Micky Dolenz Stresses The Monkees Weren’t A Band But A TV Show

In a recent interview with AXS TV, Micky Dolenz, an original member of The Monkees, cleared up misconceptions about the nature of the group. Contrary to popular belief, Dolenz stressed that The Monkees primarily originated as a television show rather than a conventional band.

The Monkees first won over fans’ hearts in the 1960s as a fictional band on their self-titled television show. Consisting of Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Davy Jones, the group swiftly gained popularity for their catchy tunes and endearing personalities. Although they eventually ventured into live concerts and released several albums, Dolenz’s recent remarks served as a reminder of their unique and somewhat unconventional origins.

In the interview, Dolenz thoroughly clarified the widespread misconception that The Monkees began as a unified band. He explained that the members were individually cast for the TV show, each contributing their distinct musical and acting backgrounds. Each group member had to possess singing and instrument-playing abilities in addition to acting skills like a Broadway cast, further emphasizing the point of their attendance at the audition.

His words on the matter read:

“The short story is we had absolutely no control over anything in the early days, and I want to go back and just, if you don’t mind, correct a little something you said. It’s a common misconception. You said, ‘What was it like when the band was going to record…’ It was not a band. It was not. We were cast into that television show, and you would cast like a Broadway musical. Our audition process involved acting, script reading, improv, and music. You have to be able to sing and play an instrument. My audition piece, for instance, was ‘Johnny B. Goode’ by Chuck Berry. I played it on stage to this day, and I had been in a cover band before that. David [Jones] had been on Broadway and in theatre. Nez – Michael Nesmith – had been a country singer and had grouped poet Peter [Tork] doing folk music. We’d all had our own separate activities and history, but not as a group until the day we met at a wardrobe trading, as a matter of fact. That’s when we were basically introduced to each other. So, it was the cast of a television show.”

Dolenz went on to discuss how the show’s producers envisioned a future for the group beyond the television screen. They intentionally cast individuals who could sing and play instruments, anticipating that the group would eventually embark on live tours, which actually happened. The musician shared that upon their transition from a TV show cast members to live performers, his group mate Michael Nesmith made a sweet comment containing an analogy related to their situation.

His memory went as follows:

“Well, the producers clearly had the idea that we were going to go on the road because they cast people that could sing and play. Mike Nesmith always used to say – When we finally did go on the road, he said, ‘That was like Pinocchio becoming a real little boy.’ And it’s very true.”

Micky Dolenz’s interview shed new light on the unique nature of The Monkees and their journey from a television show to a live-performing group. With a deeper appreciation for the challenges they faced during their transition from screen to stage, fans can further admire the group’s accomplishments. The Monkees will be forever remembered not only for their music but also for their trailblazing fusion of television and reality.