Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Dolenz Encounters

The Following excerpt is from The Dolenz Encounters: a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize by Ben Shakey. It will be published by Frodis Caper Books in May 2009

I know three different people that have met former Monkee Mickey Dolenz.

Mickey Dolenz Encounter #1

My friend worked on a very low budget Canadian game show in the 1990’s. This was a common daytime Canadian game show that seemed to be produced entirely to fulfill Canadian Content regulations and had little concerns for ratings or turning a profit. The grand prize on a show like this would be something like a microwave or another household appliance that would be used as a door prize given to random audience members on an America game show.

The particular show was called “Acting Crazy!” but it was really just charades. Charades isn’t that enticing on a title.

There were regular cast members and celebrities would also show up and play. It should be noted that this was in early 1990’s when there was no film industry in Vancouver so the idea of using celebrities on a show based in Vancouver was a little like counting on the star power of Denver, Colorado to fuel your game show line up. As a result the line up was pretty eclectic. Typical guest stars would include Jimmy Walker, Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits or a local weather man.

When Mickey Dolenz was the guest, my friend introduced himself buying say “ Hey, Hey, You’re a Monkee!” and held out his hand.

Mickey smiled and laughed graciously.

Mickey Dolenz Encounter #2

My friend is a rabid Monty Python fan which means I will rarely discuss Monty Python around him unless I want to be verbally pelted by bad British accents and Neeps.

There is one Monty Python story of his that I do enjoy.

He found out that Monty Python would be reuniting along with the ashes of Graham Chapman on the stage of the Aspen Comedy Festival. He cashed in some RRSPS and bought a last minute, over priced flight and arrived in Colorado to watch the show.

He also paid an outrageous amount to attend some sort of mixer after because the Pythons might also be attend. He met them all and got pictures with them and then found himself standing at a party all alone in a city where he knew nobody.

I have been in this situation a few times and know how awkward it can feel but I don’t know how much that awkwardness is compounded by standing around at a party while Steve Martin and Bob Costas are mingling.

He stood in line for a drink behind Steven Wright and finally worked up the nerve to say something. He tapped him on the shoulder and said “I auditioned for a play today. I never got the part but they cast my shadow.”

Steven Wright looked at him, nodded silently, and walked away.

He stood alone drinking after that until finally feeling tipsy enough to attempt to speak to another famous person he approached Mickey Dolenz and said “Hey, Hey, You’re a Monkee!”

Mickey smiled and laughed graciously.

Mickey Dolenz Encounter #3

A friend was leaving a fine restaurant in Montreal.

As he exited Mickey Dolenz was standing in the lobby while the hostess flipped through the reservation book to find his table. Obviously hired for her appearances and not for her abilities she struggled as she looked through the book.

As he walked by my friend said to the hostess “Hey, Hey, He’s a Monkee!”

Mickey smiled and laughed graciously.


I don’t know Micky Dolenz. I never met him and I can prove that in court of law if required. I probably never will.

However, in my very peripheral understanding of the man I know three people that have met him and said “Hey, Hey, You’re a Monkee.”

If a fourth person were to tell me they met Mickey Dolenz I would be able to guess what they said to him and it would be tiresome for me. I can only image how many times Mickey Dolenz has heard this.

At a conservative estimate of once a day for the past 40 year it would be 14,600 times.

Yet every time he seems to smile and graciously accept his fate and never once resorted to violence.

This essay will be formally submitted to nominate Mickey Dolenz for a Noble Peace Prize. ( As soon as I can figure out how that is done.) He serves an example to remain positive rather than fight the things you can’t change.


One marginally related story – A friend of mine was a teenager in New York and saw John Lennon walking through Central Park.

He started yelling “John! John! John!”

John smiled and nodded at him but kept walking while deliberately setting his body language to let him know that they were not going to stop and talk.

“John!” he yelled “When are the Monkees going to get back together?”

Lennon laughed, stopped and chatted for a minute or two, saying “I haven’t heard that one before” in his cool Liverpool accent.

Patience is rewarded. Don’t always go with the first thing in your head.

1 comment:

Catherine B said...

That made me laugh out loud! Great post. Poor Micky, I'd like to think that wouldn't be the first thing I'd say to him!

And I love that John Lennon bit too.

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