The way Micky Dolenz tells it years ago when “The Monkees” TV series was shooting, he and Michael Nesmith would kid about doing their own show.
It was something they then referred to as The Mike and Micky Show.
Three years back, that dream became a reality as the two embarked on a national tour with a 13-piece band.
Make no mistake, they performed all the Monkee-hits, but they also took a deep dive into Nesmith’s extensive catalog; from “Different Drum” to “Circle Sky.”
Rhino Records even released a live album of the tour. They were due to repeat the tour in support of the album, but then the pandemic struck shutting those plans down.
Dolenz also says that years ago his best friend recorded an album called Nilsson Sings Newman. Vocalist extraordinaire Harry Nilsson did an album’s worth of Randy Newman’s songs.
Dolenz began to visualize a “Dolenz Sings Nesmith” album.
“Mike’s songs were always a step ahead, progressive country if you will. His ‘Different Drum’ was first brought to The Monkees. It never happened, but he had a worldwide hit with Linda Ronstadt’s version of the song.
England’s 7a Records (headed up by record exec Glenn Gretlund) had released a smattering of Dolenz-solo records and enjoyed great success with them.
When they asked Dolenz about the possibility of recording a new album, Dolenz Sings Nesmith was born.
Nesmith’s son Christian was also recruited to produce the album.
“Christian had grown up around these songs and I wanted, as did he, a re-imagining of the songs. I think he did a brilliant job. I wanted to come in and sing them in a different way,” said the Monkees singer.
The first single from the album, “Different Drum,” was the highest charting record on the U.K. Heritage chart a week after its release. The full 13-track album is officially released on May 21.
Also most noteworthy from the album is Nesmith’s “Keep On” and a brilliant re-worked “Circle Sky.”
Recorded during the pandemic, it seamlessly came together as all were on the same page.
This week, a Monkees-Farewell Tour was announced, kicking off September 10th in Spokane, Washington. It wraps Nov. 14th at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.
They’ll be playing mainly classics from their Sixties catalog, but expect a song or two from Dolenz’s new album, according to Rolling Stone.
Check out the video below.