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Hey, hey, it’s the Monkees

July 10, 2011 by  
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How mind-blowing would it have been if someone told you in 1966 that The Beatles would break up in four years, but The Monkees would still be touring the world 45 years later?

Hard to fathom, but true. The Monkees, assembled for an NBC TV series that was inspired by The Beatles, first hit the charts in 1966 with the No. 1 hits “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a Believer.” Now Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Bell Canyon resident Micky Dolenz are back on the road to celebrate the group’s 45th anniversary. Missing from the lineup, of course, will be Mike Nesmith, who’s rarely taken part in any of the group’s reunion projects over the years.

What’s made The Monkees such an enduring concert draw is their hit-packed song catalog. And when they dig into it next week in Santa Ynez and Los Angeles, they’ll dig deep, mixing hits like “Daydream Believer” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” with more obscure album cuts like “Porpoise Song” and “Goin’ Down.”

“I happen to think that The Monkees’ songbook is a very, very good songbook,” Tork said. “I think it stacks up with The Beatles’ and the Stones’ songbook — much more in the kind of poppy, bubblegum vein than some of the Stones and Beatles’ songs, of course.”

The impetus for the current reunion was pretty simple, Tork said.

“Somebody made us an offer. That’s the long and short of it,” he said. “Management came to me a year ago and said, ‘I think we can all have a good time and make a little money at it, if you’re game to do it.’ I said, ‘You know, as a matter of fact, I’m just about ready for a little fun.’ ”

When the three Monkees get back together, he said, they don’t have much trouble getting back in the groove.

“It comes back pretty easily,” Tork said. “Every time we do this, when we’re off for a while, we go over every arrangement, making sure we have the gist of the original cuts. I’m just glad that enough people have had enough of a good experience with The Monkees to want to come to the shows. That’s really where it comes down for me.”

The Monkees will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Chumash Casino, 3400 E. Highway 246, Santa Ynez. For tickets, $35-$85, call 800-248-6274 or visit They also will play at 7:30 p.m. July 16 at the Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles. Tickets, $20-$75, are available through Ticketmaster, 583-8700 or

via Hey, hey, it’s the Monkees » Ventura County Star.

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