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The Monkees celebrate 45 years of monkeying around

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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Micky Dolenz figures the Monkees are still around to celebrate their 45th anniversary this year primarily because they’re not around — at least not together as a group — very often.

“If we’d been trying to keep it together day in and day out for 45 years, it might be a different story,” says Dolenz, 66, who’s on the road again with Davy Jones and Peter Tork for the first time in a decade — with the blessings of fourth Monkee Mike Nesmith, who never tours. “The truth is that we’ve only gotten back together an average of every 10 years or so, so we don’t get tired of it.

“I look at it as a revival of a show, like if the original cast of ‘Chicago’ got back together to do a run of ‘Chicago,’ or the original cast of ‘Cats’ or something. That’s the way I look at it; the original cast is getting back together to re-create the show.”

“The Monkees,” of course, started as a TV show; the four members auditioned to be part of the NBC TV series about a Beatles-like band in 1966, and the musical success was an offshoot. The Monkees scored a dozen Top 40 hits (“I’m a Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and more) and sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and in 1967 the group outsold both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

The music has endured, and this time out the Monkees are digging deep into their catalog for album tracks — some selected by fans via an Internet poll — and are also playing the soundtrack to their trippy 1968 film “Head” in its entirety.

“We’ve usually done some songs off of ‘Head’ — ‘Porpoise Song’ or ‘As We Go Along’ or ‘Daddy’s Song’ or something,” Dolenz says. “But there’s a trend these days for people to do entire albums in their sequence, and I think it’s a great section of the show. I think it’s some of the best Monkees songs we ever did ... and it’s nice to be able to do something fresh and new, even all these years later.”

The Monkees perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 23, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $23-$103. Call 313-471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

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