Regular Joe Mickey Dolenz wasn’t monkeying around when he showed fans of the seaside concerts in Brighton Beach that not all stars are divas.
Sporting a wide smile and carrying a cup of coffee, the Monkee had his car — not limo –— drop him off at the corner of Seabreeze Avenue, where he chatted with fans and signed autographs before heading inside Asser Levy Park to ignite the stage alongside fellow musical heavyweights Mike Love and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, Flo & Eddie, and Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders.
“He was such a nice guy, he walked in like everybody else,” said newly-smitten Mill Basin fan Steve Lomon, 27, commenting that most performers drive past the barricades, leaving fans out in the cold.
Dolenz, best known as the drummer and lead singer of the ’60s original boy band, didn’t disappoint on stage, either, performing some of The Monkees’ best known chart-toppers to a besotted crowd, dancing and singing along in the aisles.
The aptly-named 25th anniversary “Happy Together Tour” also featured plenty of love for fans from Lindsay, comedic musical duo Howard Kaylan “Eddie” and Mark Volman “Flo” — the founding members of the Top 40 rock group the Turtles — and Love, himself, who proved they’re still rockin’. Kaylan even took some pre-concert time to sign autographs for fans, such as Benny Geraci, now the proud owner of a guitar with Eddie’s John Hancock on it.
As for the headlining Beach Boys, that remarkable band could have rested on its laurels long ago, enjoying the type of glory that accompanies musicians who have made lasting contribution to world culture. It could have retired after the success of the epoch-shifting Pet Sounds masterpiece in 1966. Or, after recording Love’s co-written Golden Globe-nominated Kokomo in 1988 and seeing it become the band’s best selling single ever. Or, after being inducted that same year into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Or, after watching its worldwide album sales explode past l00 million. Instead, Wilson and Love demonstrated that the Beach Boys continue to have fun, fun, fun, with no end in sight.
The concerts, established by Borough President Markowitz when he was a state senator, are now in their 32nd year, can proudly toot their own horn for being the largest free outdoor music series in the city.
Mark your calendar, July 29, for “The World Greatest Bar Band,” George Thorogood & The Destroyers, who are expected to prove that they are still b-b-b-bad to the bone.
Call the concert hotline for updates at (718) 222-0600, or visit www.brooklynconcerts.com.
-— Shavana Abruzzo