Micky Dolenz PR-man David Salidor Speaks
Micky Dolenz PR-man David Salidor Speaks
Monkees.Net Brad Waddell’s Exclusive Interview with Micky Dolenz’ PR-gunslinger David Salidor for the inside scoop on working with Micky.
David Salidor has operated his own PR firm since 1974; and, has worked with the likes of Madonna; Debbie Gibson; Run DMC; ZZ Top; and he helped create the industry’s New Music Seminar.
Q: You’ve worked with Micky since 2004 (when he was doing AIDA on Broadway) – what’s your assessment of him and his talents?
A: One of the most natural and professional entertainers I’ve ever worked with. Just a wonderful performer; it’s no wonder that he’s been so successful for so long.
Q: You’ve been involved with 3 solo records of Micky’s … thoughts?
A: His Carole King album (King For A Day) I feel was one of the most overlooked albums ever … just a tremendous work of Carole’s songs. I don’t know why he was represented by this weekend’s MusicCares event to Carole King. Amazing. His album of last year Remember was again a brilliant work as well. The live BB King’s record was a terrific representation of his show and the crowd was great. He’ll be back at BB King’s in NYC in July.
Both releases were on smaller labels and that no doubt played part; but, creatively, both great works. It’s a shame they didn’t get their proper due.
Q: What can you tell us about his future plans?
A: He just started a furniture company with his daughter Georgia and the response has been phenomenal. The web site is http://www.dolenzanddaughters.com/
Q: is there going to be another Monkees tour?
A: I cannot confirm it; but, I would be surprised if there wasn’t. Their fan-base is multi-generational and the shows with Nez just amazing.
Q: Besides Micky, have you met the rest of them?
A: I booked the show with Davy for ABC’s The View in 2011 and met him and Peter at the taping for the first time. I haven’t met Nesmith yet; but, have been mightily impressed seeing him on the last tour.
Q: Usually by this time of the year Micky has signed on to some kind of group performance, like the Happy Together or Teen Idols tours, and he has not done that, which makes me believe that might be another Monkees reunion summer tour in the works.
A: I wish I could confirm or deny, but I cannot. Micky might be doing something in New York in the Spring on his own, but that has not been confirmed either.
I don’t really have a relationship with anyone in the Monkees except for Micky; but when we did The View, Davy came over to me and thanked me. I was touched that he would do that, having never met before.
I know Micky wants do another Broadway show, he loves doing the whole music theater Broadway thing.
He has done several of the Donnie Kehr-produced Rockers On Broadway events. We actually met when he was doing Aida in NYC in 2005, then we started doing stuff and I helped him get that morning show on CBS-FM, which he did for 6 months, which culminated in a live simulcast from BB Kings in New York city.
I’ll tell you an interesting story: during the course of that live show the powers that be up at CBS decided to totally change the format, to the then-big-new Jack format. As good as that live show was, and we had several performers in addition to Micky and his band, by the close of the day, the staff has been let go, the format changed and it was a major media storm the next day. Both Micky and Cousin Brucie (Bruce Morrow) were on the cover of one of the leading papers here. Crazy, crazy day!
Q: What do you think of the Monkees Convention?
A: This will be my first Monkees-event and I must say, so far I am terrifically impressed. Jodi Ritzen is on-point and terrifically impressive. And, believe me, from the New Music Seminar, I know something about putting an event on of this magnitude. I’m really looking forward to it. The convention is now being promoted in tandem with Rhino Records and it’s great that they have given their blessing. I think they’ll be some surprises from Rhino as well.
Q: The interest is really big, it seems like something like a Star Trek Convention, where you just start it up, and then it takes on a life of its own as sort of an annual party where everyone just has to go – the place to be.
A: You are absolutely right, awareness has never been better for The Monkees. I would like to see the Monkees record a new album. I know Micky would be up for it. I have seen two Monkees shows with Michael and he really impressed me, his playing, his singing, it was great show. I’d love to see the shows out on DVD but it’s basically a rights war between art and commerce. Look at the Wrecking Crew documentary where the music rights cost more than making the movie!
Q: You mentioned the Wrecking Crew as an excellent example; I referred Danny Tedesco to Kickstarter because it is so difficult to get funding for music rights. I think that’s really a model for the future of financing, where the small guys can get a project done by small investors, which is a good thing for artists.
A: These days with social media, you can really get out there and do it yourself. When Facebook and Twitter started we PR people were wary and somewhat reluctant to get onboard, but now we use all of those tools to get the word out direct to the people, the press are much less reliable than in the past, and media is becoming more and more decentralized.
Q: The Monkees go out on a tour and one thing everybody wants from that tour is a recording of the show, do you have any information about what gets that process moving?
A: I cannot give you the answer, but I talked to Andrew Sandoval during the last Davy tour, I said my God, this should be a DVD and he just said “we’re not doing it” and I kind of left it at that. The answer is probably above my pay grade, but, my intuition is that it’s a rights issue to the songs or something, it is very complicated.
Q: We see other bands doing DIY or record yourself or you just plug in to the sound board!
Believe me, if someone says you can do it, I will do it myself for sure. I saw Davy, Peter and Micky on Coney Island and Andrew was doing the sound, so i suspect he has the recordings. It’s a shame they are
not released to the fans in some fashion. When Micky released the BB King DVD, we had total control of that and sold it via eBay. There should be a historical record of every tour with so many fans around
Q: It seems the Monkees do not have an organization that puts a focus on Monkees merchandise, but the fans want to buy it.
A: The Monkees never had a kind of Apple Records organization that was tuned in to their own promotions; they were a TV show and pretty much left hanging when the TV show part was canceled. Again it seems to be art versus commerce and the ones who get hurt are the fans. I know Rhino owns a lot of the rights and puts out great reissues, but no idea why no new stuff. They are great people to work with. But in today’s world you need a team, a PR guy, promotion guy, manager guy, social media manager, really now more than ever you need good brand management and the individual band members of The Monkees mainly focus on solo projects.
Q: That leads me perfectly to my next question which is what does an agent do?
A: Agent, publicist, promoter are all slightly different. I call myself a press agent, we kind of setup events, like that event at Planet Hollywood you were at, when Micky donated an original copy of a Monkees-TV show script, I came up with that concept from start to finish that he would donate this original script to the collection. Booking Agents typically book the venues for the performances and collect the money.
The manager hires the agents and comes up with the grand plan, basically Micky is technically his own manager, but he consults with a series of people, myself included. Every artist works with me differently, I have artists come to be and say we want you to do for us what you did for Debbie Gibson, but, that’s not possible. Every artist has different talents and different needs.
Every campaign I have ever done, whether it was ZZ Top or Madonna or Micky or Run DMC has been different. They may borrow some components, but it is still personalized.
Look at Micky’s recent records; we did the Carole King package; then a pastiche of his entire career. He’s a really creative artist, one of the best projects I have been involved with.
Q: It seems like the individual performer, in order to be able to tour has to get with a group of artists that cater to a specific age group and make a traveling festival. How does that work?
A: That has a lot to do with your booking agency, Micky and the Happy Together crew use Paradise Artists and Howie Silverman and they put together these tours and switch out acts. Micky is also doing the teen idols tour with Mark Lindsay and Peter Noone and until recently David Cassidy.
I think Howie developed that idea after the Monkees tour in 1986 where they feel they can fill bigger halls and make it work financially. It’s kind of matching the acts with the right venues at the right time, like Jones Beach in the summer. Lots of major cities have venues like that and need content.
Q: Certainly, nobody in New York can complain they don’t get enough concerts! I get most of my complaints from the middle of the country when the Monkees or the solo shows skip them. It seems to me the grouping idea is a good one to get them to those smaller markets.
A: When I saw the band in New York the show was totally sold out and it seemed they could do multiple nights here.
Q: How does Micky handle Twitter and Facebook etc?
A: He has a specific team doing that for him, he communicates with them. Today, you have to be doing that to keep awareness up. I watched the recent Grammy’s, and this is the first time i had watched it with live Twitter messages on my phone, and i would send something out and get a response back and it was very entertaining.
Q: Yes back when the Internet first started we were doing that on our PC’s with IRC chat!
A: I’ve been doing this so long, but it takes me time to learn some of these new things!
Q: The thing most people mentioned they enjoyed that the last Monkees convention was the sing-longs – no celebrities, just a guy with a guitar and a bunch of fans making a memory. The Monkees definitely are a positive memory for so many people. This is one of the few chances they have to be in a large group to celebrate the same good memories.
A: The technology has been phenomenal, to bring us together from our homes or in person, so much of a connection with everyone.
Q: When the Monkees relate to each other, it seems to me that of the four that Micky is the mediator, the guy who can get the big picture and move things forward rather than getting tied up in details. I
think he has been in the most reunions if you add them all up.
A: When I started working with Micky he was quite serious, but as I got more familiar with him, I got more of the prankster out of him with the jokes and all, he can really make you feel comfortable. He was able to switch quickly from serious actor to the Monkee-Micky persona very rapidly, his personality is great and he can get along with anyone, he makes you feel like he is really interested in you and is very supportive.
I think you are right on the money when you say he is a great mediator. He is the captain of the team.
Q: Like they say, you can’t pick your family. Micky seems to have a great sense of appreciation for his position, that he is lucky to be there, and it seems like so few entertainers really have that view.
A: Many times a client will tell me “I hope they don’t ask me about that” and i say to myself, i wish that was my biggest problem today!
Micky will answer anything, very agreeable. I was working with Van Morrison and he made every interview difficult, even getting in fights during an interview. Micky is a dream to work with, very easygoing.
Q: I’m pretty sure the Monkees are the only people to be legitimate teen idols twice, with the top 10 albums and the sold out concerts and the screaming pre-teens, and I believe the Monkees currently have more fans from the 80’s than they do from the 60’s, which means their fan base is larger and younger.
A: In the last solo stage i saw, there were two kids 5 or 6 years old and Micky played to them and they were jumping up and down, it really shows that the Monkees spread across all ages, look at the Shrek
thing, that introduced the song to a whole new generation. Micky is a intuitive performer, he started as an actor, and clearly the acting came in more and more on the live shows.
Q: What are his career goals?
A: He would love to do another Broadway show. Stay tuned! I think he really likes working in New York, I think there could be another album, perhaps like a Nilsson tribute album or a Boyce and
Hart tribute album for example, it could become a series. He also wants to keep performing as well.
Q: Thanks David for your time!
A: I loved it, thanks for having me on Monkees.Net.