Special by Winchester
Photos: Jeff Smith/Reflections NYC
Monkee-Micky Dolenz landed Tuesday night in NY for a major press day Wednesday-starting off at 7:30 AM at ABC radio for radio legend Don Imus. Imus has thrived on the airwaves for decades and was not surprisingly totally prepared for Dolenz. A show at B. B. King’s was the next night, but Imus peppered Dolenz with questions about his early days and the beginnings of the Monkees. From there, it was onto Fox’s Good Day New York uptown with the marvelous Rosanna Scotto and newly-engaged Greg Kelly. Spike Lee, also on the show, met Dolenz and they chatted away. Next stop was Tribeca where he was interviewed by Mike McCann of Premiere Radio Network and WOR major domo Tom Cuddy (coming out of radio retirement) for an iHeart podcast.
Cuddy, long an intimate of Dolenz’s asked just terrific questions, beginning with thoughts and remembrances about the play he did two years back called Comedy Is Hard, with Three Company’s Joyce DeWitt and written by Simpsons-Emmy award winning Mike Reiss, at The Ivoryton Theater. Cuddy’s interview with Dolenz was simply one of the best I’ve ever heard. Just superb. Next stop was Sirius XM in midtown where Dolenz was interviewed for the station’s True Stories slot, by none other than Kurt Loder-MTV’s first-ever music news man and stalwart Rolling Stone contributor. Interestingly, Dolenz’s publicist David Salidor, who was standing by, had Loder as an editor eons back when the two worked for Long Island-entertainment newspaper Good Times – still in publication today. Salidor told me later that his other editor was David Fricke.
Loder asked terrific questions; going deep on individuals like Brian Wilson and John Lennon – as Micky had been good friends with him as well as Ringo Starr. Two phone interviews followed before a well-deserved break and an hour later he was back at Sirius XM where he did the live Fab Forum with Dennis Elsas and Bill Flanagan. He also paused to greet Bruce Morrow who was doing his own show in another studio. Elsas (from the legendary WNEW-FM days) delivered just an exemplary interview, taking a bit of a different path. Elsas referenced everything from Head to the The Wrecking Crew to playing Dolenz’s reimagined “Good Morning Good Morning” from his solo CD Remember. Note: if you haven’t heard that album, it’s stunningly terrific.
Thursday night at B. B. King’s, Dolenz held a SRO crowd spellbound with just a solid set starting with “She” and delivering several numbers form the brilliant Good Times album, “You Bring The Summer” and “Me and Magdalena.” The latter just a stellar song from Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie). Seated at the front of the front of the stage was Julie Klausner from the TV-show Difficult People-the Hulu-show that featured Dolenz this past Tuesday in just a brilliant role – Dolenz essayed a sort of a bad–Micky Dolenz. If you haven’t seen this show, or this episode for that matter, you’re missing one of the most inventive shows this writer has seen in years. Klausner, who created the show, stars with Billy Eichner and delivers just a bravura performance.
Also there, were writer-creator Joanna Bonaro of the show Good ‘n Screwed, which is in the process of coming to the screen and teen-songstress Annamaria Fazio.
Dolenz’s band, featuring as always Wayne Avers on guitar is just stellar. Bassist John Billings, drummer Rich Dart and keyboardist Dave Alexander just exceptional. Micky’s sister Coco, shines as always (especially on ‘White Rabbit” and on Mike Nesmith’s “Different Drummer”) and is the perfect complement to Micky’s singing, which hasn’t really changed at all since The Monkees heyday. In fact, it appears stronger than ever. The critic who wrote his voice is a cross between Freddie Mercury and Roy Orbison totally hit the mark.
Also seen at the show were manager John Casale, Mike McCann, Jodi Ritzen, Van Dean and Mia Moravis from Broadway Records; Paul Undersinger and Fred Velez. Special thanks to Micky’s pr-man David Salidor and his associate Katarine Holm for getting us this specical look. And, to Jeff Smith for the great photos.