,” he felt compelled to practice a bit of math.

    “I was sitting in my dressing room one day, just bored,” says Dolenz, who played the role of the villain Zoser. “I was adding up performances, and it turns out I was in ‘Aida’ longer than I was on ‘The Monkees.’ ”

    The role of Zoser, along with most everything else Dolenz has done or will do in entertainment, didn’t surpass the popularity he enjoyed while playing the part of the drummer in the television show “The Monkees” (1966-68). And although the 61-year-old doesn’t decry the attention that the show and band it produced continues to deliver, he long ago moved on to other things.

    His latest role, as Charlemagne in “Pippin,” brings him to the DuPont Theatre starting Tuesday. The revival of Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 musical comedy, which ran on Broadway for 1,944 performances, is produced by Goodspeed Musicals, based in East Haddam, Conn., and stars Joshua Park (“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”) as Pippin, and André Ward (“Saturday Night Fever”) as the Leading Player.

    Dolenz, who resides in Los Angeles, has spent a lot of time recently on the East Coast. In addition to “Aida,” he has toured with “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “Grease.”

    He has, however, spent most of his career directing and producing for television and film – he also wrote and directed “Bugsy Malone” for the stage in London – and says he has two or three projects in development.

    But musical theater, he says, has much in common with the TV show that brought him fame. The audition process for a musical, for instance, brings Dolenz into a large dance rehearsal room, and with sheet music in hand and a pianist nearby, he sings before 12 to 15 people.

    “And you’re as close to performing,” he says, “as you can get at 2 in the afternoon.”

    Dolenz auditioned on guitar for “The Monkees,” playing Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” Most television and film auditions, he says, have him “sitting across a desk from someone reading lines.”

    Forget the bananas; this former Monkee prefers ribs
    By Steve Austin
    The Clarion-Ledger
    August 16, 2006

    You know the No. 1 hits: I'm a Believer, Last Train to Clarksville and Daydream Believer. September marks the 40th anniversary of the debut of the hit TV show, The Monkees, on NBC, and an instant rise to worldwide fame for Micky Dolenz.

    Along with Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, Dolenz simply answered an ad to audition for a new show about a rock band. By 1966, Dolenz was already an accomplished actor with numerous TV credits on his resume. He had been known before as child actor Micky Braddock on the popular TV show Circus Boy in the late '50s.

    However, The Monkees gave Dolenz the platform from which to project his naturally playful and fun-loving personality and instantly-recognizable singing voice.

    After the group broke up in the early '70s, Dolenz moved to England where he first discovered the joys of performing in musical theatre, and then became a very successful director/producer on various television programs for the BBC. He is also an accomplished author, with two new items hitting the shelves: Micky Dolenz' Rock 'n' Rollin' Trivia (Square One Publishers) and a wonderful children's book called Gakky Two-Feet (Putnam). Also, look for him starring as King Charlemagne in the national touring company of the classic Broadway musical, Pippin, starting in September.

    For more information:

    Q: A food-related tale from the days of touring with The Monkees:

    A: When we were on tour in 1967, Davy and I ordered room service at some hotel in the Midwest. We couldn't get out of our rooms because the fans were everywhere. When the meal arrived we opened the door and the room service waitress came in. We thought she looked a bit young to be an employee. It turned out she had bribed the real server to change clothes and deliver the meal. When she saw Davy she burst out crying and spilled all the food on the floor.

    Q: So, with a new children's book, what foods that we normally associate with kids do you enjoy?

    A: I love baked beans, hot dogs and sauerkraut. I also love Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. But my favorite thing of all is chili and beans for breakfast! I have never been fond of dairy products, and never liked milk at all. So in an attempt to get me to eat cereal my parents had me try orange juice on my flakes. I still eat cereal that way to this day.

    Q: A meal or food you daydream about?

    A: I am crazy for ribs. I eat them anytime I can. My wife got me a smoker for my birthday last year and I am obsessed with making the perfect slab of babybacks.

    Q: Tell us about some of the celebs that came into your dad's Hollywood restaurant.

    A: The Marquis restaurant on the Sunset Strip was one of the coolest hangouts in Los Angeles in the late '50s and early '60s. As a kid, I remember seeing people like Frank Sinatra, Glen Ford, Louella Parsons, George Chakiris and Marilyn Monroe having dinner.


    Dolenz says, "This is the exact recipe my dad made for everyone at his restaurant. Back in those days I think the top price for it was around $3.50!"

    18 large shrimp

    Olive oil

    1 tablespoon shallots, minced

    1 clove garlic, minced

    4 ounces butter

    2 ounces dry white wine

    2 ounces sherry

    4 ounces brown gravy

    4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

    1 teaspoon oregano

    1 pinch of cayenne pepper or drop of Tabasco

    Wash and butterfly the shrimp, and do not remove the tails. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil and place under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes. Don’t let them burn. Cook the shallots and garlic in butter until they begin to brown, then add the wine and sherry. Reduce heat. Add gravy, Worcestershire sauce and oregano. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add cayenne or Tabasco. Combine cornstarch with water and add a bit at a time, stirring quickly to avoid lumps. Arrange shrimp on plate and pour mixture over them.

    Comment: Love the picture of Micky below! :)

    Micky Dolenz, erstwhile Monkee, hangs with the snow monkeys at the Central Park Zoo. - Photo: Elizabeth Lippman

    By Barbara Hoffman
    New York Post Online Edition: Entertainment
    May 20, 2006

    May 20, 2006 -- LEAVE it to a Monkee to write about ... evolution? Micky Dolenz - former drummer (and wiseguy) of the '60s sitcom's prefab four - enters the kids' book arena this month with "Gakky Two-Feet," a lighthearted look at the first biped.

    Gakky, a sweet-tempered hominid, gets grief for his prehistoric predilection for walking on two feet when everyone else is gettting around on four. Only when a lion chases him does his tribe realize that bipedalism pays off.

    Darwin would have been proud.

    "I've always wondered what it was like for the first hominid," Dolenz says.

    At Central Park the other day, dressed like a Raider of the Lost Ark, the 61-year-old singer tossed off phrases like "seminal moments in anthropology" and took pains to explain the difference between monkeys, Monkees and apes.

    He says a publisher approached him years ago about doing a children's book - one built around one of the Monkees' hit songs - "but somehow, I couldn't come up with an interesting story about a train to Clarksville." (All together now: "Take the last train to Clarksville/And I'll meet you at the station/You can be here by 4:30/'cause I paid your reservation, don't be slow...")

    Instead, Dolenz decided to write about Early Man. Growing up in California, not far from the La Brea Tar Pits, he'd become fascinated by anthropology.

    He'd also read his fair share of Kipling's "Just So" stories and, for good measure, worked with animals on the '50s TV show "Circus Boy" - where he got in trouble for handing an elephant his candy bar ("At least take the wrapper off first!" the animal trainer yelled.)

    "To the average person, there's little or no difference between monkeys and apes," Dolenz says, "but if you studied the DNA, there's only 2 or 3 percent difference between humans and chimpanzees."

    As far as monkeys and Monkees go, he says, there was no connection between the simians and the pop stars.

    "Back then, groups just took the name of an animal and spelled it different," he says. "You never saw the Byrds with birds, or Beatles with roaches, or the Turtles with actual turtles. I guess it was kind of a fad back then."

    Micky's Gakky Two-Feet (Hardcover) - Reading level: Ages 4-8 Gakky Two-Feet: Books - This title will be released on May 18, 2006.

  • NTN Buzztime, Inc. :: Square One Publishers and NTN Buzztime Join Forces to Launch the Buzztime(R) Trivia Book Series - More info at web site

    Buzztime's First Three Trivia Books - Joe Franklin's Great Entertainment Trivia, Rick Barry's Super Sports Trivia and Micky Dolenz' Rock 'n Rollin' Trivia - are Now Available for Purchase From Major Book Resellers:

    The first three books in the series cover sports (Rick Barry's Super Sports Trivia), show-business (Joe Franklin's Great Entertainment Trivia) and pop music (Micky Dolenz' Rock 'n Rollin' Trivia). Each work is designed as a play along book where readers choose from multiple choice answers and turn to another page to find the correct answer and fun facts about the question.

    FOX News
    By Roger Friedman
    January 5, 2006

    Former Monkee and Broadway star Micky Dolenz is going to the Sundance Film Festival, but not as a performer. He’s trying his hand at film production. Dolenz has joined forces with movie producer Stuart Gross to launch Independent Entertainment. Gross founded Harmony Pictures where he worked with directors Haskell Wexler, Vilmos Zigmond and Chris Menges ...

    Nilsson documentary due early next year
    By Katie Hasty
    December 16, 2005

    NEW YORK (Billboard) - A documentary focusing on the life and career of late singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson will be released next year.

    "Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)" features interviews with Yoko Ono, Randy Newman, Micky Dolenz, Eric Idle, the Smothers Brothers, Brian Wilson and Robin Williams, as well as home videos, portions of Nilsson's recently discovered oral autobiography, and more than 60 songs.

    Set to premiere at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on February 4, the film is directed by John Scheinfeld. His LSL Prods banner is in post-production on the documentary "U.S. vs. John Lennon," also due in 2006. Details regarding domestic distribution for "Nilsson" have yet to be nailed down.

    Nilsson is perhaps best known for his 1969 hit "Everybody's Talkin'," which served as the theme song for the film "Midnight Cowboy." He also wrote Three Dog Night's classic "One" and scored a No. 1 pop hit in 1971 with "Without You," written by Badfinger's Pete Ham and Tom Evans.

    But after years of hard partying in Los Angeles (including a famous incident when he and John Lennon were ejected from a club for heckling the Smothers Brothers), Nilsson damaged his voice and was never subsequently able to match his earlier achievements. He died of a heart attack in 1994, aged 52.

    Buzztime Entertainment and Square One Publishers Join Forces to Kick Off a Brand-New Series of Celebrity-Driven Trivia Books

    GARDEN CITY PARK, N.Y., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Square One Publishers announced today a deal with Buzztime Entertainment, Inc., a subsidiary of NTN Communications, Inc. (Amex: NTN), to produce and promote a new series of mass-market format trivia books to be called Buzztime(R) Trivia Book Series. Square One will license Buzztime's content and brand for the book series.

    According to Square One president Rudy Shur, "This is an exciting new series that will incorporate celebrities, a unique book format, and fun-to-play trivia questions into a group of game books that can all be played by one or more players."

    Over the next six months, Square One Publishers will publish the first three titles in the book series under the Buzztime Trivia Book Series banner:

    * Joe Franklin's Great Entertainment Trivia Game
    * Rick Barry's Super Sports Trivia Game
    * Micky Dolenz' Rock 'n Rollin' Trivia Game

    This past March, Square One Publishers was named the fastest-growing small publisher in the United States -- a position in the publishing industry that has as much to do with the company's ability to uncover a large number of special sales opportunities as it does with publisher Shur's knack at making the right books at the right time for the right markets.

    Alongside Square One's aggressive marketing and promotional efforts inside and outside the book trade, Buzztime will promote this new book series on its own website,; through the interactive NTN iTV Network programs that are televised in over 3,800 restaurants and sports bars throughout North America; and to its cable television and mobile phone players.

    Tyrone Lam, president of Buzztime Entertainment, is pleased to be working with Square One Publishers on this new venture. "Our mission is to introduce our branded content into as many viable markets as possible. Square One Publishers shares that same philosophy and we look forward to adding books to our ever-growing list of Buzztime Trivia outlets."

    If you would like more information about this new book series, please contact Anthony Pomes either by phone (516-535-2010 x 105) or email (

    village Last Train To Clarksville
    June 13, 2005

    I hear pop culture critic TOURE is out at CNN, though he always manages to land in his key light. And of course oldies radio is out, according to WCBS-FM, which just chain-chain-chainsawed that format right out of there, heartlessly axing DJs like MICKY DOLENZ. But the ex-Monkee isn't going the tiniest bit apeshit over it. In fact, he's taking the high road—dammit—and in a phoner last week, he refused to do a RUSSELL CROWE, and not just because he got an outside line. "I'm fine," Dolenz assured me. "I worked with a lot of wonderful people. I knew nothing about the industry and I don't know any more to this day about the business of that industry, but I did pick up a little watercooler talk while I was there. Given what I heard and what I know about the state of terrestrial radio, I wasn't surprised by their decision."

    See, radio's changed its face due to satellite, iPods, and other technology that basically makes everyone his own DJ. In the wake of this development, Micky has just auditioned for a Broadway show and he might also develop and produce a reality show for the U.K., among other kooky projects. The memory of TV series stardom is not all delicious for him—"Getting up at 6:30 a.m. and trying to be funny on a set with nine electricians has its own set of problems"—but he's totally open to that medium too. The friggin' high road again!

    Photo by Aubrey Reuben
    See article below

  • Playbill News: PHOTO CALL: Broadway's Best Cuddle Up to Those Cute Bears at Yearly Charity Event

  • Monkee Micky Dolenz at Mohegan Sun tonight
    By Keith J. O' Connor - Staff writer
    February 25, 2005

    Hey, hey, he's a Monkee - one-fourth of them at least.

    Micky Dolenz, who sang lead and played drums for The Monkees will perform in the casino's free Wolf Den . The last time the famed television star, musician, Broadway performer and director played Mohegan Sun was in 2001 when he toured with fellow Monkees Davy Jones and Peter Tork. And it wasn't free.

    "I'll be playing all of the Monkees' hits," Dolenz said.

    Today, Dolenz is using his voice for more than just singing. He's got a new weekday gig in front of a microphone, but in a broadcasting studio, not a recording studio. Dolenz made his debut Jan. 10 on WCBS-FM in New York where he is host of the 6-10 morning show.

    Dolenz said working in radio didn't come "totally out of the blue" and he considers himself something of a "techno geek."

    "When I was 12 years old, I soldered together a Heathkit radio transmitter in my garage and broadcast a weather report to my mother in the kitchen," Dolenz said. "Ever since then, I have fantasized about having my own radio show."

    "I've done a lot of radio in my life, co-hosting and even sitting in and playing DJ a couple of times, but this is a hell of a challenge to do as a craft rather than coming in and goofing around," he said.

    While the format of WCBS Radio is the "greatest hits of all times," Dolenz said he was hired not solely as a DJ but as "a personality," someone who has experienced another life and can talk about things going on today."

    "What I've tried to do is put together a little lifestyle-type of show where in addition to talking about the songs being played, I talk about what's going on today in television, films, Broadway and other topics like health and fitness," Dolenz said.

    And, yes, he does play Monkees tunes on his radio show along with the hits of the'60s and'70s.

    But, there are guests, too.

    For fans who think there is some disharmony between Dolenz and former bandmate Tork after the latter left their "reunion" tour in 2001, leaving Dolenz to tour as a duo with Jones, think again.

    Tork called in to chat on-air with his buddy the first day of Dolenz' new radio show. And Dolenz recently rang up Ringo Starr, with whom he became friendly during his days as a Monkee, for some on-air conversation.

    Born in Los Angeles in 1945, Dolenz established himself as an actor at age 10 when he starred in "Circus Boy" on television. But he is best known for his role as a member of The Monkees and star of the series of the same name about a rock'n' roll band from 1966-68. Between 1966 and 1970, The Monkees released nine albums plus a greatest-hits compilation. During the off-season from taping, they toured the county to sold-out shows.

    After the television show, Dolenz continued his acting career and also did voice-over work for some animated series.

    In1977, he flew to London to star in Harry Nilsson's West End musical, "The Point." He remained in England for 12 years where he honed his skills behind the camera, becoming a prominent producer-director for the BBC and London Weekend Television.

    When Dolenz returned to the United States, he continued his directing career with projects for the Disney Channel and Harmony Pictures, among others.

    From 1990-1992, Dolenz toured as a solo artist and also released his first children's album, "Micky Dolenz Puts You To Sleep," a collection of'60s pop tunes arranged as lullabies. A second collection, "Broadway Micky," was released in 1994.

    Dolenz most recently starred in Broadway's "Aida" as the villainous Zoser. He had previously played the role in the touring version of the musical.

    Dolenz said his appearance at Mohegan Sun isn't part of a new solo tour but his contract with the radio station allows him to work on other projects. "Solo shows are no problem and they're encouraging me," Dolenz said about the station's management.

    While Dolenz said he will be singing all of the Monkees' hits "in their entirety," when planning the solo show - which includes a 10-piece band - it evolved into "something more."

    "It's a little bit of a trip through my life. When I'm not singing the big Monkees' hits, instead of just covering other popular tunes, I'll be doing songs that mean something to me," Dolenz said.

    "My dad and mom were actors and singers and my mom taught my sister, Coco, and I how to sing. For example, I'll be singing 'Since I Fell for You' by Lenny Welch, which is the first song my mom sang to me." He said his sister will be performing with him at tonight 's show.

    He'll also be singing "Johnny B. Goode" and "Too Much Monkey Business" by Chuck Berry.

    "They were my audition pieces for The Monkees," Dolenz said.

    A sked if one particular story or time stood out in his career as a Monkee, Dolenz said it was all "just one major memory."

    "The whole Monkees thing lasted a very short period of time and it was very intense with a lot of work for those two to three years," Dolenz said.

    Now that he has had time to sit back and objectively look at the Monkee years, Dolenz said he isn't surprised by the longevity of the show's popularity, continued fan interest and the resulting reunion tours and album reissues.

    "It doesn't surprise me when you think of the pedigree of people the producers put together, and it wasn't necessarily intentional, but a lot of it was just good luck from the creator of the show, Bob Rafelson, to Paul Mazurksy, who wrote the pilot, to the songwriters like Neil Diamond and Carole King, who wrote songs for us," Dolenz said.

    Micky is no longer with WCBS, but this was a good article, so I kept it on the page.

    An Ex-Monkee and 'Major Geek' Takes the Mike
    By Robin Finn
    The New York Times
    Published: January 4, 2005

    The official inauguration of Micky Dolenz in his new day job as the morning-drive radio host at WCBS-FM (101.1), where golden oldies are sacrosanct and the acquisition of a genuine Monkee to spin them is heralded as a seriously appropriate coup, does not happen until Jan. 10. But Mr. Dolenz, still peppy and more pug-faced than ever, alas no longer mop-topped at 59, is already making himself at home at the imposing control panel inside Studio B, pushing buttons with impunity.

    "I'm a major geek," he says, playing down his technological prowess. He built his first ham radio in his backyard garage at age 12, and used it to broadcast the weather, and traffic conditions, to his mother in the kitchen. He has coveted his own radio show, and a bigger audience, ever since. His favorite gag from "The Monkees," the 60's television hit in which he played a drummer in a Beatles-like band, is the one in which the madcap musicians commandeer a local radio station, truss up the D.J.'s, and take over the programming. Radio bedlam ensues.

    Come to think of it, he's about to reprise that virtual gag with this reality gig. And, yes, some Monkees classics (he considers "Pleasant Valley Sunday" the epitome of that crop) will grace the playlist alongside big guns like the Beatles. He has to play the Monkees stuff, he says, shrugging. And not, hey, hey, for vanity's sake.

    The Monkees, a made-for-TV band cast on looks, musicality, and improvisational ability, actually morphed into a touring band that released nine albums between 1966 and 1970, embarked on a sold-out reunion tour in 1986, and celebrated their 30th anniversary with a "Just Us" world tour in 1996. "The Monkees phenom," he says, "was a bit like Pinocchio turning into a real boy."

    Not that Mr. Dolenz merged his identity with that of Micky-the-Monkee. Unlike a few of his band mates, he saw it as an acting job only, and was reluctant to let the impersonation go further: "For us to think we really were Monkees is like Leonard Nimoy really becoming a Vulcan."

    But as Micky Dolenz, radio host, he is playing his hyperactive self, and quite content to be out of camera range. "I'm here to corrupt the minds of millions, play some oldies, and give them the weather," announces Mr. Dolenz, a thrice-married father of four with a house in Los Angeles and an Upper East Side apartment. He has big plans for this third act of a career that meshes television, Broadway (he was the villain, Zoser, in "Aida," his favorite role), pop music, and over a decade in London as Michael Dolenz, a director and producer for the BBC and Granada Television. Call that his incognito period.

    "I never really had that passion to be watched," he says. But listened to? Definitely yes.

    "The people who really know me well, when I told them I was taking this radio job, all said, 'What took you so long?' This is not a disc jockey position. This is a personality position. In my own mind, I'm thinking of it as an arts and culture and current affairs and lifestyle program. The only thing old about the show is the music," he says, popping cough drops like bonbons and effortlessly, if hoarsely, waxing nostalgic about -who else? - himself.

    There's no shortage of material. California-born, Mr. Dolenz not only has dabbled in one form or another of show business since he made his acting debut at age 6, but he also wields a photographic memory that makes dredging up details a Technicolor snap. Self-mimicry comes easy. So did acting, the family business. "I was born into it, but never charmed by it," he says.

    He recalls his father, George, bringing him along to a Howard Hawks set as a toddler. He was 10 when, under the screen name Mickey Braddock, he starred in "Circus Boy," a television show that mandated a platinum blond dye job and a close personal rapport with an elephant named Bimbo. He fed the beast candy bars and peanuts in exchange for the privilege of riding it and received an early dose of Hollywood humility when the cast went on the road. "I was the opening act for the elephant," he says with the requisite self-deprecation.

    A television star from ages 10 to 12, he was a candidate for has-been syndrome when "Circus Boy" went off the air. His parents took him to a child psychologist who recommended they take him out of show business. They did, and he decided to study architecture and use acting as a backup. Guest shots on "Mr. Novak" and "Peyton Place" sufficed. He was two years into college - and playing rhythm guitar in a cover band called Micky and the One Nighters - when he auditioned for the "Monkees" pilot and got the part. And became a drummer.

    "I knew the value of a TV series," he says. "I took a week off from school to shoot the pilot." He also took drum lessons and caught on fast: "It wasn't brain surgery."

    The pilot didn't sell immediately: too hirsute. "NBC was scared to put anything on the air that showed four young guys with long hair as masters of their own destiny. Back then long hair was a symbol of the counter-culture. 'The Monkees' did for long hair what Will Smith did for rap: homogenized and legitimized it."

    John Lennon, a pal of Mr. Dolenz's, said he liked watching "The Monkees" because it reminded him of the Marx Brothers. A higher compliment, Mr. Dolenz says, was never paid.

    From: Anthony - Micky Autobiography

    Micky Dolenz's autobiography, I'm a Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music, and Madness, is being updated for a re-issue in July 2004! It will be printed by the Cooper Square Press as a 232-page paperback and will most likely include information on what Micky has been doing for the past decade (since the first edition of the book came out in 1993). Stay tuned for more info. Pre-order this book at:

    Note: Two listings for the book at

  • Books: I'm a Believer, Updated Edition : My Life of Monkees, Music, and Madness

  • Books: I'm a Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music, and Madness

    Mickey Dolenz, former drummer for the Monkees, joins co-stars Michelle T. Williams, Will Chase and Lisa Brescia in the Broadway version of "Aida," the award-winning musical with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice. Dolenz plays the father of Radames, a soldier in the middle of a love triangle. (AP)

    Micky Dolenz Joins Broadway's 'Aida'
    By Mark Kennedy
    Associated Press
    January 8, 2004

    NEW YORK - Micky Dolenz studied architecture in college and was fully prepared for a life planning buildings - not rock 'n' roll immortality - even though he was auditioning for television shows between classes.

    "I figured if architecture didn't work out, I could fall back on show biz," he says with a laugh. "That was Plan B: acting and singing."

    Plan A, though, quickly faded when he nailed an audition in 1966 to join "The Monkees," a TV comedy based on the antics of a rock group modeled after the Beatles. Dolenz could see the blueprints on the wall.

    "I'm not a fool. I knew the power and possibility of a series on television," he says. "And the train just took off."

    It would be the "Last Train to Clarksville."

    Still, but there's more than a little architecture in his latest project: The role of the scheming Prime Minister Zoser in "Aida," Disney's cartoony take on the Verdi opera.

    Zoser, after all, has a thing for building pyramids.

    "Yeah," Dolenz says after considering the matter. "I guess in the end I've managed to combine both those dreams."

    Dolenz, 58, joins co-stars Michelle T. Williams of Destiny's Child, Will Chase and Lisa Brescia in the Broadway version of "Aida," the Tony-winning musical with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice.

    The rock-musical tells the story of a love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess forced into slavery; Amneris, an Egyptian princess; and Radames, the soldier they both love.

    Dolenz, who has been with a touring version of the show for six months, plays Radames' father, contributing songs like "Another Pyramid" and "Like Father Like Son."

    "It's been an incredible opportunity for me to do something that is so - I mean, God love The Monkees - different," Dolenz says. "There is nothing like getting out there on a legitimate stage and having to really pull it off."

    Dolenz, who as a boy starred in the TV show "Circus Boy," is no stranger to the musical stage, having previously toured with companies of "Grease," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "The Point" and "Tom Sawyer." He also wrote the book for, and directed, "Bugsy Malone" for the London stage.

    Yet even some of his friends didn't know he had the musical chops for "Aida."

    "No one does," he replies cheerily. "And to some degree I didn't know. There wasn't anything that I did in my life professionally that demanded that kind of singing."

    Paul J. Smith, the show's production stage manager who previously worked with Dolenz in "Grease," says the performer has a voice as powerful as his ego is small.

    "There's no question he wants to be part of the company. He doesn't want to be Micky Dolenz in 'Aida.' He wants to be right in the character," Smith says. "He is not at all a diva."

    Looking back, Dolenz sees a connection between his current work and the one that forever will be linked with his name - The Monkees, whose albums and TV show were chart toppers in the late 1960s.

    "The Monkees, in a way, was a musical on television," he says. "Like a Broadway show, you can't fake it on stage - you actually have to sing and you actually have to play."

    Well, not at the beginning. The Monkees - or Prefab Four, as they were called - were the brainchild of Columbia Pictures producers who were inspired to create a television show after the success of the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night."

    Open auditions were held and four strangers were cast: Dolenz, who performed "Johnny B. Goode" on guitar for the casting directors, as well as Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones. Dolenz was cast as a drummer without ever having hit the skins.

    At first, the band's songs - like "I'm a Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville" - were written by the likes of Neil Diamond and Carole King, while other musicians played the instruments.

    Americans loved watching the quartet's zany antics each week, whether it was secretly baby-sitting a horse in a house or unwittingly becoming foreign agents in order to recover microfilm hidden in maracas. But by 1967, the band had enough of the make-believe and began insisting on playing and singing their own songs. Dolenz had become proficient on the drums and the four began a heated behind-the-scenes battle with producers and NBC.

    "It wasn't that we didn't want to play or couldn't play. They would not allow us to play - literally," Dolenz says. "Our side was saying it was more important that it was legitimate, even if it's not as good. That ultimately is what happened."

    The Monkees won, and what had been fake gave way to fact. The band went on tour - Jimi Hendrix was the opening act - and supplied the soundtrack to the 1968 psychedelic movie "Head," co-written by Jack Nicholson.

    "The Monkees really becoming a band was like the equivalent of Leonard Nimoy really becoming a Vulcan," Dolenz says. "It was that weird. Mike used to say it was like Pinocchio really becoming a little boy. We transcended the imaginary and became this supergroup."

    Not everyone was happy, particularly those critics who felt cheated when word spread that the four young men had not initially been the musical talents behind the songs.

    "I was disturbed and hurt and bothered - and have been over the years at different times - because of the unjustified animosity directed at me personally. Like it was my fault! Like I conspired or contrived or it was all part of this manipulation to deceive," Dolenz says.

    He would like to point out that he was only in his early 20s at the time.

    Dolenz also thinks it's high time The Monkees were given their due for what they did for popular culture besides goofing around: namely, sanitizing the counterculture for the mainstream.

    "I equate it to Will Smith bringing rap into American living rooms with `The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.' That was very similar. Before that, the only time you'd see people with long hair on television they were getting arrested or at protests or smoking dope at love-ins. And then all of a sudden The Monkees come along with long hair representing, in a way, all those millions of kids out there who were good kids."

    After The Monkees dissolved, Dolenz found it difficult to get work again. He narrowly missed landing the role of The Fonz on "Happy Days," a part that would later make Henry Winkler famous.

    "I remember going to some audition for an acting part and someone said, `What are you doing here? We don't need any drummer!'" - proof perhaps that his long search for legitimacy as a Monkee had come full circle.

    Dolenz went to England and began a career directing TV shows and commercials. The British newspapers began referring to him not as Micky Dolenz, the ex-Monkee, but as Michael Dolenz, director and producer for the BBC.

    He no longer fights the incessant questions about The Monkees and has embraced his fame. Members of the band periodically reunite for concerts and Dolenz is happy to play the old songs.

    "I have no regrets," he says. "I love `The Monkees.' I'm very proud of the work I did on that show, like I'm proud of the work I did on `Circus Boy.' The Monkee train is gonna go on, with or without me, forever. Long after I'm gone they're going to be playing those songs and showing those shows."


  • Disney On Broadway

    From Anthony: Micky On "Ben Stiller Show" DVD Set

  • DVD: The Ben Stiller Show

    The new "Ben Stiller Show" DVD set includes a guest spot by Micky Dolenz in part two of the "Grungies" sketch. Micky's role as Josh Goldsilver appears on disc 1, episode 7 of the set. (Thanks Jim)

    Dolenz of Monkees to Perform in 'Aida'
    Associated Press
    November 12, 2003

    NEW YORK - From "The Monkees" to Broadway's "Aida."

    Micky Dolenz, who played drums in the 1960s television pop group, joins the long-running Disney musical January 6, 2004 as Zoser, the villainous father of the show's young hero. The 58-year-old Dolenz has played the role in the musical's national tour.

    "Aida" undergoes a major cast change next Tuesday when Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child takes over the title role from Toni Braxton. Williams will star in the musical through Jan. 25. Will Chase plays Egyptian captain Radames and Lisa Brescia is Amneris, an Egyptian princess and Aida's rival.

    "Aida," which has a score by Elton John and Tim Rice, opened at the Palace Theatre in March 2000.



  • Micky

  • Michelle Williams Online

    Micky Dolenz as Zoser
    Orange County Weekly: Theatre