Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rant #788: Barrel Full of (Three) Monkees

Yes, you have probably heard, but if you have been in a hole somewhere, here is the news.

The Monkees will be holding a 12-concert tour in the U.S. this fall, from November through early December.

And when I say the Monkees, I am talking about Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and ...


Yes, the original Space Cowboy, fresh off a successful tour of England, has decided that he will participate this time around.

Some say it really isn't the Monkees without Davy Jones, and like they sang in their film "Head," "to that we all agree."

But it is Dolenz, Tork and Nesmith--the closest we will ever come to a real, honest to goodness reunion now that Jones is no longer with us.

His spirit is, and that is what counts.

Why did Nesmith agree to do this short tour?

I am not a psychologist, but I can offer my opinion.

Here it is:

I think that Papa Nez was the most hurt by Jones' passing. He and Jones had not been on good terms for years, and each time a situation arose where the four of them could have gotten back together, Nesmith turned his back on his former bandmates, except for a few times--including during the mid-1980s revival of the band which was spurred on by MTV, when he played with his bandmates for a few shows in California and in the 1990s, for the failed "Justus" LP.

Every other time, Nesmith was the one who balked, for a variety of reasons I am not going to go into here.

But with Jones gone, and Nesmith showing great remorse, was that enough to get him to tour with Dolenz and Tork?

During Davy's memorial, there was the sense that the three surviving Monkees might be talking about doing something together for Jones' memory.

But then, a few months ago, from what I have read, Nesmith went through some type of medical procedure, I believe on his eyesight.

I don't know if it was cataracts or something much more serious, but did talk about it, in his own inimitable way, on Facebook.

It really stirred him, and I think it took him aback on some things, including his Monkees past.

Life is too short to continue to harbor animosity toward a project that made him so well known.

So this medical procedure actually gave him more vision, more insight into his own soul, and he decided that now might be the time to do this.

He did a "practice" tour of England, found that he still had the chops for this type of thing, and Voila!, the wheels were set into motion.

Sure, that is my own prognostication, and if anybody has any other theories, please chime in.

Anyway, I am trying to get tickets for the New York shows.

It is going to be hard, and my pocketbook will be empty if I am successful.

But I just have to go. Even my 16 year old son is excited. He wants to see Nesmith too.

So I need three tickets, for myself, my wife and my son.

Think I can get them?

I sure hope so!

(P.S.: Hey, Hey, I'm going! Dec. 1 on Long Island. Can't wait!)


  1. You may be right. However, I heard that the 4 of them talked about doing a summer tour this year. Davy's passing put a halt to that. Now they are doing this tour as the trio. First time there will be a reunion without the Manchester Cowboy. Mike does seem to have gotten more in touch with his monkee roots as he got older. In the 70's he was trying to distance himself as he was trying to get a solo career going. In the 80's his solo career was faltering but his media empire was going and he was too busy to do the 86 tour. By 97 he needed financial help and it was easy to dip into that Monkee well. Justus may have flopped but he did ok. I think his thoughts really took a major leap in change then because since then his comments about them hasn't been as harsh. He saw that what he thought was fluff music in the 60's had an impact on people's lives. I have seen all four on fans videos who went to the concerts in England in 97 and wish they did that here as I heard they were planning but if I have the dough to get the tichets I will at least see them with Nez. If not I will at least have the videos.

  2. Could be, but from all indications, I believe that Mike was most impacted by Davy's death. When I interviewed Mike in 1997, he was pretty enthusiastic about the Monkees and the LP, but it flopped and then he went away again. I think that Davy's death, coupled with his own physical problems, might have prompted him to do this tour. I think if he didn't tour again as a Monkee, it would set two things in motion: 1) regret that he didn't do this years later, and 2) harm any future plans he had for his own solo tour. Now that he is doing these shows, he won't have the regret and he will be able to seamlessly segue into a solo tour.



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