The Monkees: Our Life in 15 Songs - Rolling Stone
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The Monkees: Our Life in 15 Songs

Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork tell the stories behind some of their most enduring tunes

The Monkees - Our Career In 17 Songs

The Monkees (pictured from left) Peter Tork as Peter, Davy Jones as Davy, Mike Nesmith as Mike, Micky Dolenz as Micky in the 1960s.

NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

On September 16th, the three surviving members of the Monkees will take the stage at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, California, nearly 50 years to the day after their TV show premiered on NBC. That night in 1966 kicked off a wave of intense Monkeemania that lasted a mere two years, but in that time they worked at a feverish rate, scoring huge hits like “I’m a Believer” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” shooting 58 episodes of their TV show, touring the world and filming the psychedelic movie Head.

“Bert Schneider, the producer of the Monkees TV series, said that when they cast us they caught lightning in a bottle,” says Peter Tork. “For all the hassles and all the ways its been less than perfect for me, I have to agree.”

Davy Jones passed away in 2012, but Tork, Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz reunited that year for a tour that ultimately lead to their triumphant new LP Good Times! Nesmith has been off the road this year as he works on his upcoming book, but will be back onstage at the Pantages show. There’s also a ton of new Monkees releases tied to the 50th anniversary festivities, including the career-spanning three-CD set Monkees 50, which lands on August 26th.

We spoke to Dolenz, Tork and Nesmith about 15 key songs from the Monkees catalog.

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