Micky Dolenz performs with the Monkees in Duluth on Nov. 9, 1986. Photo by Steve Stearns
Remember the Monkees, who sang their way to fame on a TV show in the 1960s? The band made it to Duluth at least twice, according to News Tribune files.
The first time was on Sept. 6, 1969. They performed twice at the Duluth Auditorium.
A story that ran the next day said, “The afternoon audience was small but enthusiastic. Attendance in the evening was better, and Arena-Auditorium officials said 3,806 youngsters in all saw the group.
“Earlier in the day, Superior police had to disperse a crowd of young girls — about 200 — who had gathered near the motel at which the group was reportedly staying. They were disappointed. The Monkees already had left for their afternoon show.”
The group returned for a performance 17 years later, on Nov. 9, 1986. Well, most of the group. Mike “Wool Hat” Nesmith wasn’t there, but the other three were: Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz.
Here’s a little bit of what staff writer Mike Hughlett had to say in his review of that concert:
“The rock ’n’ roll animal is a creature of many moods.
“It can be angry, sensual, artsy, theatrical, and sometimes even philosophical. But above all, the rock ’n’ roll animal likes to have a good time.
“The Monkees know that. Saturday night, they dished out about an hour of just plain fun to about 4,300 fans of all ages — including an especially vocal contingent of teenage girls — in the Duluth Arena.
“OK, rock ’n’ roll pseudo-highbrows, I know what you’re saying: ‘The Manufactured Monkees, the world’s pre-eminent, prefabricated rock band — a combo so musically forlorn they couldn’t even play their own instruments. And now they’re going to cash in on their ill-gained fame before their heads runneth over with gray hairs. I just can’t take them seriously.’
Well, critic, you lost. They might be cashing in, but the Monkees were never meant to be taken as artists come to deliver a speakerful of sagacity. Sure, they may have been hyped as a serious response to the Beatles. But at heart they were slapstick comedians with a paisley twist who happened to sing some fantastic songs.”
What concerts do you have fond memories of in the Duluth area?
Linda Hanson, copy editor