The Monkees, the band invented by American television in reply to Beatlemania and the British invasion in the 1960s is bringing a 50th Anniversary tour to New Zealand.

The group heading to Auckland and Christchurch in November will feature two of the original members, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork.

The tour announcement follows last week's release of the band's new studio album, Good Times, a set of songs written by Monkees fans including Weezer's River Cuomo, Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller as well as tracks dating from their 1960s heyday and original Monkees writers like Carole King and Neil Diamond.

The band's three surviving members Dolenz, Tork and Mike Nesmith, now all in their seventies take turns at singing lead on the new album.


Davy Jones, the band's sole British member died of a heart attack in in 2012.

Nesmith, who, post the band's split in 1971, went on to solo hits and careers as a film maker and writer, isn't touring with the group.

The Monkees' first single, Last Train to Clarksville, was released in August 1966, hitting No.1 in the US on the eve of the television series, which debuted on September 12 that year.

The two seasons of the show was regularly repeated on New Zealand television throughout the 1970s.

While the formation of the band was contrived, the group and their backers delivered many classic tracks from their run of albums including Stepping Stone, I'm a Believer, Pleasant Valley Sunday and Daydream Believer.

They were the biggest selling band in the world in 1967, ahead of the Beatles the year the band released Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

After television show ended, the group went on to star in the cult film Head (co-written by Jack Nicholson) and a TV special (33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee) while also continuing to record new material and gain credibility.

"What you have to understand is there never was any group," Dolenz told the Daily Telegraph recently.

"It's a misnomer to even call it a group. The Monkees was the cast of a television show. If you approach it with those goggles on, everything just makes so much more sense."

"To this day, I approach this as an entertainer recreating the role of Micky the wacky Monkee, I'm probably getting a bit old for all the goofing around, but as long as I can sing, I don't think anyone minds."

The Monkees will play at Christchurch's Isaac Theatre on Tuesday November 29 and Auckland's ASB Theatre on Wednesday November 30.

Tickets including Platinum and Gold VIP packages for superfans go on pre-sale at 9am, Wednesday June 15, with general public on sale at 9am on Thursday June 16.