Monkees Go Bananas for Lititz Boy’s Video

By on September 2, 2015

Not many people can say they’ve been onstage with the Monkees, but eight-year-old Dylan Reitz is one of them. Dylan is the son of Lisa and Rick Reitz, of Lititz.

Dylan enjoyed fame a few months back when a YouTube video he made — a recreation of the opening credits from “The Monkees” TV show using Legos and stuffed animals — got noticed by Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, members of the band.

Dylan had originally started on the project May 17, 2014.

“But after shooting the first three scenes, it was getting hard for me, and we stopped,” Dylan remembers. “Then in April (2015), I was older and decided we wanted to give it another try,”

“Over two weekends, we spent about 14 hours working on each shot, looking for the perfect toys in his playroom that would fit each individual scene, then editing it on iMovie,” says Dylan’s dad, Rick. “He was the Steven Spielberg of the production. I was his key grip.

“He was very flexible in the characters he used, and how he presented them,” Reitz says. “Playmobil Micky swinging on a vine still cracks me up!”

“Dad was a good assistant,” Dylan notes.

Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz, of The Monkees, performed at American Music Theatre on Aug. 28.

Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz, of The Monkees, performed at American Music Theatre on Aug. 28.

“The thing that has been amazing is the attention it received from The Monkees themselves,” said Rick in May when the video began to gain popularity. “Peter Tork’s team continues to be very encouraging, and Micky Dolenz has retweeted several of my Tweets, which has helped generate a lot of traffic.”

Dylan got a huge surprise when it was learned that The Monkees planned feature portions of his video during their concert tour. Then, Dylan got the most exciting news of all — The Monkees planned to play the entire video when they performed at American Music Theatre on Aug. 28, and Dylan would be in the audience.

It was the first rock concert for Dylan, and according to his dad, he had the time of his life.

When Dylan first spotted Micky,  he  yelled  "Micky!" and ran across the room, leaping in his arms to give him a big hug," said Rick Reitz. "Micky was a bit surprised, but he took it very well. Micky and Dylan hit it off right away."

When Dylan first spotted Micky, he yelled “Micky!” and ran across the room, leaping in his arms to give him a big hug,” said Rick Reitz. “Micky was a bit surprised, but he took it very well. Micky and Dylan hit it off right away.”

“After the band finished its first set, we met with the Monkees’ manager and he took us backstage, where Dylan first met Peter, and then Micky,” said Rick. “When Dylan first spotted Micky, he yelled ‘Micky!’ and ran across the room, leaping in his arms to give him a big hug. Micky was a bit surprised, but he took it very well. Micky and Dylan hit it off right away!”

Dylan’s video was shown, after an introduction by Micky Dolenz, at the start of the second set. Micky then invited Dylan out onto the stage and introduced him to the audience to thunderous applause.

Micky interviewed Dylan briefly about his project. At one point, he asked, “Are you going to continue on and do this kind of work, do you think?”

Dylan responded, “Yeah, of course. I’m gonna make maybe another Monkees video.”

“I was surprised when he said that to Micky,” Rick said. “But we talked afterward, and he does have a pretty good idea for his next Monkees video project.”

Dylan was offered the opportunity to watch the second half of the concert from backstage, and sat next to Vance Brescia, the writer of the song “That Was Then, This Is Now,” and the timpani drum that Micky had used earlier in the show for his performance of the song “Randy Scouse Git.”

“He thought this was even better than his fourth row seat!” said Rick Reitz, “I can’t blame him!”

After the show the Monkees’ drummer, Rich Dart, complimented Dylan for a job well done, and then gave him the drum sticks he used during the concert.

Dylan Reitz is all smiles meeting Monkee Peter Tork

Dylan Reitz is all smiles meeting Monkee Peter Tork

“Dylan wasn’t quite familiar with that tradition, and asked Rich if that meant he also got to keep the drums,” Rick said. Dart laughed, then joked with him about talking the drums home (which are actually owned by the American Music Theatre). “I don’t think Mom would’ve been happy to see that!”

Dylan, who begins third grade at Lititz El next week, has created more than 320 videos, which can be viewed on his YouTube channel, DylanRMovies.

The Monkees have sold more than 75 million records worldwide and had international hits, including “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” and “I’m A Believer.” At their peak, according to Rolling Stone magazine, in 1967, the band outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined.

Melissa Hunnefield is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at mhunnefield.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4452.

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