In his latest piece for Rolling Stone, senior writer Andy Greene goes behind the scenes of the Monkees Farewell Tour and reveals his last interactions with Michael Nesmith:
*** UPDATE 1/10/2022 ***
Hello readers of the Monkees Live Almanac,
I understand the passion that surrounds a variety of topics discussed in Mr. Greene's article linked above, and the public comments left on this blog post to date reflect those passions. However, it is my desire to keep this forum from becoming overly personal in comments made about one person or the next. As a result, I deleted several comments.
Thank you for your consideration and understanding.
Andrew Sandoval talks about how the drive to go out and say thank you to the fans on one last tour revivified Michael Nesmith this fall
Last night, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith closed out the "Monkees Farewell Tour" with a triumphant performance in Los Angeles, California at the Greek Theatre.
Monkees historian and author Andrew Sandoval, who also produced the tour, introduced the show:
The evening's set list included the following songs:
Video footage from the Greek appears below, and be sure to check out these reviews of the show courtesy of Ultimate Classic Rock, The Glorious Corner, and Goldmine.
Micky posted the following message across his social media channels after the show at the Greek Theatre:
As the "Monkees Farewell Tour" enters its final stretch, Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz delivered a superb performance this past Saturday night in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Riverside Theater. "Best show (so far) of The Monkees tour," wrote Monkees producer and author Andrew Sandoval on Facebook.
The Live Almanac would like to send a special thanks to Sherri Hansen, who was on hand to photograph the evening, for sharing her pictures of Nez, Micky, and the band from Milwaukee. There's plenty of excellent video footage below, too, courtesy of Jennifer Rice, Nunupics Zomot, and laminateman on YouTube.
Next stops: St. Charles and Kansas City, Missouri!
The "Monkees Farewell Tour" rolls on as this past week Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and their band performed in front of packed houses at venues in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois. Footage from these shows can be seen below, along with a couple of notable pieces that have recently appeared in the press.
The tour rolls into Milwaukee, Wisconsin this evening, and stops tomorrow in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for all the latest, and don't forget to follow the site on both Twitter and Facebook!
Monkees Farewell Tour in the Press
Greensburg, Pennsylvania @ The Palace Theatre (11/1/2021)
Detroit, Michigan @ Masonic Cathedral Theatre (11/2/2021)
Rosemont, Illinois @ Rosemont Theatre (11/5/2021)
Eric Goulden, also known as Wreckless Eric, is an English rock/new wave singer-songwriter, best known for his 1977 single "Whole Wide World." More than two decades after its release, the song was included in Mojo magazine's list of the best punk rock singles of all time. Monkees fans surely are familiar with this classic track as in 1987, the group covered the song on Pool It!, their first album of new material since 1970.
Earlier this week on "Ericland," Goulden reminisced about his Monkees fandom, expressed appreciation to The Monkees for covering "Whole Wide World," and shared his thoughts on the current "Monkees Farewell Tour" after attending a recent show in Tarrytown, New York. You can read Eric's entry below:
Last night, Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and their band played to a large crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Thanks to Junk Rocker and others on YouTube for sharing their footage from the show.
Last evening, Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and their band performed for an enthusiastic audience at Count Basie Center in Red Bank, New Jersey. Here's the complete show in footage posted on YouTube, followed by the evening's set list:
On October 7, Micky, Michael, and the band performed in front of another packed house at Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee. A big thanks to Live Almanac contributor Daniel Coston for sharing his photos from the show. Check out Daniel's blog for more photos from Knoxville.
Another thanks goes to Alan Adkins, who posted video footage from the show on YouTube!
The "Monkees Farewell Tour" rolls on! Tonight, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and the band are performing at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida, a venue The Monkees first played on their 20th Anniversary Tour in 1986, and one they subsequently visited many times over the years. After a few days off, the tour picks up this weekend in Jacksonville, Florida.
For now, let's take a moment to recap Nez and Micky's recent concerts in Birmingham, Alabama and Orlando, Florida. Thanks a lot to Brent at Southern Stages on Twitter for sharing a multitude of great shots from the show in Birmingham with the Live Almanac. Interspersed between the photos is video footage from Birmingham, including rousing renditions of "Good Clean Fun" and "The Kind of Girl I Could Love," the wonderful new arrangement of "Porpoise Song," "While I Cry," and Nez running through an improvisational take of "I'm a Believer" post-encore.
Birmingham, Alabama on October 6, 2021
Orlando, Florida on October 10, 2021
Longtime Live Almanac contributor Renny Simno attended this past Sunday's show in Orlando, Florida at Hard Rock Live. Thanks to Renny for sharing his photos seen below:
And finally, here's a unique view from the stage in Orlando, courtesy of Coco Dolenz:
When the Monkees Farewell Tour landed in Knoxville, Tennessee on October 7, Christian Nesmith and Circe Link, both longtime members of The Monkees' touring band, were noticeably absent from the stage. The duo were also not present for subsequent shows in Atlanta, Georgia and Orlando, Florida.
Tonight on Facebook, Christian addressed the situation with the message posted below:
As you may have noticed, Circe and I are no longer on the tour.
The Live Almanac wishes Christian and Circe all the best. They will most definitely be missed on the road with Micky, Nez, and the rest of the band. In the meantime, Christian is acting as musical director for an upcoming Hollywood stage production of Hair, and Circe and Christian's new album, Cosmologica, is coming soon!
Monkees author and manager Andrew Sandoval, who is also producing the "Monkees Farewell Tour," called this past weekend's show in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the Tivoli Theatre "one of the best Monkees concerts I have ever attended." Check out the video footage below, including the fantastic new arrangement of "Porpoise Song," courtesy of The Junk Rocker on YouTube.
Here's a photo of Micky and Nez taken by Sherri Hansen during their performance in Memphis, Tennessee on October 1. Sherri is a longtime Monkees fan and a friend of the Live Almanac who has for years provided this site (and fans worldwide) with numerous photos and videos from Monkees concerts, group and solo.
Sherri's photography was also featured in the compact disc and vinyl editions of The Monkees Live: The Mike & Micky Show issued by Rhino Records last year.
Micky Dolenz acknowledged Sherri from the stage in Memphis and asked her to take a bow in front of the audience. Congratulations, Sherri!
After a short break, The Monkees Farewell Tour resumed last night with a performance in Memphis, Tennessee at Soundstage at Graceland. Thanks a lot to Andrew Sandoval for sharing the set list with the Live Almanac:
Since opening night last month in Spokane, Washington, the set has remained fairly consistent. "Through the Looking Glass" was switched out in favor of "Steam Engine" for three shows, but "Steam Engine" has now been replaced by "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You." Originally closing the main set before the encore, "Pleasant Valley Sunday" is now slotted right before intermission.
While in Memphis, Micky Dolenz visited Graceland and was joined by Andrew Sandoval and members of the band and crew.
And Michael paid homage to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash at Sun Studio:
Tonight, Micky and Nez will perform at Tivolli Theatre in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Here are a few videos from Memphis. Check back soon for more footage!
Every night on the Monkees Farewell Tour, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith are supported onstage by a host of superb musicians and singers. Let's take a moment to shine the spotlight on each member of the touring band, including Micky's sister Coco, Michael's son Christian, and Wayne Avers, who first played with Davy Jones in the early 1990s.
Coco Dolenz (Vocals / Percussion)
Micky's sister, Coco, has a long history with The Monkees. She provided harmony and background vocals on such Monkees tracks as "Shortly Blackwell," "Little Girl," "Midnight Train," and "Mommy and Daddy." Coco wrote for teen magazines in the 1960s at the height of her brother's fame, and in the late 1970s, she toured with Micky and Davy after the dissolution of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart.
In 1987, Coco released her own album, One Voice. She has been touring with The Monkees since 2012. You can also hear Coco at Micky's solo shows, where she often duets with her brother on "Bye Bye Blackbird" and "Crying in the Rain" while taking over on lead vocals for Michael Nesmith's own "Different Drum."
Follow Coco on Facebook, Twitter and visit her Etsy store!
Wayne Avers (Guitar / Vocals)
Wayne Avers is no stranger to Monkees fans. He has been a part of The Monkees' family since the group's 30th Anniversary Tour in 1996, acting as musical director through the years and handling lead guitar duties.
Wayne has performed onstage with all four Monkees in London at Wembley in 1997, appeared twice on The Tonight Show with the group (1996 and 2001), and took part in The Monkees' massive 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2016. Residing in Nashville, Wayne is an ardent collector of guitars. "I play the guitar because I saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964," he told the Live Almanac in an interview several years ago.
Absent during initial dates on the current Monkees Farewell Tour, Wayne joined the band once again in Austin, Texas on September 23.
Christian Nesmith (Guitar / Vocals)
Christian Nesmith is Michael's eldest son and first appeared in The Monkees' touring band upon his father's return to the group in 2012. Christian's songs have been heard in both film and TV (Blades of Glory, The Hills Have Eyes, Lionheart) and he has composed commercials for companies ranging from AOL to ESPN to Starbucks. His theater credits include being the musical director for the first ever production of Hair in Moscow, Russia. Christian was also musical director for Hair in Los Angeles in 2007 (which also featured Circe Link), and that production was awarded Best Musical of the Year by LA Weekly. In 2016, Christian contributed greatly to the arrangement of "Birth of an Accidental Hipster," a highlight from The Monkees' album Good Times! and a set list staple ever since.
Christian joined his father in a revival of the First National Band in 2018 and produced a live album for 7a Records of the group's triumphant appearance at the Troubadour in Hollywood. Most recently, Christian stewarded Micky Dolenz's latest solo album, Dolenz sings Nesmith, featuring Micky singing the songs of Michael Nesmith.
Christian and his wife, Circe Link, continue to produce and perform music. Visit Christian on the web, download music on Bandcamp, and stop by his YouTube channel.
UPDATE: Christian Nesmith announced his departure from the tour on Facebook on October 12, 2021.
Rich Dart (Drums)
Rich Dart met Micky Dolenz in 2006 when Micky was starring in a stage production of Pippin and Rich was the house drummer. Four years later, Rich started playing drums for Micky during his solo performances. He joined The Monkees' backing band in 2012 when Micky, Michael, and Peter Tork delivered a series of concerts after the passing of Davy Jones.
Rich has had an eclectic career as a free-lance percussionist. He has played with various symphonies, jazz groups, theater troupes, rock and country bands, and percussion ensembles. Rich also played drums for Avenue Q on Broadway and for its first national tour.
Follow Rich on Instagram and on Facebook as he posts about his travels on the "Monkees Farewell Tour."
John Billings (Bass Guitar)
John Billings was brought into the Monkees family by Wayne Avers and first performed with the group in 2012. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee where he owns a recording studio. When performing with The Monkees live in concert, John received some good advice from Avers on how to approach the songs. "Wayne gave us a fundamental direction," John said. "Go back to the records." John has also played with Donna Summer and Wynonna Judd.
In the summer of 2019 John and his wife, Amy, opened Wine Down Nashville, a boutique wine bar in Nashville. Follow John on Instagram as he documents the "Monkees Farewell Tour" and more.
Pete Finney (Pedal Steel / Guitar)
Pedal steel extraordinaire Pete Finney became a member of Michael Nesmith's First National Band Redux in 2018 and later accompanied Nez for a series of shows that celebrated Nesmith's classic 1972 album, And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'.
"I first met Nez in the spring of 2014, when I filled in for Chris Scruggs on pedal-steel and guitar for the last few weeks of the Movies of the Mind tour. The '70s albums Nez made with Red Rhodes and the First National Band had been long-time favorites of mine, so of course I really enjoyed the experience musically, and also really enjoyed the hang and the conversations that ensued during our travels."
Michael brought Pete into the band for the inaugural "Mike & Micky Show" concerts. He has also performed and toured with the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, and many others throughout his career.
Alex Jules (Keyboards / Vocals)
Alex Jules is a New York born and raised singer/songwriter who, along with Pete Finney, debuted in the band on the "Mike & Micky Show" tour in 2018. He now serves as vocal director on the current "Monkees Farewell Tour." Residing in Los Angeles, Alex has also performed with Michael Nesmith's First National Band Redux.
Sample some of Alex's work on SoundCloud and follow him on Instagram, where he often shares photos from the road.
Circe Link (Vocals / Percussion)
Circe Link joined The Monkees' band in 2014, performing backing vocals with Coco Dolenz. She has also appeared in concert with Michael Nesmith's First National Band Redux.
A singer, songwriter, and musician in her own right, Circe has previously described her music as ranging from "Cowboy Jazz to Alternative to Americana." She has recorded several albums, including a live CD from a successful tour of Japan. Circe writes, records, and performs with her husband, Christian Nesmith.
You can download Circe's music on Bandcamp, and don't forget to check out her YouTube channel, too!
UPDATE: On October 12, 2021, Christian Nesmith announced that he and Circe Link had both departed the tour.
Emeen Zarookian (Guitar / Vocals)
Last evening, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and their band appeared at Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie, Texas. Below are a few clips from the show, including a very impressive rendition of "While I Cry," a fan favorite deep cut from The Monkees' 1969 album Instant Replay that is making its live concert debut on The Monkees Farewell Tour.
Tonight, Micky and Nez are in San Antonio, Texas ahead of a short break in the tour until it resumes October 1 in Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Sandoval updates on "Day-By-Day" shipping + notes from the road on Monkees Farewell Tour (UPDATED 9/24)
In a message sent earlier today to subscribers of his Beatland Books email list, Andrew Sandoval, author of The Monkees: The Day-By-Day Story and the group's manager/tour producer, provided the latest shipping status updates regarding his new book. He also took time to report on the early days of The Monkees Farewell Tour, which stops in Austin, Texas this Thursday!
Read Andrew's message below, along with a timely postscript:
Dear Beatland Reader:
The Monkees On Tour
Hours after sending the message above, Andrew posted the following on Facebook :
UPDATE 9/24/2021: Now shipping!
Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith are currently on the road bringing "The Monkees Farewell Tour" to over 40 cities in the United States. They may be coming to your town!
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