Why The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz Looked Like Ronald McDonald When Watching The Beatles Make ‘Sgt. Pepper’

TL;DR:

  • The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz was present while The Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  • He decided to dress “like a cross between Ronald McDonald and Charlie Manson.”
  • Sgt. Pepper became a huge international hit.
A vinyl copy of The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'
The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ | SSPL/Getty Images

The Monkees‘ Micky Dolenz was at Abbey Road Studios while The Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. He said he looked like Ronald McDonald at the time for a very specific reason. In addition, Dolenz discussed how his relationships with one of The Beatles evolved.

The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz discussed his relationships with The Beatles

During a 2020 interview with Rock Cellar Magazine, Dolenz discussed his connections to The Beatles in the 1960s. “I didn’t spend that much time with any of The Beatles in the ’60s,” Dolenz revealed. “I met them and hung out a few times at parties and in the studio briefly, but I didn’t know any of them that well in the ’60s.” Dolenz said he became closer to John Lennon in the 1970s.

During a 2021 interview with Rock Cellar Magazine, Dolenz discussed being in the recording studio with The Beatles. “It was in London in ’66, ’67, there was an album they were doing called Sergeant Something, what the hell was that, Sergeant Bilko, that was it,” he joked. For context, Sergeant Bilko is another name for The Phil Silvers Show, a sitcom that was popular in the 1950s.

Why The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz thought he should dress similar to Ronald McDonald while The Beatles made ‘Sgt. Pepper’

Dolenz elaborated on the sessions. “I was invited to a recording session at Abbey Road,” he recalled. “I was expecting this big Beatlemania fun fest freak-out love-in and I got dressed accordingly in paisley bell-bottoms and tie-dyed underwear. I looked like a cross between Ronald McDonald and Charlie Manson.”

Dolenz said the creation of Sgt. Pepper was low-key. “And it was just the four guys in an empty studio space, florescent lighting, in jeans and t-shirts, just workin’, just the four of them,” he remembered. “I spent an hour or two there with them, listening.”

Related

The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson Said His Favorite Beatles Song Is From ‘Sgt. Pepper’

How ‘Sgt. Pepper’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

Sgt. Pepper became a massive success in the United States. The album topped the Billboard 200 for 15 weeks. It stayed on the chart for 233 weeks in total. Aside from Abbey Road, none of The Beatles’ studio albums lasted longer on the chart.

Sgt. Pepper was also popular in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the album was No. 1 in the U.K. for 28 weeks. Altogether, the album spent 277 weeks on the chart.

Sgt. Pepper is a classic among the classics even if Dolenz dressed flamboyantly during the recording sessions.