No! I don't think we belong in the R&R HOF. Never have --- and never will --- until the curators change their markers.
SF Sketchfest, a comedy festival currently underway in San Francisco, paid tribute to The Monkees yesterday afternoon as Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith participated in a Q & A session led by author Paul Myers:
For the last couple of years, Micky Dolenz has participated in events to benefit Make-A-Wish where fans have had the opportunity to sing with Micky karaoke-style. And now, Micky brings his efforts to Broadway for two special nights at The Iridium this March! Below you'll find a description of the event courtesy of the venue as well as links to purchase tickets.
"Remember when you were younger, going to concerts and the lead singer of the band pulled a fan on stage to sing? Did you ever wish you were that fan? Now you can be! Micky Dolenz of the legendary Monkees has a brand new show where YOU become the rock star! Singing along with Micky, living out your rock star fantasy. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will remember for the rest of your life! And if you're too shy for the spotlight, come enjoy the show as a fan with a general admission ticket. You'll still be part of the fun and excitement, as Micky breaks between songs to tell a story or raffle off prizes and memorabilia. And it all benefits a great cause, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, near and dear to Micky's heart. PLUS a very special guest appearance by songwriter and Herman’s Hermit, Vance Brescia, singing 'That Was Then, This is Now' with Micky, the Monkees' #1 chart topping song written by Vance!"
After a flurry of albums with the First and Second National Bands in the early 1970s, Michael Nesmith began to broaden his artistic scope. In 1972, Nez formed Countryside Records, a subsidiary of Elektra Records, to produce and promote country and western artists including Red Rhodes, Tom Holbrook, Steve Fromholz, and Garland Frady. One of Michael's most noteworthy projects from this era included his collaboration with British musician and singer-songwriter Ian Matthews on the album Valley Hi. Matthews had previously been a member of the folk rock band Fairport Convention, and Nez acted as producer for his 1973 LP on Elektra.
Valley Hi is noteworthy for Matthews' version of "Seven Bridges Road," a song later made famous by The Eagles on their 1980 album Eagles Live. Rhino Records highlighted the track earlier this week in an article entitled "5 Things You May Not Have Known About Mike Nesmith" while celebrating Michael's recent birthday:
He produced, sang, and played on Ian Matthews’ version of "Seven Bridges Road." Written by Steve Young and arguably made most famous by the Eagles, Nesmith recorded Matthews’ version of the song in 1973 for Matthews’ VALLEY HI album, and if you listen to that version first and then listen to the Eagles’ version, what you will notice is that the tempo and arrangements are pretty much identical. Like, to the degree that Nesmith later said of that similarity, "Son of a gun if Don or somebody in Eagles didn’t lift [our] arrangement absolutely note for note for vocal harmony. If they can’t think it up themselves [and] they’ve got to steal it from somebody else, better they should steal it...from me, I guess."
Matthews also covered Nesmith's classic "Propinquity" on Valley Hi.
And now, this period of Michael Nesmith's career and his work with Ian Matthews has been examined in much greater depth by Peter Mills, author of The Monkees, Head, and the '60s, in his new blog Pete Sounds. Peter relayed to the Live Almanac that he had to leave an abundance of material for his book on the cutting room floor, but now fans can enjoy his research about this often overlooked period of Nesmith history. Click the image below to visit Peter's blog!
Thanks to Brian Marchese for alerting the Live Almanac about his latest podcast, featuring a unique interview with Michael Nesmith:
"Episode 23 of Where's That Sound Coming From? has been a long time coming, basically due to life getting a bit derailed. But I hope you'll agree that it was worth the wait. What we have here is not your average interview with Michael Nesmith. This is sort of grad-level Nez. Spirituality. Metaphysics. Creativity. Psychedelics. Turning away from the darkness of that era. Not a word about The Monkees. No MTV. No Country Rock Pioneer. No Liquid Paper. Have you noticed that most bios and interviews with Nez seem to gloss over The Prison (1974) and his life at the time? As a long time fan of Nez, The Prison for a long time was this mysterious work that I kept trying and failing to get into. Eventually I realized I wasn’t hearing the original work - I was hearing the touched up version Nez released in the 90s. A few years ago I finally heard the 1974 original, and it all came together. Plus, I sensed a psychedelic influence which turned out to be accurate. In this podcast, my long-winded intro is followed by Nez onstage in 1975 telling the plot of The Prison, and finally, the main course: my conversation, recorded in April 2019. Stuff gets very deep, very spiritual, puzzling, funny and always fascinating. Enjoy."
Please note that additional dates are likely to be added to Micky's 2020 tour schedule. Meet and Greet packages are available for select shows.
February 8: Micky Dolenz with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra / Tucson, Arizona
February 9: Micky Dolenz with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra / Tucson, Arizona
February 12: Katharine Hepburn Center / Old Saybrook, Connecticut
February 13: The Center For Arts Natick / Natick, Massachusetts
February 14: Palace Theatre / Manchester, New Hampshire
February 21: My Father's Place Supper Club / Rosyln, New York (3pm show)
February 21: My Father's Place Supper Club / Roslyn, New York (7pm show)
February 22: Sellersville Theater / Sellersville, Pennsylvania (3pm show)
February 22: Sellersville Theater / Sellersville, Pennsylvania (8pm show)
March 20: Sing Along With Micky Dolenz @ The Iridium / New York, New York
March 21: Sing Along With Micky Dolenz @ The Iridium / New York, New York
March 27: Beatles on the Beach @ Theater at Old School Square / Delray Beach, Florida
May 9: Fermilab Ramsey Auditorium / Batavia, Illinois
Micky is also performing with Michael Nesmith this April in "An Evening With The Monkees Featuring Mike Nesmith & Micky Dolenz." Click the image below for dates, cities, and ticket links:
And, Micky's schedule of personal appearances is expanding for 2020!
The music of The Beatles will be celebrated at the International Beatles Festival in Delray Beach, Florida in March 2020. Micky Dolenz is scheduled to appear at the event, performing live and participating in a Q&A session:
March 27, 2020: Micky Dolenz Live in Concert at Beatles on the Beach / Theater at Old School Square, Delray Beach, Florida
March 28, 2020: Micky Dolenz Beatles on the Beach Q&A Session / Theater at Old School Square, Delray Beach, Florida
Monkees fans are likely to recall the name Paris Stachtiaris, co-host of Headquarters ("The only radio show in America dedicated to The Monkees") that originally aired on 90.3 WBAU-FM, the radio station of Adelphi University in Long Island, New York, from 1987 to 1990. Cassette tapes of the program, which featured interviews with Monkees luminaries like Chip Douglas, Ward Sylvester, Jim Frawley, Coco Dolenz, Lester Sill, Monte Landis, Gerry Goffin, the individual Monkees themselves, and others, were frequently traded among fans in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Paris is back in 2019 with co-host Ben Brown, and the duo produced a special in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock that aired on Labor Day Weekend on HCS internet radio. Most recently, Paris and Ben spoke with Bobby Hart:
Along with his songwriting partner Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart is responsible for penning some of The Monkees' most enduring songs, including "Last Train to Clarksville," "Steppin' Stone," and "Valleri." Arriving with determination and drive to the nascent Monkees project, the duo wrote and produced the soundtrack to the pilot episode, including singing the lead vocals, which were later replaced once the show was formally cast with Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter. Despite conflicts with Don Kirshner, the show's music supervisor, Boyce and Hart were retained, and with the help of their backing band, The Candy Store Prophets, Boyce & Hart went on to produce many of the early Monkees recording sessions. Their influence eventually waned once Kirshner was sacked and The Monkees gained control over their musical output in early 1967. However, each original Monkees album, with the exception of Head, contains Boyce & Hart tunes.
Tommy and Bobby went on to have a successful recording career on their own, making guest appearances on television shows and contributing scores to movie soundtracks. In the mid-1970s, they teamed up with Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, a project which led to concert tours, new music, and a television special. Boyce & Hart were celebrated with a full-length documentary in 2015 (co-produced by Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval), and that same year, Bobby published his autobiography. Paris and Ben intend to have Bobby back on their program to discuss more about The Monkees, Boyce & Hart, the Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart era, and much more.
Thanks to Paris for keeping everyone informed about his latest projects, and be sure to check out the archives of the Headquarters radio program here at The Monkees Live Almanac!
Denver Pop Culture Con is produced and presented by Pop Culture Classroom, the non-profit dedicated to fostering a love of learning through the use of comics and pop culture. Nez and Micky are two of many celebrities scheduled to meet and greet fans at the expo on July 3-5, 2020. Tickets are on sale now!
"To create their 50th-anniversary LP Good Times!, the Monkees turned creative control over to lifelong fans of the group, like producer Adam Schlesinger and songwriters like Rivers Cuomo, Paul Weller, and Noel Gallagher. The result is, improbably enough, the greatest album of the 2010s by a Sixties band, highlighted by the achingly gorgeous love ballad 'Me & Magdalena,' by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard. The voices of Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz blend together as perfectly as they did in the Sixties. And now with decades of wisdom and tough loss underneath their glossy exterior (beloved members Peter Tork and Davy Jones are no longer with us), they somehow mean more than ever." —Andy Greene
UPDATE 12/24/2019: Rolling Stone contributing editor Rob Sheffield placed "Me & Magdalena" on his personal "Best Songs of the 2010s" list:
"The Monkees had a beautiful resurgence with Good Times — their first record written and produced by actual Monkees fans, which must be why it was their best since the Sixties. 'Me and Magdalena' is a country-roads ballad, written for them by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard: Mike Nesmith flexes his weathered Texas twang, in Magnetic South mode, while Micky Dolenz hits the high harmonies. They sound like they’ve waited years for this moment — and they’re not the only ones."
Last week, in celebration of Record Store Day Black Friday 2019, Rhino Records issued Christmas Party Plus! featuring Monkees holiday songs past and present. The two 7" singles are pressed on colored vinyl (one red/one green) and housed in a gatefold: "Unwrap You At Christmas (Radio Mix)"/"Unwrap You At Christmas (Andy Partridge Demo)" along with "Riu Chiu"/"Christmas Is My Time Of Year (1976 Mix)."
Live Almanac contributor Ben Belmares scanned his copy and shared it with the site. Thanks, Ben!
Earlier this afternoon, Rolling Stone magazine's website published an interview with Michael Nesmith conducted by Andy Greene. In it, Nez speaks openly about a wide array of topics and people, including the post-Monkees days with Red Rhodes, his relationships with Peter Tork and Davy Jones, touring with Micky Dolenz in early 2020, the scope of The Monkees' legacy today, the recently issued Cosmic Partners live album from 7a Records, and much more:
UPDATE: Rolling Stone followed-up their interview with Nez by putting the spotlight on the opening track of his 1972 album, And the Hits Just Keep on Comin':
This January, SF Sketchfest in San Francisco will pay tribute to The Monkees with a Q & A session featuring both Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith. First held in 2002, the San Francisco-based event has grown into a nationally recognized comedy festival that mixes national headliners, local favorites, and the best up-and-coming groups from throughout North America for a month of sketch, improv, stand-up and alternative comedy. Micky and Nez are scheduled to be in conversation with author Paul Myers on Sunday, January 12, 2020. Click the link below for more information and to purchase tickets:
Zilch host Ken Mills welcomes Videoranch's Ed Heffelfinger and 7a Records co-founder Glenn Gretlund as they talk about 7a's Cosmic Partners - The McCabe's Tapes, available this Friday on CD and vinyl. And, a special guest turns up - Michael Nesmith himself!
"Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion" podcast interviews Jerry Blavat, Bob Rafelson's son in latest episode
Al Bigley and Alan Williams are back with a packed episode, speaking with Jerry Blavat, who guested on the second season episode "Some Like It Lukewarm," and Peter Rafelson, son of Monkees co-creator Bob Rafelson. Plus, the duo catch up with Jodi Ritzen who talks about the upcoming Dolenz/Nesmith 2020 tour, along with much more!
Earlier this fall Glenn Gretlund and Iain Lee of 7a Records announced their latest release, Cosmic Partners: The McCabe's Tapes, a previously unreleased concert recorded on August 18, 1973 at McCabe's in Santa Monica, California. Featuring Michael Nesmith and a group of supporting musicians, including his longtime friend and musical partner, legendary pedal steel player Red Rhodes, the recording has been remastered by Christian Nesmith.
This long lost performance originates from a mini-concert tour that was in support of what was to be Nesmith's final album for RCA, Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash. Nez is accompanied during this one-of-a-kind show by a rhythm section featuring Danny Lane on drums and Colin Cameron on bass, along with Rhodes on pedal steel, and they deliver performances of an array of Nesmith classics including "Joanne," "Silver Moon," "Some of Shelly's Blues," and "Grand Ennui."
Cosmic Partners will be released in the United States this Friday, November 22, on compact disc with a 24-page booklet featuring previously unseen photographs and liner notes by Michael Nesmith. It will also be available as a limited edition 12" vinyl picture disc (1,000 copies). Customers in the United Kingdom can purchase the set right now!
Check out a full preview of "Grand Ennui" from Cosmic Partners, courtesy of the Videoranch YouTube channel.
If you are in the area, join Coco Dolenz, her brother Micky, Monkees keyboardist Alex Jules, and guitarist Peter Andrews as they take the stage at The Coffee Gallery in Altadena, California this Saturday, November 16. Check out the link below for more information and how to obtain tickets to the show!
Thanks a lot to Jodi Ritzen for gathering the available information regarding pre-sales, general on-sales, and more for Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith's upcoming concert tour, "An Evening With The Monkees," in April 2020. If you do not see a pre-sale code for a particular concert date, please contact the venue. And be sure to check out yesterday's Live Almanac coverage of the tour announcement, along with details of a new live album!
Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith are returning to the concert stage in 2020 for a three-week tour dubbed "An Evening With the Monkees." Andy Greene of Rolling Stone confirmed the news earlier today on the magazine's website. The duo's latest round of dates, which follows previous worldwide runs in 2018 and 2019, will commence April 3 in Vancouver and close April 26 in Nashville. Tickets go on sale this Friday, November 15. The complete tour schedule can be found below.
April 3: Commodore Ballroom / Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
April 4: Moore Theatre / Seattle, Washington
April 7: The Crest Theatre / Sacramento, California
April 8: San Jose Civic / San Jose, California
April 10: Fox Performing Arts Center / Riverside, California
April 11: The Magnolia / El Cajon, California
April 14: Celebrity Theatre / Phoenix, Arizona
April 16: Majestic Theatre / Dallas, Texas
April 18: Riverdome at Horseshoe Casino / Bossier City, Louisiana
April 19: Tobin Center For The Performing Arts / San Antonio, Texas
April 20: Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater / Austin, Texas
April 22: Iron City / Birmingham, Alabama
April 24: Golden Nugget Grand Event Center / Lake Charles, Louisiana
April 25: IP Casino Resort & Spa / Biloxi, Mississippi
April 26: Schermerhorn Symphony Center / Nashville, Tennessee
Along with the announcement of more concert dates, Rolling Stone also confirmed the release of a brand new live album, The Mike & Micky Show Live, which will arrive April 3, 2020 on compact disc, as a digital download, and via streaming services. Produced by Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval and mixed by Christian Nesmith, the album includes 24 tracks culled from performances throughout March 2019 of the "Mike & Micky Show" tour. Fans who purchase concert tickets will automatically receive the album either as a digital download or a physical CD.
Here is the official track listing:
Billboard and a multitude of other media outlets covered the announcement of the tour and live album.
THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
Micky Dolenz And Michael Nesmith Set To Launch “An Evening With The Monkees” Tour And Release Their First Live Album On April 3, 2020
Every ticket purchased online for The Monkees includes your choice of a CD or digital copy of the new album, The Monkees Present: The Mike & Micky Show LIVE, released on 4/3/2020. You’ll receive instructions via email on how to redeem your album after ticket purchase.
Tickets And VIP Packages For 14-Date Tour Go On Sale This Friday, November 15
24-Track Live Album Spans The Entire 50+ Year Monkees Catalog
LOS ANGELES – Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees will launch a new tour and release their first-ever live album as a duo on April 3. Billed as “An Evening With The Monkees,” the tour will feature songs that span the band’s entire 50+ year career – from their 1966 self-titled debut to 2016’s Good Times.
THE MONKEES – THE MIKE & MICKY SHOW LIVE will be available on CD for $16.98. The 24-track collection will also be available digitally and via streaming services.
Tickets and VIP packages for “An Evening With The Monkees” tour dates go on sale this Friday, November 15. Every ticket purchased for “An Evening With The Monkees” includes your choice of a CD or digital copy of THE MONKEES – THE MIKE & MICKY SHOW LIVE. You’ll receive instructions via email on how to redeem your album after ticket purchase. In select markets only.
Produced by The Monkees’ archivist Andrew Sandoval & mixed by Christian Nesmith, THE MONKEES – THE MIKE & MICKY SHOW LIVE was recorded live in March 2019. The collection includes performances of all three of the band’s #1 hits: “Last Train To Clarksville,” “I’m A Believer” and “Daydream Believer.”
In addition to those hits, the live album also spotlights many of Nesmith’s finest compositions, including several songs that were never performed live during the Monkees’ heyday, like “St. Matthew” and “Auntie’s Municipal Court.” Other Nesmith-penned tunes on the collection include live versions of “The Girl I Knew Somewhere,” “Listen To The Band,” “Papa Gene’s Blues,” “You Just May Be The One” and “You Told Me.”
Dolenz takes the spotlight singing hits like “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Randy Scouse Git,” “Mary, Mary,” “Goin’ Down,” “For Pete’s Sake,” and “Porpoise Song.” The collection also features live versions of “Me & Magdelena” and “Birth Of An Accidental Hipster” from The Monkees’ most-recent studio album, Good Times (2016).
“An Evening With The Monkees” is the latest chapter in Monkee-mania, a saga that began in 1965 when four young men were cast in a television show about a struggling rock band that was inspired by the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. Few could have predicted the impact the Monkees would have on music and pop culture at large, one that still reverberates more than 50 years later.
Formed in Los Angeles for the eponymous television series, the quartet of Dolenz, Nesmith, the late Peter Tork and the late Davy Jones brought a singular mix of pop, rock, psychedelia, Broadway and country to their music. The Monkees’ first single, “Last Train To Clarksville,” was released in 1966 and quickly headed for the top spot of the Billboard charts as a part of the band's self-titled debut album, where it would ultimately sit for 13 of the 78 weeks it remained in the Top 200. (Two decades later, in the midst of a new burst of Monkee-mania, The Monkees popped back onto the charts, bringing the total number of weeks to 102.)
By the time the series aired its final new episode on March 25, 1968, the Monkees had seen three further albums top the charts — More of the Monkees, Headquarters, and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd. All were released in 1967, staggeringly enough, racking up several more hit singles, with “I’m A Believer,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” “The Girl I Knew Somewhere,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Words,” “Daydream Believer,” “Valleri,” and “Tapioca Tundra” all finding their way into the Billboard Top 40. The final tally: 16 million albums and 7.5 million singles sold in a mere 2 1/2 years.
After the series’ two-season run, the group went on to star in the cult feature film Head (co-written by Jack Nicholson) and a TV special (33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee) while also continuing to record new material. But as the ’60s gave way to the ’70s, the members of the Monkees eventually gave in to their individual musical interests and went their separate ways . . . for awhile.
In February 1986, after MTV broadcast a marathon of The Monkees, Dolenz, Jones, and Tork reunited for a 20th anniversary tour, with Nesmith joining them onstage for the Los Angeles date of the tour. In 1996, all four members of the group reunited for a new album (Justus) and TV special (Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees).
In the wake of Jones’s death on February 12, 2012, the surviving members of the Monkees reunited and performed a series of concerts. The shows were received so triumphantly that Dolenz, Nesmith, and Tork returned the following summer for a tour dubbed, “A Midsummer’s Night With the Monkees.”
To celebrate the Monkees’ 50th anniversary in 2016, the surviving members of the band recorded the critically acclaimed album Good Times. Much like the Monkees’ early albums, it featured tracks written for the band by a group of gifted songwriters, including Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Rivers Cuomo (Weezer), Andy Partridge (XTC) and more. To support the album, Dolenz and Tork launched a successful tour that featured Nesmith beaming in remotely via Skype for a few songs during some of the shows.
In February this year, Tork died just eight days after his birthday.
Stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for more updates as they become available!