By 1970, The Monkees were comprised of Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, with Michael Nesmith having departed the group earlier in the year. Micky and Davy are only known to have made two appearances as a duo, the first in Philadelphia in May at a concert festival sponsored by radio station WFIL, and then in June on Upbeat, a syndicated musical variety show produced in Cleveland, Ohio. Scant details exist about these two appearances.
One of the revelations about The Monkees' activities in 1970 documented in Andrew Sandoval's book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation, was that Micky, Davy, and Peter Tork had performed on November 21, 1970 at the Valley REC Center in Van Nuys, California. The show itself was billed as "Freaky, Foxy, Funky Revival," but through the years, no set list, photographs, or further details have surfaced about this event.
And now thanks to Jim Tinder, we can see a preview of this mysterious appearance that was originally published in the Van Nuys Valley News on November 20, 1970. Thanks, Jim!
Micky and Peter, however, had performed together at least once before this gathering when they were joined by Coco Dolenz at the Troubadour in Los Angeles in September 1970. This performance was likely the first time Peter had been onstage with one of his former bandmates since his final live appearances as a member of The Monkees in Australia and Japan in late 1968. Years later while on tour with Peter in 2015, Micky shared the name of this impromptu group as DDT - Dolenz, Dolenz & Tork. At the time, Fave magazine had reported on the trio's unannounced show, saying it was "experimental" and "unique."
This picture, taken at the Troubadour in Hollywood in September 1970, has been a part of the multimedia show during Micky and Peter's concerts this year. Micky shared the name of this impromptu group (with his sister Coco joining along) as DDT - Dolenz, Dolenz & Tork.
Andrew Sandoval documented this event in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation, writing that Fave magazine reported on the unannounced performance, saying it was "experimental" and "unique."
Last summer, JD at Monkee45s.net alerted me that a 1970 program for Atlantic City's legendary Steel Pier was being auctioned on eBay. In it, The Monkees are advertised to appear in person on September 5, 6, and 7. Thanks to Kevin Schmid, I was able to obtain high quality scans of the program. The picture of The Monkees used inside of it, however, shows all four members in a late 1965 publicity photo. As we know, only Micky and Davy were working under the Monkees banner in 1970, so the whole thing immediately peaked my interest.
I searched Google to see if I could find anything about this event. (Andrew Sandoval's book does not make mention of this potential appearance.) I turned up a few internet posts that reference The Monkees at the Steel Pier, and one that mentions just Davy.
I also found a scan of a Pennsylvania newspaper from August 19, 1970 that is archived online (with an article titled "Monkee Business Paying Off"), but the print was too small to read and further attempts to obtain a superior copy were unsuccessful. I wondered if the article was promoting an upcoming appearance in nearby New Jersey at that time.
I gathered all of these items and submitted them to Andrew Sandoval, and he was able to shed a little light on this event. Andrew doesn't believe The Monkees performed at Atlantic City's Steel Pier that summer, and he thinks instead that it was a solo appearance made by Davy alone.
The search for other live appearances made by The Monkees in 1970 goes on!
Here's a flier for radio station WFIL in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the week of November 2, 1970, submitted to the Live Almanac by Perry Corvese. WFIL hosted a three-day concert event in May of that year, featuring a rare 1970 appearance by Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones. On the cover with Davy is WFIL disc jockey Long John Wade.
It's quite possible the photo on the flier above was taken during the span of The Monkees' visit in Philadelphia that May. Below you can see Davy and Micky at the event with disc jockey Wade in the back left, and Davy's clothes appear to be similar in both shots.
Thanks to Kevin Schmid and Al Bigley for their assistance and contributions!
The one confirmed live appearance in 1970 by Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz as The Monkees occurred at a festival-like event sponsored by WFIL Radio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between May 15-17 at Roosevelt Mall. Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval, in an email to me in 2012, said that this show did indeed take place, and now we apparently have photographic proof! A big thanks to Sean Schafron for tracking down these pictures!!
Here is a rare find sent in to the Live Almanac by Lisa - an ad from 1970 for the only confirmed live appearance by The Monkees that year, playing in Philadelphia at a festival-like event sponsored by WFIL Radio in May 1970. I passed this along to Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval, and he told me that this show did indeed take place with Micky and Davy.
Little is known about any other concerts that might have been performed by The Monkees in 1970. Brendan Cahill, who with Monkees associate David Pearl managed the group throughout 1969, told Andrew Sandoval in 1991 that a short American club tour was conducted by Dolenz and Jones in 1970 to promote the Changes album. Andrew writes in the liner notes of the 1991 Listen to the Band box set that such a club tour took place. However, in an internet interview in 2006, Sandoval could not confirm this information as Cahill was deceased.
In his book, Andrew does write about a performance that occurred on November 21, 1970 at the Valley REC Center in Van Nuys, California with Micky, Davy, and Peter. The show was billed as "Freaky, Foxy, Funky Revival."
Outside of these two events, there are no other details about shows that Micky and Davy might have performed in 1970.
Thanks to Lisa for this great find, and to Andrew Sandoval for confirming everything. Below is the rare promo video for the only single from Changes, "Oh My My."
Monkees Farewell Tour
Dolenz sings Nesmith