Back in the 1960s, the arrival of The Beatles inspired everything from hairstyles to clothing and, of course, other music. One of the biggest offshoots of Beatlemania was the 1966-71 Classic TV series The Monkees, which introduced Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Mike Nesmith to the world. Initially dismissed as the “pre-Fab 4,” the guys ultimately proved that they were here to stay. To discuss all of that and more is Micky Dolenz himself in new episode of CloserWeekly.com’s Classic TV & Film Podcast.
Micky on charges from the media that The Monkees were Beatles wannabes: “My feeling at the time, when you’re that successful, is you really don’t give a s–t what people say, frankly. But the people I cared about, got it. They got what it was. It was not trying to cash in on The Beatles. It was a television show. The Monkees was not a group or a band, it was a TV show about a band. And it was about this imaginary band that lived in this beach house — which was a set on the Columbia lot — that wanted to be The Beatles. It was that struggle for that success that I think had a lot to do with touching all those kids out there around the country — around the world — that were in their basements and living rooms and garages. They wanted to be The Beatles, too. It’s important to remember that we were never famous on The Monkees show. We never made it. It was the struggle for success that resonated with so many kids.”
Micky on being hired as an actor and not a musician on The Monkees, and the Marx Brothers influence: “I was happy being cast into a show. Not the member of a band, but the member of a cast in a television show about a band. That’s a fine distinction, but an important one. I was playing the role of the wacky drummer, and part of that job was they’d say, ‘Okay, on Tuesday night you’re going to record a lead vocal for a couple of songs,’ or sometimes two or three songs in one night. I approached it as an entertainer, an actor, and a singer. That was my job. The Monkees was much more like the Marx Brothers than The Beatles. And if you get that — if that makes sense to you and you get your arms around that — then everything else makes sense.”
For much more, please check out the podcast, which you can subscribe to here. And while you’re at it, check out previous episodes below.