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Exclusive: The Monkees Resolve Personal Issues for 45th Anniversary Tour

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The band will perform in front of a gigantic HD screen. "Sometimes we'll make it look like the backdrop of the apartment [from the Monkees' Sixties TV series]," says Tork. "Sometimes we'll just be out on the wild and windy plain, singing 'I Want To Be Free' to the wind. The whole thing is about moods and trips."

The three Monkees will bring on other musicians for the tour, but Tork wants to strip it back at points.  "I have hopes that the three of us are just gonna sit down and rock," he says. "It can be Davy on rhythm guitar or bass, me on keyboards or bass and Mickey just wailing away on the drums."

Founding member Michael Nesmith isn't participating in the tour: His mother invented Liquid Paper and left him with her fortune, leaving him financially secure for life. He did return for the group's 1996 LP Justus and a brief European tour to support it. "I last saw him at the end of the 1997 British tour," says Tork. "I haven't talked to him in all that time."

Nesmith popped up onstage at a couple of Monkees reunion shows in the Eighties. Might that happen again? "It's possible," says Tork. "I'd be game for it. Michael's always welcome."

Two years ago Tork feared that he might never tour again when he was diagnosed with a rare form of head-neck cancer called Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. "Two years ago to the day I went under the knife in New York at Sloan-Kettering," he says. "They sliced open my lip, broke my jaw, reached down inside and carved this thing off my tongue. Later I underwent radiation. My checkups have been clear ever since....I'm excruciatingly lucky. I count my blessings every day."

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