Micky Dolenz: Not Slowing Down (The Interview)
Written by: Ken Sharp
His slate is full and jam-packed. He’s currently touring with Monkee band mate Peter Tork, has a new live album in the works merging rock and Broadway AND a new ’70s solo material collection is also on its way.
And if that’s not enough, Dolenz is enjoying a successful side career with Dolenz & Daughters, a fine furniture company with his daughter Georgia. Perennially on the go, we caught up with Micky to fill us in on all things, past, present and future.
Rock Cellar Magazine: You’re recording a new live album soon, A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock & Roll.
Micky Dolenz: It’s actually the idea of a Broadway producer named Van Dean. He was a fan of mine and he met with me. He had a company called Broadway Records and they do soundtracks from shows.
He knew about my love for Broadway and theater. He met with me about a year ago and said I’d love to do a live CD at this place in New York called 54 Below. It’s below the old Studio 54. It’s a cabaret venue, very small, very intimate and a lot of the Broadway stars will go there and do that kind of cabaret.
Initially I told him I didn’t know if I could do that because it’s so outside my comfort zone. I’m used to a big rock and roll concert with lights and people screaming and a big band covering up all my mistakes. (laughs)
It’s not a one-man show but it’s close. It’s very intimate, obviously, and you have to talk and tell stories which I do occasionally in my rock and roll show. But also he said, “I’d love for you to do some Broadway tunes and mix it up. Let’s call it A Little Bit of Broadway, A Little Bit of Rock and Roll” ‘cause obviously I’ve done both. So we’ve been working on it for months.
I’ve been to New York two or three times and met with the arranger/band leader and we’ve gone over a ton of material. Doing the rock and roll stuff is not gonna be a big problem, it’s all gonna be mainly the big Monkee hits. But finding Broadway tunes that fit the occasion and fit me is surprisingly not that easy. A lot of songs that I thought would really work that I loved in shows and in some of the shows that I’ve been in, when you start singing them with just a piano, surprisingly a lot of them just didn’t work.
And it was mainly because as Michael Moritz, the MD and arranger said “In this kind of cabaret environment the songs sort of have to stand on their own in context, the narrative and story of the song. Like for instance. One of the songs that I wanted to do was Wonderful from Wicked. We tried it and it’s a great song but you really need to be watching the musical and being into the story; the songs have an awful lot to do with musical and the story.
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