Micky Dolenz will ‘Monkee’ around at Parx Casino
The first clue Micky Dolenz got that the Monkees were a huge success could just have easily been a fire drill.
Dolenz — who along with Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith formed a musical acting quartet in 1966 that served as America’s answer to the Beatles — had been sequestered for months in the studio, engulfed in rehearsing, filming and recording.
In essence, they had no idea of the public reaction to “The Monkees” television show because they hadn’t yet been out in public to experience it.
Just before Christmas of 1966, the band members got a week off. Dolenz decided to do a little Christmas shopping at his local mall in Los Angeles, where he grew up, with plans to head up to San Jose, Calif., after that to see his family for the holidays.
“I get out of my car and I have my list and I go through the big glass doors of the mall and all of a sudden I hear screaming and people are running toward me,” said Dolenz in a recent telephone interview from Los Angeles. “And I thought it was a fire. So I turned around and I opened the glass doors and I go, ‘This way! This way! Don’t panic! Calm down! Walk slowly this way!’
“All of a sudden I realized there was no fire; it’s all these people — mostly kids — running at me. So I ran back and got in my car and I was kind of pissed because I couldn’t do my Christmas shopping. That was the first inkling I had of the success of ‘The Monkees,’” he said.
And 45 years later, Dolenz is still a success. Local fans will get a chance to see what all the screaming was about back in the mid-1960s when Dolenz brings his solo act to the 360 Club at the Parx Casino in Bensalem for one free admission show at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Dolenz — who along with Jones and Tork had been busy with a successful 45th anniversary tour for the Monkees before it was abruptly stopped recently — had sprinkled a few solo gigs into his summer and early fall schedule.
There has been no official reason given for the stoppage of the tour, which began in England in May, reached the U.S. in June and had its plug pulled in early August.
Although he wouldn’t comment further, Dolenz did say that the band was having fun during the tour.
“The shows were really great, some of the best we’ve ever done. It was very gratifying,” he said.
The Monkees had a number of hits in the late 1960s, including “Last Train to Clarksville” (the group’s first No. 1 in 1966); “I’m a Believer” (No. 1 in 1966); “Daydream Believer” (No. 1 in 1967); and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (No. 3 in 1967). The group has reunited off and on over the years as a trio, mostly without the participation of Nesmith.
Dolenz, 66, has had a career that not only includes being a musician, but also a stage actor, television director and radio personality. But there has always been the music. Continued…