Micky Dolenz is a "science geek," the kind of guy who subscribes to Scientific American, reads books about nature vs. nurture and once pursued a college degree in physics.
"I'm into quantum physics," the singer says.
You know, all that geek stuff about energy and light speed and the law of attraction.
That's no surprise, perhaps, given that Dolenz's career is a stellar example of what happens when highly charged particles vibrate on the same frequency.
In 1966, while casting for The Monkees -- a TV show about a band, much like Glee is a TV show about a school glee club -- producers put Dolenz on stage with Davy Jones, a fellow child star who happened to be as adorably British as Dolenz was adorably Hollywood-ish.
From the first moment, their pairing was "amazing," Dolenz says. "Davy and I worked together like magic."
On stage, the stars aligned.
That they stayed aligned at all over the course of the next 45 years remains a marvel -- sometimes even to Dolenz himself.
'Closest thing to a brother I ever had'
It's been three months now since Davy Jones died of a heart attack in Indiantown at 66.
Dolenz says he still hasn't recovered: "It's like getting hit by a bus."
He did several TV interviews on Feb. 29, the day Davy died. He talked about Davy's "heart of gold" and sense of humor, and how they lived together in the early days of The Monkees. Micky called him "David," as most of Jones' old friends did.
But Dolenz says he can't remember what he said. He was in a daze then, and his emotions still ricochet up and down.
He's sharing memories of Jones and their 45-year pop partnership while eating fish and chips at the English pub inside Epcot at Disney World -- a fitting spot, since Jones enjoyed hoisting a Guinness or two, and a poignant place for Dolenz to be on this late May afternoon.
Later that day, Dolenz would begin three nights of shows, filling in for Jones at Epcot's Flower Power concert series. Jones looked forward to the gig each spring for 10-plus years because he could mingle with three generations of Monkees fans and cap off each night watching Epcot's fireworks from backstage.
After Davy's death, those diehard fans launched a campaign to persuade Disney to hire Micky, to help them grieve their childhood idol with one man they knew was hurting, too.
"He was the closest thing to a brother I ever had," Dolenz says. "If you have any siblings, you know what it's like, not only the closeness, but the relationship -- you have good days, you have bad days, you love 'em and you hate 'em."
Maybe you don't see your siblings for years. Maybe you get mad at them over misunderstandings. Maybe other members of your extended family get involved and complicate the relationship.
But siblings are the only people who share your youthful memories -- and, oh, what incredible memories Dolenz and Jones and fellow Monkees Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork had.
The Monkees marked the first time TV and pop music had merged with such great success -- producing No. 1 hit songs and a No. 1 hit show every week for two years, and eventually becoming a TV reruns staple with timeless slapstick and enduring tunes.
While Nesmith and Tork would butt heads about music, Dolenz and Jones never fought about art.
"We just had a different way of doing business," Dolenz says.
On money matters, their frequency was off: Jones burned with a higher volatility, bruised by disappointing deals when the Monkees were so hot and so young.
As the son of stars, Dolenz had a show-biz pedigree and portfolio -- thanks to his investment-savvy mother.
After their fake TV band became a real band, no single manager looked out for The Monkees and their brand as a unit.
The Beatles had their Apple corporation, Dolenz points out. "We didn't have a mechanism to keep us together."
So the sibling rivalry would come and go, as band members went on to solo careers and then occasionally came back together.
"People don't understand how the business thing affects the art thing," says Johnny J. Blair, a 20-year friend and collaborator of Jones' who played guitar in The Monkees band last summer. "Externally, Davy and Micky were way different. But internally, they had a spiritual bonding. They bonded with their craft. That's what kept them together.
"Once they were up on that stage, it was all about the show."
And on this day in May, Dolenz's show will be dedicated to Davy, who was such a born entertainer "he used to joke that when the door to the refrigerator opens up and the light goes on, he does 20 minutes."
On this day, Dolenz will perform Daydream Believer for the first time since he broke down while singing that song at a memorial for Jones in New York.
He was holding up OK, Dolenz remembers, until he turned his head in the middle of the song and caught a glimpse of the video being played, a clip fans have adored for 46 years: Davy Jones, so young and so cute, blithely dancing, singing, swaying, a rainbow of psychedelic colors behind him.
Dolenz's voice broke. "I lost it."
'After all the music and the madness...'
Micky Dolenz heads out this month for the summer-long "Happy Together" tour, alongside the Turtles, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams.
It will be hard to top last summer's Monkees 45th anniversary tour, which was such a hit, even Rolling Stone called it "an excellent show from a legendary pop band giving out much, much, much more than they had to."
For more than two hours, The Monkees played -- the big hits and the B-side tunes, too, including a couple from the 1996 album they wrote themselves, Justus.
That album featured a tune Micky and Davy crafted while they were driving home from a celebrity tennis tournament and had four hours to kill in the car.
With no guitar and no accompaniment except those amazing voices, they wrote an uptempo melody about a longtime relationship: You and I.
When you listen to the lyrics, you assume it's a love song between a man and a woman.
But "it's about us," Dolenz says.
It's a love song about two brothers and the magic they made when their stars aligned:
After all the music and the madness,
After all the late-night fantasies,
We knew that we would make it through.
There was little in our way,
Nothing they could do.
'Cause it was you and I and promises not broken,
You and I and magic memories.
After all was said and done, they never understood,
How we always made it. We knew we always would.
'Cause it was you and I,
You and I...
If you go Happy Together tour: Micky Dolenz, The Turtles, The Grass Roots and The Buckinghams When: June 13, 8 p.m. Where: Hard Rock Live, Hollywood Tickets: $30 to $60, plus fees, at ticketmaster.com
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