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Hey-Hey! Monkee Micky Live @BB King’s Blues Club

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When I was a little girl, I fell in love with the antics of the made-for-TV musical foursome, The Monkees. Each week Davy, Peter, Mike and Micky sang and played their way into our hearts. With hits like Pleasant Valley Sunday, Last Train the Clarksville, I’m a Believer and Daydream Believer, written by some of the era’s best known songwriters (Carole King, Neil Diamond, Boyce & Hart), the music group (comprised of young actors and musicians) rocketed to fame. Some of my fondest memories can be traced back to those early days watching, and singing along with, The Monkees.

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Long after The Monkees ended their TV series and the band broke up, we still enjoy their hits. I’ve been fortunate enough to see one particular Monkee three times now.

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Micky and Friends…
Micky Dolenz is always a treat. Whether he is performing with The Monkees (as in the reunion tour I had the good fortune to see two years ago), or on his own, he never fails to entertain. Last week, I saw Micky on stage with his own band, which includes his sister Gemma ‘Coco’ Dolenz (vocals, percussion), Wayne Avers (guitar, vocals), Dave Alexander (keyboards, vocals), John Billings (bass), Aviva Maloney (saxophone, keyboards, vocals), and Rich Dart (drums).

Fun and self-effacing, the energetic 69-year-old Dolenz (in his trademark hat and vest) performed two sets (mostly Monkees hits) and sounded very much as I remembered him. Although I was disappointed he couldn’t play guitar (not drums like we were used to seeing in the TV series) on Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze this time around due to a wrist injury (Supposedly in a tussle with 19 Somali pirates he had to fend off with a cocktail olive sword!?!? I wonder if Tom Hanks was around for that?), that didn’t stop him from giving his all. From Mary Mary, to Steppin’ Stone, to Words (one of my favorites), the hits kept on coming, with the crowd singing right along for emphasis.

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Noteworthy Moments…
Long-time singing partner, sister Coco, had the spotlight a few times herself, surprising and delighting the crowd with Different Drum (made popular by Linda Ronstadt and written by fellow MonkeeMike Nesmith) and Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit.

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For me, the enjoyment of a fellow Whovian in the audience (dressed as David Tennant’s 10th Doctor), complete with Sonic Screwdriver, just added to my entertainment and amusement. All roads lead back to Doctor Who for me, but I digress…

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Andy Says…
It’s hard for me to set aside nostalgia and sentimentality and why should I? A good time was certainly had by all. And for fans, both old and young, Micky Dolenz and Friends kept us singing and dancing in our seats all night long.

If you get a chance to catch them in a city near you, I urge you to see Micky and his band. You won’t be disappointed. Many thanks to BB King Blues Club (my first time there and hopefully not my last) for the opportunity to cover the show.

Links and More…
For more on Micky Dolenz, his tour dates, music, and theatre performances, visit his site.
For more on Coco Dolenz, check out her site.

What Me Worry? Ace Frehley @ BB Kings Oct. 25, 2011

Full Photo Gallery is Here

Ace Frehley, KISS’s beloved Space Ace, has a new biography coming out on November 1, 2011. It’s titled “No Regrets” and I got a sneak peek of it at Comic Con. It promises to be a really good read beyond the ranks of KISS Army stalwarts. To promote the bio Ace booked two nights at New York’s B. B. Kings Blues Club and Grill and filled the room.

Advance, signed, copies of the biography were available in the B.B. King’s lobby at the end of the show. Frehley is pictured on the cover in full Kiss regalia. “Did you see the cover?”, he quipped from the stage at the opening of the first show. “Someone might think it’s Tommy Thayer.” To which an audience member shouted “There’s only one Ace.” He went on to prove that statement true by wowing his hometown fans with a smokin’ (literally) set of mostly KISS tunes, backed by a rock solid band including Bassist Anthony Esposito, Drummer Scott Coogan (Lynch Mob) and Guitarist Todd Youth (Agnostic Front, Murphy’s Law, Danzig).

Ace's Autographed Les Paul and Bio @ NYCC 2011

KISS aficionado, and ruler of the PiercingMetal universe, Ken Pierce’s coverage, including the setlist, can be found here. He is also hosting my photos of show openers The Biters who played my favorite Cheap Trick song “He’s A Whore” as part of their energetic set.

Purchase Ace’s Bio on Amazon:
No Regrets

Photo Gallery: Ace Frehley @ B.B. Kings 10.25.11


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