MIKE & MICKY — The Mike & Micky Show that we’ve commented on quite regularly finally hit New York this weekend – with a show Friday at the terrific Paramount in Huntington and The Beacon in NYC on Saturday. After all we’ve read and all we’ve been told, the show (which features five guitarists) was just impeccable.
It was a deep dive into not only Monkee classics, but some terrific pieces by Nesmith and Dolenz. I saw both shows, courtesy of Dolenz’s publicist and I have to say that each in their own way were both just miraculous. Friday’s show coincided with Dolenz’s birthday; so in addition to a cake (a most elegant carrot one) produced by the theater before the show, balloons adored the stage as the two entered and kicked right into “Good Clean Fun” with Nez taking the vocals. It was a rather subdued opening, in my opinion, but it set the stage for the greatness that followed. “Last Train To Clarksville,” “Sunny Girlfriend” and a surprisingly robust “Mary, Mary” followed. Dolenz proved once again, as he did on every solo number, his poise, his chops have never been better.
Dolenz paid tribute to their fallen member Peter Tork, with a brilliant performance of “For Pete’s Sake,” with guitarist Wayne Avers just on fire. Avers has been with Dolenz for years and together they make a formidable duo. No question.
There was also a video shown at the break, of Tork performing “Till Then” … heartbreaking and terrific. Much missed for sure. Here’s a link to that performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iybWxjCw1g
It must be said again, that Dolenz’s performance of “Porpise Song” from Head and “Randy Scouse Git” were just marvelous. It’s no wonder Dolenz has enjoyed success in the theater. His dancing; his movement, just sensational.
Producer Andrew Sandoval rolled out another cake and presented Dolenz with a plaque, which had the front page of Melody Maker (a major music magazine back in the day) commemorating his “Alternate Title” song #1. “Alternate Title” was what “Randy Scouse Git” was re-named in the U.K.
Nesmith’s rendition of his “Joanne” was another highlight.
Saturday’s Beacon date was pretty much the same set, but with the likes of Brian Williams and actor Craig Bierko in the audience, the tension was palpable.
I have to say that the band was just perfect. Pete Finney on steel guitar was sensational and certainly added another dimension to the show. Nesmith’s son Christian on another guitar, was terrific as well. Kudos also to bassist John Billings, drummer Rich Dart and Micky’ sister Coco on vocals.
Someone said to me that the show was somewhat subdued, but again, it was a deep dive into musical history. The SRO crowd at the Beacon had Monkees-fans galore, but also serious musical taste-makers. We caught Steve Leeds and Evan Levy from SiriusXM,Q1043’s Jim Kerr; as well as Jordan Runtagh from People, Dina Pitenis from Celebrity Service, as well as friends Dana Bove, Tyrone Biljan, Fred Velez, and Michelle Toscas.
A phenomenal show; a phenomenal lesson in the classics. This was a must-see show.
LAST STAND AT THE PALM — The much-hailed Palm restaurants filed for bankruptcy last week. We’ve been a fan of the restaurant for decades – especially the one in East Hampton, managed by Andrew Tobin.
Several years back, the day-to-day operations were ceded to Bruce Bozzi, Jr., the son of one of the owners, but the service began to go downward fast.
A would be actor, he was helped by the late-Sandy Gallin, he apparently didn’t take to the business. The famous Palm in L.A., on Santa Monica Blvd. was shuttered, and a huge, new one was erected in Beverly Hills. A close friend of Andy Cohen –his baby shower was held there- he seemed to be trying to establish a foothold in the new Hollywood. He even attempted a radio-show, which I believe is still happening, but interviewed people who had little to do with the restaurant.
In attempting to do this, the old-guard who regularly went to and supported the Palm, felt ignored and now went elsewhere – like Craig’s. The Palm had parties, Oscar parties and Grammy parties … but, now no more.
The Palm was one of the last white-table cloth restaurants and used to provide great service. The many caricatures on the wall are legend. Poor leadership, to me at least, is the cause.
Bankruptcy doesn’t mean closure … so, it’s still possible to resurrect its legend. I hope it does stay.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Dan Mapp; Keith Girard; Mike McCann; Adam Pollock; Jordan Runtagh; Jason Elzy; Coco Dolenz; Jim Kerr; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Randy Alexander; Steve Walter; Susan Hathaway; and CFS.