Micky Dolenz took the “Last Train To Clarksville” on a detour to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for a performance of the Monkees classic with house band The Roots.
Before getting on that train, Dolenz and Fallon took a stroll down Memory Lane. The two entertainers have a long history together dating back to 1997 when a pre-Saturday Night Live Fallon opened for Dolenz and Jones at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Even then, Dolenz recognized the young comic’s potential and asked him to audition for a TV show that—though the program didn’t materialize—was a major boon to Fallon’s charisma early in his career.
“I want to tell you it built my confidence as a comedian,” Fallon said. “And someone who couldn’t get a gig, or get a callback, or anything, that little boost, that little someone believing in you, really meant a lot to me and I’ll never forget it.”
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Fallon then made a smooth segway to another famous “Jimmy” who opened for Dolenz—though the spelling is a bit different—Jimi Hendrix. Dolenz first discovered the soon-to-be legendary guitarist while Hendrix was a sideman for John Hammond, an oft-overlooked singer and guitarist who had both Hendrix and Eric Clapton in his backing band, if only for five days.
Dolenz invited Hendrix to open for The Monkees in 1967, but was mortified to witness his audience shouting, “We want Davy! We want The Monkees!” over Jimi’s undoubtedly electric performance. “Oh it was embarrassing,” he recalled. The pairing of the teenybopper sensations with the psychedelic blues warrior was ill-fated from the start, and it appears Hendrix had little input on the billing. He told Melody Maker prior to the show, “Oh God, I hate them! Dishwater….You can’t knock anybody for making it, but people like the Monkees?” Those stories and more are set for release in Dolenz’s wonderfully titled new photobook, I’m Told I Had A Good Time: The Micky Dolenz Archives.
Finally, Dolenz made his way across the stage to perform The Monkees’ hit single, “Last Train To Clarksville” with The Roots and even Fallon backing him up. Dolenz is gearing up for a tour celebrating his departed bandmates Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork. Tickets and a full list of tour dates are available here.
Micky Dolenz Talks Jimi Hendrix Opening Up for The Monkees and Sings “Last Train to Clarksville”