A mid-2013 Monkees concert is a powerful reminder of why these guys were such big stars in the mid-'60s. The band's three surviving members — Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork — dole out the hits like a vintage jukebox at a family-style restaurant. But a modern Monkees show serves up a good deal more, including a pinch of the banter that made the Monkees everyone's favorite wise-cracking, prefab pop band — and, perhaps best of all — a generous serving of Nesmith's music.
Earlier this month, for one night only, I went from being one of four guitarists in a Monkees tribute band to being the only guitarist in a band supporting two actual Monkees — Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz. To make things even weirder, I used a Les Paul that once belonged to Tim Sult of Clutch, just so I could say that guitar went from Clutch to the Monkees in just over a year.