Monday, August 30, 2010
Rant #322: Hey Micky!
I turned on my computer this morning, and I have it set to open up on the Yahoo home page.
It opened up as it normally does, and my eyes were steered to the "Trending Now" area. For the past couple of months, Yahoo has been listing 10 items--whether people or events or really anything--that are hot trends on its search engine. It is updated throughout the day, and I highly suspect that advertising has something to do with the listings, as well as clicks.
Anyway, it has become a handy tool to see what major celebrities are up to, and also to see who is not long for this earth and has passed away.
Anyway, this morning, I did what I usually do, and who comes up as the No. 1 trend right now?
For the uninitiated, Micky Dolenz is the multi-talented musician/actor/writer/director/inventor and all around jack of all trades who happened to play drums for the Monkees, TV's answer to the Beatles. The Pre-Fab Four--along with Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith--were the top pop group in the world in the mid-1960s, with hits like "Last Train to Clarksville" and "I'm a Believer." Along with their weekly TV show, they also starred in what I consider one of the greatest films of all-time, and at least a major cult item, "Head."
After the Monkees run, Dolenz went on to become a big-time director in England, and still recorded on occasion. When the Monkees became huge again via MTV in 1986, he went on tour with Jones, Tork, and very briefly, Nesmith. Later, he became a DJ on New York's WCBS-FM while balancing recording, acting and directing work.
He has acted on Broadway, written a few books, and creating a device for hanging pictures on a wall.
So, why is he the No. 1 trend right now?
It's for a variety of reasons. He is linked up with Fred Willard as one of the celebrities who has contributed his name to a series of trivia books, and Willard is hot once again as an Emmy nominee for his work on "Modern Family."
Dolenz also has a new CD coming out which has gotten good advanced press. It is called "King For a Day," and on this CD, he covers songs written by Carole King. This is nothing to be sneezed at, as you might remember that Dolenz was the voice on numerous Monkees songs written by King and her former husband, Gerry Goffin, including "Pleasant Valley Sunday."
Evidently, Dolenz used a number of his 1960s cohorts to record this CD, including former bandmate Peter Tork, who is recovering from throat cancer, and Mark Lindsay, onetime lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders.
But he also used musicians from something called "My Record Fantasy," a rock 'n' roll fantasy camp that allows fans to rub elbows with famous artists.
So more than 40 years after his greatest triumphs as one of the Monkees, Dolenz is hot again.
I interviewed him about 20 years ago in Manhattan as he was on the guest list for Paul McCartnery's first classical piece, "Liverpool Oratorio." The work was going to be performed in New York City, and Dolenz has been friends with McCartney since his Monkees days.
I found Micky to be as grounded a celebrity as I had ever interviewed. He knew where his place was in the world of entertainment, and he knew how lucky he was. He had just released a children's LP, which garnered very good reviews, and he was happy to talk about that, and the Monkees years, and just about anything with me.
So yes, I will go out and get a copy of his new recording.
And better yet, he is still around. When I see somebody who is over 60 in that trend area, I grimace--has this person kicked the bucket?
Not only hasn't Dolenz kicked the bucket, he is filling it, with more great music.
No monkeying around here; this guy is extremely talented. I will give you my review when the CD comes out.
Posted by Larry at 4:30 AM