Havre Daily News
Here they come, walking down the street. They get the funniest looks from everyone they meet.
Hey, hey they're The Missing Links, a California-based Monkees tribute band, and they will be playing Saturday night at the Bigger Better Barn. The show also will feature BackBeat, a Beatles tribute band. The two groups largely include the same members.
Danny Lopez, who portrays Davy Jones, said his earliest memories of music during his childhood was mimicking the theme from The Monkees. Now, Lopez apes the band for a living.
Lopez, the founding member of the two groups, has always identified with Jones - both are short and good looking, he said. Lopez was the smallest in his group of school chums and was nicknamed Davy.
“It was the coolest thing, in the show the little one always gets the girl,” Lopez said with a smile.
The bands feature Cary Park as Mike Nesmith and John Lennon, Ricky Cosentino as Micky Dolenz and Ringo Starr and Tom Cosentino as Peter Tork. Lopez, who also plays George Harrison, said he has two Paul McCartneys to choose from for the show.
The concert is a benefit for Montana State University-Northern athletics. Pre-sale tickets are available for $12 at Creative Leisure, Aero Lounge,
Pastime, 15 West and the MSU-N athletic department. Tickets will be sold at the door for $15 each. The show starts at 7 p.m.
The members of the bands gravitated toward the Monkee and Beatle with whom they shared the most in common. All are huge fans of both groups.
“We're a lot like our characters,” Lopez said in a faux-British accent. While the Monkees were an American band, Jones was originally from Britain, like The Beatles.
Lopez, who now lives in Great Falls, said the Havre appearance is the only Missing Links concert scheduled in Montana this year. The band will perform two sets of Monkees songs, one of their early music and one of their later works, and
Backbeat will perform one set. The Beatles tribute, which started in 1992, will play a set of “Abbey Road”-era songs.
Lopez said The Monkees'
music is appealing to fans of all ages.
“From age 5 to 95, quite literally. That's the beauty of it,” he said.
The Monkees have been covered by an array of musicians - from punk bands like The Sex Pistols and Minor Threat to rappers Run DMC. Most recently, “I'm a Believer” was redone by Smash Mouth and featured in the movie “Shrek.”
Both The Missing Links and BackBeat are able to recreate a time in someone's life, Lopez said.
He said that after BackBeat's performance in Great Falls last year, he received e-mails from fans who said the show “made them feel like a teenager again.”
The Missing Links got to ride in the original Monkee Mobile during a celebration of the 40-year anniversary of the television show last month. The Monkees' television show debuted on NBC in 1966.
“Riding in the Monkee Mobile was a dream come true. When I was little - it was that and the Batmobile,” Lopez said.
The Monkees' bass player Tork also joined the group on the stage for a rendition of “(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone.”
“It was worlds colliding because there I was acting as his friend and bandmate, Davy,” Lopez said of the experience.
He said although the bands don whigs and dress in character, they are “not just guys in costumes.”
The Missing Links play all of The Monkees' greatest hits and then let the audience request songs from any era or genre of music. He said at one show the band played - while still dressed as their Monkees characters - a melody of songs by Ozzy Osbourne, The Partridge Family, Green Day and Barry Manilow.
The band has shared the stage with some eclectic acts. They recently played on a bill that included 1980s hit-machine Loverboy, Canadian rockers Nickelback and country crooner Brad Paisley. Lopez said his own taste in music varies from punk to country to classical. He said his favorite Monkees tunes are guitarist Nesmith's bluesy-country ditties like “Papa Gene's Blues.”
The Missing Links chose the name for a few reasons, he said. The Monkees' drummer, Dolenz, used to jam with a band with the name, and it also was the name of a series of previously unreleased Monkees tracks. It's also a reference to primates.
Lopez has met all four original Monkees and said they all love the tribute band.
“Davy and I are two peas in a pod,” he said.
For more information go to www.monkeestribute.com and www.backbeatatribute.com or call Debbie LaTray at 265-4447.