Legend Series – The Monkees Present: The Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz Show
The Monkees Present: The Mike and Micky Show at The Paramount
The Monkees are a band born from a television show about a struggling rock band and their adventures seeking stardom. It only aired for two seasons from September 1966 through March 1968 and produced a mere fifty-eight episodes. Amazingly that show made Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork household names ever since.
The four young musicians continued as a true band after the series ended and their fan base grew and grew. Over the years there were many concert tours, most of the times not with all four members but The Monkees music was always at the forefront. Each band member had their own solo careers throughout this time and would be in the spotlight in one form or another their entire lives.
The Monkees discography includes thirteen studio albums, with nine of those being released in the years of 1966 through 1970. Their latest is a Christmas album released in October of last year, Christmas Party. The album features all four members including Jones’ unmistakable voice made possible through vintage recordings. Jones passed away at the age of sixty-six in February 2012. Sadly after the release of this album the world also lost Tork, who passed away in February.
Today Dolenz and Nesmith continue to keep the music going strong and The Monkees remain front and center. It is also evident that their fan base still grows to this day. On March 8th Nesmith and Dolenz made their long awaited appearance at The Paramount in Huntington, NY.
Their original date for this appearance was last June 23rd but the show was postponed due to Nesmith having a health issue and ultimately underwent heart surgery soon after. While the audience was mostly made up of the same age group as the two musicians, it was also filled with young people who also grew up listening to the music their parents and grandparents were playing.
With no opening act, the crowd new they were in for a night packed with great memories; they also knew it was Dolenz birthday. After Wayne Avers (guitar/vocals), Christian Nesmith (guitars/vocals), John Billings (bass), Rich Dart (drums), Pete Finney (pedal steel), Paul Kramer (banjo, fiddle, guitar), Alex Jules (keyboards/vocals), Coco Dolenz (vocals) and Circe Link (vocals) all came out on stage and took their places, Nesmith and Dolenz came out from opposite stage ends and the fans rose to their feet to greet them. After the cheering subsided a bit, some fans were shouting out “Happy Birthday Micky!” to which he graciously smiled.
With a full night of music ahead of them they wasted no time getting down to business and kicked it off with “Good Clean Fun,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Sunny Girlfriend,” “Mary, Mary,” “You Told Me” and the closing song for season two of the TV series, “For Pete’s Sake.” They continued with “The Door Into Summer,” “A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You,” “You Just May Be the One,” “The Girl I Knew Somewhere,” “Birth of an Accidental Hipster” and “St. Matthew.”
Micky asked the audience who remembered the movie Head and “Did anyone know what it was about?” as he chuckled a little. A video played as they played the theme song, “Porpoise Song.” Then after “Circle Sky” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” it was time to pay homage to Peter Tork with a tribute video while The Mills Brothers song, “Till Then” played. It was after such a touching moment that the band took a quick break.
The second set was packed with great tunes and more good memories with “Papa Gene’s Blues,” “Randy Scouse Git,” “I’ll Spend My Life With You,” “Joanne” and “Me & Magdelena.” Throughout the night Dolenz and Nesmith took time to share a little history or feelings about the music they were playing, which added to the texture of the show. They had the audience captivated as they played “Auntie’s Municipal Court,” “Goin’ Down,” “Sweet Young Thing,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “Daydream Believer” and “What Am I Doin’ Hangin’ ’round?”
The time was coming to round the evening down and they did that with a two song encore with “Listen to the Band” and the ever popular sing along “I’m a Believer.” The audience was on their feet as they did not want the night to end but they were definitely satisfied with the songs that were played as they left the venue with smiles on their faces.
With most songs being only a few minutes each they hit the fans with an astonishing twenty-eight tunes throughout the evening. Dolenz and Nesmith played so well together, both completely on point both vocally and instrumentally. The band was so tight and clearly having fun throughout the night as they played along with the two iconic Monkees. It should also be noted that the band was not strangers to these two musicians as most of them have had a long history with them, especially Coco Dolenz who is Micky’s sister and Christian Nesmith who is Nesmith’s son.
It was a nostalgic night filled with memories, laughter and a little bit of sadness as they honored those that have passed at various moments during the show. But even those moments of sadness still filled everyone’s hearts with joy as they remembered what the music of The Monkees meant to them.
While there are only a few more dates left to this tour this month, and several in June in New Zealand and Australia, fans should keep hope alive that they will continue to do more dates together in the near future. Should the opportunity arise to see this iconic duo live, do not even think about missing your chance and get your tickets as soon as they become available, it is an experience of a lifetime you do not want to miss!
Photographer/writer: Diane Woodcheke http://www.dwoodcheke.com/
Venue: The Paramount in Huntington, NY https://paramountny.com/
Performance by: The Monkees Present: The Mike and Micky Show https://www.monkees.com/