Micky Dolenz embraces his Monkees past

Contributed photoFormer Micky Dolenz will be performing this Friday at The Bear’s Den, providing fans a rare opportunity to see the artist up close.

Seneca Niagara is welcoming one of the most iconic performers to emerge from the late 1960s, the multi-talented actor and singer Micky Dolenz, best known as the drummer and lead singer of some of The Monkees most recognizable hits including “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a Believer.”

Dolenz will be performing this Friday at The Bear’s Den, providing fans of The Monkees a rare opportunity to see the artist up close.

“I have heard it’s a wonderful venue, and I like playing intimate shows when I can. Most artists will tell you they like playing intimate shows because you have a deeper connection with the audience,” Dolenz said during a recent phone interview.

“What you will get is most of The Monkees hits — because I sang the vast majority of them. I always do them in their entirety and realize that is the reason the majority of people come to the show. Those songs are important to people, and I help people relive them and fulfill that invisible contract between the artist and the audience.”

Even though The Monkees original television, movie and recording career lasted around four years, from 1966 through 1970, the group amassed a huge following, a fact that Dolenz appreciates.

“I know I wouldn’t have a career without our fans. Over the years, we have always respected them and given them what they want. I have seen artists that tell an audience they are not going to sing their hits and the fans inevitably leave disappointed,” he said.

Dolenz also knows that there is an expectation between him and his fans offstage as well, and he noted that, “As long as the fans are polite and not aggressive, I don’t mind signing autographs and doing meet-and-greets. It’s when you are trying to have dinner and you have a mouthful of shrimp cocktail and some guy throws a piece of paper in front of you that I get a little frustrated.”

Micky promises that The Bear’s Den show with cover songs and possibly some deep album cuts from his career. “When I am not doing The Monkees hits, I will be doing material from my past that had an influence on me, and telling a story. For instance, I perform Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode’ because it is the song that got me the gig with The Monkees.”

In addition to his career as a musician, Dolenz has been considered for some iconic roles on the big screen and in television. There is a story circulating on the Internet that he was considered for the role of The Riddler in “Batman Forever” a role that went to Jim Carrey.

“I never auditioned for the part of The Riddler, I did audition for the role of Fonzie in ‘Happy Days,’ and Henry Winkler tells the story that when he saw me at the audition he didn’t think he would get it. Of course he did an amazing job in that role.”

The Riddler story isn’t the only rumor Dolenz is asked about. “There is the one about Charles Manson auditioning for The Monkees — that never happened, and it still seems to go around.” (Manson was already incarcerated during the time when auditions were being held to cast for The Monkees television show.)

These days, when Dolenz is not performing as a solo artist or with The Monkees, (who will reportedly hit the road next year) Dolenz will be working with his daughters crafting furniture.

“As soon as I get off the phone I will be going in the shop with my daughter and making sawdust. We have a whole bunch of orders for Christmas. I have always had a workshop and worked with tools all my life.”

The business, aptly titled Dolenz and Daughters, has been “very successful,” and they are in the midst of fulfilling custom orders for Christmas.

Tickets for Micky Dolenz at The Bear’s Den start at $35 and are available through Ticketmaster.

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