Micky Dolenz Remembers Bob Rafelson And The Start Of ‘The Monkees’ – Deadline

Micky Dolenz, the drummer of the mid-1960s formed-for-TV band The Monkees that became a pop music staple and Emmy winners to boot, took to Twitter on Sunday to remember Bob Rafelson, one of the co-creators of the musical show.

Rafelson, the film and TV director and producer who was Oscar-nominated for helming 1970’s Five Easy Pieces starring Jack Nicholson, died Saturday in Aspen, CO, at at 89.

Write Dolenz: “One day in the spring of 1966, I cut my classes in architecture at LA Trade Tech to take an audition for a new TV show called, “The Monkees”. The co-creator/producer of the show was Bob Rafelson. At first I mistook him for another actor there for the audition. Needless-to-say, I got the part and it completely altered my life.”

He added: “Regrettably, Bob passed away last night but I did get a chance to send him a message telling him how eternally grateful I was that he saw something in me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart my friend.”

Rafelson created The Monkees with Bert Schneider. After more than 400 auditioned for the NBC show, it debuted in 1966 in the midst of Beatlemania. The show won the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy in 1967 and made stars of Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Dolenz and Peter Tork; the foursome also toured as The Monkees during that time in the U.S. and the UK.

The Monkees’ first four albums hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album charts with top 10 songs including its first single “Last Train to Clarksville” (sung by Dolenz), “I’m a Believer, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “Daydream Believer.”

In addition to the show and the music, Rafelson made his directorial debut in 1968 with the Monkees-fronted film Head, with a script by Nicholson.

Dolenz is still playing concert dates and is the last surviving member of the band, after the deaths of  Jones in 2012, Tork in 2019 and Nesmith last December.

Bruce Haring contributed to this report.

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