10 Questions with ... Micky Dolenz
February 6, 2012
1) Prior to being cast as a member of The Monkees, You began your career as a child actor and you later segued into a career as a musician. Eventually, you got to do both! Was the chance to perform music and act at the same time a dream come true for you?
Circus Boy was the start of my acting career. Musically, I was learning to play classical guitar. Before I auditioned for the Monkees TV Show, I was in a band called Micky & The One Nighters. We were a cover band and, in fact my audition piece for The Monkees was "Johnny B. Goode." I sang and played guitar.
2) Who were some of your early musical influences?
Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Johnny Mathis.
3) Can you please share some of the crazy antics that occurred on the set while filming The Monkees TV show?
There was craziness almost every day! But we were always on the clock and very busy. We'd film during the day and then head over to RCA studios to record the music. Then we'd have to learn our lines for the next day of filming. There wasn't a lot of time for "antics." That started later! LOL!
4) You seemed to enjoy doing your morning show at WCBS/ New York. Have you thought about getting back into radio?
I think we were just getting into a nice momentum when everything changed at CBS. I had done radio before but never to the extent of the CBS show. It was a great platform for almost everything whether it was talking to Ringo Starr, or playing with my band at B.B. King's which simulcast during the show. Working with the likes of Mike Fitzgerald, Dave Logan, and Bruce Goldberg was tremendous.
And yes, I'd love to get back into radio. A show I would love to do is a Pop/R&R version of "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor.
5) Besides her amazing music, what inspired you to record your recent album "King For A Day" as a tribute to Carol King?
I always felt that her songs were some of the strongest material we did in The Monkees. I had wanted to do something like this for quite a while, and when the opportunity presented itself I jumped at it. I think Producer Jeffrey Foskett did a great job. It was the quality of the music that made us all rise to the occasion.
6) I hear talk about another possible solo effort this year?
Yes, the details are still being worked out; it's sort of a musical compendium of songs that have affected my life, the ones that still resonate daily with me. I'm hoping to have everything finalized and the album out by this spring.
7) As you began your radio career, who helped to mentor your career and teach you the ropes of doing radio?
That would have to be my good friend Jim Kerr. And of course listening to the greats like Wolfman Jack and Jim Ladd.
8) What do you view as the most important issue facing radio today?
Staying relevant and LIVE! And keeping in touch with the local community.
9) What was the biggest gaffe you've made on air? (dead air ... forget a mic was still on ... etc.)
There were a lot! The worst was when something happened with the studio equipment and we had to scramble into another studio over DEAD AIR. It was a DJ's worst nightmare!
10) You also have some film directing and writing credits including "The Frodis Caper" episode of the Monkees, the stage version of "Bugsy Malone," cartoon voice-overs, and you've also had many acting jobs. Are you still working in the film and television industry as well?
Absolutely! Of late I've been doing a lot of musical theater; Aida, Grease, Pippin', Hairspray ... I really have grown to love that lifestyle.
What do you do in your spare time? What are your hobbies?
I like to build things. I have a complete workshop. For Christmas I handcrafted cedar hope chests for my four daughters and my wife.
Who is your best friend in the business?
I have many good friends, David Salidor, Kevin Allyn, Stuart Gross, Jeff Sherman, Jim Kerr are a few.
What advice would you give people new to the business?
Get a good lawyer! Seriously, get a good and competent business team around you.
Tell us what music we would find on your MP3 player?
Mostly classical, show tunes, standards, and The Beatles.
What is your favorite TV show (besides The Monkees?)
Mostly things on Discovery or National Geographic.
What is the most rewarding promotion or activity you have ever been involved with to benefit the community or a charity?
It's always great to get involved in a charitable situation; I've done a lot of work with the 'Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS' Foundation and 'Make A Wish.'
Do you have any good stalker stories? Misty requests? "Fatal Attractions?"
Yes! A few that I can't talk about! LOL!
What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you? The worst?
The best was to never take myself too seriously and never start believing you are the person that people are seeing up on the screen. The worst was to not buy Yahoo! stock.