Mickymania Continued in Liverpool!
Report by Charles F. Rosenay!!!
Mickymania continued in Liverpool on Tuesday, August 30, which was the final day of International Beatleweek put on by Cavern City Tours.
Thousands of fans from numerous countries had enjoyed countless bands, special events, guest speakers, and a world-class convention. Micky had already performed a mini-set as part of a concert celebrating the year 1966, he’d been interviewed at the convention, and he was inducted into the Cavern Hall of Fame with a monogrammed brick.
But on Tuesday, Micky played two historic and comparatively intimate concerts at the famed Cavern Club. There was both an early matinee and an evening performance in front of about 500 fans at each show. Opening acts were California’s The Tearaways, a great power pop band with special guest Clem (Blondie) Burke on drums; and singer/musician/songwriter/composer Mark Hudson. Both opening sets were terrific, but clearly the audience was waiting for Micky.
Before the second show Mark Hudson and Micky were clowning around backstage, as Mark pretended to fall asleep on the couch next to Micky. Pleasantries were exchanged; photos were taken. But it was time for the show.
With Wayne Avers by his side and Liverpool’s The Rockits as his back-up band, Micky started with “Mary Mary” but his vocal mic was cutting out. He carried on with “Stepping Stone” and interacted with the band as they segued right into “That Was Then This Is Now.” Any technical glitches were corrected and the band hit their stride with “Words.” Wayne stepped over to share the backup vocals with the LadyBugs, a local female vocal duo.
The mood mellowed for “Sometime in the Morning” and got whimsical with “D.W. Washburn,” as Micky credited his songwriters including Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka and Neil Armstrong (adding that the last Neil wrote “Blue Moon”). “Last Train to Clarksville” followed, with a tip of his hat to Boyce&Hart.
He reminisced about chatting with Ringo, and then he ripped onto his Monkees audition song “Johnny B. Goode” which really got the Cavern crowd rocking.
Someone offered him a drink but Micky passed, saying: “I don’t drink water because fish have sex in it.”
We heard the familiar Jimi Hendrix story with some “Purple Haze” riff which transitioned into the beloved “WeWantDavy” chant. But Micky must have loved the band and vibe so much he went back into “Purple Haze.” Wayne especially shined as the band jammed on. Micky acknowledged Wayne, who has now been touring with one or more Monkees for a quarter century! Before the show, Wayne and I realized that he played a Beatles Convention in the 90s with Davy Jones – it was one I produced!
After a shout out to Nesmith’s songwriting, Micky sang the sublime “The Girl That I Knew Somewhere” and introduced the “You Bring the Summer,” only selection from new CD, “Good Times.”
The next bit was what made the evening show so historic. Before the song began its recognizable piano, Micky dedicated it to Davy’s sister Hazel, who came from Manchester to be at the show. It was a rather emotional “Daydream Believer.” Appropriately, it was followed by another Davy-sing hit “A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You,” after which Micky politely told off someone talking too loud.
Next was his story about meeting the “royal family” (the 4 kings of EMI) and the audience went nuts for “Randy Scouse Git,” as there were more than a few “scousers” in the crowd. He went on a drum tantrum at the end and Wayne had to (comically) stop him.
Micky then pointed to the sweat pouring off the Cavern stage ceiling and said “this is hardcore.” He told of sitting in on a Beatles recording session at Abbey Road for some album called “Sgt. Bilko” (Pepper, of course) and how John called him “Monkeeman” which lead into “Oh Darling.” It was an obvious crowd pleaser.
The closing numbers were “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and Spencer Davis’
“Gimme Some Lovin'” before
“I’m a Believer” ended the night. No mention of Shrek.
As this was the finale of Beatleweek, throughout the crowd members of other bands could be spotted dancing, singing along and just plan loving the show.
Wayne intro’d each bandmember by name and thanked the crowd for coming, and it was the end of a great few days.
Charles Rosenay with Micky Dolenz
Charles with Davy’s sister Hazel
Micky Dolenz and Mark Hudson
All Photos courtesy www. liverpooltours.com