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Playing Around: The Monkees 

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New Edition? No. Menudo? I don't think so. If you want an experienced boy band -- a time-tested, young-girl--approved boy band, the first boy band -- you call the Monkees.

Ever since "Last Train to Clarksville" hit No. 1 before the television show even aired, Peter York, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith have been perfecting their shriek-making schtick. The quartet was originally brought together to star on a quirky, goofy sitcom loosely based on The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night. When their music became more popular than The Monkees television show, the band picked up their instruments and proceeded to become one of the biggest pop bands of the '60s.

Mike Nesmith, the quiet, introspective Monkee with the muttonchop sideburns, was a serious musician before joining the cast, bringing the band even more success by writing songs like "Mary, Mary" and "The Kind of Girl I Could Love." In 1967 they released Headquarters, an album on which they performed all of their own music, but after the TV show's cancellation that year the boys found their "easy fame" worked against them. Despite a dozen Top 40 hits, The Monkees went their separate ways.

In 1986, MTV ran a weekend of The Monkees reruns and sparked new interest in the band and, more importantly, its music. Despite all claims that The Monkees were manufactured, they became known as a genuine, hardworking band, creating and producing their own original music, for television and the stage. Balladeer Davy Jones, resident goofball and drummer Micky Dolenz and sweet, drowsy keyboardist Peter Tork are currently touring the country and will make an appearance at the Pikes Peak Center Sunday night. They're the Monkees -- come and watch them sing and play. Tickets are $32 to $52. Call 520-SHOW.

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