Jimi Hendrix is one of the last names that comes to mind when you think of the Monkees. However, believe it or not, the legendary guitarist once opened for the Monkees on their 1967 tour. Micky Dolenz reminisced about the surprising coupling and how he played a significant role in securing Hendrix for the tour in a recent interview with OnMilwaukee. The Monkees’ 1967 tour was a huge success, drawing admirers from throughout the country. The band was on a high thanks to the success of their blockbuster TV show and chart-topping music. Dolenz, a Monkees member, saw Hendrix perform as Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in New York City around this time. Dolenz was enthralled with Hendrix’s showmanship, which he compared to that of other renowned acts such as the Who and Alice Cooper.
Dolenz presented the idea of bringing Hendrix on tour to the tour producers when they were looking for a good opening act. The young musician’s talent, style, and stage presence captivated him. The cooperation, as it turned out, was a game changer for Hendrix’s career. Hendrix made his first album while on the road with the Monkees. This experience not only allowed him to demonstrate his tremendous musical abilities, but it also provided him with the exposure and momentum he needed to eventually lead his own gigs. Dolenz explained how Hendrix became the opening act for their 1967 tour: “Believe it or not [Laughs], that was my idea.
” I saw him while he was with Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in New York City. The entire band was quite theatrical when he performed at the Monterrey Pop Festival, similar to the Who or Alice Cooper. The music was fantastic, as were their outfits. I offered Hendrix to the tour producers when we were looking for a warm-up band. Jimi cut his first record while we were on the road, and he was soon headlining his own shows.” In retrospect, the pairing of the Monkees and Jimi Hendrix may appear improbable, but music has the potential to bring diverse musicians together and create unforgettable moments. Dolenz’s vision and instincts were important in providing Hendrix with a platform to share his pioneering skill with the rest of the world. And for that, music fans around the world will be eternally thankful.