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Hey, hey…he’s a Monkee

June 30, 2011 by  
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As the Monkees’ 45th anniversary tour is winding down, Miky Dolenz is in a reflective mood.

And, like his on-stage persona, it is a happy, cheerful mood.

The Monkees – okay, three-fourths of the original band, Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davey Jones – have been on the road since early spring playing two-hour greatest hits-filled sets to packed crowds. Only Michael Nesmith has opted not to take part in the tour. The band played two sold-out shows earlier this month at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ont.

“This tour has been absolutely incredible,” Dolenz said. “The crowds have been amazing, probably some of the best we’ve ever played before.”

With all of the Monkees nearing 70, Dolenz is reluctant to say if there will be another tour or if this is the grand finale for what has been an amazing, roller coaster-like run that began in 1966 when the band, dubbed by many as the “pre-Fab Four” were introduced to audiences via their weekly NBC show.

“The proof is in the pudding,” Dolenz said. “We’re still here and our songs are standing up. Quite well in some cases.”

The current shows dispel one preconceived notion that the Monkees couldn’t play their own instruments. Dolenz plays drums and guitar. Tork alternates between keyboards and guitar. Jones strums an acoustic guitar here and there. The Monkees are backed up eight other musicians.

“You have to,” Dolenz said. “Audiences want you to re-create the sounds from those 45s and albums they bought way back when. If we don’t, we are just singing to a bunch of pre-recorded tapes. That’s not us. We are about the live experience.”

Dolenz is quick to point out the Monkees were not alone in using often times unnamed studio musicians on their records. Among them was Grand Island’s Tom Tedesco, a talented and underrated guitarist. Others like Leon Russell and Dean Parks played on the records.

via Hey, hey…he’s a Monkee | Business First.

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