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I'm a Believer: My Life of Monkees, Music, and Madness Paperback – September 1, 1993


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Paperback, September 1, 1993
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1562828479
  • ISBN-13: 978-1562828479
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,591,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this sophomoric exercise 48-year-old Dolenz looks back at his life, concentrating on his years as the drummer for the Monkees, a late '60s rock band prefabricated for television. There are several irritating sections written in screenplay format, and the authors often indulge in lame puns. Dolenz admits he is "girl-crazy" to this day, and claims his access to women through fame was like being "a kid in a carnal store." Dolenz's point of view about that period vacillates constantly. On one hand, he appears to feel that he was a part of the authentic '60s experience: he describes the afternoon he smoked a joint with Paul McCartney; his attendance at the Monterey Pop Festival; and Jimi Hendrix's opening for the band on one summer tour. Then Dolenz changes gears, making fun of the hippie ideology of bandmate Peter Tork, whom he portrays as ranting about "fat-cat, big business fascist pigs!" In similar fashion, he insists that seeing the Monkees as a rock group is like thinking Leonard Nimoy really was a Vulcan, but he also takes pride in their growing creative control that peaked with the album "Headquarters," the first that the band recorded without studio musicians. Bego is an entertainment writer. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A good-natured, superficial show-biz bio by the drummer of The Monkees, written with veteran rock-'n'-roll chronicler Bego (Aretha Franklin, 1989, etc.). From the start, Dolenz rode life like the Last Train to Larksville. In the 50's, as a ``hyperactive boy's boy,'' he snared the title role in the smash sitcom Circus Boy. A decade later came the Monkees, four zany young lads--from Hollywood, not Liverpool- -who answered the British rock invasion with their own American TV series. Producer (and future film director) Bob Rafelson knew what he was doing: The Monkees zoomed up the Nielsen ratings, and the group's early releases, penned by Neil Diamond (``I'm a Believer'') and other great songwriters, bumped the Beatles off the top of the charts. Why the clamor? Because, says Dolenz, The Monkees was the first TV show ``to depict young people on their own'': It was ``My Three Sons without Fred MacMurray.'' The show also gave birth to a new method of record promotion, through national TV rather than local radio--the first glimmer of the MTV revolution. For Dolenz, the series led to a magic sleigh ride: smoking hashish with Paul McCartney; starring in Head, a movie scripted by Jack Nicholson; bedding every starlet in sight. When the group split up, Dolenz hit the rocks--divorce, depression--but, more recently, spearheaded the Monkees' ``incredibly successful'' reunion (the top-grossing tour of 1986); he now works as a British TV director. Monkeyshines, nothing more, but it makes you want to hear those tunes again. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

You feel like you are there sometimes.
peaches64
It's a very different style from Davy Jones's autobiography, a book with more graphic and scandalous details.
Anyechka
This book is an easy light hearted read, a mix of fun and facts.
audioman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Anyechka on July 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm really glad this book is finally back in print. I've read my own copy countless times, and each time it's as funny, cute, and irreverant as the last. Micky had a great attitude towards writing his memoirs, despite initially feeling he was too young at 48 to do that. He doesn't take himself too seriously, and points out at the beginning that this isn't meant to be some dry and strictly factual analysis of his life like too many autobiographies are. He also doesn't focus only on his years in The Monkees; though he admits that will always be a huge part of his life, he realises it was far from the only part of his life, and that important things happened both before and after he was in the band. There are so many anecdotes, vignettes, funny stories, fantasy scenes, scenes written in screenplay format, and flashback in here, one of the reasons why it's so enjoyable and readable. It makes it more interesting and fun. Micky also tells the reader not to take it too seriously, and that perhaps some of the things he describes may not have happened exactly as he depicts them, and says that when you finish reading you should go out and do something to help your community, not just put the book back on your shelf and walk away.

There are some valid criticisms about how some things aren't detailed much, but maybe it's because Micky didn't want to hurt the people involved (like his first wife Samantha or his oldest daughter Ami) by revealing too much personal private information to the public. It's enough that we know Micky's first marriage ended in divorce because of the kind of reckless and wild lifestyle he was living in the Seventies; we don't need to know all of the graphic details or who he may have cheated on her with.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By R. Riis VINE VOICE on June 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
The new edition adds a chapter that covers 1992-2004, including the tours, the "Justus" and "Missing Links" albums, and various film/theatrical projects, and the discography has been brought up to date.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lovely to See You on July 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Micky Dolenz thought he was too young to write this book the first time I bought it (he was 48). Well, he sure made up for in enthusiasm what he lacked in age-wise preparation.

I love his humorous anecdotes, sarcasm, and directness. I also love his self-mockery and admissions of being wrong when he so blatantly behaved that way. I have always thought he was the best singer in the group and the most talented natural comedian of the bunch. This book does nothing to dispel that concept. In fact, since I have never really liked Davy, I found myself giggling at his nast digs about the munchkin teen idol's love for himself quite often.

This book is also living testimony that not every child star grows up to be a useless, jailbound creep and, like he himself does, I admire his parents for taking him out of showbusiness and back into the real world of being a regular kid after Circus Boy was cancelled. He cites this as the major reason that, though he got into his fair share of trouble later both in and after the Monkees, it didn't last. He also shows you a bit of the sad figure that Harry Nilsson, his one-time partner in crime was. He shares what he learned about the price of fame and how he also learned to emerge like a Phoenix from the ashes and become a lucrative director behind the camera.

Micky Dolenz is a man of many talents and, in this self-penned history, he unwittingly exposes you to them all. With heart, humor, and some wisdom attained via the school of hard knocks, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read from a man who's still around to tell his tale to those who are willing to listen and learn.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary Cotter on November 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I do admitt I am a Monkees fan, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to love anything about them/by them right away. There are a lot of Monkee biographies that are *boring*. They tell you the facts, with no thought of telling them with more energy and excitement. However, I think Micky's book was great because it was hilarious and very real. He wasn't going to just tell you the facts, but rather how he felt and his own experiences. Through him you saw his relationship with the Monkees. I'm not even a Micky fan, I like Davy best- but I still found the book very interesting. It really is one of the few books that can make you smile, laugh, and cry all in one reading.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Bailey on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
This 1993 autobiography nicely captures the spirit of author and ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz. While it is intended to cover his entire performing career, Dolenz concentrates mostly on his stint as drummer in the pre-fab pop group The Monkees, and he does so with refreshing self-deprecation. He never fails to give credit to the many people who backed up the Monkees talent, particularly his three cohorts in the band. Dolenz is the first to admit that "It's only a band" and takes it far less seriously than do many pop theorists. A breezy and enjoyable read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By audioman on December 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an easy light hearted read, a mix of fun and facts. It has enough information to keep you interested without getting too overblow. The avid Monkees fan may want more details, but this book will entertain you even if you weren't that big on the Monkees. Micky isn't bitter about his time as a Monkee, so he's not dishing out a lot of negative stuff or throwing blame around. The Monkees were often criticized for being a manufactured band and given no respect for their work. All that negative stuff could leave a bitter taste, but Micky is glad for his time as a Monkee and takes it all in stride. He doesn't take himself too serious and reflects on the good and bad times in his life without bitching. If you're looking for a deep, finger pointing tell all, look else where. This is Micky being Micky.
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