This weekend, Peter and Micky appeared at Wizard World Comic Con in St. Louis, Missouri to sign autographs and meet fans. The event also included a Q & A session:
Lots to check out in this cool screenshot taken from "The Monkees on Tour" episode, including the large screen that projected images of The Monkees during their performance, along with several of the group's Gretsch brand instruments: Micky's champagne sparkle drum kit, Peter's burgundy bass, and Davy's customized bass!
Micky Dolenz, in an interview for Harold Bronson's Hey, Hey, We're The Monkees book, remembered The Monkees' earliest live performances and the hysteria that greeted The Monkees in concert. "We would burst out of these big, mock Vox speakers onto the stage and the place would go bananas," Dolenz said. We had one of the first multimedia presentations; we projected this film up behind us on a big movie screen." The screams coming from the audience, however, often hindered the band as they could barely hear themselves play. "I get up behind the drums and I couldn't hear any count so Mike would turn and he would look at me and I'd look at him and we'd all look at each other because you couldn't hear or see a thing," he recalled. "We had a lot of good times," Nesmith told Bronson.
Watch "The Fairy Tale" below, featuring Michael Nesmith's commentary:
And here's the episode with Peter Tork's commentary. This is Peter's favorite episode of The Monkees, and he raves about Michael's performance in it:
While you won’t hear Tork and Dolenz...singing their hits, Wizard World offers you the chance to enjoy the Monkees in their natural habitat, entertaining an audience. According to the event’s website, www.wizardworld.com, “A Conversation with Micky Dolenz & Peter Tork of the Monkees” will take place March 19 at 11:30 a.m.
Peter Tork on his fellow Monkees:
“Well, I’ve never been really close with Michael [Nesmith] for some reason. You know, I have a lot of respect for him and admiration. But somehow we’ve never integrated. We’ve never been warm with each other. We worked together and did pretty well at it really. But Micky on the other hand, I enjoy hugely. We have some very good times together. We laugh a lot. We pay attention to what each other is doing on stage and so there’s communication there. Micky’s always been a lot of fun.” Tork then shares a warm sentiment on his late friend, Davy Jones, who passed away at age 66 back in 2012. “Who I miss is Davy of course. Davy is the guy who…I’ve always said I loved, liked and respected [the band members] in different proportions but Davy actually kinda got my heart.”
Micky and Peter talk about their friendship with The Beatles, and Ringo Starr in particular:
Both Monkees seem to agree on their favorite Beatle: “I would say by far the person I spent the most time with probably would have been Ringo,” Dolenz shares. “He moved out to L.A. and spent a lot of time there in the 70’s and we had a lot of mutual friends like Harry Nilsson, the singer/songwriter. I also spent time with John and Paul.” Tork is quick to share on his affection for good old Ringo: “He is my favorite Beatle. It truly was Ringo that I found to be the most open and human.”
One of several songs Peter wrote and recorded during sessions for The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees, "Tear the Top Right Off My Head" was relegated to the vaults in the late '60s, finally receiving an official release in 1991 on the Listen to the Band box set. I've always liked this song and feel it should have made the cut for the Birds album in 1968.
Lance Wakely, who played guitar and harmonica on the track, was a friend of Peter's from his days in Greenwich Village before The Monkees. He was also featured as a session musician on some of Peter's other early 1968 recordings, contributing guitar and bass to "Lady's Baby" and "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again." Dewey Martin, who drums on "Tear the Top," was a member of Buffalo Springfield at the time.
Micky Dolenz also took a turn with a lead vocal for this song:
Andrew Sandoval discussed "Tear the Top Right Off My Head" in the liner notes of the 2010 deluxe edition release of The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees by Rhino Handmade:
"Tear The Top" was first previewed on the second season episode, "Hitting the High Seas."
It made its live debut during Micky and Peter's brief run of shows in 2015: