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The Monkees on their 45th anniversary tour starting in Liverpool next month

May 8, 2011 by  
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THE Monkees have been closeted in a small room all day doing interviews. It’s a nice room, of course, a book-filled nook of a well-known London members’ club, and there’s endless tea and biscuits, but it’s a small room nonetheless.

Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz are here to talk about their forthcoming 45th anniversary tour and two-CD Best Of, Monkeemania.

This morning, they were probably fresh and full of the joys of spring, but now, several hours in to their promotional duties, the trio are starting to flag.

The band’s drummer, Micky Dolenz, is sitting, nay lying, on the end of the couch, hat pulled down over his eyes like a cowboy catching an afternoon nap.

He’s snatched a few hours off from performing in an award-winning touring production of the Sixties-set musical, Hairspray.

“Eight shows a week,” he smiles, raising his head slightly. “Brutal.” He sinks back down.

Peter Tork, the keyboard player, is sitting to his left, taking everything in and not saying very much. He’s quiet throughout our interview and, unless he’s making one of his quick jokes, only really speaks when spoken to.

Davy Jones, however, is up on his feet. He’s 65 now, and looks it, but still has the glint in his eye of a former teen idol, with a tan that would sit somewhere between “sun-kissed” and “old handbag” on a beauty salon’s colour chart.

Despite being born in Manchester, Jones is full of the can-do attitude of the USA, his adopted homeland, and only a trace of a British accent remains. Despite this, he doesn’t sound American either.

He chats 50 to the dozen, with Tork and Dolenz rarely getting a word in. They seem happy enough, though, perhaps used to him after all these years.

“I’m doing great,” Jones says. “I’m doing exactly what I want to do, I’m still riding my horses, I’ve got beautiful kids and I’m with my lovely wife,” he adds, referring to his 33-year-old third spouse Jessica Pacheco, a rather beautiful model, dancer and actress from Miami.

“And here I am with my buddies. We’re here to play music and I do that all the time, but it’s not the same if I’m not with them.”

The Monkees were the first made-for-TV band, formed when two young film-makers, Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, inspired by The Beatles film, A Hard Day’s Night, pitched an idea for a TV show about a band.

Dolenz and Jones were already child stars of stage and screen; Tork and Mike Nesmith answered the casting call and starred in the series for two years.

During this time, the band made their TV show, which was exported around the world and is still repeated today, and released albums of songs written by the best on offer at the “Brill Building” – the New York hit factory that boasted Neil Sedaka, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Neil Diamond and, chiefly, prolific duo Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart among its ranks of staff songwriters.

The formula, however contrived, worked a treat. During 1967, The Monkees outsold The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined in the US, going on to sell around 50m records worldwide.

Strangely, when the trio talk today about their songs, they get confused over which of the writers was responsible for which hit.

via The Monkees on their 45th anniversary tour starting in Liverpool next month – Liverpool Arts – Entertainment – Liverpool Daily Post.

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