Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rant #556: They're Not Coming To Your Town

The Monkees have called it quits.

Although their current 45th Anniversary Tour was quite successful both here and in Europe, Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz (less forever holdout Michael Nesmith) abruptly cancelled the remaining dates of the tour.

No reason was given, although speculation abounds about just why they shut everything down.

There were rumors early on in the tour that the threesome were not getting along. That being put aside, the tour went through Europe and the U.S. without any reported incidents.

But yesterday, the whole thing fell through, amid press reports of continued strife, the scheduling of concert dates without the group's approval, and even possible substance abuse problems for Dolenz that needed to be addressed.

"I am writing to confirm that the Monkees tour has been cancelled for reasons that I cannot discuss at this time," Tork said on his Facebook page. "I can only say that it has to do with business matters. I sincerely regret that it is not possible to continue this wonderful tour. I especially regret the inconvenience to those of you whose plans have been disrupted."

Facebook also dropped the Monkees' tour page yesterday.

That still leaves fans in the abyss. What really happened?

The tour appeared to be a success by any stretch of the imagination. I read reports that the recent Hollywood Bowl show drew 80 percent of capacity, an extremely good showing for an act well past its prime.

And except for a couple of blips here and there, the Monkees were selling to high ticket capacities at most of the venues that they played.

Reviews of the tour were generally good, and in Europe, the tour was actually a very big deal.

There was talk of the possibility of new recordings, and during a summer where high-profile concerts were few and far between, the Monkees tour was a standout.

It always comes down to dollars, and I have a feeling that they may have decided that the dates after the initial dates weren't paying them enough. These later dates were not planned for initially, and were added on when the tour picked up steam. In fact, they were going to visit the NYCB Theater at Westbury for a second time on Aug. 26 after having been there in June.

I saw the June show, and they appeared to be in top-notch form.

About the substance abuse reports, it is highly possible. The threesome have had their past personal battles with drugs and alcohol, so you really can't discount the possibility that this might be true.

However, Dolenz's representatives have completely denied that the health of the singer scuttled the tour. They blame the scheduling of dates without the group's approval as the culprit.

Odd, very odd indeed.

If that was the case, why all the secrecy yesterday? And why did they allow this to happen under their noses? It isn't like these extra dates were just scheduled. They've been out there for months.

There is something fishy here, don't you agree?

I believe that this tour date snafu gave them an "out" to a situation that they felt they couldn't get out of without a valid reason. There were probably lots of other things going on, but the one thing that they could agree upon was this scheduling problem, so they bowed out.

Whatever the reason, right now, the Monkees' tour is dead, as are the Monkees.

And it's too bad. But I feel the worst for those who held tickets to the remaining shows.

Sure, they get their money back, but they leave the box office with a bad taste in their mouths.

And this may be it. The Monkees aren't getting any younger, and if they can't put whatever it is that derailed this tour behind them, then that is all there is, folks.

Sure, they will continue to have their solo careers, but you know how it is. They are worth much more together than they are as solo artists.

New Monkees reunion, anyone?

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