Micky Dolenz, riding a new wave of popularity since his Monkee days, headlined a show at New York’s landmark B.B. King Bar and Grill that ranged from favorites like “I’m a Believer” to songs from his new album Remember.
Dolenz, a multi-talented child actor, vaulted to pop culture icon with his two-year stint on ’60s comedy show “The Monkees,” about the antics of a band based on The Beatles.
The show’s stars Dolenz, Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones were all musicians in their own right, and The Monkees became a musical force all its own after the show ended. Dolenz has remained active ever since, either as a Monkee in reunion tours or with his own band. Last night it included Wayne Avers, Dave Alexander, Rich Dart, Coco and David Billings.
Many of the Monkees songs are classics. They were written by some of the best songwriters in the business and a the latest generation is re-discovering them. At the show, Dolenz mixed old and new, featuring songs off Remember. The show was also recorded for release as a live CD/DVD.
Dolenz’s distinctive voice is one of the keys to his longevity. The UK Guardian last year compared his voice to a magical mix of Roy Orbison and Freddie Mercury. Rolling Stone has called his voice “one of the best in the business.”
Jim Kerr of radio station Q104.3 introduced the 67-year-old singer, who kicked off the show with The Monkee’s That was Then, This Is Now.” Wearing a John Varvatos jacket, hat and tinted-glasses, Dolenz began on a somewhat reserved note, but built strongly and quickly
He segued into “She” which the crowd went crazy for. This Boyce/Hart song is always a crowd pleaser and last night. A highlight of his show was his take on the famous Archies’ record “Sugar, Sugar,” recreated for his new album as a saucy and suggestive dance.
Micky sang Carole King’s “Sometime In The Morning,” calling it the equivalent of Eric Clapton’s “Layla.” “Last Train To Clarksville” was followed by “Purple Haze,” and “Cryin’ In The Rain.”
Dolenz also offered a moving tribute to Jones, who died suddenly last year from a heart attack, singing “Daydream Believer” and “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.” The surviving three Monkees will kick off a tour next month.
Dolenz wrapped the show his take on The Beatles’ “Oh Darling,” and his new arrangement of his song “Randy Scouse Git,” featuring a breathtaking guitar solo by Avers.
Great night, tremendous show. It was indeed a magical event. Check out the photos above, the video below and click here to follow TheImproper on Twitter for more music updates.