Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 12:04 am | Fair 56º

 
 
 
 

Jeff Moehlis: Happy Together with Micky Dolenz

The former Monkee, The Turtles, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams are coming to the Chumash Casino on Thursday

Micky Dolenz is best known as the lead singer and drummer for The Monkees, a group whose music and television show offered a fun, zany and sanitized take on the emerging youth culture in the 1960s. Although the TV show lasted only two years, it has remained popular and influential to the present day. Dolenz’s vocals can be heard on songs such as “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m A Believer,” “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” and “Porpoise Song.” Altogether, four of The Monkees’ albums and three of their singles hit No. 1 on the U.S. charts.

Dolenz will be performing at the Chumash Casino Resort on Thursday as part of the Happy Together Tour, almost exactly a year after the tour’s
last visit (reviewed here).  Also on the program are The Turtles, featuring Flo & Eddie, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams.

The following is an excerpt of a recent phone call with Dolenz. Click here for the complete interview is available here.

Jeff Moehlis: What can we look forward to for your part of the Happy Together show at the Chumash Casino?

Micky Dolenz: Basically, everybody does about a half-hour. I do the big, big Monkee hits. You’ll hear all the great big Monkee hits.

JM: I saw the concert by The Monkees almost exactly a year ago at the same venue.

MD: What a great show, and we got such great reviews on that show. (Click here for Noozhawk’s review) That was a great show — I loved it.

JM: Sadly, since that last tour Davy Jones passed away. Could you describe the Davy Jones you knew?

MD: He was a very talented, wonderful, funny, loving guy. He was so much fun, and he’d literally give you the shirt off his back.

We had a lot in common. We both loved horses. He raised racehorses, and I played polo and did equestrian stuff. And we had families about the same time. We hung out a lot together, he and I.

I think it had a little bit to do with the fact, also, that we both were in the business since we were kids. He had done Broadway (actually London’s West End) in Oliver! as the Artful Dodger, and I’d had a TV series when I was a kid. So we had a lot in common in that sense. We hung out an awful lot. He was a great guy.

JM: There’s a rumor that when The Monkees had the TV show, you essentially bribed the cameraman to get more close-ups.

MD: (laughs) That’s a new one. I never heard that one (laughs).

JM: It’s on the Internet, so it must be true.

MD: Obviously it’s a load of rubbish.

JM: Just so you know how the rumor goes, then Davy Jones offered a bigger bribe for more close-ups.

MD: (laughs) That’s bull****, yeah. As most of that urban legend stuff is.

It might have been a joke. I can imagine that we might have joked about it in some interview. “How come Davy gets a lot of close-ups?” “Because he bribed them!”

JM: What’s on the horizon?  What are your plans, musical or otherwise?

MD: I’ve got lots. I did a tribute album to Carole King a while back called King for a Day. I’ve got the Happy Together tour until the end of August, and then I’ve got my solo show. Then I have another CD I’m working on. I also do a lot of musical theater. I just did Hairspray for the best part of a year back in England, in the West End. I’ve done Broadway. I did the Elton John/Tim Rice musical Aida. I have an offer to go back and do something in the West End, and maybe something on Broadway. I love doing musical theater. So I’ve got lots of irons in the fire.

JM: It’s nice that you’re not slowing down at all.

MD: I tried retiring once. I was suicidal (laughs).

JM: Of course, people are going to wonder — are there any future plans with The Monkees?

MD: You know, there’s always the possibility. There’s nothing that I can talk about right now. But there’s always that possibility, you know?

Noozhawk contributing writer Jeff Moehlis is a professor of mechanical engineering at UCSB. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his Web site, music-illuminati.com.

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