The Monkees' Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz are hitting the road in June for their first-ever tour as a duo. They're calling the tour The Monkees Present: The Mike and Micky Show (as opposed to simply "The Monkees") because their fellow surviving bandmate Peter Tork is not participating. Though the set centers around the classic group's vast catalog, Nesmith and Dolenz plan to roll out deep cuts and rarities.
"It will be very different than a Monkees show," Nesmith told Rolling Stone in January. "I mean, it'll be Monkees music, but there's no pretense there about Micky and I being the Monkees. We're not. We're the remnants."
The Monkees reformed in 1986 shortly after MTV put their old television show into heavy rotation, earning them an entirely new generation of fans. With the sole exception of a brief fun of U.K. show in 1996, Michael Nesmith didn't participate in any of the reunion tours. Shortly after the death of Davy Jones, however, he stunned fans by returning to the group for three consecutive summer tours. He participated in their 50th anniversary LP Good Times! in 2016, but he stepped away from their touring outfit, leaving Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork to continue as a duo.
On September 16th, 2016 Nesmith - who resurrected his early 1970s country rock band the First National Band in early 2018 - played a show with the group at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles that was billed as a farewell to "Monkee Mike." He doesn't view this tour as a reversal of that decision. "This isn't Monkee Michael and Monkee Micky going out," he told Rolling Stone. "[But] we're using the Monkees logo and name to promote it."
Peter Tork explained in a press release that he was skipping the tour to focus on his upcoming Lead Belly tribute album, Relax Your Mind. "I have in general made no secret of the fact that all these recent years of Monkees-related projects, as fun as they’ve been, have taken up a lot of my time and energy," he said. "Moving forward, I have blues projects that I want to give my attention to, hence Relax Your Mind. So, I'm shifting gears for now, but I wish the boys well, and I've learned to never say never on things further down the line."
Nesmth also hinted that there might be slightly more to Tork's decision than the need to focus the Lead Belly album. "I'm afraid I would betray a confidence if I said any more than, 'This is not a right time for him,'" he told Rolling Stone. "He has his reasons. They are very private."
Even without Tork, the tour will be a great chance for Monkees fans to see Dolenz and Nesmith explore parts of the catalog that past tours have neglected. "These 16 special performances will feature songs that span the group's entire career – from its 1966 eponymous debut to 2016’s Good Times," reads the press release. "The shows will highlight many of Nesmith's compositions, including some that have never been performed live."
"I love being onstage with Micky," Nesmith says in a statement. "We've been collaborating for over 50 years, so it's hard to believe it’s never been just the two of us. I'm excited to dust off some tunes that I haven’t played for a long time too."
Dolenz concurs. "Right from the get-go, I admired Mike's songs," he said in a statement. "When we used to get together around the campfire to sing in the early days, we were always doing his songs. We always had such a great a vocal blend; he was the one who encouraged me to write songs of my own. I've always been a big fan and now we finally get to do the Mike & Micky show that we riffed on back when we were shooting The Monkees."
Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith Tour Dates
June 1 - Chandler, AZ @ Chandler Center For The Arts
June 2 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Orpheum
June 3 - San Diego, CA @ Humphrey’s
June 5 - Anaheim, CA @ The Grove
June 6 - Saratoga, CA @ The Mountain Winery
June 8 - Stockton, CA @ Bob Hope Theatre
June 9 - Stateline, NV @ Harrah's Lake Tahoe
June 12 - Denver, CO @ Paramount
June 14 - Chicago, IL @ Copernicus Center
June 15 - Huber Heights, OH @ Rose Music Center
June 16 - Cleveland, OH @ Cain Park
June 18 - Toronto, ON @ Sony Center
June 19 - Kitchener, ON @ Centre In the Square
June 21 - Philadelphia, PA @ Keswick Theatre
June 22 - New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
June 25 - Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre