1996 30th ANNIVERSARY NORTH AMERICAN TOUR Dolenz, Jones, and Tork (June - December 1996)
San Antonio, Texas (Ben Belmares)
"Backed by a tight, talented quintet, these pop classics came off without a hitch.The guys also added theatrical touches to the performance...It was a refreshing, nostalgic blast of good clean family fun for the angst-ridden '90s."
-Hollywood Reporter review of The Monkees' concert at the Universal Amphitheatre inLos Angeles, California, 6/20/96
THE SET LIST
The set list for the 1996 tour varied from night to night but usually followed this order:
Last Train to Clarksville That Was Then, This Is Now Valleri For Pete's Sake She It's Nice To Be With You Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again The Girl I Knew Somewhere Your Auntie Grizelda Hard to Believe Purple Haze bit (Micky) Since I Fell for You (Micky solo) Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) D.W. Washburn Circle Sky I Wanna Be Free Randy Scouse Git Pleasant Valley Sunday Bach’s Two-Part Invention in F Major (Peter's keyboard solo) A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You Heart and Soul What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? Mary, Mary Sea Change (Peter solo) She Hangs Out Goin' Down Girl (Davy solo) No Time Papa Gene's Blues (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone Daydream Believer Encore: Listen to the Band I'm a Believer
1996 tour program
Also performed at various shows were "Every Step of the Way," "It's Not Too Late," "Shades of Gray," "I’ll Love You Forever," "Daddy’s Song," "Peter Percival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky," Peter's solo song "Good Looker," a cover version of Jackie Wilson's "Higher and Higher," and Davy’s solo songs "It’s Now" and "Rainy Jane."
THE TOUR SCHEDULE
June 8-9: Ramada, Laughlin, Nevada June 15: Riverport Amphitheatre, St. Louis, Missouri June 19: Reno Hilton Amphitheatre, Reno, Nevada June 20: Universal Amphitheatre, Los Angeles, California June 21: Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Nevada June 22: Huntsman Center, Salt Lake City, Utah June 27: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota June 28: Sec Taylor Stadium, Des Moines, Iowa June 29: Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma June 30: Sandstone Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, Kansas July 1: Edmonton Stadium, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada July 4: Music Mill Amphitheatre, Arlington, Texas July 5: Sea World, San Antonio, Texas July 6: Tim McCarver Stadium, Memphis, Tennessee July 8: Brady Theatre, Tulsa, Oklahoma July 12: Star Lake Amphitheatre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania July 13: Nautica Stage, Cleveland, Ohio July 14: Warner Theatre, Erie, Pennsylvania July 15: Coors Pavillion, Cincinnati, Ohio July 17: Interlochen Center, Interlochen, Michigan July 18: Pine Knob Music Theatre, Clarkston, Michigan July 19: Columbus Amphitheatre, Columbus, Ohio July 20: Claridge Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey July 22: Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 24: Melody Fair Theatre, North Tonawanda, New York July 25: Foxwoods, Ledyard, Connecticut July 26: Hershey Park Amphitheatre, Hershey, Pennsylvania July 27: North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly, Massachusetts July 28: Cape Cod Melody Tent, Hyannis, Massachusetts July 30: Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire July 31: Oakdale Musical Theatre, Wallingford, Connecticut August 1: Warwick Musical Theatre, Warwick, Rhode Island August 2: South Shore Music Circus, Cohasset, Massachusetts August 3:Valley Forge Music Fair, Devon, Pennsylvania August 4:Westbury Music Fair, Westbury, New York August 5:Anderson Center, Binghamton, New York August 7:Classic Amphitheatre, Richmond, Virginia August 8:Virginia Beach Amphitheatre, Virginia Beach, Virginia August 10:Walnut Creek Amphitheatre, Raleigh, North Carolina August 11:Blockbuster Pavilion, Charlotte, North Carolina August 14:Mankato Civic Center, Mankato, Minnesota August 15:Bayfront Park, Duluth, Minnesota August 16:Star Plaza Theatre, Merrillville, Indiana August 17:Metrocentre, Rockford, Illinois August 18:Mark Of The Quad Cities, Moline, Illinois August 21:Stanley Theatre, Utica, New York August 22:Fingerlakes Center, Lake Canandaigua, New York August 23:Kirby Center, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania August 24:Patriot Center, Fairfax, Virginia August 25:Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie, New York August 30:Taste Of Iowa Festival, Cedar Rapids, Iowa August 31:Maritime Days Festival, Milwaukee, Wisconsin September 8:Street Scene Festival, San Diego, California September 13:Salt Lake City, Utah (Private Show) September 20:Los Angeles, California (Private Show) November 1:Vanderburgh Auditorium, Evansville, Indiana November 20:Billboard Live Club, Los Angeles, California * November 21:Braden Auditorium, Normal, Illinois November 22:Rosemont Theatre, Rosemont, Illinois November 23:Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, Wisconsin November 29-30: Tropicana, Las Vegas, Nevada December 31:Tempe Tostitos Block Party, Fiesta Bowl, Tempe, Arizona January 17, 1997:South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach, Florida January 19, 1997:Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Florida
* = with Michael Nesmith
The Monkees and their band performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on June 17, 1996. Micky, Davy and Peter later appeared on The Rosie O'Donnell Show on July 24, 1996.
At the Hard Rock Cafe
On January 5, 1995, Micky, Davy, Michael, and Peter attended a ceremony at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood. The band's first five albums had recently been recertified as platinum and multi-platinum sellers by the Recording Industry Association of America, and the group was presented with the awards by Rhino Records founder Harold Bronson. At the ceremony, it was announced that The Monkees and Rhino were committed to such projects like a new Monkees album, a feature film, and a 30th Anniversary reunion tour. Later in July 1995, all four Monkees signed a management deal with Ward Sylvester. Sylvester managed Davy before The Monkees, served as an associate producer of The Monkees television series, produced the first Monkees tour and their 1969 television special, and worked with Mike on various projects during the early 1990s. Micky told Monkee Business Fanzine in 1995 that Sylvester was the only choice of all four Monkees. "He has a good history with us," Dolenz said. "He was there right at the beginning, and we all trust him." Sylvester was happy to take the reins. "Much of the music and film The Monkees produced was groundbreaking," Sylvester said. "Their artistry got overlooked in the bedlam. Now with some perspective, I think people are going to appreciate them all the more."
Despite the excitement that Michael Nesmith would indeed be a full participant in this new round of Monkees projects, fans were disappointed when it was announced in October 1995 that a proposed Monkees reunion tour in 1996 would not include Mike as originally planned. When his Pacific Arts Corporation became involved in a lawsuit with television channel PBS, Nesmith, who reportedly was already discussing setlists and staging of the tour, was forced to stay off the road. He did, however, pledge his full support to The Monkees, and promised to be an integral part of the band's upcoming 30th Anniversary projects.
Preparing to take the stage in '96
Micky, Davy, and Peter returned to the concert stage in June 1996 for the first time in seven years with the 'Here We Come World Tour.' The setlist for the show featured a mix of the band's best known songs along with select album cuts, as well as both 1980s reunion singles. Davy’s solo song “It’s Now” was added to the set on some nights, as was “Good Looker” and “Sea Change,” both solo Tork efforts. A banjo-driven rendition of Jackie Wilson's "Higher and Higher," led by Peter, was also played, as was "Girl," the song made famous by Davy from his 1971 appearance on The BradyBunch television show. Unlike previous tours (except for Australia 1987 and Together Again 1994/1995), Davy participated in the performance of "That Was Then, This Is Now," and would continue to do so during future tours. The Monkees and their band performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Rosie O'Donnell Show in June 1996 to promote the start of the tour.
Ever since The Monkees had returned to the concert stage in 1986, no Monkees tour had taken place without the band's television series airing on cable or in syndication. Key to the success of The Monkees' 20th Anniversary Tour in 1986 was the heavy promotion provided by MTV's constant running of the series that year, including marathon showings. Due to various disagreements between television distributors and Sony/Columbia, who owned the syndication rights, The Monkees was not available for broadcast during the 1996 tour. As a result, Ward Sylvester's original plan of an arena tour was changed in favor of playing theatres and mid-sized amphitheatres. Though crowds were good and a general enthusiasm surrounded the band's activities, the success of the 30th Anniversary tour did not match the heights of the 20th Anniversary in 1986.
(Photo courtesy of Rhino Records)
With the trio on the road, Nesmith was focused on other Monkees projects while still battling PBS. He began work on a proposed second Monkees feature film, which ultimately never got off the ground. However, during breaks on tour, Micky, Davy, and Peter joined Mike in the recording studio to put the finishing touches on a new album (Justus, released in the fall of 1996). While introducing "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" during the '96 shows, Micky informed the crowd that Mike was in the studio mixing the album, and that he sent his best wishes. No songs from Justus made the setlist, but "It's Not Too Late" was tested at a few concerts. Nesmith remained busy as the trio's tour came to a close in late 1996. The band had secured a deal with the ABC television network to produce a brand new, all original prime time television special to air during the February 1997 ratings sweeps period. Mike began work on the script as the trio completed their concert obligations.
Sam Goody/Musicland acted as the official retail sponsor of The Monkees' 30th Anniversary Tour. Displays and posters were prominent in stores that summer, and the trio made several in-store personal appearances in key cites on the tour's schedule, including Hollywood, California; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Charlotte, North Carolina. A co-sponsor of the tour included Carvin, who supplied guitars for each Monkee as well as for members of the backing band.
On tour in 1996, Micky played rhythm guitar for almost the entire show while Davy would play tambourine, maracas, and occasionally an acoustic-electric guitar. Peter switched back and forth between lead guitar, keyboards, and banjo. The backing band included Jerry Renino (bass), Wayne Avers (guitar), Aviva Maloney (saxophones/flute/keyboards), VJ Riccitelli (drums), and Jimmy Riccitelli (keyboards). Sandy Gennaro replaced VJ Riccitelli on drums towards the later part of the tour.
All four Monkees officially celebrated their 30th Anniversary on September 12, 1996 in Santa Monica, California with a private party for family, friends, and former co-workers from the television series. Michael was able to finally join Micky, Davy and Peter in concert when the group played in Los Angeles in November to promote the Justus album. Later, in March 1997, the quartet played a string of concerts in the United Kingdom, highlighted by two sold out appearances at Wembley Arena.
The Monkees in 1996 (Photo by Henry Diltz)
More live audio and video from The Monkees' 1996 tour can be found here.