I'm a lifelong Monkees fan, and I've always wanted to meet them. Several years ago, when I lived in Southern California, I met Micky Dolenz when he and his sister Coco performed a free concert in the park. I thought that was a dream come true in itself.
Then, a year or more later, Peter Tork and his band, Shoe Suede Blues, performed in the city of Orange, and I snatched up tickets and met him. Two out of four -- I was content.
Some time after that, the Monkees' movie Head screened at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Peter and Davy Jones did a panel for fans -- and I shared a remarkable moment with Davy that I'll treasure forever.
Ever since the Monkees' heyday, Mike Nesmith removed himself from that teeny-bopper scene and pursued his own solo career in country rock and video production. He rejoined the group for Davy's memorial last year, and my wife and I saw him with Micky and Peter at the Greek Theater in 2012, and just a few months ago at the Mesa Arts Center. He didn't greet fans at either venue, and I resigned to the thought that I'd never meet him.
Last night, Mike started a solo tour, of all places, right here in Phoenix. He offered a limited number of "Conversation Passes" for a post-show meet and greet. I got one. I met him. I don't mind telling you, I cried.
It's not every day you get to meet your heroes -- in this case, artists that have influenced me in more ways than I can ever acknowledge. It is every day that you can honor them by pursuing the passion for creativity that their works instilled in you.