They arrived in New York last week to take part in three events tagged “Micky Dolenz in Conversation with Peter Noone” in Westbury and Tarrytown, NY, and Montclair, NJ.
Dolenz spent the first part of the week promoting the show.
During an interview with Mike McCann at Premiere Radio Network in Manhattan, he hinted that something might be up for the upcoming 50th anniversary of The Monkees.
The group was created for an NBC sit-com that first aired in September 1966. Although the show ran for only two years, the band took on a life of its own as a musical act. It went on to sell more than 75 million records worldwide.
“It seems like there should be some sort of celebration of the event, right? Maybe one on each coast,” said Dolenz.
McCann was on CBS FM at the same time Dolenz was their morning-show man.
After that, Dolenz dropped in on Ashley Dvorkin for an interview on Fox 411 and Fox’s 160 affiliates across the country.
Then Noone joined Dolenz at NBC’s NY Live for an interview with anchors Sara Gore and Jacqui Reid.
Noone was 15 when he co-founded Herman’s Hermits, an English beat band, in 1962. Keith Hopwood joined him on guitar and vocals, Karl Green, guitar and vocals, Alan Wrigley, bass guitar, vocals, and Steve Titterington on drums. Noone sang lead vocals.
The band was part of the British invasion of the 1960s that saw groups like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Animals and others land in America. In 1965 and 1966, Herman’s Hermits rivaled The Beatles on the US charts.
Noone and Dolenz also share something else in common. They both grew up as child actors. Dolenz started his career in “Circus Boy,” a children’s television. Noone had a number of parts in television, including a role in the long-running British soap opera “Coronation Street.”
Their shared background was evident when they toured together on the “Teen Idol Tour” in 2013.
Their friendship goes back to the 1960s when Noone, along with two of The Beatles, visited The Monkees at a recording session in the UK.
The meeting is one of the stories they recount as part of their conversations, which typically run 90 minutes. The sessions are filled with some terrific stories, personal remembrances and music.
Guitarist Van Brescia, who wrote Monkees hit “That was Then, This Is Now” in 1986, accompanies them.
The duo’s first gig Thursday night at the Westbury theatre, The Space, an old re-converted movie theater, went off without a hitch. Friday night in Tarrytown was even better.
Even though Noone had prepared questions, this session was somewhat more free form. Dolenz recalled a party at his house in Los Angeles during the 1970s which served as a sort of coming out party on the West Coast for John Lennon.
Many bold-faced names were there, but when a limo pulled up at 2 AM and out stepped Brian Wilson of ’60s super group The Beach Boys. It immediately became an historic night.
Noone recalled another meeting with Lennon. The two were touring together. Herman’s Hermits was opening for the Fab Four. As the two chatted at the bar, Lennon suddenly remarked about a song emanating from the stage: “Isn’t that one of yours?”
Noone suddenly realized that he’d missed the opening set of his own band. He raced up to the stage and join the band in progress.
In Montclair at a local University, the conversation was relaxed, casual and informative. The crowd was transfixed.
The two talked about their early groups and how lucky they were to have worked with some of the best writers and musicians around.
While the shows were all works in progress, the reception suggested that this could be an event worthy of a run on Broadway.
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