As their tour wound down at Berkeley’s Greek Theatre in the fall of 2021, Micky Dolenz didn’t know it would be the last time he’d perform with fellow Monkee Mike Nesmith. “He was a little bit frail, [but] he was a trooper, I gotta tell you,” Micky tells Closer. “He could not have been feeling that well. After the last show, we kind of said our goodbyes because that was the last show — not like I’m never going to see him again. So, [my last words to him] could have been: ‘Wow, great tour, great show, leave them with a bang.’”

As the last surviving member of the 1960s pop group The Monkees, Micky is determined to do just that — share the music he loves and keep the legacy of former band members Mike, Peter Tork and Davy Jones alive.“It’s what I do,” Micky says. “I’m going to keep touring. And I’m finding the fans are really loving stories. I ask them at the beginning of the show, ‘Listen, do you mind if I tell you a story?’ Because I wasn’t sure if they just wanted to hear all of the music, all of the hits, and go home. So I ask.”

At 78, Micky has a treasure trove of stories to tell. He auditioned to play the Fonz on Happy Days. He helped Jimi Hendrix get started. (Although, he admits, “Jimi would have been fine with or without me.”) Even his new EP, Dolenz Sings R.E.M., has a story. “R.E.M. were fans, and singer Michael Stipe even gives credit to The Monkees for having an influence on the band.”

Good Times

In fact, Micky has so many memories to share he’s gathered them all in a new book, I’m Told I Had a Good Time: The Micky Dolenz Archives, Volume One. “I’ve just been collecting stuff all my life. I wasn’t intentional, like putting it in a scrapbook and dating it and describing it. I would just stuff things in a shoebox. Not just photos — I keep old report cards, invitations, ticket stubs. My original contract with The Monkees is in there! [But the book] is about my whole life, not just The Monkees. It starts in childhood.”

Micky Dolenz
Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

And while it’s a childhood that saw him enter showbiz at age 10 with a star turn in TV’s Circus Boy, it’s one Micky always saw as quite normal. “My parents were in the business,” he explains. “So I was never that kind of kid who watched TV or went to a movie and got up on the dining room table and started singing, ‘I want to be a star!’ I was never that. I never had that burning ambition to be famous, to be adulated, to have audiences clap and scream. I never had that.”

Micky had something more important: a strong sense of family. It’s something that he continues to embrace with his wife, Donna, and four daughters. After all, if you ask him what makes him happiest these days? “My children have got to be right at the very, very top of the list,” he says. “And now my grandchildren. The girls are all doing very well in their respective lives and families and professions. That’s the best you could hope for as a parent.”

And Micky is just as willing to bring a little bit of that happiness to other families in concert — singing “I’m a Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville” and other Monkee hits. But for the man who has many stories to tell, he still has trouble putting into words what exactly those songs, and being a member of TV’s most famous rock band, have all meant to him. “I wouldn’t even know how to start answering that,” he shares with a laugh. “It’s indescribable.”

Reporting by Fortune Benatar