Micky Dolenz still happy to tour
The sounds of the ’60s will rock Aurora’s Paramount Theatre when the Happy Together Tour stops by at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. Among the veteran musicians are The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie, Micky Dolenz, representing the Monkees, the Buckinghams, the Grass Roots, and Gary Puckett & the Union Gap.
The tour, which revives the music of that tumultuous era and its gold albums, platinum albums, No. 1 singles, take its name from the classic 1967 hit, “Happy Together,” recorded by the Turtles, Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan, who were also Flo and Eddie during their days with Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
And they are happy.
“Everybody is so cool and easy to travel with, that is very important,” said Dolenz, 67, in a recent phone interview. “I tell people, they pay me to travel, I sing for free.”
Dolenz said he has known, played and partied with each of the other acts over the years. “Flo and Eddie were on the first Monkees reunion tour in 1986, so was Gary Puckett,” he recalled.
This show, according to Dolenz, is five acts, with each group doing about a half hour of their greatest hits.
“In my case, I do the eight huge Monkee hits like ‘Last Train to Clarkville,’ ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’ and ‘I’m a Believer.’ I also do a couple of songs in tribute to Davy, like ‘Daydream Believer.’ ”
Dolenz last performed at the Genesee in June, 2011, with Peter Tork and Davy Jones for the Monkees’s 45th Anniversary tour.
“There were plans to actually go on and do some more touring as the Monkees but our friend Davy decided to move on to a different venue,” he said, referring to Jones’s sudden death in February, which came as a huge surprise.
“He was the youngest of us. I heard rumors that he would at times complain about chest pains but he put it off as indigestion. It turns out that he had massive arterial blockage,” said Dolenz. “It was a great shock and I am still not completely over it, because he was like the closest thing I ever had to a brother.
“I have known him 45 years. I probably spent more time with him than I did with my three sisters. We hung out, we had family about the same time. He was on Broadway as a kid and I had a TV series as kid so we had similar histories. It is very sad but thank goodness we did the tour last year.”
Other than occasional high blood pressure, Dolenz said his health is fine.
And he still has plenty of energy for this show. “Mainly I jump around like a turkey singing mostly at the mike-stand. Then I play acoustic guitar on a couple of tunes,” he explained.
He added that while, “I’m the special guest star, it is the Happy Together tour so the Turtles close the show. So at the end of the show, we all come back out and sing ‘Happy Together’ together.”
Hard at work
When he’s not touring, Dolenz is still hard at work. He’ll release “Remember,” his latest CD, in September.
“It’s an audio scrapbook featuring some of the greatest musicians I’d ever played with, featuring songs that meant a lot to me, for one reason or another. Things like ‘Johnny B. Goode’ by Chuck Berry, which was my audition piece for the Monkees.”
When asked what the best thing was about being a Monkee, Dolenz said he considered himself an actor and an entertainer who once was cast in this television show called “The Monkees.”
“It was about this imaginary group that lived in an imaginary beach house and had these imaginary adventures,” said Dolenz, who happens to be a big sci-fi fan. “And eventually they went on the road and started having real adventures. Like ‘Galaxy Quest,’ the fans wanted us to be real and come and save the world. And we did.”