Monday, August 13, 2012


What a Week!!!

The downside to doing a week-long series in Forgotten Hits is that when breaking music news hits, we're unable (or, more often than not, unwilling) to interrupt the series we've got running, if only for continuity's sake.

Such was the case last week when a MAJOR announcement was made that Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and ... incredibly ... Michael Nesmith ... are going to be reuniting for a series of twelve concerts kicking off in November of this year.

Sadly, it's still not a full-blown reunion without the charismatic Davy Jones front and center ... yet it almost seems like Davy was able to do in death what he and the others were never able to do in life ... get Mike Nesmith back onboard for a series of shows.  And as exciting as all of this sounds (and unquestionably is!), I have to admit that I've really got some mixed emotions about the whole thing.

Clearly the reunion has been in the works for quite some time ... dates and venues were booked, posters were printed, ad announcements prepared, tickets generated ... yet it all remained an incredibly well-kept secret.  In fact, FH Reader David Salidor, who does extensive P.R. work for Micky Dolenz, told me that even HE was kept in the dark about the whole thing ... he heard the news the same way the rest of the world did!

Cryptically, a day before the official announcement of a Monkees Reunion was schedule to be made by Rhino Records, Michael Nesmith spilled the beans on his Facebook page ... he, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork were getting back together again to do twelve concerts here in The States in November!   

Here is how Mike nonchalantly (but effectively) broke the news on his Facebook page: 

So the big news from here is that I made the most amazing gazpacho tonight -- miracle gazpacho. A miracle because I have no idea how I did it and could never do it again. 

But the really big news -- astounding -- is that I suddenly understand that it is the red Bell pepper that makes the gazpacho red -- not the tomato -- which is what I always thought. Amazing.  

Another jaw dropper was that the only cracker I had left -- a very nice garlic and chive flat bread cracker -- fell out of the bag it was in because I was inadvertently holding it upside down and it fell on the floor and broke into dozens of pieces. So just as I was about to eat the miracle gazpacho the only cracker I had was useless in pieces on the floor. Talk about drama -- man its just so hard sometimes.  

But that's all the news from here. Nothing else much to report.  

I see they put a car on Mars -- that was kind of amusing of course. 

And Micky and Peter and I are going to do twelve concerts in November here in the States.  

That's really all I've got. Going to bed now.  

I'll post pictures of the cracker and the gazpacho tomorrow, maybe. Maybe not. 
-- Michael Nesmith 

And then the big announcement came ... and it was EVERYWHERE!!!

The official release from Rhino Records:

Performing together for the first time in 15 years! Classic hits, deep cut & fan favorites!

Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork return to the concert stage this November for a historic, twelve-date tour of the United States. These performances will mark their first concerts together since 1997. Tickets for all shows will go on sale on August 18.

The trio’s shows are set to feature a selection of their classic hits (such as “Last Train To Clarksville,” “I’m A Believer” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday”), deep cuts from their first five platinum albums (including some performed for the first time since the 1960’s) and fan favorites from the soundtrack to their cult film classic Head and their Emmy®-award winning television series. The show will encompass a full multimedia evening of music, rare films. and one-of-a-kind photographs.

Since the dates fall forty-five years on from their epic struggle to become legitimate music makers, the concerts will be highlighted by a set performed by just Nesmith, Dolenz and Tork. In 1967, the year the Monkees outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, they issued two #1 albums (Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd) which primarily featured the Monkees as a self-contained, musical unit. Each evening’s trio set will showcase numbers from these albums and present the Monkees’ electric garage band sound that they developed on their mid-1960’s tours. To open and close the show, the Monkees will be augmented by a stellar crew of players to play the hand-picked setlist each evening.

These dates comprise the first U.S. Monkees tour to feature Michael Nesmith since 1969. These dates also follow the unexpected passing of their musical comrade Davy Jones in February. Plans call for Jones to be saluted in the show’s multimedia content.

Although Davy’s absence will undoubtedly be felt by the Monkees and their fans, these concerts will be an opportunity to share their memories amidst the music and the movies that brought them together. Moreover, the band look forward to performing for their many new fans who have discovered their music through repeats of their TV show on Antenna television, classic rock radio, or via social media.
Evening With the Monkees
California Center for the Arts
Escondido, CA
The Arlington Theatre
Santa Barbara, CA
Greek Theatre
Los Angeles, CA
Flint Center for the Performing Arts
Cupertino, CA
State Theatre
Minneapolis, MN
The Chicago Theatre
Chicago, IL
Lakewood Civic Auditorium
Cleveland, OH
The Center For The Arts
Buffalo, NY
Keswick Theatre
Philadelphia, PA
State Theatre Regional Arts Center
New Brunswick, NJ
The Paramount
Huntington, NY
Beacon Theatre
New York, NY

And then this from ABC News (courtesy of FH Reader Tom Cuddy):

The death of a loved one often brings those left behind closer together, and it seems that may be what happened in The Monkees' camp. Following the unexpected death of Davy Jones earlier this year, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and, surprisingly, Michael Nesmith, have announced that they're hitting the road for a U.S. tour. 
This marks the first time that Nesmith has toured with the Monkees since 1969, though the last time they officially all performed together was 15 years ago, at a private show to mark the release of 1997's Justus album. 
The tour, which kicks off in Escondido, California on November 8 and wraps December 2 in New York City, will feature the Monkees' biggest hits, as well as album tracks and fan favorites. Davy Jones will be the focus of a multimedia tribute each night. 
In addition, the tour will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the band's big breakthrough year -- 1967 -- when they outsold The Beatles and The Rolling Stones and racked up two #1 albums. Each night, Dolez, Tork and Nesmith will perform a special set featuring songs from those albums, which are Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd. 
Here are the tour dates:
11/8 -- California Center for the Arts, Escondido, CA
11/9 -- The Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA
11/10 -- Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
11/11 -- Flint Center for the Performing Art, Cupertino, CA
11/15 -- State Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
11/16 -- The Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL
11/17 -- Lakewood Civic Auditorium, Cleveland, OH
11/18 -- The Center for the Arts, Buffalo, NY
11/29 -- Keswick Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
11/30 -- State Theatre Regional Arts Center, New Brunswick, NJ
12/1 -- The Paramount, Huntington, NY
12/2 -- The Beacon Theatre, New York, NY

Here's how WCBS-FM reported the news ...

In the Monkees’ case, the old adage of “death brings people together” seems to ring true. 
Following the death of Monkees vocalist Davy Jones back in February due to heart attack, the band’s surviving members will kick off a 12-city tour this November. It marks the first tour following Jones’ death, as well as the first Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith have played together since 1997. Nesmith has not taken part in the Monkees’ more recent tours, last performing on a brief Monkees tour of the UK in 1997. 
The tour kicks off November 8th in Escondido, California, and wraps less than a month later at New York’s Beacon Theatre. According to a release, fans can expect to hear Monkees hits, as well as as music from their TV series and trippy 1968 film, Head. There will be a multimedia tribute to Jones incorporated into the live show. 
When WCBS-FM caught up with Dolenz back in June, he said the group “still all kind of reeling” from Jones’ death. “I’m still dedicating part of the show to his memory,” he added.
The Monkees are set to return to the stage this November for a 12-date U.S. tour, marking the first time Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork have played together since 1997. The tour kicks off at Escondido's California Center for the Arts on November 8th and finishes at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on December 2nd. 
The trek is also Nesmith's first with the Monkees since a brief U.K. run in 1997; and of course, it's the group's first outing since singer Davy Jones passed away in February. "This seems like a good time to do this – the right time," says Nesmith. "Who knows when we will get another chance?" 
The Monkees will perform a selection of their biggest hits and deeper cuts from their first five albums, as well as music from their film Head and their TV series. Accompanying the tunes will be a multimedia show filled with rare films and photographs. 
Jones will be saluted "in the show's multimedia content," according to a statement. 
Dolenz also revealed that a new album from him, called REMEMBER, will be released on 9/25.

For the record ('cause it's been wrong virtually EVERYWHERE I've seen it), The Monkees actually had FOUR #1 Albums in 1967 ... a feat unparalleled by any of their contemporaries. Their debut album (called simply "The Monkees") first reached the #1 Spot on November 12, 1966 ... so TECHNICALLY it was #1 the year before ... but it STAYED in the top spot for an incredible 13 weeks, spilling over until February of '67 ... only to be knocked out of the #1 position by The Monkees' second album "More Of The Monkees", which then spent the next 18 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Album Chart. That's 31 CONSECUTIVE WEEKS at #1 for The Pre-Fab Four!!! (And also their first official #1 Album of 1967). In June they topped the chart again for a week with their "Headquarters" album. (It was knocked out of the top spot by a little ditty called "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by some foreign group out of Liverpool as I recall.) Then, they closed out the year at #1 again with their "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn And Jones, Ltd." LP, which sat on top of the charts for five more weeks. During 1967, The Monkees spent an incredible THIRTY WEEKS (out of a possible 52!) at the #1 Spot on Billboard's Album Chart. That's nothing short of AMAZING!!! I think over time people have forgotten just how HUGELY popular they really were! (kk) 

Getting back to the story at hand, there is absolutely NO question that this is nothing short of MAJOR news as Nesmith has always been the hold out that kept the Pre-Fab Four from ever doing a full-blown reunion. (Sadly, this is still the case ... with the death of Davy Jones earlier this year, I must admit I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. I'm as big a Monkees fan as there is out there ... and I've seen Micky, Peter and Davy DOZENS of times over the years, as well as solo shows by all three ... I even caught Dolenz and Jones pairings as both "Monkeeing Around" and part of the short-lived Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart ... "The Guys Who Sang 'em and The Guys Who Wrote 'em" ... but I've never seen all four, not even back in the "hey hey" day. In fact, I've never seen Michael Nesmith at all ... the one and only chance I had to see him, I ended up not being able to go at the very last minute.) 

In a way, I think it's great that Mike, Micky and Peter are getting back together again, hopefully as some sort of tribute to their fallen bandmate ... and I would LOVE to see this show, just to see what kind of spectacle they come up with.  But it almost seems like the fans have been cheated somehow ... if they were ever going to do this, why not do it when all four members were alive so they could all bask in the glory of a full reunion? 

And I can't get Mike's earlier statement that "I always felt like a sideman to Davy" out of my head ... is this in any fashion a reflection that the reason Mike never jumped in with both feet was because of Davy ... but now that he's gone, it's okay again? 

Still, there's no denying the impact this will have on their fans. Last year's Monkee's 45-year reunion tour was cancelled abruptly with several dates still to go ... and any Mike participation over the past 42 years has been very short-lived ... an isolated concert in Los Angeles ... the "Just Us" reunion album and television special (both of which, for the most part, completely tanked) ... a few UK dates ... and that's been about it. Regardless, it's MAJOR news.

Obviously this has been in the works for a while!!! Dolenz, Tork and Nesmith first got together at a private memorial service for Davy earlier this year and kicked around the possibility of doing something to commemorate his memory ... and we hear that Davy will be well-remembered in the show through various multi-media events. I still say it would have meant SO much more to all the fans to see the real deal ... but this is still closer than any of us EVER thought we'd get!

This incarnation of The Monkees has never performed together before. Sure, Davy, Micky and Peter have been reuniting for years ... and back in the day, Peter Tork was the first to leave ... so Davy, Micky and Mike soldiered on with a couple more albums as a trio.  But a version of The Monkees featuring Micky, Peter and Mike is a brand new venture.  (Rumors have persisted for years that despite a real love and affection for each other, Dolenz and Jones just couldn't get along on the road ... and some of those differences may have contributed to last year's 45th Anniversary Tour being abruptly cut short.)  Perhaps the dynamics of Mike and Peter, the real musicians of the group, coupled with the incredible vocals of Micky Dolenz, will finally make this a fun outing for all parties concerned.

It's great to see that The Chicago Theater is one of the stops on this very special reunion show.  (In fact, the concert virtually sold out in pre-ticket sales, before the general public even had a chance to buy them!)

Honestly, it WOULD have been nice if all of the cities who experienced cancelled shows on the PREVIOUS 45th Anniversary Tour could have all been hit ... what a treat this would have been for the fans who bought tickets the first time around but were then shut out of the experience. Some "preferential treatment and consideration" should have been extended to these fans ... maybe the powers that be will think this through and add a few dates to the itinerary.  (Imagine the disappointment of now missing The Monkees' show TWICE!!!)

And what's up with this?!?!?

Rolling Stone Magazine has an exclusive piece on Mike Nesmith ... six months after they ran a cover story on the death of Davy Jones ... yet Jann Wenner doesn't feel the Monkees are Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame worthy? Can somebody please explain THAT one to me?!?!? Good enough to help draw readers to your website and sell copies of your magazine ... knowing full well the mass cross-over appeal the group had (and STILL has) ... but not enough of an impact on pop culture to gain acceptance into your hallowed halls? Gimme a break! (kk)

I agree 100%!
Tom Cuddy  

You're up and running again- YAY!!!!! I'm happee for you.
It was just announced that Mike, Peter and Micky will tour as The Monkees! Why does it take death to get people together who should have been together before? Naturally, no concerts in the Northwest.
Hope you and Frannie and the fam are well. 
Have a great day!
Ed Pond

And you've got to wonder what kind of buzz is going on every night during The Happy Together Again Tour now that the official announcement has been made. Micky's part of the line-up this year and the reviews have been stellar. (See below) And what about rehearsals??? (I know, I know ... they've been rehearsing these songs for the past 45 years!)
But still, there must be a lot to work out with the band, the multi-media tie-ins, etc. I'm sure once The Happy Together Again Tour wraps up, Micky will be devoting himself full-time to getting this on track. The band is most likely already rehearsing. (And wouldn't it be cool if Mike's video company put together the Davy video tribute for the show? We already hear his son Christian will be performing as part of the band.)  

Last night we were guests at the 2012 HAPPY TOGETHER tour; featuring The Buckinghams; The Grass Roots; Gary Puckett; Micky Dolenz; and, Flo & Eddie (aka The Turtles).
The Buckinghams (“Kind Of A Drag”) and The Grass Roots didn't disappoint at all as they blazed through their hits, sounding like we just heard them on the radio yesterday. The Roots in particular were spectacular; their canon of hits “Let’s Live for Today,” “Temptation Eyes” and “I’d Wait A Million years” were all huge crowd favorites. Last year, we lost Rob Grill, the main-Root, but you'd never know it listening to them. Gary Puckett, sans his group The Union Gap, looked great and sounded terrific. One of our group said his act these days, owed more to Tom Jones, than anything, but he delighted and the crowd.
After a short break, where we hung with Dolenz’s pr-man David Salidor and Q104.3’s Jim Kerr trading show biz stories, we were back inside the cavernous Westbury stage and Dolenz and band amped up the festivities, witnessed by the opening lines of the song “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.” We have seen Micky numerous times, but never felt the energy like it was last night. Dressed in black, topped off with a black trilby, Dolenz put 200% into his performance. His guitarist (and, musical director) Wayne Avers, stood nearby and amped up the performance delightfully well. The loss a few months back of Dolenz’s Monkee-ally Davy Jones hung heavy in the air and Dolenz addressed it emotionally and terrifically. Saying Jones was the brother he never had, he launched into “Last Train To Clarksville” and “I’m A Believer,” which the sold-out crowd went crazy for. Throughout the whole show, there were three girls, dressed to the nines, sitting in the first row, and Dolenz addressed them directly, which was a nice touch. (I actually ran into them after the show and although all were in their early-twenties, they said this was the best show they'd ever seen … take that Justin Bieber!)
Dolenz’s forays into the theater-world were evidence onstage as he was so strong and compelling, you couldn’t take your eyes off him. I know he wants to do more theater and after last night’s stellar performance, I bet he'll have his share of offers come this week.
Flo & Eddie were just sensational; performing their array of hits including “Happy Together” and a riveting “Elenore,” and “She’d Rather be With Me.” Though they started off described as a surf band, (The Crossfires) Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman have developed into terrific performers. With the rendition of “Together,” they were joined by the performers … one by one. A terrific finale for sure. All in all, a most Happy Together evening.
Speaking of The Happy Together Again Tour, here's an absolutely AWESOME shot of all the artists participating this year ... The Buckinghams (Carl Giammarese and Nick Fortuna), The "new" Grass Roots, Gary Puckett, Micky Dolenz and The Turtles (aka Flo and Eddie ... Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman) with some of the crew and the fans. GREAT group shot! (kk)

Welcome back.   
We're all happy together that you're back.   
Ken Voss

Plenty of great shows still to come (including another stop here in the Chicagoland area later this month.) This is a great time to catch some of the biggest names of the '60's ... all together on one stage! (kk)
8/12/12 Iowa State Fairgrounds Grandstand (Iowa State Fair), Des Moines, IA
8/11/12 Little River Casino, Manistee, MI
8/23/12 Cardinal Stadium (Kentucky State Fair), Louisville, KY
8/24/12 Paramount Theater, Aurora, IL
8/25/12 Ho-Chunk Casino, Black River Falls, WI
8/26/12 Corn Palace, Mitchell, SD
8/27/12 Minnesota State Fair Grandstand (Minnesota State Fair), St. Paul, MN
8/29/12 Carnegie Library Music Hall, Homestead, PA
8/30/12 New York State Fairgrounds (New York State Fair), Syracuse, NY

And, headlining the "Timing Is Everything" segment of today's newsletter, comes this bit of news about a brand new Monkees Convention being held early next year!

The Most Anticipated Monkees Convention in History planned
E. Rutherford, NJ: Producers of the most successful Monkees Convention ever have joined forces again to mark the one-year anniversary of Davy Jones' passing with a celebration of the former teen idol's life, and his band, The Monkees. This 3-day event, The David T. Jones Memorial Monkees Convention, will take place March 1-3, 2013 at The Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, 2 Meadowlands Plaza, East Rutherford, New Jersey, and thousands of fans are expected to attend to remember the music icon and fan favorite.
The David T. Jones Memorial Monkees Convention is being presented with the blessings of Davy's family, and funds will be raised to support the former Monkees' favorite charity, The Davy Jones Equine Memorial Fund. Jones was an avid horseman and this charity ensures the continuing care of the horses he so loved. Davy Jones passed away Feb 29th, 2012 from an apparent heart attack. He was 66.
There will be live concert performances, special guest interviews, autograph and photo opportunities, question and answer sessions; a mammoth Monkees music & memorabilia marketplace and rock & roll flea market, art exhibits, film and video showings, the "David T. Jones Message of Hope" book project, plus much more.
Headlining the memorial convention are former Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork. Other Special Guests of Honor includes actor Christopher Knight who played Peter Brady in the Brady Bunch,on which Davy Jones appeared; TV personality Butch Patrick, who is best known as Eddie Munster from "The Munsters" - Butch appeared in one of the Monkees' TV episodes; singer Ron Dante, who was the lead singer in the Archies and was one of Davy Jones' record producers; singer Gary DeCarlo, who was the lead singer in the band Steam ("Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye") and appeared with Davy Jones on Davy's last PBS TV concert appearance; actresses Donna Loren and Arlene Martel who each appeared in Monkees television episodes; and world famous rock & roll artist Shannon, known for her "7 Faces of Beatles" collection will be introducing her "7 Faces of Davy" collection specifically for this event. Other guests are being added.
Performing live over the three-day extravaganza will be members of Davy Jones' touring band along with popular Monkees tribute bands including "The Characters," who played many of the Monkees Conventions through the years and also backed up Micky, Davy and Peter; "The Blue Meanies," a Beatles & Monkees band who performed at a Davy Jones tribute at NY's BB Kings club; and "Loose Salute" who specialize in Mike Nesmith songs. The very rare Monkeemobile will also be on display.
This event is open to all ages, and the hotel is offering special reduced convention rates for guests wishing to stay overnight. Tickets are now on sale, including special weekend passes.
The March 1-3, 2013 David T. Jones Memorial Monkees Convention is produced by Phyllis Paganucci of Then & Now Events in association with Charles F. Rosenay!!!'s Liverpool Productions. Davy, Micky and Peter Tork, were all the special guests at the very last national Monkees Convention produced on the East Coast in 1987, and this production team has reunited after twenty-five years to bring fans the ultimate celebration possible in memory of Davy Jones. Liverpool Productions also co-produced the Monkees conventions in the early 80s, and presents the Beatles Expos, "Magical History Tour," Danbury Fields Forever," "ROCK CON: Weekend of 100 Rock Stars" and other music promotions.
For additional information or to order tickets, email, visit the website: or call toll-free (866) M-O-N-K-E-E-S.
Actually, the convention was announced BEFORE any of the reunion tour plans were ... but man, what a FORTUNATE set of circumstances!!!  (kk)  

and not a harmonic one either.
I just succumbed to being pushed into Facebook, and this is now a big ????? with my friends and me. 
Davy DID mention a reunion being talked about that would include Mike Nesmith at his last Mohegan Sun concert; January 14, 2012. BUT ... Does this NOW not seem like 'someone had to die to get Mike to join us again?' The promo information I have been receiving from several sources includes a picture of Peter, Davy, and Micky. AGAIN ???? It seems the publicity sector is not even prepared for this tour, which makes it appear as an offhand idea. March 1-3 of 2013 brings about the first anniversary of Davy's death; with a benefit celebration of his life being prepared in East Rutherford, NJ. Davy's band will be performing, Micky will be performing, Peter will be performing. Mike has not jumped on board for this. I can't read minds ... (don't tell my students ... I think I have them convinced otherwise.) but this reunion and its timing; as well as all else that is going on here leaves me with many questions.
Shelley J. Sweet-Tufano  
As I understand it, the three remaining Monkees first started kicking around the idea at a private memorial service for Davy back in March ... meaning Davy wouldn't have been privy to any reunion plans in January (as they didn't exist yet.)  For the record, I haven't seen ANY erroneous reports showing Davy as touring with the band ... the media seems pretty clear (and pretty hepped up) about the fact that it's Micky, Peter and Michael Nesmith this time around. Needless to say, rumors and speculation of any involvement with Mike have popped up continuously over the past 45 years, but have usually been met by disappointment. 
I think it's highly unlikely that Mike will participate in next year's Monkees convention ... I just hope that Micky and Peter still will, as it will be QUITE the event for the fans.  As I mentioned earlier, the convention was announced BEFORE any reunion tour announcement was made ... but I STILL told Promoter (and fellow Forgotten Hits Reader) Charles Rosenay that he REALLY fell into this one!!!  Talk about a boatload of free publicity!!!  (kk) 

And Micky's going to be a VERY busy Monkee for the next several months ... in addition to finishing up this year's Happy Together Again Tour ... and now The Monkees' 45th Anniversary Reunion Tour ... Micky also has a brand new album coming out next month.  And last week THIS announcement came across my desk ... with James Brown permanently out of the picture ... and with all due respect to Ryan Seacrest ... Micky just may be "the hardest working man in show business" right now!  (kk)
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Announce All-Star Cast for 2013 Symphonic Premiere of Hairspray: In Concert!
Headlined by filmmaker John Waters and featuring actor / musician Micky Dolenz, Tony Award-winner Beth Leavel, actor / comedian Paul Vogt, Hairspray on Broadway’s Marissa Perry and several other Broadway stars, Hairspray: In Concert! to be premiered by the Indianapolis and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly
INDIANAPOLIS –Marking the 25th anniversary of the John Waters’ original film, Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly brings together an all-star cast of Broadway, film and TV stars for the full symphonic production of the Broadway musical, Hairspray. Hairspray: In Concert! will premiere with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Jan. 11-13, 2013, and with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Jan. 24-27, 2013.
Hairspray: In Concert! stars noted filmmaker, writer and artist John Waters (Narrator), who created and directed Hairspray, the popular cult comedy hit film in 1988, which was adapted into an Tony Award-winning Broadway musical in 2002; Micky Dolenz (Wilbur Turnblad), best known as the drummer and lead vocalist of the 1960s made-for-television band The Monkees; Broadway star Beth Leavel (Velma Von Tussle), who earned a Tony Award for The Drowsy Chaperone and a nomination for her role in Baby, It’s You; and Paul Vogt (Edna Turnblad), who played the role of Edna in Hairspray on Broadway and whose television and film credits include MADtv, Grey’s Anatomy, Glee and The Rerun Show.
Also starring in Hairspray: In Concert! are Nick Adams (Link Larkin), who recently appeared on Broadway in A Chorus Line and Chicago and was the winner of two Audience Choice Awards for his role in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert; Marissa Perry (Tracy Turnblad), currently of Broadway’s Sister Act and previously the role of Tracy in Hairspray on Broadway; NaTasha Yvette Williams (Motormouth Maybelle), currently starring on Broadway in Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess; Alix Korey (Prudy Pingleton), whose Broadway credits include Hello, Dolly! and The Pirates of Penzance; Julie Kavanagh (Penny Pingleton), who recently appeared in the national tour of La Cage Aux Folles; Rhiannon Hansen (Amber Von Tussle), a finalist for MTV’s reality series, Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods; Bret Shuford (Corny Collins); whose Broadway credits include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid; Marcus Terell (Seaweed J. Stubbs) from FOX’s American Idol (finalist, seasons three and four) and from NBC’s America’s Got Talent (semi-finalist, season three); John Phillips (Mr. Pinky), a popular actor with extensive credits within central Indiana’s theater community; and the Divas of Song (Dynamites), led by Natalie Perkins, who appeared in the national Broadway tour of Hairspray.
“If there’s ever a time to do a concert production of this classic story and musical, it’s now,” said Jack Everly, who serves as Principal Pops Conductor for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. “All of the stars are aligned: We have the original filmmaker John Waters, a superior cast of actors, singers and Broadway stars, many of whom have performed in previous Hairspray productions, the epitome of 1960s pop culture with musician Micky Dolenz, and two major orchestras collaborating in this significant full symphonic production,” he added.
Set in the 1960s in his hometown of Baltimore, John Waters wrote Hairspray, the story of the misadventures of “pleasantly plump” Tracy Turnblad, whose aspirations of fame lead her to find celebrity on a locally-produced dance program. Her dreams for stardom are quickly traded for more important dreams: integrating the show in the racially divided city of Baltimore. The Broadway adaptation of the film won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 2003.
The ISO’s performance of Hairspray: In Concert! will take place Jan. 11 and 12 at its home in the historic Hilbert Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis and in the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Ind., on Jan. 13. The BSO’s performance of Hairspray: In Concert! will take place at the Music Center at Strathmore on Jan. 24 and at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, Jan. 25-27. For information on tickets and show times in Indianapolis, contact the ISO at (317) 639-4300 or, and in Baltimore, contact the BSO at (410) 783-8000 or
Hairspray: In Concert! is produced by Ty Johnson, Senior Pops Producer at the ISO, and Matthew Spivey, Vice President of Artistic Operations at the BSO, and is directed by David Levy. Staging and choreography is directed by Jennifer Ladner and costuming is by Clare Henkel.

A bit more on Micky's new album ...
Micky was on Breakfast with the Beales on July 7/22/12 on KLOS radio in Los Angeles. He spoke about his new CD coming out on September 25th called "Remember". He played two cuts from the CD. First was the Beatles' "Good Morning, Good Morning", done as a blusy ballad. The second was a re-working of "Randy Scout Git". Totally different feel than the original. This was the most concrete information about Micky's new CD, From what I heard on the show, it should be great.

Far be it from me to cast any shadow on the dark side of Michael Nesmith's announcement to rejoin his former bandmates ... I'm thrilled to death by the prospect of seeing him back out there with Micky and Peter again ... but, as I said early on, I've got some real mixed emotions about this whole thing.

It's not my place to question Mike's motives for finally doing this ... I can only hope they're sincere.  (The implication is that they're all doing this as a tribute to their fallen "brother" ... but the truth is, Nez has got some SOLO dates coming up, too ... maybe a little extra "tune-up" isn't such a bad idea after being off the road for so many years!)  

I think it's GREAT that he's finally coming along for the ride ... but I think it's incredibly sad that Davy was cheated out of this moment ... that they couldn't have simply resolved things sooner if they were ultimately going to play twelve dates together anyway. The shows just won't be the same without him.  

I just can't shake some of Mike's comments ... especially the one about feeling like a "sideman" in "Davy's band".   

It all seems a little unfounded ... even more so when one takes a look at the song line-ups on their two key albums being featured on this tour.   

On "Headquarters", Mike took the lead on "You Told Me", "You Just May Be The One" and "Sunny Girlfriend".   

On "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn And Jones, Ltd." his role was even greater enhanced ... "Salesman", "The Door Into Summer", "Love Is Only Sleeping", "What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?" and "Don't Call One Me" were all prominently featured (and are amongst the best material Mike has ever recorded.) By comparison, Davy is the featured vocalist on only three tracks: "She Hangs Out" (an old hold-over from earlier that year), "Hard To Believe" and "Star Collector".  

Yes, Davy was the first one hired ... and some say the show was even built around him at the time, cashing in on the cute, British factor ... but all four Monkees rose to international fame and fortune as a result.  Prior to landing the role, Nesmith was performing the folk circuit as Michael Blessing, passing the hat for that night's earnings.  He, too, clearly benefited by the fame and fortune bestowed on him by way of The Monkees back in the day.  And while he has since become a multi-millionaire many times over, much of that success has been as a direct result of the inheritance he earned from his mother's Liquid Paper fortune.  (Mike's mom invented the office staple ... well, not the office STAPLE, per se ... but you know what I mean!!!)  

It's comments like this (from his recent "Rolling Stone" interview last week) that eat at me ...  

ROLLING STONE:  Any regrets about not joining them on their tour last year? Were you ever tempted to guest for a song or two last year? 
MICHAEL NESMITH:  No. It was, as usual, a question of schedules and timing and the focus of our individual work. Had there been an opportunity to join them I would have – but we were out of sync schedule wise.   

Are we REALLY expected to believe that ... for FORTY FIVE YEARS ... there was never ONCE an opportunity to coordinate their schedules so that The Monkees could have done a full-blown reunion for the fans?  I mean, I know how hard it is sometimes just to schedule a lunch ... getting everybody together and available for the same 45 minutes can sometimes take three or four rounds of rescheduling ... but a worldwide reunion tour worth untold MILLIONS ... and never once in FORTY FIVE years ... could they get their schedules in sync?  What exactly has Mike been DOING every minute of the past 45 years?  'Cause I follow the music scene pretty darn closely ... and I've barely seen hide nor hair of him in all that time! 

And the Davy thing really bothers me, too ... 
When Mike (and ultimately Peter) fought for creative control of their music, Davy was the most vocal in telling the others not to rock the boat ... just take the money and enjoy the ride ... clearly the formula was working and The Monkees were on top of the world musically, outselling even The Beatles and The Rolling Stones at the time.  

1967 was their year ... as mentioned earlier, they spent 30 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Album Chart that year ... they had a successful television series and were playing to sold-out crowds around the world. 

1967 singles like "I'm A Believer" / "Steppin' Stone", "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" / "The Girl I Knew Somewhere", "Pleasant Valley Sunday" / "Words" and "Daydream Beliver" / "Goin' Down" were constantly at the top of the charts ... and nearly all of their album tracks were played in heavy rotation on Top 40 radio as well. When Nesmith famously put his fist through a wall and told Music Director Don Kirshner "That could have been your face", the gauntlet was dropped ... and, ultimately, The Monkees took control ... and Kirshner was fired. But Davy was Kirshner's boy ... he had already been tempting him with solo offers ... in fact, the whole band was based around Davy, the first one hired for the series. Is it possible that even now, all these years later, Mike STILL resents the opposition he encountered from one of his own way back when?  God, I hope not ... but it's still tough to shake this feeling.