Micky Dolenz is the guest on the premiere of “Tom Petty Talks to Cool People,” which premieres at 8 a.m. ET Monday on Sirius/XM Radio Channel 31. Among the topics in the show, Petty discusses his career before the Monkees, including his first series, “Circus Boy,” as a child actor, as well as his audition for “The Monkees” series.
In the show, Dolenz, who’s now 71, looks back at his days on “Circus Boy.” “I don’t remember too much about it,” he says. “I was only 10 years old. It was my first series. I’d been up for a couple of things. My father was an actor and my mom was an actress, and both singers, too. I was born in the business. So my first screen test, I was like 6. But ‘Circus Boy’ was the first series show.”
Was the Monkees’ chemistry with the four members who were chosen for the group an accident?,” Petty asks. “Oh, no. That was part of the design,” Dolenz replies. “I mean I’m sure they had it in mind, which you do on films and television especially if it’s a gang comedy.” Dolenz also notes the auditions for “The Monkees” were lengthy. “It took much longer than I was used to because I’d been up for other TV show pilots by that time,” he says, and mentions other TV music projects that he as an actor was aware of with music patterned after the Beach Boys, the New Christy Minstrels and Peter Paul and Mary.
But the Monkees was unique, he said. “In fact, there was something different about it. You know Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider who created the show, Paul Mazursky who wrote the pilot. There was something different about it. It had the new vibe. But looking back, it was a show about a band that wanted to be the Beatles, but never made it.” “They lived in a house on the beach,” Petty says. ““Right,” says Dolenz. “(And) we never could get work. Now how did we afford a beach house in Malibu?” “As a young teen I pondered that. Gotta get out there. This looks good,” Petty replies.
“But where are the Beatles in ‘Help!’ and ‘A Hard Day’s Night’? They were the Beatles and they were very famous, very successful and they’d made it,” says Dolenz. “But on ‘The Monkees,’ we never made it on the show. It was that struggle for success that, I think, had a lot to do with endearing to that generation.”
The entire show can be heard on Tom Petty Radio on Channel 31. It will air at 8 a.m. ET March 21, 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET March 22, 9 p.m. ET March 23, 11 a.m. ET March 24 and 6 p.m. March 25.