Micky on dueting with his friend, Harry Nilsson, on Good Times!:
“When we started talking about the [Monkees' 50th] anniversary, we found a bunch of unfinished tracks from the ’60s,” says Dolenz. “When the show was on the air, we recorded tons of material because they wanted two new songs in every episode. Harry, who was one of my dearest friends, had written one for me to sing. It had his scratch vocal, but because Harry never did anything half-assed, it was a full-blown performance. I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I can do a duet with my old friend.’ ”
UPDATE 7/1/16: The Point compact disc is now arriving to customers from Amazon.com and other retailers.
ORIGINAL POST: 5/13/16:
In September 1977 (after the dissolution of Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart), Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones traveled to England to begin rehearsals for their longtime friend Harry Nilsson's stage production of The Point. The show opened in London at the Mermaid Theatre on December 22, 1977. Davy played "Oblio," the hero, and Micky's part as "The Count's Kid" was created specifically so that both Jones and Dolenz could share the stage. An original cast album was released in the United Kingdom by MCA Records in January 1978. The Point closed in London on February 23, 1978.
And now, 29 years later, The Point will arrive on compact disc courtesy of Varese Vintage.
A single from the cast recording was also released by MCA (courtesy of JD at Monkee45s.net):
Here's "Cuddly Toy" live in Japan in 1968:
And check out this version of "Cuddly Toy" by Ben Gibbard (who composed "Me & Magdalena" for The Monkees' new album, Good Times!) and Zooey Deschanel.
Here's a great interview from earlier this afternoon with Michael from the Mighty Manfred Program on the SiriusXM channel Underground Garage. Nez talks about keeping Davy Jones present on The Monkees' new album, why he's not on the road for the 50th Anniversary Tour, Harry Nilsson, "Birth of an Accidental Hipster," and more.
The following description for an album entitled Good Times by The Monkees, available for pre-order with an advertised release date of June 10, 2016, can be found on Amazon.com:
The Monkees are ready to have some fun this year as the iconic band celebrates its 50th anniversary with a tour and the group's first new album in 20 years, appropriately titled GOOD TIMES. Much like The Monkees early albums, GOOD TIMES features tracks written specifically for the band by some of the music world's most gifted songwriters, including Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Andy Partridge (XTC), and Zach Rogue (Rogue Wave). The album also includes songwriting contributions by Nesmith (I Know What I Know) and Tork as well as producer Adam Schlesinger.
To help bring the anniversary full circle, The Monkees completed songs for GOOD TIMES that were originally recorded & written for the group during the 60s, including Love To Love by Neil Diamond, which features a vintage vocal by Davy Jones. Harry Nilsson wrote the title track Good Times, which he recorded at a session with Nesmith in January 1968. The production was never completed, so the band returned to the original session tape (featuring Nilsson's guide vocal) and have created a duet with his close friend Dolenz. Good Times will mark the first time Dolenz and Nilsson have sung together since Dolenz' May 1973 single Daybreak. Other vintage 1960s tracks included on GOOD TIMES feature L.A. s famed Wrecking Crew of session musicians.
Good Times is available to pre-order as both a CD and a vinyl LP.
*Please remember* that there has been no official announcement of new Monkees music from The Monkees or Rhino Records. However, with some recent hints about new Monkees songs floating on Twitter as of late, and other murmurs that material would be recorded for the 50th Anniversary this year, it's more than interesting that this listing has popped up on Amazon.
Here's the Nilsson demo for "Good Times."
Songwriter, producer, and Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger, who is denoted in the Amazon item description as the album's producer, was photographed with both Micky and Peter backstage at a recent Dolenz solo show in Hartford, Connecticut:
And Andy Partridge, noted singer/songwriter of the band XTC, who is also mentioned in the Amazon item description as a contributor to the project, posted the following on Twitter just last week:
Interestingly enough, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, who is referenced on Amazon as a songwriter for Good Times, graduated from the same high school as Peter Tork: E. O. Smith High School in Northeastern Connecticut.
Weezer covered "I'm a Believer" in 2010, and their version appeared on Shrek Forever After, a 2010 3D computer-animated fantasy comedy film.
Yet another advertised songwriter for Good Times, Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard, can be heard below covering two Monkees songs live in concert:
And check out this tweet from The Monkees Tour Twitter account from January 19 (in advance of Micky and Peter's appearance at the Family Gras festival), one that appears to foreshadow a Monkees album by the name of Good Times:
Stay tuned to the Live Almanac for more details!
Here's the description of the video from YouTube:
Taken from the 7a Records release 'Micky Dolenz - The MGM Singles Collection,' Daybreak is a great solo record from the former Monkee.
Written and produced by Harry Nilsson, Daybreak is a lost classic surely ranks up there as one of the great singles from the 70s.
This rare promotional video is directed by Micky and features a guest cameo from Harry Nilsson himself. It has been lovingly restored by film archivist Robert Reinstein. Many thanks, Robert!
Micky Dolenz - The MGM Singles Collection is a limited edition vinyl release on the 7a Records label. It comes in a beautiful gatefold sleeve and has a 12 page booklet that has over a dozen previously unseen pics from the legendary rock photographer Henry Diltz.
In 1977, Micky and Davy appeared on Our Show in England to promote their joint appearance in Harry Nilsson's play, "The Point," at London's Mermaid Theatre.
Here's a wide-ranging conversation with Micky conducted by Kevin Pollak, who hosts a weekly internet chat show. The interview was originally aired right before the 2012 Monkees tour. Micky talks about a lot of topics, including his relationship with Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, "Randy Scouse Git," The Point, working with Davy in the 1970s, Head, Michael's return to The Monkees in 2012, Justus, architecture, Frank Zappa, his latest solo album, and much, much more.
Here's one from the Live Almanac's YouTube channel. The "Buddy Holly Tribute" single was released in 1974 on the MGM-related label, Romar. It features a medley of some of Holly's best known songs: "Peggy Sue"/"Every Day"/"Maybe Baby"/"That'll Be the Day."
The photo is of John Lennon, Anne Murray, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper, and Micky at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles in 1974.
Don't forget about one of Iain Lee's current projects, Micky Dolenz - The MGM Singles Collection. Iain recently posted a message on the official Facebook page related to the Singles Collection:
OK, Christmas and the New Year are OVER!
That means we can crack on with this.
I am chasing up the album cover today. I've also chased up via email the interview with Micky. Hopefully it will happen this month.
I'll have a chat with Glen today about the booklet.
Need to have a little conversation with someone who MAY have better source material...can't say too much about this at the mo.
We are yay close. I am hoping we can get this record out by the end of March/start of April.
Not long to go now. Just one final push and we are there.
This is an ad for Harry Nilsson's 1968 album Aerial Ballet that appeared in the November 1968 issue of Flip. Nilsson penned both "Cuddly Toy" and "Daddy's Song" for The Monkees. As a result of The Monkees recording "Cuddly Toy," Nilsson got his big break in the music business, and as the story goes, felt confident enough to quit his day job working at a bank. Micky Dolenz and Harry (part of the legendary Hollywood Vampires club) were close friends until Nilsson's death in 1994.
Here is Harry's demo for "Cuddly Toy."
Depending on who you ask, The Monkees did or did not back Harry on the demo for "Mr. Richland's Favorite Song," which later appeared on Aerial Ballet. In the '90s through the publishing of Andrew Sandoval's book in 2005, the thinking was that all four Monkees were indeed playing on the demo under the supervision of Chip Douglas. Sandoval's book, however, only lists Michael Nesmith's involvement as a musician and producer along with a recording date of January 1968, after The Monkees had stopped working with Douglas.
The Monkees' official released version of Nilsson's "Daddy's Song" featured a lead vocal by Davy Jones, but Michael also attempted it:
Michael examines Harry's LP Pandemonium Shadow Show, which preceded Aerial Ballet in late 1967:
You wore makeup and created the character Alice Cooper. But the film also mentions The Who’s drummer Keith Moon, who always seemed to be playing a role as well, as the jester. Can you talk about him?
He was one of our very best friends. He would come to L.A. and stay with me for a week. Then he would stay with Harry Nilsson for a week, and then he would go to Ringo Starr’s house for a week. We loved having him, but he would wear you out, because he was always on. We used to have a drinking club, the Hollywood Vampires, with Harry, Ringo, Bernie Taupin, Micky Dolenz and, when he was in town, John Lennon. When we got together, it was a matter of the last man standing. Keith was like a brother to us. We’d always tell him, ‘Keith, you don’t have to entertain us.’ But he didn’t have an off button. He was like a little kid who needed Ritalin.
Check out this video that talks about the wild party days in Laurel Canyon, California in the 1960s with Micky, Peter, Mama Cass Elliott, Harry Nilsson, Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson, John Lennon and more. (Be sure to watch the entire video as there is Monkees content throughout.) Micky, Henry Diltz and Samantha Juste are featured sharing their recollections of the time period. You'll also see Micky show off some 'basement tapes' from his personal collection that preserves some of the jamming that occurred at his house during this era.
Micky and Davy starred in Harry Nilsson's "The Point" at the Mermaid Theatre in London in 1977. An original cast album was later released by MCA Records.
This picture was taken at one of Davy's book signings in Los Angeles in 1988. (Davy is holding the audio version of his book, They Made a Monkee Out Of Me.
Nilsson penned both "Cuddly Toy" and "Daddy's Song" for The Monkees. As a result of The Monkees recording "Cuddly Toy," Nilsson got his big break in the music business, and as the story goes, felt confident enough to quit his day job working at a bank. Micky and Harry were close friends until Nilsson's death in 1994.
This photograph was taken in the parking structure of RCA Studios.
Earlier this month, Micky Dolenz released his latest studio effort, Remember. Not being one that is usually fond of a covers album, this one not only works for me but is a highly enjoyable listening experience! The premise of Remember is that Micky is covering songs that have played an important role in his life and career. For instance, Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" was his audition piece for The Monkees and he attended the sessions for "Good Morning Good Morning" with The Beatles. Other songs were apparently offered to him or The Monkees ("Old Fashioned Love Song" and "Diary") but were ultimately rejected for one reason or another.
Even the (country-esque) reworks of Monkees classics "Sometime in the Morning," "I'm a Believer," and "Randy Scouse Git" are truly inspired, particularly "Randy Scouse Git." Though a bit showy in places, the new arrangement has really grown on me. A take on a Monkees song that was never officially released in the 1960s (though it was performed by Peter Tork on the 1969 Monkees TV special), "Do Not Ask For Love," is given an impressive vocals only rendition. The song has almost 30 vocal tracks on it, and as with the rest of songs on the album, Micky is the only vocalist. (He recorded all harmonies and backing vocals, and Micky is in fine voice on this album.)
Perhaps the biggest highlight of the album is the title track, "Remember," written by Micky's close friend, Harry Nilsson. It's currently the #1 downloaded track of Micky's on iTunes, by the way.
I have to say that I wasn't overly familiar with songs like "Diary" (originally performed by Bread) and "Old Fashioned Love Song" (Three Dog Night). I've heard them on the radio over the years, but they weren't songs I ever went back to for a second listen. In fact, I had never previously heard Nilsson's original take of "Remember," either. In other words, a lot of songs here are really fresh sounding and in some ways almost new to me.
There are two new original tracks: the producer, David Harris, asked Micky to sing his "Many Years" and Micky adds a new self-penned song of his own, "Quiet Desperation." Both are worthy additions to the album, with the latter taking on a country feel.
As for the musicians on the tracks, the recently deceased Bob Birch played bass. Phil Keaggy plays guitar on most of the album and Vinnie Colaiuta is the main drummer. Micky plays acoustic guitar on "Good Morning Good Morning," "Quiet Desperation," and "Johnny B. Goode."
The CD is a digipak that includes a nice 20-page booklet where Micky discusses the reasons behind the selection of each song. It also includes a session list for each track and pictures of Micky before, during, and after The Monkees.
Remember arrives after 2010's King For A Day, but what I really have always wanted from Micky is a rock album. Perhaps that is his next project, but Remember is a great way to pass the time until it arrives. It's available for sale on Amazon and other online outlets, and is downloadable on iTunes.
Feel free to check out this link which covers all Micky Dolenz items in this blog, including reviews of Remember, interviews, and coverage of the concert in New York City (which was recorded) to promote the album.
Reserve Your Copy!