Michael G. Bush is well known to Monkees fans as he photographed the group's concert tours in the 1980s and 1990s. Michael has enjoyed a long career in photography since the late 1970s, and has shot superstars like The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Queen, The Who, The Bee Gees, Marvin Gaye, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder, Santana, James Brown, Paul McCartney, and David Bowie. He also organized the 1988 Monkees convention in Chicago, Illinois. On a personal note, I used to anticipate Michael's catalogs and flyers announcing his latest photos of The Monkees, most of which came with an update about the activities of the group at the time.
In this August 1988 interview with Paris Stachtiaris on the Headquarters radio program, Michael discusses his photography career, the schedule for the '88 Chicago convention, how he became involved with The Monkees, fellow photographer Henry Diltz, and more. Also during this episode, you'll hear some live audio from The Monkees' 1987 summer tour and great sound bites courtesy of Davy Jones.
In 1988, after two frenzied years on the road and in the studio, The Monkees maintained a relatively low profile. Micky, Davy, and Peter eventually toured Australia late that year, but beyond that, the only other group public appearance in '88 was at a Monkees convention in Chicago, Illinois in August. The trio were guests at the gathering, and Peter played a solo show at the Vic Theatre on August 20 to coincide with it. This article, from an early 1989 issue of the UK fanzine Band 6, provides an overview of the event.
A big thanks to Perry Corvese for scanning his program from the 1988 Chicago Monkees Convention!
In 1988, after two frenzied years on the road and in the studio, The Monkees maintained a relatively low profile. Micky, Davy, and Peter eventually toured Australia late that year, but beyond the trek down under, the only other group public appearance in '88 was at a Monkees convention in Chicago, Illinois in August. The trio were guests at the gathering, and Peter played a solo show at the Vic Theatre on August 20 to coincide with it. Micky and Davy joined Peter during the encore for both "Daydream Believer" and "I'm a Believer."
Peter played for about 90 minutes that evening, mixing Monkees songs, solo material, and covers (including Elvis and The Beatles) throughout the set. The show was billed as "Peter Tork and Friends." The late Jerry Renino, a member of the Peter Tork Project in the early '80s who also toured with The Monkees throughout the years, played bass. A bootleg recording of the Vic concert has long floated among collectors.
During the show, Peter introduced a few friends who were in the audience that night, including Monte Landis, a frequent guest star on The Monkees television series best known for his appearance in the second season episode "The Devil and Peter Tork." Monkees associate and songwriter Bill Chadwick, producer Chip Douglas, photographer and musician Henry Diltz, and Micky's sister, Coco, sang a rendition of "Higher and Higher" with Peter as well.
Here's the set list from the concert at the Vic:
Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again
Don't Be Cruel
Hi Hi Babe
Foggy, Foggy Dew
I Truly Understand
Bye, Bye Peggy
Blues in the Bottle
Since You Went Away
All Shook Up
Wasn't in the Cards
I'll Spend My Life With You
Higher and Higher (with Bill Chadwick, Chip Douglas, Henry Diltz, and Coco Dolenz)
Get What You Pay For
Encore with Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz:
I'm a Believer
In 2019, thanks to Sherri Hansen, video of Peter's concert at the Vic was published on YouTube:
Live in 2021