There’s a reason the Monkees’ Micky Dolenz plays drums that way: ‘I know it’s bizarre’

Share this:

Musicians, particularly drummers, have probably noticed the unique set up the Monkees’ Micky Dolenz employs for his drum kit.

When the Monkees initially began recording, of course, sessions musicians filled in for the neophyte Dolenz – an actor by trade – at the drums. When he finally began to learn the instrument, in his early 20s, Micky Dolenz taught himself to play using his left foot for the kick drum, and his right leg for the hi-hat. He then focused on the snare with his left hand, forming a memorable V-formation over the kit.

“Yeah, half-right, half-left,” Micky Dolenz tells Bob Girouard of Modern Drummer. “The bottom half is left-handed and the top is right-handed. I know it’s bizarre: I play the kick with my left foot and the snare with my left hand.”

The reason has more to do with a childhood ailment that any quirk in his manner of performing.

“When I was a kid I had a leg disease called Perthes,” Dolenz adds. “My right leg was, and still is, weaker than my left. So, when I went to play conventional-style, it hurt. But since I was just beginning, John Carlos said, ‘Hey, change it around.’ He put the kick on my left and the hi-hat on my right — which I still do to this day — and it worked!”

Micky Dolenz has a pair of June concert dates scheduled, at Maricopa, Ariz., and at El Cajon, Calif. He appeared with fellow Monkees star Peter Tork last month at Indio, Calif.

Something Else!

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Something Else!
Share this:
Close