It’s International Women’s Day on the same day as your birthday every single year and I do not think that is a coincidence. I post pictures, videos and any other Micky content I can get my hands on almost every single day over on our Facebook page. My entire life is one big Micky Dolenz appreciation day. I think the side of you I want to appreciate today is how you’ve influenced me not only as an artist, but as a woman and human being. And for that, I cannot ever thank you enough.
Do you remember that time I found out what hotel you were staying at while doing a show in Toronto and showed up there waiting with bated breath (and a crazed look in my eyes) for you to sign my book?
Do you remember the time I waited three hours for you outside of another show in Toronto and jumped you for a picture together? Do you remember how I told you about the first time I stalked you at your hotel in those ten seconds of posing for a photo?
It’s no wonder you think I’m insane. It must be strange to have women and men of all ages lust after you, crave your powerful voice and presence, and then run home and post pictures and stories about it on the internet. You’re officially 70 years old now (and I’d like to mention how bummed I am that I have to stop making Micky 69 jokes) and I’m sure you’ve seen it all.
There’s so much love for you and at the same time, the average person I have to explain my Micky Dolenz autograph tattoo to have no idea who you are and start slowly backing away for fear of catching my weirdness, I suppose. After I got a giant Monkees tattoo on my back, I was in so much pain getting on the plane but then from the back of the tunnel I hear a booming voice sing “Hey, hey we’re the Monkees!” I whipped around to see our plane’s pilot, in all his post-middle age glory, bouncing towards me and I couldn’t help but smile. When you have tattoos, strangers are more inclined to just manhandle you to get a closer look. The pilot grabbed me by the shoulders, turned me around and simply said, “WOW.” I replied, “What can I say, I’m their biggest fan!”
What he said after that was the antithesis of what being a “young” Monkees fan represents: “You are way too young to know who the Monkees are.”
It’s a little insensitive. There’s no age limit on personal taste. I wasn’t alive when the Beatles were a band either, but that hasn’t stopped me from loving them. Fuck, I grew up listening to Bach and Beethoven, nobody ever told me I was “too young” to enjoy a symphony.
But the truth is, YOU ARE A SYMPHONY. Your entire life has been a symphony. You’ve been performing longer than I’ve existed. You’re the master, the professional, the showman. Watching you move and sing on stage is the equivalent to a night of wonderful love making. It invokes a part of me that I didn’t even know existed until the first time I watched you perform live. I knew I LOVED you. You were the funniest Monkee and therefore my favourite. Because I’M funny. Davy was cute and the girls could go starry eyed for him. Michael Nesmith was strong and composed, a very sexy presence to behold. Peter was a hippie and appealed to my quirky side.
But then there’s you, Micky Dolenz. You were a little funny looking, in the best and sexiest way. You were goofy, you were always making faces and hamming it up for the camera, which is probably why it made you even more funny looking. I discovered The Monkees television show in 1994, when I was 12 years old. By the time I was 15 I had bought my first greatest hits album and seen every episode. When I turned 16, I was officially a fan girl. I got the lunchbox, every album, records, old magazines, you name it – I got my hands on it. Friends started to tease me, yet again saying I was “too young” to like them. Had I SEEN them now? The one guy has gray hair and the other one doesn’t have any hair at all. Finer band education is not a non-fan’s strong point. And then of course, no Monkees fan can be a true fan until they’ve heard the words “You know they don’t play their own instruments” at least 100 times. Once I “came out” in my 1998 high school class as the only Monkees fan, I think it’s all I heard for the next, well, rest of my life.
It would anger and frustrate me. I’m pretty shy, despite what you may think (you bring out the wild woman in me and I can’t control myself when I see you) but having to defend a band from the 60s was exhausting. When I left for college and got my first boyfriend, I backed off a little on my fandom and just tried to fit in. Needless to say it didn’t last long. I first saw you somewhere in New York state with Peter Noone in 2000. I cried the moment you walked out on stage. I went to see you, Davy and Peter in Buffalo, NY after a baseball game. You played in the outfield and we were in the bleachers. You looked like specks of dust in the distance but you sounded amazing. After the concert, you guys got in a cart and they drove you in front of the stands. I screamed, cried and then instinctively held up a peace sign. Peter noticed me, pointed and then gave me the peace sign right back. I cried the entire ride home. I had CONNECTED with The Monkees. From then on, I was a woman on a mission.
I was a shy and awkward kid. Some might even say painfully shy, to the point that trying to talk to me is more painful than having teeth pulled. My kindergarten teacher said I was the most terrifyingly sensitive kid she’d ever met. I’m a sponge, I hardly speak but I soak up everything around me. And then I cry about it. My family jokes that I spent my entire childhood crying. I thought everybody cried as much as I did but once I hit my early 20s, I realized maybe it wasn’t just hyper-sensitivity. Perhaps there was something bigger going on.
Sure enough, 10+ years later I’ve been on every anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, insomnia curing medication the doctors can throw at me. I’ve done sleep studies and “failed” them after they realize I’m hopeless, and will just never get a full night’s rest. I struggle every single day with depression, itching to self-sabotage myself and in most instances, I’ve succeeded.
Except, dear Micky Dolenz, except when it comes to YOU. The only reason I am still here today is because of YOU. No matter how overwhelmed or sad I am, I can just turn on “An Old Fashioned Love Song” from the Remember album and your scatting turns me into a puddle of mush. When I was 16 years old hiding in my room because the world just seemed too scary, I printed out the lyrics to Goin’ Down and memorized them. Whenever I feel tempted to drink too much, I put on 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee or Head, and let the 60s take me away to a place of peace, where my mind can breathe and be inspired. And in the case of 33 1/3, a lot of psychedelic confusion. Which is exactly why I love it so much.
You’ve taken me from a broken, sad, anxious and awkward young girl into a little less broken, not as sad, slightly less anxious WOMAN. You’ve been there the entire journey, coming into my life right when I need you the most. You’ve reminded me that above all else, LAUGHTER is the greatest cure. The last time I saw you it was in Niagara Falls, just this past November while you performed with your amazing band (who quite frankly, I’m starting to love as much as I love you) and it hit me like a ton of bricks. There I was, sitting at the bar, sipping a glass of wine and discussing the Scottish countryside with your lovely sister Coco and right beside her was you. Calmly, quietly eating your dinner and enjoying a post-show cocktail. Your band and us (I like to call us your “Canadian Crew”) were mingling, chatting, laughing and for one second I took my eyes off you and let myself enjoy the moment, the entire experience of Micky Dolenz. You’ve got an entire army of ardent supporters in your corner and I hope that you always feel that love. It’s special, and not many people find that type of extreme love in their whole lives. You are surrounded by it every day.
I never would be where I am today without you. I can honestly say I don’t think I’d even be alive if it weren’t for you and your talent. Above all else, the fact that you have always worked so hard, so passionately and so tirelessly has kept the drive in me going. I write more because of you. I laugh more because of you. I stop and smell the roses because of you. I love my family and my friends more…
Because of you.
So thank you, Micky Dolenz. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. You’ve inspired more people than you’ll ever know just by getting out there and never giving up. Your voice is one I always want to hear. Whether you’re singing, acting, directing, producing, writing, building, imagining and dreaming, I will support it 100% and shout it from the rooftops. I’m sure that turning 70 years old is slightly daunting but then again, I’m not Micky Dolenz and I don’t have even half the talent you have. But it’s your passion for the things you love (including your beautiful wife and your daughters, who are shockingly sweet) that makes me want to be not only a better me, but a better woman and person.
And there you are, eating wonton soup at the bar and chatting about spaceships. I wonder if you have any idea how many lives you’ve impacted and how your simple presence is enough to turn the most wretched life around and into something beautiful.
I hope this birthday is your best one yet and I have no doubt science can keep you alive for at least another 70 years so I look forward to stalking you politely for many, many years to come. Thank you for being you – a wonderful father, husband and all around man.
With all my love; your biggest fan,
P.S. Did I mention how damn sexy you are? I say it a lot but I’d hate for it to go unsaid here. You’re the best piece of eye candy a girl could ask for. 🙂