I called it right here—sort of. When I interviewed Michael Nesmith in advance of his gig at the Aladdin Theater in late March, I asked if he was open to the idea of making music with Monkees bandmates Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz. He replied succinctly, "Sure." It appears my forecast was accurate, because Nesmith, Tork, and Dolenz will be wrapping up a 24-date tour on Aug 18 with a show at the Schnitzer. Tickets are now on sale.
Wait, I know what you're thinking. Who cares about some lightweight, TV pop band from the 1960s comprised of four funny dudes with marginal musical skills? Are three of the four Monkees (singer/maracacist Davy Jones passed away last year) worth a call to the PCPA box office on Friday? I say, yes. Here are five reasons why.
Unlike previous reunion tours, this one includes Nesmith, who always represented the Monkees' nascent creative powers. Nesmith wrote most of his own songs, played a mean 12-string guitar and was constantly battling network and record company suits in the name of band integrity, reportedly punching a wall after a meeting with record executive Don Kirshner, in frustration over the band's lack of creative control.
Mickey Dolenz is one of rock 'n' roll's most distinctive, versatile, and underappreciated singers. Whether he's belting out lusty rockers like "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone" or counter-culture pop hits like "Pleasant Valley Sunday," Dolenz never fails to commit to the material. Davy Jones may have been the cute British guy, but it was the Mickster's vocal prowess that powered crucial hits like "Last Train to Clarksville," and "I'm a Believer."
The vocal interplay between Nesmith and Dolenz is pretty sweet.
The should-have-been-a-hit "Porpoise Song" from the Monkees' trip-tastic movie Head (directed by a young Jack Nicholson), is a fantastic piece of post-Magical Mystery Tour baroque pop. It's been covered by The Church, and locally by the late, great Sunset Valley, who get my vote as one of the awesomest Portland bands of all time. It's pure genius! Genius I tell you!
Last and not least, the Monkees have superb comic chemistry, and the onstage banter alone will be worth the ticket price.