Micky Dolenz: An Acrostic Poem for the Birthday Boy
Micky Dolenz turns 71 years old today, and given how much emphasis we put on The Monkees ‘round these parts, surely you didn’t think we were going to let the day go by without offering up some sort of tribute. (If you did, you were kidding yourself.) In celebration of Mr. Dolenz hitting the big 7-1, we’ve put together an acrostic poem of sorts, reflecting on various people, places, and things from songs, films, and TV series which start with the same letters as you can find in his first and last name.
Confused? Trust us, you’ll get the hang of it.
M is for Moog
Micky bought one of the first 25 Moog synthesizers –his was reportedly the third one ever sold commercially, behind those purchased by Wendy Carlos and Buck Owens – and promptly used it on “Daily Nightly,” which you can find on Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.
I is for Invisible Mom II
Because one Invisible Mom movie wasn’t enough, the world was graced with this sequel, which stars Justin Berfield (Malcolm in the Middle) as Eddie, an orphan who’s the heir to a huge fortune and has a foster mom (Dee Wallace of E.T. and Cujo fame) who can turn invisible. Micky, meanwhile, plays one of Eddie’s despicable cousins who’s out to get the inheritance, and he’s teamed up with Mary Woronov to commit his dirty deeds. Hey, if you’re going to play a bad guy, you could do a lot worse for your bad girl than the woman who played Miss Togar in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School!
C is for Circus Boy
Mike and Peter might’ve been working musicians before The Monkees, and Davy might’ve been a Tony-nominated theater actor when he became part of the group, but nobody had as much experience in front of the camera as Micky, who was only just barely into double digits when he scored the role of the titular character in the NBC – and later ABC – series, Circus Boy. Billed at the time as Mickey Braddock, young George Michael Dolenz, Jr. would, of course, eventually go back to using his real last name and drop the “E” before becoming a member of The Monkees, but by the time he did, he was already an old hand at the acting biz.
K is for Keep Off My Grass!
You know a movie is obscure when there’s not even so much as a clip of it on YouTube. Such is the case with this film, which was directed by comedian Shelley Berman and featured a very young Gerald McRaney in its cast, along with Micky as…You Know. No, seriously, that’s his character’s name. As McRaney said in an interview with the Onion A.V. Club, “That was something written by people who had no concept of what hippies really were, but it was their hippie movie. And it had no bearing in reality whatsoever.”
Y is for “Your Friendly Neighborhood Kidnappers”
It seemed wrong to not spotlight an episode of The Monkees in the midst of this piece, and this is a perfect one to bring to the forefront, as it features the boys participating in a battle of the bands. Of course, you know that plenty of cynical viewers were sneering at the idea that the members of The Monkees could even play their instruments, let alone win such a contest, but they showed them with Headquarters, now, didn’t they?
D is for Devlin
After the initial breakup of The Monkees, Micky was able to pick up some additional acting gigs, but he was arguably heard more than he was seen, thanks to the work he did for Hanna-Barbera. Among the series which featured his voice were The Funky Phantom, Butch Cassidy, These Are The Days, and Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, but we’ve always been partial to the Evel Knievel-inspired motorcycle action series, Devlin.
O is for “Opening Ceremony”
The Monkees only made one movie during their ‘60s heyday – Head – and it’s best described as an artifact of its time, one which still has its fans yet is a cinematic endeavor which never had any chance of finding a substantial audience. This was to be expected, as a band whose average fans were in no way expecting something artsy, but you certainly can’t say that The Monkees were afraid to step outside the box creatively.
L is for “Little Girl”
Dolenz wrote this song, which was the first track on The Monkees Present, which was the last Monkees album of the ‘60s. It would also be the last album by the group to feature Michael Nesmith for 27 years: when The Monkees entered the ‘70s with Changes, the only remaining members were Micky and Davy, and it wouldn’t be long before there weren’t any Monkees at all. Well, at least not for the next few years, anyway.
The Monkees, The Monkees Present
E is for “Easy On You”
Micky’s solo career has never been one that’s found him scaling the upper reaches of the charts…or even the lower reaches, if we’re to be perfectly honest. Still, he’s fought the good fight now and then, starting with this song, which was his first post-Monkees single as a solo artist. Both “Easy on You” and its B-side, “Oh Someone,” were arranged by Peter Tork, so there was still a certain amount of harmony between the former Monkees. Just not enough to get them back together ‘til the ‘80s.
N is for Norm
Somehow or other, Boy Meets World ended up being the go-to place for the Monkees to turn up as guest stars, but not playing themselves. Micky, for example, turned up in two different episodes, each time playing a different character. The first time, though, it was as a guy named Norm, who ended up singing and performing in a band with Alan Matthews, a.k.a. Cory’s dad. Also in this band’s lineup: Billy Vera and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick.
Z is for “Zor and Zam”
Oh, come on, you knew the closing track of The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees was going to close things, didn’t you? It’s not like there are a ton of options in the realm of Dolenz-centric things that start with a “Z,” so the fact that Micky actually sang lead on a Monkees song that starts with that very letter is a gift horse that we’re absolutely not going to look in the mouth.