Micky Dolenz & Michael Nesmith discuss The Monkees, their current tour of Australia, Peter Tork's parties, building gyrocopters, and more
"With Micky and me, it was love at first sight," says Nez. "We just clicked and we'd always be making silly jokes. We'd joke that one day we'd do the Mike and Micky Show – and here we are."
Micky and Nez were interviewed today by Angela Bishop on the Australian morning talk show Studio 10. "The Mike and Micky Show" debuts down under this Saturday evening in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Thank you very much to Live Almanac contributor Renny Simno for sharing these tributes to Peter Tork from the latest issues of Uncut and Mojo:
Thanks a lot to Jeremy Roberts for sharing his recently published article on Medium about a stop on The Monkees' triumphant 45th Anniversary World Tour!
More information from the Downtown Arts District Association:
The May DADA 1st Friday Gallery Hop, “Dancing in the Streets” will include a tribute honoring the life of someone who spent quite a bit of time over the last two decades in this area of NC, The Monkees’ Peter Tork. Film, memorabilia, a scavenger hunt with prizes, a dance contest, music, yoga, theatre vignettes, a family art area, dark chocolate, a lot of tie dye, mismatched socks and a mauve tie or two will be in full force as some of Peter's favorite things!
Please come help us celebrate Peter’s life and contributions to the arts on the first Friday in May from 7-10 pm in the Winston-Salem Downtown Arts District.
"Love is understanding"
"Be a Hero unto yourself"
6 PM - 500/600 block of N. Trade from 5th to 7th Street, and Sixth Street from Cherry to Liberty closes for Hop.
7-10 PM - Hop Begins in the Winston-Salem Downtown Arts District
We will finish the Hop with a group sing of Monkees hits "Daydream Believer" and Tork's own composition "For Pete's Sake" which was the Monkees TV series closing theme.
Recorded during The Monkees' 30th Anniversary Tour in the summer of 1996, Two Man Band featured Peter Tork and his longtime friend, singer/songwriter/musician James Lee Stanley, performing selected covers and songs by Tork, Stanley, and The Monkees.
Peter and James first met in 1964 when Peter was a member of the Phoenix Singers during Peter's Greenwich Village days. In 1994, James Lee's Beachwood Records issued Peter's first solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, and the duo began to perform together in the aftermath of its release. The intimate, acoustic nature of their shows inspired them to replicate that formula inside the recording studio, and Two Man Band was born.
In 2001, Peter and James released Once Again, which was followed by Live/Backstage at the Coffee Gallery in 2006.
Two Man Band is an excellent album that the Live Almanac highly recommends. Listen to an insightful interview with James Lee Stanley where he talks extensively about the album on the Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion podcast:
AllMusic delivered praise for Two Man Band in its review of the album:
"Following the artistic success of his debut solo CD, Stranger Things Have Happened, Peter Tork teamed up with Beachwood labelmate James Lee Stanley. This pairing allowed Tork to further explore his acoustic, blues, and easy listening side. And, as with his first release, this is an excellent album. Both artists compliment each other and the music is very accessible. Tork has a wonderfully pleasing and distinctive voice, and Stanley's voice is a perfect blend. The two alternate lead vocals and composition credits and this, too, works. Stanley contributes more original tunes to the collection, while Tork is content to write a couple and choose suitable covers (such as the brilliant 'Milkshake,' a clear standout of the CD). 'Pleasant Valley Sunday' is outstanding and rivals the Monkees' version. One wonders what direction the Monkees would have taken had Tork had more control. That said, this album is a treasure. A perfect album for late summer nights while relaxing."
Two Man Band can be purchased on compact disc today through Amazon or CD Baby. The album is also available for downloading on iTunes and can be streamed on Spotify.
Thanks very much to Ben Belmares for sharing his scans of Two Man Band with The Monkees Live Almanac!
11:05 p.m. Def Leppard is the final induction of the night... But first, the Rock Hall is paying tribute to those we've lost in the last year. The "in memoriam" honored dozens of people, including Aretha Franklin, Avicii, Pete Shelley, Andy Anderson, Danny Kirwan, Keith Flint, Joe Jackson, Vinnie Paul, Ed King, Mac Miller, James Ingram, Dick Dale, Peter Tork and Marty Balin, among many others.
In the spring of 2013, Peter Tork embarked on a solo tour entitled "In This Generation." Produced by Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval, the show highlighted Peter's eclectic career in music.
In this video, filmed on June 1, 2013 at The Granada Theater in Dallas, Texas, Peter delivers an inspired performance of the Monkees classic "Pleasant Valley Sunday."
After reuniting in 1986 and undertaking worldwide tours through 1987, The Monkees were relatively out of the limelight in 1988. Peter Tork reemerged late that year with a short solo tour that included multiple shows at The Speakeasy in New York City. I vividly recall these concerts being advertised in fan club newsletters like The Monkees/Boyce & Hart Photo Fan Club and Monkee Business Fanzine, and later seeing Michael G. Bush's photos from the Speakeasy.
Beginning in the late 1970s and right up to The Monkees' phenomenal 1986 comeback, Peter had played numerous club dates in and around New York City as a solo artist and with his bands The New Monks and The Peter Tork Project, as documented in an essay on this blog by Fred Velez in 2017. Looking back, it's interesting to see how Peter seamlessly transitioned from playing stadiums, arenas, and amphitheaters in 1986 and 1987 while returning to the more intimate setting of New York City clubs in 1988. During these shows, he was backed by Jerry Renino (who was a member of The Peter Tork Project as well as The Monkees' backing band from 1989-2002), Michael Levine (electric fiddle), and Mal Stein (drums).
The March 1989 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine covered Peter's late 1988 concerts, which also included stops at The Town Crier in Pawling, New York and The Iron Horse in Northampton, Massachusetts:
As mentioned in the above article from Monkee Business Fanzine, Peter's shows at the Speakeasy were recorded for a live album that ultimately was never released. However, thanks to Scott Erickson, select samples of those live recordings were heard for the very first time in a recent post on the Live Almanac's blog.
Heather Sciacca recently uploaded her photos from one of Peter's shows at The Speakeasy in New York City on the Torkees Discussion Group on Facebook. Thanks, Heather!
Finally, here is video footage of Peter's appearance at The Speakeasy in New York City (which is now a comedy club) on November 26, 1988, courtesy of Jennifer Winkle: