Micky Dolenz, the last surviving Monkee, keeping the music alive

Mickey Dolenz is The Monkees, the last of the madcap quartet that took pop culture by storm in the 1960s. A made-for-TV band, The Monkees had four #1 hits in 1967—no mean feat. real The band has never been equal.

This month marks 56 years since The Monkees’ debut single, “Last Train to Clarksville,” catapulted them to super stardom. Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith became household names from their quirky TV shows.


The Monkees – Opening Theme (HQ) by
nonsense66 on YouTube

Now 77, Dolenz is single-handedly trying to keep the music alive.

CBS News’ Anthony Mason caught up with Dolenz on his latest tour, to discuss how the band’s legacy continues. Mason asked, “How are you, first of all?”

“I’m above ground!” He laughed.

“It’s a joke, but it is no.”

“It’s not a joke!”

“What’s it like, going on tour alone?”

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Micky Dolenz, last of The Monkees, on tour.

CBS News


“Oops! I haven’t quite processed it,” he laughed. “After Davey passed, which was a huge shock, I remember thinking, ‘What are we going to do?'”

Davy Jones died a decade ago. In 2016, the three surviving members, Dolenz, Nesmith and Tork, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Monkeys.

torque Then Mason told “CBS Sunday Morning.” “We’ll tour until one of us leaves. Then, the other will go as a monkey!”‘

“When Mike passed, I couldn’t think about it,” Mason said of Dolenz.

“You and Me,” Dolenz said.

“And here you are.”

Turk died of cancer in 2019.

Dolenz and Nesmith were on a farewell tour last December Nesmith died of a heart attackThree years after recovering from a quadruple bypass.

“But he wanted to visit that?” asked Mason.

“Oh, he insisted on doing it,” Dolenz said.

“Why do you think he insists?”

“Well, he always talked about the last of these monkey experiences, as a swan song.”

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The Monkees: Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork.

Rhino Records


Over the years, Nesmith has skipped most of the reunion tours. “He, at times, had a problem with the Monkee thing,” Dolenz said. “It’s like he’s saying: ‘Oh, I get it now.’ It has meant so much to so many people for so long.”

“I suppose he had doubts on some level?”

“Always. There was always a doubt. But we all do. I’m thinking, ‘Why is someone like you, this huge, incredibly famous, brilliant journalist, talking. me?‘”

“Because the first record I ever bought was a Monkees record,” Mason replied.

“I have nothing for that record!” He laughed.


The Monkees – Daydream Believer (Official Music Video) by
the monkeys on YouTube

Back in 1966, they were just young actors playing a band. And they were on salary, according to Dolenz: “Four hundred dollars a week, with 10,000, 20,000-person concerts. Am I bitter? No, Anthony, I am. no Bitter,” he laughed. “No. No, I’m not. I mean, it’s been a blessing, an incredible blessing. Gave me an amazing life.”


[I’m Not Your] Stepping Stone [2006 Remaster] by
The Monkees – Topic on YouTube

The quartet answered an ad in Variety looking for “four crazy guys”. “Davy had a lot of singing, a Broadway kind of feel, a beautiful voice. Peter was down-home, folky. And Ness, of course, was flat country to begin with.”

Dolenz would sing lead on most of the band’s biggest hits: “I was the only one who could go, (screams at high pitch) ‘Baaaaaa…!!’ Sorry, noise boy! The fuse blew!”

“Well, we know you can still do it!” Mason said.

“Yes, yes!” Dolenz said. “Donny Kirshner and the producers would call me into the studio at the end of ten hours a day of shooting a television show: ‘Okay, you’re going to sing this.’ ‘What is it called?’ ‘The last train… somewhere.’


Last Train to Clarksville (Original Stereo Version) (2006 Remaster) by
The Monkees – Topic on YouTube

“The Monkees” only ran for two seasons… 58 episodes. But reruns kept reintroducing them to new audiences. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and you never know why,” Dolenz said. “It was us. It was the music. It was the show. It was the writer, the director, everything.”

Dolenz has tried to put his friends on stage by playing old home movies. “And so, we made it like a celebration.”

“How did you feel?” Mason asked.

“So many mixed emotions!”

“Yes?”

“Oh, boy! I can’t watch some videos until today.”

“Looking at the set list, there are certain songs you have to play every night, right?”

“They’re called ‘can’ts,'” he replied.

“Do you consider it a responsibility to continue?”

“Yes,” replied Dolenz. “And I love singing those songs. How can you not love to sing ‘I’m a Believer’? They’re such great tunes.”

“We grow old, but the songs don’t.”

“That’s true!”


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