It was a crazy summer, and although I had bought a single Micky Dolenz ticket months ago, I was hesitant for weeks leading up to it. Did I really want to go to a show by myself? Did I really want to take a public bus to America alone? Ultimately (because Micky Dolenz) I decided that of course I was going come hell or high water and on Thursday October 15th I took an adventure to Niagara Falls, NY to see our guy.
Best decision of my life!
I arrived at my hotel across the road from the Seneca Casino where Micky and company were playing that night. Treating myself to take out food and a sugary Smirnoff Ice cooler from the 7-11 (yes, it never ceases to amaze me that you can buy liquor at the 7-11 in America), I took my time getting ready and listening to tunes.
Seneca Casino is quite nice, I saw Micky last year around this time at the same venue. I could do without the indoor smoking and loud slot machines but I did get ID’d both times I entered the casino area so that was flattering. 😉
The concert was amazing. Micky Dolenz, Gemma “Coco” Dolenz, Wayne Avers, David Alexander, Rich Dart and John Billings are so fun to watch perform together. I’m always hesitant to admit this within The Monkees community but the truth is I always enjoy a Micky Dolenz solo show slightly more so than Monkees’ shows (don’t hit me). The band he uses is the best in the business and having Micky as the star of the show is magical. He owns that stage.
His sister Gemma is always with him on his solo shows as well and frankly, the two of them harmonizing and playing off each other on stage is completely intoxicating. Her renditions of White Rabbit and Different Drum always stun the audience and as everyone leaves the show I heard so many people whisper incredulously to one another “wow, his sister is a REALLY good singer!”
After the band poured their hearts and souls to us on stage for the night, Micky and Gemma took to the “merch” table where they signed albums, photos, posters or whatever fans brought and talked with the 100+ line up of people. I met a Facebook friend named Emma in the line and she reminded me of a prettier and far more composed version of myself at her age. She is a TRUE Micky lover and I’m glad she’s out there representing for the next generation of Monkees fans.
Finally I get to the front of the line and this is where it begins to get fuzzy. Once I’m in Micky’s presence I have a habit of losing my mind and practically blacking out. After these nights of Micky encounters are over it always feels like I fell under a spell and when I wake up the next morning it’s like the whole experience was a dream. Wait, does Micky have ACTUAL voodoo powers?! That would explain a lot, wouldn’t it? I may have to look into this but will keep you all posted.
Anyway, Micky said “hey” to me and I asked if he had any copies of his new album Rockers on Broadway for sale. He said sadly he didn’t have any copies with him so I’ll have to buy it online. As I perused the table I realized I had at least one copy of everything he was selling and therefore turned my attention to the one and only Coco Dolenz and snagged an autographed album of her music!
After last year’s show I had an inclination of where Micky would head after the show and so I took myself to the bar across the casino, only to find it closed with no bartender.
Within a few minutes I feel “that” presence and sure enough, Micky comes sauntering up to the bar and takes a seat next to me. At this point I REALLY need that drink (I was fan-girling my head off) so I turn to Micky and say, “they’re not serving at this bar.” He turns to the security people behind him and says, “Oh, is there another bar that’s open?” They instantly blurt, “we’ll get someone over here right away for you Micky!”
It pays to be Micky Dolenz, my friends. I waited ten minutes in the dark but when Micky wants a drink and a bite to eat, the people make it happen! 😉 He and Coco were so appreciative and thankful to everyone, as always. Kindness goes a long way in this world and Micky and Coco are so generous in that department. Their friendliness is contagious and as a Canadian, politeness turns me on.
The next couple hours flew by. I got into some fun and lively discussions with Coco and the band. Topics included (but not limited to) Scotland, politics, Planned Parenthood, Canadian money, amazing Monkees fans, John Billings’ disco shirt and my apparent inability to pronounce Detroit correctly. I say “Dee-troy-it” but Rich Dart, the drummer, informed me it’s “Dee-troyt.” However, I’m not totally convinced and will continue pronouncing it the Canadian way.
Everyone ordered food while I continued my quest to NOT throw up from nervousness and be cool around Micky. At one point he offered me a chicken wing and looking back now I think I should have taken it because if Micky Dolenz offers you a chicken wing, you should just take the damn chicken wing. I didn’t have any Zip Lock bags so I couldn’t exactly save it for my creepy Micky Dolenz stalker shrine. I politely declined his kind offer and I assume he was devastated.
And then this happened.
To say I’ve always dreamed of this moment is an understatement. Despite my insane persona on this blog, all I’ve ever really wanted out of this was for Micky to just acknowledge my existence and not have me arrested.
All of a sudden I hear, “hey Jacqueline” from a voice that sounds remarkably familiar. As if in slow motion I turn in my bar stool and Micky Dolenz is looking directly at me.
“Uhh, are you talking to ME?”
Micky laughed and says in his best Tony Montana from Scarface voice, “are you talkin’ to me? Are you talkin’ to ME? Yes I’m talking to you.”
Shocked, I just sort of stare at him eyes bulging, mouth gaped open.
He proceeds to say, “I just want to thank you for coming to the show tonight. I appreciate it. Thanks for coming to ALL the shows.”
As he’s looking into my eyes, acknowledging my existence and even thanking me for it, I can only manage to grin like a maniac and say, “no, thank YOU Micky. I’ll always come to the shows. I’ll always be here.”
He smiled and said, “well it’s always good to see you Jacqueline.”
In that moment I was reminded yet again that as long as I’m living, I will ALWAYS go see Micky Dolenz if he’s playing anywhere near me. I will never take these concerts for granted and I always want Micky to know that he is loved and appreciated by his fans. After all the music, laughter and fun that he has brought us all these years, the least we can do is get out there and support him and his wonderful band.
With that, I was left at the bar stunned. I couldn’t imagine the night (or life in general) possibly getting ANY better than that and so I thanked and hugged the band for the show and prepared myself for my little walk across the street in the pouring rain.
In true Monkees gentlemanly fashion, the amazing and hilarious David Alexander asked if I was ok to get back to my hotel and offered to make sure I got there safely. It was only a minute long walk across the street so I told him I’d be just fine and proceeded to skip on air into the night.
I feel like I say this every time I see Micky Dolenz but truly, this was the best night of my life.
(Special thanks to Wayne Avers, Coco Dolenz, Rich Dart, David Alexander, John Billings, Lora Evans and especially Micky Dolenz for being so darn sweet and accepting of this crazy ginger.)