by Mark Bego
Special to TMW
(photos courtesy dis COMPANY)
What were you doing during the “Summer of Love,” which is what the year 1967 will forever known as being? I know what I was doing: I was in suburban Detroit grooving to Paul Revere & The Raiders “Good Thing” on my transistor radio, and listening to my Monkees’ Headquarters and Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band albums on the back porch of my parents’ suburban Detroit home. Well, all three of those distinct musical memories are being brought together for a completely unique concert tour fittingly called “50 Summers of Love.” It stars Micky Dolenz of The Monkees and Mark Lindsay, formerly of Paul Revere & The Raiders, who are backed up and supported by one of the top touring Beatles’ tribute bands around: The Fab Four.
Whether you were around for the original 1967 or not, “50 Summers of Love” promises to fittingly recreate the music, mood, mode, and sounds of the era: “love beads” and “tie-dyed” shirts optional!
The way this time-machine of a show is constructed, The Fab Four is the opening act, performing their sound-alike versions of an entire set of 1967 Beatles tunes. Even the intermission will have a classic feeling, supplied by a multimedia viewing of vintage clips and Batman-era TV commercials. The main event continues in Act Two with Micky Dolenz of The Monkees and Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere & The Raiders trading hits, and telling stories of their friendship, their chart rivalry, their careers, and their 1967 status as two of America’s true top “teen idols” of the decade. Just to get everyone in the venue the chance to be part of this gigantic musical “love in,” the show will be capped off with Dolenz and Lindsay and The Fab Four leading an audience-included sing-along.
Although it seems like a straight-forward rock & roll formatted show, “50 Summers of Love” has a brilliant twist for the Dolenz / Lindsay second act. According to Micky, “We’ll both be onstage together for the whole show. We’ll tell the stories and the memories behind the “Summer of Love.”
What is really wonderful is the fact that both Mark and Micky are just as charismatic and musically proficient as they were 50 summers ago. As Mark Lindsay proudly proclaims, “Luckily, Micky still hits all the notes, and can ‘kick ass’ and hopefully I can do the same thing, and we’re both pretty ‘high energy’ guys, so it’s gonna be a good show!”
As Lindsay explains of the format of the show, “We are not Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, but it’s kinda that ‘Rat Pack’ feeling, where we get on stage and we’re very conversational with each other. We don’t mind putting each other down a little bit, and just having fun. We are on stage together about 95 percent of the time. It is not one guy on stage, then the other guy goes on following him. We are both on stage together, and we both sing each other’s backgrounds, and we sing together on different guys’ songs. We kinda support each other and tell stories, and it’s just a fun show, where we involve the audience more.”
Not only were Micky and Mark rivals on the record charts in the 1960s, on one occasion they were competing for the same songs. Case-in-point, the Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart-composed song “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” which Paul Revere & The Raiders recorded first. However, Lindsey’s record label wanted to release Barry Mann & Cynthia Weill’s “Kicks” first—which became one of their hugest hits. When Boyce & Hart were informed of their song being put on “hold,” they were not happy. In retaliation, they promptly took the song to The Monkees and offered it to them.
According to Mark Lindsay, “They took our version of the song that we had just cut, as we had an acetate of it. They gave it to The Monkees and said, ‘Here’s a demo of a song we just wrote.’ And that’s why, if you listen to The Monkees’ version, you will hear Micky doing all the ad-libs identical to the ones I had at the end of our version. That’s why the versions are so similar: they didn’t know it was us. They thought it was Boyce & Heart on the demo. But it ended up O.K. We got the album cut, and they had the single, and we all lived happily ever after,” he laughs.
The lyrics of the classic Paul Revere & The Raiders hit song claims that “Kicks” somehow “keep getting harder to find.” However, make no mistake, this Mark Lindsay and Micky Dolenz-led “50 Summers of Love” tour will be one where plenty of 1967 memories and musical “kicks” abound.
Mark Bego is the New York Times best-selling author of 62 books on rock & roll and show business, including Micky Dolenz’ 1993 memoir, I’m a Believer: My Life of Music, Monkees & Madness. Bego has just finished work on his forthcoming all-star cookbook: Eat Like a Rock Star (Skyhorse Publishing / Ocboter 17, 2017). It features recipes fromMary Wilson of The Supremes, Bill Wyman of The Rolling Stones, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs, Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas, Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, Joey Fatone, Randy Jones of The Village People, Tanya Tucker, Lou Christie, Sean Lennon, Angela Bowie, Marilyn McCoo of The Fifth Dimension, Thelma Houston, Micky Dolenz, and dozens more. A fully functioning cookbook, in Eat Like a Rock Star Mark Bego has personally gathered recipes from 46 bona fide rock stars, and as well as presenting dozens of his own recipes.
The “50 Summers of Love” tour dates:
*Friday, July 14, 2017 Humphrey’s Concerts By the Bay, San Diego, CA
*Thursday, July 27, 2017 Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown, NJ
*Friday, July 28, 2017 NYCB Theatre at Westbury, Westbury, NY
*Friday, August 25, 2017 Riverdome at Horseshoe Bossier City, LA
*Saturday, October 7, 2017 Grand Casino, Hinckley, MN
*Friday, October 13, 2017 The Family Arena, Saint Charles, MO
*Sunday, October 15, 2017 The Genesee Theatre, Waukegan, IL
*Friday, November 3, 2017 Ameristar KC, Kansas City, MO