For the first time ever, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith will comprise The Monkees when the duo and the band appear this evening in Tucson, Arizona at the Fox Tucson Theatre. Because of a family emergency, Peter Tork is unable to perform in Tucson or tomorrow in Phoenix, and Michael Nesmith agreed to substitute for Peter at both shows.
The Monkees' 50th Anniversary Tour commenced on May 18 but has featured only Dolenz and Tork. Nesmith, however, has joined along at various other events this year, including an interview for CBS Sunday Morning, a SiriusXM Town Hall, and a radio guest spot in Louisville, Kentucky. He also "appeared" with Micky and Peter in New York City on June 1 via Skype, performing "Papa Gene's Blues," and popped in for the encore performance in Monterey, California on August 5. And of course, The Monkees' first album of all new material since 1996, Good Times!, features all three surviving members of the group.
Over the years, The Monkees have experienced several variations in their lineup. In late 1968, Peter departed leaving Micky, Davy, and Michael to carry on. Nez eventually followed suit in early 1970, resulting in the duo of Dolenz and Jones. In 1986, Dolenz, Jones, and Tork reunited for The Monkees' 20th Anniversary and continued to perform on and off as a trio through 2011. Peter and Davy even toured Australia in 1986 and 1987 while Micky and Davy joined forces in 2002. During all that time, Nesmith joined his bandmates for various projects and appearances in the '80s and '90s, but when Davy died on February 29, 2012, a new incarnation of The Monkees arose, with Micky, Michael, and Peter performing live as a trio for tours in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Nez stayed off the road in the summer and fall of 2015 when Micky and Peter decided to test the waters, and that duo has represented The Monkees onstage ever since.
So, tonight should be interesting. I hope to have a set list for everyone after the show, and will keep an eye on YouTube for video footage from tonight and tomorrow's events. And finally, The Monkees Live Almanac would like to extend its best wishes to Peter and his family, and look forward to his return!