In some ways, the very nature of the Monkees’ creation helped them establish a sound unlike many of their contemporaries, Micky Dolenz says. Each of them arrived with their own unique voice.
Other bands might have grown up together, or met while in school studying similar courses. That kind of familiarity tended to create “a singularity of musical vision,” Dolenz recently told fans, “and that’s one of the reasons they were so successful — because they created this unique sound. In the case of the Monkees, we were cast together. And there was four lead singers, essentially. Four distinct styles. And we played on that.”
Dolenz went back to the Monkees’ first concert tour, which found the late Davy Jones doing a Broadway hit, Dolenz doing James Brown, Mike Nesmith covering Bo Diddley and Peter Tork playing a folk tune on a five-string banjo. “So, we actually encouraged it,” he said.
In the end, as the Monkees transformed from TV concoction to actual working band, these differences became the group’s strengths: “It’s one of the things, I think, that musically gave the Monkees sort of a unique sound,” Dolenz said. “Whereas a lot of bands, especially back in those days, they had a sound — and it was usually because there was one person, one guy or one girl or maybe two, who had the musical vision for that band.”
Latest posts by Something Else! (see all)
- At first, Gregg Rolie wasn’t so sure about a classic Santana song: ‘What the hell do I do with this?’ - September 2, 2015
- Dr. John, Preservation Hall + others: Music framed initial journey past Hurricane Katrina - August 29, 2015
- Keith Richards on the ’80s argument that saved the Rolling Stones: ‘He was taking it in a wrong direction’ - August 29, 2015