Micky Dolenz is headed on the road to perform The Monkees third album Headquarters live. This watershed third Monkees LP proved the band was more than a made-for-television musical group. As the tour commences, Dolenz reflects on all that went into making the LP, what it means to play those songs live, and how The Monkees influenced an entire genre of performers.
The Monkees genuinely expressed themselves as musicians on ‘Headquarters’
Liner notes on the back of the Headquarters LP expressed The Monkees intent with their third LP. “We aren’t the only musicians on this album,” an inscription on the back cover reads. “The occasional extra bass or horn player played under our direction, so this is all ours.”
Headquarters changed The Monkees’ trajectory as musicians. In The Monkees and More of The Monkees, Peter Tork, Davy Jones, Dolenz, and Mike Nesmith were minimally involved. They provided vocals for the songs, save for Nesmith, who scored several writing credits.
The album has a country rock lean. The inclusion of Nesmith’s “You Told Me,” “You Just May Be the One,” and “Sunny Girlfriend” stand out. Tork’s “For Pete’s Sake” written by Tork, was strong enough to be used as the closing song for The Monkees’ second season.
However, Dolenz also feels the album has a punk rock feel. In a new interview, he exclaimed The Monkees were the “original garage band.”
Micky Dolenz is proud of ‘Headquarters’ original sound
In an interview with Rolling Stone to promote this solo tour, Dolenz explained his overall take on The Monkees third album. He believes the band originated the garage sound.
“It’s very punk!” Dolenz exclaims. “I think we were the original garage band but didn’t intend to be.”
He continued, “It was like, “Oh s***! We gotta play this s*** now.” Most bands go through some primitive growing-up period. But the Monkees wasn’t a band. It was this cast of a TV show that suddenly had to get out there and play. Trial by fire.”
“It was a very short album. It only ran 30-some minutes, which was not atypical at the time,” Dolenz explained. However, that doesn’t mean shows supporting Headquarters will only run for a half hour.
However, since the overall material will only take up a short part of the live show, Dolenz revealed his plans to add to the material. He claims the show will take fans through some of The Monkees most significant hits.
“The plan is to play it in the middle. We’ll open with some of the big hits; people love that, then settle down, do Headquarters, and then end with some of the big hits. We have a lot of other material to play with. We’re doing a 75-minute to 90-minute show. It’s going to be interesting,” he revealed.
Micky Dolenz wished Mike Nesmith could have toured this album
Micky Dolenz last toured with bandmate Mike Nesmith for The Monkees farewell tour. Just weeks after playing their final date in California, Nesmith died in 2021. Jones died in 2012, and Tork in 2019.
Dolenz discussed how he would have loved to tour Headquarters with Nesmith. He claimed the guitarist was the band member responsible for inspiring the others to regain their creative control as musicians.
“It is weird. I gotta be honest. To be the last man standing. I wish to God that Nesmith would have been around long enough to do this album, which he was so responsible for putting together and songwriting for it and inspiring us to do it,” The Monkees drummer explained.
Headquarters shot to the number one spot on the Billboard charts in May 1967. However, after one week, it got kicked out of the top spot by The Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
“That stinkin’ group,” Dolenz joked of the Fab Four. “If you’re going to get kicked out of number one, what a way to go. Then it stayed at number two, just forever under Sgt. Pepper. I’ve always considered that one friggin’ great feather in our cap.”
Micky Dolenz hits the road with Headquarters beginning Apr. 1. The tour is called “The Monkees Celebrated by Micky Dolenz.”