Why The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz Lost the Chance to Record Bread’s ‘Diary’ 1st

TL;DR:

  • The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz had the opportunity to record Bread’s “Diary” first.
  • He had a strong reaction to Bread’s version of the song.
  • Dolenz later covered “Diary” for one of his solo albums.
The Monkees' Micky Dolenz holding a guitar
The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz | Michael Putland/Getty Images

The Monkees‘ Micky Dolenz had the opportunity to record Bread’s “Diary.” Despite this, he lost the chance to record the song first. Bread’s song became a huge hit in the United States. Subsequently, Dolenz revealed how he felt about the whole ordeal.

The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz could have recorded Bread’s ‘Diary’ and Three Dog Night’s ‘Just an Old Fashioned Love Song’ 1st

During a 2012 interview with Pop Culture Classics, Dolenz was asked if he had the opportunity to record Bread’s “Diary” before Bread did so. “Absolutely, yeah,” he said. “Probably a couple others I can’t remember.” He also said he lost the chance to record Three Dog Night’s “Just An Old Fashioned Love Song” first.

Dolenz discussed his relationship to Bread’s David Gates. “David Gates, of course, was part of the stable, part of the Brill Building West,” he said. The Brill Building is where many songwriters worked. “I remember meeting him in the writers’ little building. And he wrote a couple things for The Monkees.”

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The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz said he was ‘stupid’ for turning down Bread’s ‘Diary’

Dolenz was given the demo for Bread’s “Diary.” “And it was towards the middle or end of the recording thing that the publisher gave me that demo, that acetate,” Dolenz remembered. “I still have it [Laughs]. And he said ‘I guess you should do this.'” 

Dolenz regretted rejecting “Diary.” “And, I don’t know, I guess I was just being stupid at the time,” he said. “I said, no, I didn’t think I should do a ballad at the time. It was actually not until a number of years later that he got that out with Bread. And I always kick myself in the butt for not doing it, because the Bread version is one of my favorite tunes.”

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How the song and a cover performed on the charts in the United States

Bread’s “Diary” was a modest hit in the United States. The track reached No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 11 weeks. “Diary” appeared on Bread’s album Baby I’m-a Want You. The album reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 56 weeks. None of the band’s albums lasted longer on the chart except for The Best of Bread.

In 2012, Dolenz covered “Diary.” His cover of the song did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The track appeared on the album Remember, which features covers of several songs that are connected to Dolenz. Likewise, the album did not hit the Billboard 200.

Bread’s “Diary” was a hit — and it has an interesting connection to Dolenz.

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