Monkee Business

Micky Dolenz, the last surviving Monkee, turns 79 tomorrow.

Let’s talk about The Monkees, the Pre-Fab Four, Micky (pictured inside the ladder), along with Davy, Peter, and Mike, “4 insane boys” according the want-ad they replied to, who were created from scratch for a television series meant to capitalize on the Beatle’s early success and popularity.

Well, not exactly from scratch. As young as they were, all four were already involved in professional acting and music-making to varying degrees.

In fact, Dolenz was a child actor starring in the late 1950s television series Circus Boy. He already had his own rock band.

But Micky and the other Monkees had to learn to become a band at the same time that they were learning to become a television comedy acting troupe. And they did. At first, they were only allowed to sing songs written by other, famous songwriters, backed by session musicians.

This won no respect from other musicians, and The Monkees wanted to be respected as musicians.

They fought for the right to play their own instruments and to choose, write, and record their own music. They became one of the most successful bands of the sixties, with three Billboard #1 hits and music that outlasted their TV show.

And Dolenz is still at it, still performing. . As recently as 2023, he released covers of several REM songs.

Several lessons:

  • Take advantage of the opportunities that you can find
  • Learn what you need to know in order to move forward
  • Take the side entrance if that’s what it takes to get in the room
  • Keep reaching for your goals even if others say you can’t or shouldn’t
  • Don’t let other people’s expectations become your ceiling
  • Keep doing more of what you love

What do you think?

See you tomorrow!