Born Into Showbiz: 1945-1965
Micky was born March 8, 1945 in Los Angeles California, the first
child of George and Janelle Dolenz. With both parents in showbusiness, Micky seemed destined to act himself and indeed by the age of six he was already doing screen tests. Micky's biggest child role came when he landed the role of Corky in the 1950s show Circus Boy. From 1956 to 1958 a bleached blond Micky, under the stage name of Braddock, got to enjoy a wide variety of circus adventures with his trusty partner "Bimbo" the elephant. To promote the show Micky and Bimbo toured the country, with Bimbo doing a few tricks and Micky playing a few tunes (such as "Purple People Eater") on guitar.
Musician: As a teenager, Micky took a more serious look into music and was in a variety of niteclub bands including Micky And the One Nighters (later called The Missing Links). With Micky as lead vocalist the band played a variety of area niteclubs covering everything from the Stones to Jerry Lee Lewis. It was also during this time that Micky recorded the single "Huff Puff"/"Don't Do It" (though it wouldn't be released til 1967).
Monkeemania Wave 1: 1965-1970
1965 came about and with it the role that would forever transform how the world saw Micky, and it entered with an audition for a brand new show called The
Monkees. The show featured Micky along with
Peter Tork Davy Jones, and
Michael Nesmith as four musicians living in a beach house and trying to earn the money for rent. Every episode involved general insanity and lots of humor. Micky started out acting the part of the groups drummer but as time went on he became the groups drummer. The show was on the air from 1966 to 1968, following which came the movie
HEAD and the little seen television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee. Between 1966 and 1970, The Monkees released nine albums plus a greatest hits. During the off season from taping they toured the country to sold out shows but by 1970 it was only Micky and Davy touring under the Monkees banner for the shows. "Micky of the Monkees" continues to be the role Micky is most remembered for.
(Photo courtesy Rhino Records)
From L.A. to London: 1971-1985
Having one of the best voices in pop music, when the Monkees ended Micky moved on to do voices for cartoons. From 1970 to 1978 Micky provided voices for "The Funky Fantom," "The Scooby-Doo Movies," and other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Micky also kept up with his solo music releasing a string of 45s over the years. 1972 saw the release of "A Lovers Prayer" / "Unattended in the Dungeon" and 1980 "To Be Or Not To Be" / "Beverly Hills". Then in 1980 Micky embarked on a solo tour of Japan to promote his new singles as well as perform some of the Monkees hits. In 1975 Micky toured with Davy Jones, Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart as "Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart: The Great Golden Hits of the Monkees: The guys that sang 'em and the guys that wrote 'em." DJB&H played to sold out fairs and stops all across the country before taking off for a sold out tour of the far east and releasing a self-titled album.
What started as a simple three month trip to London to perform in Harry Nilsson's musical The Point in 1978 turned into a ten year stay in England. During this time Micky expanded on his directorial ability (first seen when he directed "The Frodis Caper" - the final episode of The Monkees) and spent the next ten years directing for the BBC. Micky directed or produced such shows as Metal Micky and Luna. As both a director and producer Micky has quite a few credits.
In 1984 while still directing in England Micky retook up his studies and pursued an advanced degree in Physics. Unfortunately 1986 would
completely disrupt this pursuit and so as a result Micky has not yet
finished his degree though he hopes to someday continue.
Monkeemania Wave 2: 1986-1989
It started as something rather small, Arista acquired the rights to
the Monkees catalog and decided to issue a new greatest hits album, Then & Now: The Best of the Monkees. Onto this they added three cover tunes that featured new vocals by Micky. In 1986 on a wave of nostalgia sparked by reruns of the tv show, Micky, Peter and Davy, set out across the country for a summer tour. Sparked by the success of the tour, the Monkees released a new album Pool It their first is nearly 20 years and continued touring the world until late 1989.
(Photo courtesy Rhino Records)
More Challenges: 1990-1995
In 1990 Micky officially returned to the States as a resident and followed this up with two years of touring the country as a solo act. During this tour Micky played a variety of Monkees tunes, his own solo tunes and other covers. With the second wave of Monkeemania reigniting the desire to record once again Micky headed back into the studio. What resulted was the first of his children's albums. Entitled Micky Dolenz Puts You To Sleep, it is a collection of sixties pop tunes that act as lullabies. In 1994 Micky released his second children's album Broadway Micky (pictured at right) which is a collection of Broadway and show tunes that have a whimsical aspect.
At some point in life people want to begin writing of their experiences and 1993 saw the release of I'm A Believer: My Life of Music, Madness and the Monkees. This book tells the story of Micky's life up to 1990 and is filled with personal anecdotes told only as Micky could tell them. [Excerpts can be read here]
Just when it seemed that Micky couldn't possibly try something else, he combines his love of science with art to create some beautiful abstract paintings. The subjects of his painting range from the ozone hole ("Oh-No Zone" pictured at left) to the AIDS virus. Micky held his first solo art show in Philadelphia in 1995 and since then the paintings have traveled as a one man show to various cities during 1996 & 1997. During his breaks from this year's tours Micky has managed to paint three new works including "The Hood", a beautiful image of the local arm of the Milky Way Galaxy.
(Photo © Andrea Chempinski)
1994 saw Micky doing a greater amount of US appearances and such. For
the first season of the FOX cartoon The Tick, Micky provided the voice of Arthur the Moth, the Tick's wanna-be superhero sidekick. Following this Micky replaced Davy and did a brief stint as DJ Vince Fontaine in the off-broadway production of "Grease! Next he joined up with Davy once again and performed a variety of concerts around the country playing Monkees hits to admiring fans. Also in 1995 Micky joined with Peter and Davy to do a PizzaHut Wrong Way commercial with Ringo Starr. 1996 saw Micky doing guest appearances as the Mayor in USA's Pacific Blue, then talking about it George & Alana. Added to that Micky made guest appearances on Boy Meets World, Politically Incorrect and Muppets Tonight
Monkeemania Wave 3: 1996-1997
While in '89 it seemed that we had seen the last of the Monkees, in 1996 Rhino Records acquired the catalog rights and sparked new interest by reissuing all the albums on CD complete with bonus tracks. From this interest leaped a new album, a new tour, a new television special and a lot more! It started in 1996 started with Michael joining Micky, Davy & Peter in the studio to record a brand new album entitled Justus, which was later released in November. Micky then teamed up with Davy and Peter to hit the road for a US Tour to celebrate the bands 30th Anniversary. Then to promote the new album Mike joined with Micky, Davy and Peter to do a live show at the Billboard Live Club in Los Angeles. This was indeed a treat for fans as Micky took his place behind the drum kit to to live what he had laid down for the album. Micky was once again the band's drummer. The touring continued in 1997 with the foursome doing a month-long tour of the UK in March. The summer and fall saw the Monkees again as a threesome touring across the States. For the US tour Micky split his time almost evenly between his drum kit and stage front on guitar.
(Photo © Andrea Chempinski)
Along with the live appearances, 1997 saw the Monkees on television as well. The first was a Monkees Documentary put on by the Disney channel that featured videos, vintage tv clips and all new interviews. Then came the Feb 17th ABC Special, a brand new one hour comedy written by Nez that speculated on what the foursome would be up to if the Monkees tv show had never gone off the air and needed a plot for episode #781.
Back to Hollywood: 1998-2001
With the third wave of Monkeemania ending, 1998 saw Micky headed back behind the camera and he directed an episode of Boy Meets World for ABC. Also during this time Micky released a series of unique merchandise and a CD of previously unreleased material. And in 1999 fans of Micky's voice work could hear Micky's voice on the Fox Kid's cartoon The Secreat Files of the SpyDogs. Micky provided the voices for Ralph (the leader of the SpyDogs) and Scribble (a young puppy just learning how to be a SpyDog). In 2000 and 2001 Micky was once again back on the road touring. He performed with both the Teen Idols tour, solo events and duets with his sister Coco. In addition he kept busy with the occassional project producing or directing.
Bright Lights, Big City: 2002-2012
The new millennium saw Micky preparing for one of the few musical roles he hadn't tackled yet - a broadway musical! In early 2003 he joined the touring company of the Tim Rice & Elton John musical "AIDA." Micky won the part of the villian Zoser and sang two of the best songs of the show. In 2004, Micky made his broadway debut when AIDA took up residence in New York. In later years Micky also performed on stage in "Hairspray" in London. 2011 also saw the release of Micky's third solo cd, this one a tribute to Carole King entitled King for a Day. The Monkees madness also came calling again with Micky touring once again with Peter and Davy in the summer of 2011.