The Monkees are hard at work rehearsing on the West Coast in preparation of their 12-date tour, which kicks off on November 8th in Escondido, California. The upcoming concerts mark the first group tour Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork have undertaken since Davy Jones died of a heart attack on February 29th at age 66. Also on board is guitarist Mike Nesmith, who apart from an occasional walk on during the group's reunion tour encores, last performed and recorded with the band in 1997, and according to those involved, left the group flat following their sole four-man UK reunion tour.
Micky Dolenz shed some light on the group's current rehearsals telling MusicRadar.com, "I've been up in northern California with Mike Nesmith for the last month, working with him, because he hasn't done a lot of this material in many years. It's a different dynamic, and as you say, it is bittersweet. We're not calling it the 'Davy Jones Memorial Tour,' but he will definitely be remembered, and there will be an homage to him."
Nesmith fully endorsed -- but once again sat out of -- the Monkees' last reunion trek in 2011, marking the group's 45th anniversary.
Out now is Micky Dolenz' latest album, titled Remember, which named after the 1972 Harry Nilsson classic, "Remember (Christmas)." Other tunes featured on the set are the Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" -- which he performed during his 1965 Monkees audition -- as well as the group's "I'm A Believer," "Randy Scouse Git" and "Sometime In The Morning" -- along with a personal favorite, the Beatles' "Good Morning, Good Morning."
Dolenz explained why he chose the covers for the new collection: "All the songs on the album have a story behind them, but I was at that Beatles session, so it got burned into my neural pathways. Eventually, on an episode of The Monkees, I got them to give me the rights to let me play the song on the show, which was unheard of at the time. Over the years, I sort of came up with this different take on it. But I switched the time signatures around. On the original, the verses are in 4/4 and the middle eight is in triplets. I turned it around so that the verses are in triplets and the middle eight is in 4/4."
Micky Dolenz told us that he's always considered his career from The Monkees' TV shows to their reunion tours as "musical theatre": "If you understand the history of the Monkees, if you understand and appreciate how the original show was put together and everything, it's not like a band having a reunion. It's more like the revival of a Broadway musical, if you will. It's like Yul Brynner doing The King And I again. That's the way I've always looked at it, 'cause that's the way The Monkees was originally produced and constructed. It was a television show first, about this imaginary rock-and-roll group--this fictitious group called the Monkees."
The Monkees tour dates (subject to change):
November 8 - Escondido, CA - California Center for the Arts
November 9 - Santa Barbara, CA - The Arlington Theatre
November 10 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
November 11 - Cupertino, CA - Flint Center for the Performing Arts
November 15 - Minneapolis, MN - The State Theatre
November 16 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Theatre
November 17 - Lakewood, OH - Lakewood Civic Auditorium
November 18 - Buffalo, NY - UB Center For The Arts Mainstage
November 29 - Glenside, PA - Keswick Theatre
November 30 - New Brunswick, NJ - State Theatre
December 1 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount
December 2 - New York, NY - The Beacon Theatre