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Killer Tornadoes in the Midwest; Remembering Davy Jones

Aired February 29, 2012 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight, breaking news, deadly tornadoes slash across America's heartland.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't imagine how devastating it is until you're there. I mean it's like nothing I've ever seen and, frankly, don't ever care to see again.


MORGAN: The dangers are not over yet as the storms move east this evening.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All of a sudden windows went out just like a big shotgun went off.


MORGAN: Where will the twisters strike next?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's unbelievable. I can't believe the measure of damage it did to this building.


MORGAN: And how much damage will they cause. I'll ask our weather experts, also Sam Champion on the winter that nobody could have predicted.

Plus remembering Davy Jones. My exclusive interview with his Monkees bandmate Micky Dolenz.

This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT. Good evening. Our big story tonight, breaking news on a deadly storm that's already killed at least 12, left hundreds injured in the Midwest that's now heading east. Two twisters already reported near Hodgenville in Kentucky and high winds in Tumbling County, Tennessee. There are fears of more dangerous weather in extreme northern Georgia, southern and eastern Kentucky, northern Mississippi, western North Carolina and much of Tennessee. At least three people have already died in Tennessee and the storm is absolutely massive. Seven hundred and 50 miles across, and 670 miles north to south.

We'll have much more breaking news from the scene in a moment. And later, my exclusive and rather emotional interview with Micky Dolenz remembering his Monkees bandmate, the late, great Davy Jones.


MICKY DOLENZ, "THE MONKEES": We sort of had a lot in common and over the years, you know, our families and he and I, even though -- we bonded, I mean, you know, after 47 years working with people like that, you know, he was like my brother. He was -- we were like siblings.


MORGAN: We begin tonight with the big story, the tornadoes that began in the Midwest and have already killed at least 12 people. Hundreds were injured tonight. Whole neighborhoods completely obliterated.

Harrisburg, Illinois, took a direct hit. The town looks like something out of a war zone. CNN's Don Lemon is there with the latest.

Don, it looks appalling from the pictures I've been seeing today. What is it like to be actually there?

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Piers, it's unbelievable and I think appalling, as you said, is a good word and also war zone, as well. Look at -- you've seen these planters and, you know, people go outside and smoke. You've seen these in front -- I mean this thing just blasted through here.

I'm going to take us in a little bit further, the mayor has graciously allowed us -- careful, guys -- to go in and show some of the debris. They're watching right off camera here. He said we can go in, Piers.

This place was called Hibbett Sports and it's part of a strip mall here. There was a Cash & Carry and a couple of other stores that are here. Look at this place. These giant steel girders, these big pillars just flattened to the ground. And in this, you can see -- come down here, there's a brick in here, glass in here, just shattered. There's nails that have obviously been flung everywhere.

And then some of the things are still here, you know, the baseball bat under here. Another baseball, volleyball net, as well and then there's clothing and basketballs and you can see insulation and everywhere -- I mean it just took this place and just really slung it around.

I'm going to show you -- just go around here and just -- I'm not sure how much you guys can see at night but you've got to see this. If you look straight across there that's up on a ridge where you see those yellow flashing lights. I'm being told by the mayor and rescue workers, that's where most of the people who died. They lived in that area. The six people.

And around to the left you'll see the media camped out here. Keep going, Bruce, around to the left. And, Piers, I want you to see this giant super Wal-Mart on the other side that we're told by the mayor, as well, is heavily damaged, as well. And just a little bit to the left you look -- we're in the dark here, but, look, normal, Burger King, Sonic, everything is normal. You've got red lights and everything working.

Come on back around over here and then you get to where the damage is. And I mean, it looks like, you know, a couple of football fields the size of this thing that came through here. And, you know what I found interesting, the mayor said there were guys, Piers, there are two big coal mines here. There were guys who were working down in the coal mine and they came up out of the coal mine and went right to work to try to help the people who were either stuck or who had been hurt in this tornado.

Unbelievable but you can see the damage here. It's really incredible.

MORGAN: And, Don, I mean do we think that more people may be trapped still? I mean what is the state of the emergency rescue operation?

LEMON: Well, they think everyone is accounted for. They think everyone is accounted for but they're not taking anything for granted. As you saw, you saw the flashing lights over there. They're still looking, they're still going through debris, but they believe everyone is accounted for. They said more than 100 people were injured. But all they believe six people died so far.

Sorry they lost their lives but as you can see it could have been much worse especially with an EF-4 tornado -- Piers.

MORGAN: Yes. Yes, Don, thanks very much indeed.

We'll have much more live from the scene later. But right now I want to bring in Chad Myers (INAUDIBLE) in CNN Extreme Weather Center.

Chad, we've talked before about tornadoes. Where does this rank in terms of size and power and I suppose more pertinently what is happening tonight and which areas are most in danger?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'll start with the first one. Power, EF-4, 170 miles per hour, Piers. We get maybe four or five of those a year. EF-5s, maybe one every five years but the 4 at 170 miles per hour, it was the largest tornado on the ground yesterday and it had to hit something. Typically big tornadoes will just kind of hit farmland. But it seems in the more recent -- in the recent future, in the past, it had just been one storm gets so big that it hits a town like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and all those things that happened in Alabama last year.

Things are getting better now. There -- I don't believe that there'll be any big storms still around here in about an hour or so, so from Virginia back toward Raleigh and Atlanta, yes, there's still a little thunder and lightning, there's no rotation, there's nothing very big out there.

Let me show you the odds of this because I kind of want to put this in perspective. It was a storm that was 200 yards wide. Here's Illinois right there. There's Chicago. Want to zoom in here all the way into Harrisburg. About 15 streets wide, 20 streets tall. There we go. That's as big as the city is right there. Now zoom out and you will see how much non-city there is. There's miles, 15 miles this way, 20 miles this way of nothing but farmland.

But that tornado, Piers, ran right through the southeast side of this town and it just -- it tore through Harrisburg. It was in a big storm at the time but it was 5:00 in the morning. People weren't ready for it. They weren't ready for a storm because they were sleeping. Very few people even heard the warning sirens, Piers.

MORGAN: Yes, terrifying experience for those people, Chad. We'll be back with you later on. Thank you very much for now.

We can only imagine those awful moments when that massive tornado hit Harrisburg. Justin Hicks lived through it and Justin joins me now along with his son Donny.

Mr. Hicks, thank you so much for joining me. I know your home has just been wiped away, right?

JUSTIN HICKS, SURVIVED TORNADO: Yes, sir, my home was destroyed, yes. Nearly nothing left of it.

MORGAN: Obviously devastating for you and your family but do you feel lucky to be alive?

J. HICKS: We're very lucky to be alive and just a good disaster plan at home and well executed at 5:00 this morning. That's the only reason we are alive and thanks to my oldest son here. He did a lot to help and put it all together.

MORGAN: I assume that you and your family, you have four children, you were asleep at the time. Can you tell me what it was like when you realized what was happening?

J. HICKS: We were asleep -- well, we woke up half the roof was coming off the house and we managed to get the small children in the -- in the closet and about the time the small children were in the closet my wife and I noticed the walls separating from the house and it wasn't just a couple seconds later it was quiet and it was -- it was very obvious there was utter devastation around there.

If I had any advice, it'd be just to stay after the weather plans and get a good executed plan for your house when this stuff happens because it happens so quick. MORGAN: Yes, I mean, is there anything more -- is there anything more that the people of the town could have done, do you think, or is it just one of those things when everyone is asleep and you just have to deal with what happens?

J. HICKS: You know, I watched it earlier on, and it didn't seem that bad on the news forecast and the weather forecast. I wasn't expecting it to be that bad. I woke up -- I'm pretty aware person and I woke up -- I woke up to a chaos and I'm sure a lot of people woke up to chaos like that. I don't know if there's anything anyone could have done any differently. It was just quick.

MORGAN: You said earlier that your son had been a hero last night. Tell me what he did.

J. HICKS: Yes, he got right up with me this morning as soon as it hit and he went -- he went and got one of his -- kid brothers and with me and helped me get everyone in the closet and once the storm had passed through he was -- he was very adamant to help me get outside and check for power lines and we got all the kids out in the truck and got them away from the house because obviously there were power line problems there.

And it was raining inside the house so I just wanted to get them in the truck and he helped me get all that done. He was excellent today. I have to say.

MORGAN: We've been looking, as you've been talking there, we've been looking at pictures inside your house, complete devastation as so many homes are in the town. You've got the only microphone there, Mr. Hicks. If you could just pass it so I can talk directly to your son. I wouldn't mind knowing what his experiences were last night. How he felt about what's going on.

J. HICKS: OK. He wants to know some of your experiences, Don.

DON HICKS, SURVIVED TORNADO: Dumpster came through my bedroom window, busted the window out on top of me. Immediately I got up, ran, I went to my mom's room, made sure the babies were OK then we got everybody out of the house. That's about it.

J. HICKS: He was --

MORGAN: Incredible. I mean a terrifying experience. Did you know other people who have been --


D. HICKS: Yes, I was really scared.

MORGAN: -- wounded or injured?


J. HICKS: We do know of people --

MORGAN: Mr. Hicks, did you know people who had been hurt?

J. HICKS: Yes, we knew people who had been hurt today and injured in our town, yes, we did. No one in our immediate family, but, yes, we knew some of the people.

MORGAN: Yes, I mean nothing obviously has ever happened to your town like this, right? I mean, this is one of those things you just hope and pray never comes to you.

J. HICKS: Yes, yes, I hope and pray it doesn't come to me or anyone else because I tell you, it's the worst experience waking up to ever and, you know, I don't have any advice to anybody except for -- to put together a home plan and do your best to execute it when it's time to execute it and there's no way to get past that stuff. It's so quick. It's so -- it's so strong. There's no stopping it. Just be ready for it.

MORGAN: Where will you be spending this evening, and what are your plans in the immediate near future for where you and your family will live?

J. HICKS: We've got insurance companies will be in here the next 48 hours and for right now a local church and a couple of other organizations put us in a motel room for the night so we're pretty fortunate tonight.

MORGAN: Well, it's an appalling story. I wish you and your family all the very best in rebuilding your home and your lives and to all those that you know in the town who've been going through a similar devastating experience. We all wish you all the very best and hope you get back on your feet very soon. Thank you very much for joining me.

J. HICKS: Thank you, Mr. Morgan, thank you.

MORGAN: Now I'm going to turn to Les Winkler. He's a reporter from "The Southern Illinoisan" and he was at home when all hell broke loose.

Les, thank you for joining me. Tell me about what happened to you.

LES WINKELER, "THE SOUTHERN ILLINOISAN": Well, I just -- I felt -- I felt my wife get out of bed. I couldn't -- I couldn't really -- and when she got up, it sounded like a hail or rain really beating against our windows, but then I thought I heard the siren, too, so I checked the -- I checked the -- I opened the window and checked and I could hear a siren so when that happened, then I started -- then I started getting a little worried so I walked out -- I got up and she screamed at me to get some clothes.

And we just kind of -- I don't know how I found it in the dark but somehow I managed to get dressed in the dark and we were in our hallway because we don't have a basement and she said where can we go, and I said this is where, this is where we need to be, so we just kind of slumped down to the floor, and within just a few seconds, things were crashing all around us and we had -- we had a big chunks of house trailer from a couple of blocks down blow through our window. So it just all happened -- like the previous guest said it happened so fast that, you know, actually it was kind of an eerie calm that I had because you knew there was nothing you could do anyway so you just, you just kind of laid there and just hope your house didn't come down around you.

MORGAN: And it's every American's nightmare that -- when this season comes around that you get hit directly by a tornado of this size and power. For those like me who have never been anywhere near a tornado, what is it actually feel like? I mean describe the power and the force of this thing, which devastated you -- your family, your home and your town last night.

WINKELER: Well, when I -- when I did wake up, I mean, you could just -- you knew that this was no ordinary storm. It just sounded different. That's all I can say. Like the sirens were going off, which doesn't happen a whole lot. When that happens, you know, you need to take cover and -- but the sound was just -- I mean the people say it sounds like a train. It didn't sound like a train but it was just really loud. And I knew, I knew it was serious and we just did what we had to do.

MORGAN: Feel lucky to be alive, I would imagine.

WINKELER: Compared to our neighbors, we got off, we got off really well. Our house is livable. We'll be able to stay there tonight, but just a block from me some of our friends' homes were just totally devastated. I mean they're gone so we really dodged a bullet. We're really lucky and we know it, and just start again tomorrow.

MORGAN: Yes, we've been looking at some pictures while you've been talking that you provided us with. I mean utter devastation. It's a, it's a horrific scene down there and we do wish you and all of your neighbors and friends and family all the very best in getting the town back on its feet. It's going to be a lot of hard work, a lot of people. We wish you all the very best.

WINKELER: Well, thank you very much.

MORGAN: Thank you for joining me.

A town destroyed. But determined to rebuild. The mayor of Harrisburg joins me live next.


MORGAN: You can see the images for yourselves, simply horrific. The town of Harrisburg, in Illinois reeling after the deadly tornado last night that took many lives and wounded many, many others.

Joining me now on the phone is Ashley Plumlee whose young family narrowly survived the twister.

Ashley, I know that you just feel so scared by what happened you don't even want to leave your house. Tell me about what went on last night. ASHLEY PLUMLEE, TORNADO SURVIVOR (via phone): Well, luckily my brother called me about 4:30 and told me to turn the news on because it was getting really bad so we were -- my husband and I were luckily awake whenever it got really super bad and we heard the sirens went off, and we went and grabbed our little girls out of bed and we had just pulled the mattress off and stuck their helmets on their head, and shoved them under. We didn't even have time to get under the mattress before the house -- it felt like it was being ripped apart around us.

MORGAN: And again, I mean, I've asked people this earlier, but what is it like to be in the eye of one of these tornadoes? Describe the physical experience.

PLUMLEE: It was the scariest moment of my life. It felt -- it kind of felt like an earthquake. The whole house is shaking. And you could hear just glass breaking all around us. The air pressure dropped. Then our ears started popping really bad. And I mean it was -- it was the most terrifying experience. My children were crying. It didn't last. I mean it only lasted for like 30 seconds but to sit and feel your house being ripped apart.

MORGAN: I'm looking -- I'm looking at pictures. Yes, I'm looking at pictures you've supplied which is just complete devastation. I mean, how any of you got out alive is a miracle.

PLUMLEE: We were actually lucky because our house is the last house on our street that was hit so we actually were the best house on the block. I mean we're missing about half of our roof and we had a carport and an attached garage, and it's missing, but I mean I sent in pictures of the trailer that was about 15 feet away from my house. I mean, my husband went outside to look around and he just started screaming that the trailer was gone. I mean, we didn't -- the trailer was just ripped off its foundation and gone. We didn't know where it was for about a half an hour.

MORGAN: And how far had it gone?

PLUMLEE: It's -- there's an apartment building about 15 feet away from it and it had picked the trailer up and thrown it against the apartment building. But it was pitch black when the tornado happened so we couldn't see it for awhile. But my husband and an EMT actually managed to pull that man out. They found him. He was still alive. So he's -- he was OK.

MORGAN: Incredible. I mean, what a descriptive moment there just of a trailer wrenched off its axis and smashed into walls. I mean it's just an apparent scale you can't imagine. Well, I'm just so glad that you're OK, Ashley. Thank you for joining me and stay safe there along with all your friends, family and neighbors.

PLUMLEE: Thank you.

MORGAN: We've heard from the people from Harrisburg with their harrowing testimony. Let's now talk to the person in charge there, Eric Gregg, who has an enormous task in front of him. Mayor Gregg joins me, along with Sheriff's Lieutenant Tracy Felty.

Gentlemen, thank you both very much for joining me. I can see just behind you the scale of what you have to deal with. What are your immediate actions to try and bring the town back under I guess some form of order?

MAYOR ERIC GREGG, HARRISBURG, ILLINOIS: Well, Piers, thank you so much for having us on this evening, first of all. It's been a very difficult day in Harrisburg, Illinois, but we -- what we're doing right now is we're making sure that everyone is safe. Everyone is accounted for and we're again making sure that we're taking care of those that have been displaced. We're going to do our due diligence to get our hands around this, again, when the sun comes up in the morning we're going to start.

Actually we'll be working all night on this and for many days to come but, you know, this is a horrific event, it's a heartbreaking day in Harrisburg, Illinois. You know, we're a small community in the Midwest, a wonderful community, a very loving, giving area of the country, great people, and we've just been hit hard today, Piers, and it's just -- it's a heartbreaking day. We've lost six lives.

MORGAN: Certainly awful, and Mr. Felty, I hear that the local hospital was hit, too. How much damage was done there and what has happened to the patients?

GREGG: The hospital, what happened with the hospital? And the patients.


LT. TRACY FELTY, SALINE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: Basically the hospital has never closed. They are not admitting patients but the ER is open. Anybody with emergencies can continue to go into the hospital. They did take a slight blow. They did have some walls damaged but like I said they're still operational and some patients have been moved out to other regional hospital.

MORGAN: Mayor Gregg and Tracy Felty, thank you both very much for joining me. Best of luck with the cleanup operation there and, you know, thank God looking at these pictures that more people weren't killed because you were hit by a big one last night and our hearts go out to you and everyone in the town.

GREGG: Thank you so much. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

FELTY: Thank you.

MORGAN: We certainly will, sir. Thank you.

We'll have more later on our big story including an update on the deadly storm heading east tonight. Coming up next, my exclusive interview with Micky Dolenz paying tribute to his Monkees bandmate, the late great Davy Jones, who died today.



MORGAN: That was Davy Jones singing one of the Monkees' biggest ever hits, "Daydream Believer." That show became a genuine worldwide sensation. One of my favorites as a child back in Britain. So it's a very sad day for all the fans of the Monkees to hear that Davy Jones had died this morning in Florida of an apparent heart attack.

Davy's longtime friend and bandmate Micky Dolenz joins me now exclusively to remember his lifetime friend.

Micky, thank you so much for joining me. It must be an incredibly difficult day for you.


DOLENZ: That's an understatement. Yes, it's a shock right out of the blue. No one ever suspected, you know -- you know, what can you say? Just total shock. I'm still just a little bit numbed by it all.

MORGAN: How did you hear the news?

DOLENZ: My wife called me this morning. I was still in bed actually, she was out shopping and she called -- got a call from her sister who said she heard it on the news, and I was -- I thought it was another -- frankly I thought it might have been another one of those Internet stupid joke, you know, hoaxes. I hoped it was. But obviously it was not.

MORGAN: You'd stayed in touch with Davy over the years, haven't you? Were you good friends?

DOLENZ: Well, yes, we were quite good friends. If you know the history of the Monkees, you know, it was a television show that was cast about this band that wanted to be the Beatles, and I remember actually quite clearly those -- early casting sessions and David and I sort of hit it off pretty early and quickly because we both had histories in showbiz as childs. I had a series when I was kid called "Circus Boy" and he had been on Broadway doing "Oliver," so we sort of had a lot in common.

And over the year, you know, our families and he and I, you know, we bonded. I mean, you know, after 47 years working with people like that, you know, he was like my brother. He was -- we were like siblings, yes.

MORGAN: The strange thing about this is that people are saying that Davy was incredibly fit. He was a vegetarian. He worked out every day. He lived in Florida. And -- therefore his death from a heart attack is a real shock to those that knew him well.

DOLENZ: Total. Total, I mean, and like I say he would have been the last one I would have thought. He was the youngest of us. I would have thought it would have been me.


DOLENZ: I'm not a vegetarian. And I said -- it is. I mean I'm just bewildered. I'm anxious to talk to some of his family and friends, and find out what was going on. But then again, you know, it could be a bit genetic. I know both his parents had passed on -- had passed over at a younger age. So who knows. That may have something to do with it or not.

You know, who knows these days. But, boy, I'm just -- everyone is in total shock.

MORGAN: Obviously the band were huge in the late '60s, '70s. And then life moves on. What kind of life did Davy have in the last few years? Was he content with his life, do you think?

DOLENZ: Oh, I think so, absolutely. He was -- he was a huge fan of horse racing. He raised racehorses. He had two farms, one in Pennsylvania, one in Florida. And he would go back and forth in the season and work. And basically, you know, even when we were on the road, it was almost all he would talk about, was getting back to his horses.

It was his first love. He was a jockey -- excuse me, an apprentice jockey before -- way before the Monkees, way before he got into show business. In fact, just like a week or two ago, I saw on the Internet that he went back to England and he connected with the original owner/trainer at a stable who's the one that had said, you ought to get in showbiz. Because I guess as like a 16-year-old or something, he was going to be an apprentice jockey.

And somebody said, you're really funny and cute and you can sing. You should try out for some -- for some parts, which he did. And of course, the rest is history.

But ever since I've known him, I went riding with him. We both were equestrian fanatics actually. He loved the racing. I liked polo and jumping and -- but I remember going out and racing racehorses with him around the track. So that was definitely a first love. And so he must have been out there every day. I know he was working out, mucking out the stables, taking care of the horses, grooming them.

It's a lot of hard work. So, you know, I just -- I'm bewildered. I just am.

MORGAN: When was the last time you spoke to him, Micky?

DOLENZ: It would have been just a few months ago. We did a massive great tour. We -- the last show was -- not the last show, but one of the biggest shows was at the Greek Theater that we did just months ago. And it was a huge success. And the reviews were wonderful.

And we left that particular tour on a huge high note. I mean, but we've done that over the years every single time. And whenever the Monkees was -- you know, our 20th anniversary in '86 was the biggest grossing tour of that year, 20 years after the show.

In '97/'98, we toured England and then the states, huge. And then just recently this last tour got some of the best reviews we've ever had. We even got a great review from "Rolling Stone." Who would have thought? So, yeah.

MORGAN: Did that bring Davy a lot of pleasure, the fact that you guys were back together and getting great reviews and so on?

DOLENZ: Always did -- did all of us, yeah. I mean, you know, it only happened once every, say, 10 years or so. And -- which is not uncommon. You know, but remember the Monkees wasn't this sort like classic sort of band in that sense. You know, it was originally this television show about a band, much in the same way that "Glee" is about a glee club, but --

MORGAN: Actually, Micky, hold that shout, because we're going to take a short break. I want come back and talk about the genesis of the Monkees, because I remember as a young boy watching this incredible show. And then you all went on to become a conventional band. But it was always the wrong way around or maybe it was the right way around.

DOLENZ: Maybe it was the right way around.

MORGAN: Yeah. Let's talk after the break some more about that and about Davy.



MORGAN: That was the incredibly infectious theme song from NBC's "The Monkees." Micky Dolenz is back with me now remembering the late, great Davy Jones. You know, it brings such memories back to me, Mickey. I was a young lad in Britain.

And obviously Davy came from the north of England. He was an English lad at heart. Just even hearing that theme, I remember just getting up -- Saturday mornings they used to air it. And everyone was crazy for "The Monkees."

DOLENZ: Yeah, all over the world. I mean, the producers and writers of the show, you know, clearly got it right. It was a television show, like I said, about this band, originally an imaginary band that wanted to be the Beatles. It was a garage band.

It was funny because Ringo once said to me the Beatles, we were a garage band. And even more ironically, I'm here in New York this week doing a reading for a new musical on Broadway called "Garage Band." I mean, it's just -- the coincidences are just phenomenal. But that's what the Monkees was about. It was about this garage band that wanted to be big. And on the television show, we never made it. It's an important point.

We obviously became huge, you know, on the road when we did go on the road. But when they cast show, they cast it with these four guys that I guess the producers felt they all had this, you know, very, you know, kind of chemistry. And the audition process went on and on and on and on. I'm fairly --

MORGAN: I've actually got Mickey -- I've got Davy's screen test for the TV show.

DOLENZ: You've got to see this.

MORGAN: Yes, let's watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spontaneous and unrehearsed.

JONES: What do you want me to do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of your quick little things. Davy, you want to know something? Hold it for a second.

JONES: What?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really think you should have been a jockey.


MORGAN: Of course, the irony is he --


DOLENZ: He was supposed to be a jockey, but thank goodness he -- he got this stress from someone and went on to be just an incredible talent and a wonderful performer and such a lovely person and such a wonderful friend and a heart of gold, would just do anything for you, anything anywhere, and had lovely children who I feel, you know, so much pain for right now.

But he I'm sure was one of the first the producers would have said, oh, yeah, him, definitely. I don't know where I came in down the line. But I do recall quite clearly in the early audition process, David and I, like I say, we kind of connected early on because of our history probably in the -- as child stars. And they paired us together early on. I remember that.

And we did these scenes together and we kind of connected together and, you know, had some kind of a rap and a thing and the stuff and, you know, bada bing, bada boom, because I guess -- again, I guess because of our history in the business.

But, you know, he -- obviously he was the heart and soul. You know, he was the heart and soul of the show.

MORGAN: Did he remain proud of his English roots, Micky?

DOLENZ: Oh, absolutely, he had family back there. Still does. And I went over to England -- in fact, we went over to England in the '70s -- mid '70s to do a play together. And I ended up staying over there for years and had a family over there, an English family.

I'm quite an anglophile myself. And, yeah, he certainly did. Aunts and uncles -- and, you know, he never gave that up and loved it and was back there, if I'm not mistaken, even back recently. And we were back there just last year opening in Liverpool. You know, we had a killer tour over there, an English tour. It was wonderful.

MORGAN: When you're hearing all the tributes today, Micky, and all the music being played again and so on, what's your abiding memory of Davy Jones?

DOLENZ: Oh, boy, it's a lot. You know, we used to -- I guess the first thing I started thinking about was when we would hang out together, like it was actually just after the big Monkey thing, the roller-coaster ride. It was just after that that we would hang out together with our families.

Because we both happened to have children at about the same time. So he and I, you know, for that reason alone, I mean we became very close. He would come over to the house. We would laugh. And I got film and old -- not video, before video. Eight millimeter film of our families playing together, and our kids swimming and stuff like that and just having a great time.

And that is how I want to remember him and I will, you know, as a good friend, as this -- became a brother, you know, like a sibling.

MORGAN: Well, I can only offer you my deepest condolences, Micky. I was a huge fan of the Monkees, of Davy, of you. It's a very sad day I think for many, many people around the world today. And I greatly appreciate you taking the time to come on and pay such a personal tribute to your great friend.

DOLENZ: You ain't kidding. Thanks.

MORGAN: Thank you very much. That was Micky Dolenz there paying very personal tribute to his great friend, and as he put hit his brother from the Monkees, Davy Jones.

When we come back, the results of the Wyoming caucuses and Mitt Romney's Super Tuesday strategy.


MORGAN: Breaking news tonight, polls have just closed in Wyoming. And CNN projects Mitt Romney is the winner of that state's caucuses. CNN allocates 10 Wyoming delegates to Romney, nine to Rick Santorum, six to Ron Paul and one delegate to Newt Gingrich.

The next contest moves to Washington State on Saturday. And of course, ten states will vote next week on Super Tuesday. Mitt Romney's win in Michigan last night was actually a mixed result. He came out on top in the popular vote, but he and Rick Santorum split the delegates 15-15.

So tonight, the question remains, does he have the momentum he needs to nail down the nomination after Super Tuesday? Joining me now, communications director Gail Gitcho. Gail, welcome.


MORGAN: Let's talk about last night. It was another very competitive night. You know, obviously your man, Mitt Romney, claiming victory. And nominally he won both in Arizona and Michigan.

Having said that, the delegate count can't be ignored. It was 15-15, what you Americans call a tie. We would call it a draw back in England. But either way, not necessarily the victory it appeared.

GITCHO: Well, it was a great victory, Piers. You know, two weeks ago, we came in to Michigan and we were 15 points down in the polls. So it was a great come-from-behind victory to have won 41 -- or, yeah, 41-38, and also to have seen such a landslide victory in Arizona.

We were very pleased with the results -- with the results last night and we're looking forward to the contest ahead.

MORGAN: I suppose Arizona was expected. But the Michigan battle was a tight one. And the critics will say, look, this is Mitt Romney's old state. And to narrowly win isn't a conclusive sign that things are going brilliantly. I mean, there's been this kind of ongoing battle that you've had, I think, with the heart and soul of the Republican party.

When you think about the whole campaign so far, what do you think internally have been the issues that you've had to really confront that are the most pertinent?

GITCHO: Well, this is a very competitive field. There started out to be seven or eight or nine candidates in the Republican field. So now it's down to the final four candidates. But let me just talk briefly about the Michigan primary last night and Republicans.

Republicans, according to exit polls, went overwhelmingly for Governor Romney, and Rick Santorum lost substantially the Republican vote in Michigan. But he did win -- the demographic that he did one was Democrats. That's because he drew the Democrats into the Republican process, and he tried to help them defeat Mitt Romney in Michigan. And it didn't work.

In fact, I would argue that it backfired. MORGAN: Are you basically going to be making a proper call to arms to Rick Santorum to stop doing this, stop appealing to Democrats on the sly? You think it's sneaky to do that? .

GITCHO: Well, it is an underhanded trick, and Republicans in Michigan, they rejected it soundly. In fact, those Republicans who made up their mind on the day of the vote, they went substantially for Mitt Romney. Rick Santorum lost them.

But the only demographic, like he said, that he won were Democrats. And I'll also add that the Democrats were all too happy to join into this process, because they look at Rick Santorum as a gift to Barack Obama and to his re-election efforts. They think he would be much more easily to defeat than they would up against Mitt Romney.

I think the last thing that the Democrats want to have to do is to face Mitt Romney in the general, because they know that they'll lose.

MORGAN: Coming to Super Tuesday, obviously there are certain states where you know you have a pretty good chance. What do you think overall are the best states where people may not think you necessarily have it in the bag, but you can push to win?

How many do you realistically think you can win on the night?

GITCHO: Well, there are ten states that are going to be voting on Tuesday. As you mentioned, you have Washington State on Saturday. So all of the states are important. But I don't think that any campaign should call any state a must-win.

We are hoping to do very well in all of the states. We're going to be spending a substantial amount of time in Ohio this week. Tomorrow, Governor Romney is going to go out west. And he'll campaign in North Dakota and Idaho and Washington State. He'll hit some states in the south before returning to Ohio next week.

MORGAN: Tell me, be honest, would Mitt Romney like this to be over now? Does he want to get a commanding lead on Super Tuesday, so he can get stuck into Barack Obama. Is he fed up with all this? Do you -- are you seeing a guy who is itching to get on to the main event?

GITCHO: One thing about our campaign is that we're not taking anything for granted. We look at all of the competitors in the field as tough competitors. So I think that voters, and maybe members of the media would like to see this process come to an end. But we are the only organization that has the money and the just staff, the resources on the ground, to be able to withstand a long primary process, which is what this is looking like it's going to be.

This is a process that could go well into the springtime. And we're the only organization that can withstand that kind of process.

MORGAN: Gail, for now, thank you very much indeed.

GITCHO: Thank you, Piers. It's nice to see you.

MORGAN: When we come back, Sam Champion on the killer storm system that swept the Midwest and where it could strike next.


MORGAN: Back to our big story, the deadly tornadoes that tore through America's Heartland and these 12 people that have been killed, hundreds more hurt. Harrisburg, Illinois, is one place that was hit especially hard.

Joining me now from Harrisburg is ABC News' weather editor, Sam Champion.

Sam, a devastating blow down there in Harrisburg. What else is happening tonight right now? Is this storm gathering momentum? Is it as powerful as it was? Bring me up to speed.

SAM CHAMPION, ABC NEWS WEATHER EDITOR: All right, sir. By the way, good evening, Piers. Yes, we're here in Harrisburg. This is one of the areas that was heavily damaged.

The deaths in this were about a couple hundred yards away from where we're standing right now. This used to be a shopping mall.

So when the storm came through here, we were looking at very powerful, severe thunderstorms through this area. This storm has now kind of left a path of those storms through Kentucky and now has worked into the Southeast, with still some powerful storms in the Atlanta, Georgia, area and all the way through the Carolinas as well.

But it also kind of split off to the cold side. And right now, New England is getting punched with a heavy hit of snow, Piers. We're going to wake up in the morning with some cities I think just north of Boston, in the Worcester, Mass area -- we're going to have a live shot in the morning that's going to be showing a good heavy hit of snow in New England.

MORGAN: I mean, it seems to me, just based on this time last year, it's been an unseasonably warm winter in many places in America. We haven't seen the kind of natural devastation that was around this time last year. Would you agree with that? Am I right?

CHAMPION: I would totally agree with you that we just haven't had the winter weather and that big punch of heavy snow storms that we saw last year. Last year, we were pounded with these big snowstorms. There's plenty of cold air on the planet, by the way, Piers.

It's been up there around the Arctic, and has been kind of pushed over into northern Europe and all the way into central and southern Europe for a while. But it just wasn't able to make its path down into the middle of the U.S. this year, or even into the southern part of the U.S.

And to be honest, it hasn't even made it into much of the northern parts of the U.S. this year. That persistent jet stream pattern has held it well to the north. So we've had cold air in Canada and in the Arctic. And even in Alaska, it's been very cold, with big hits of snow in Alaska.

But the bulk of this country just hasn't seen it.

MORGAN: How much of this comes down to just bad luck in the end? Or for many people last night, good luck in that they survived it. But looking at the general pattern and the area it hit -- you know, most of these tornadoes, I guess, just hit fields or waste land or whatever it may be. They don't hit directly on small towns, do they?

CHAMPION: Well, I will tell you, the way this goes with this -- this is, you know, 15, maybe 20 tornadoes in a cycle -- is not an incredibly bizarre pattern. It happens. It just usually happens about two months later than now. You're not usually looking at an outbreak like this in February.

And in this rural area, it went through towns. It went through fields. It just really did a lot of damage with all these tornadoes and these storms moving through here. Not the normal -- it is a pattern in severe storms, just not this time of year, Piers.

MORGAN: Sam Champion, thank you very much, indeed. And our thoughts, again, go to all the people in Harrisburg as they try and literally pick up the pieces from that dreadful tornado last night. Sam, thanks again.

That's all for us tonight. AC 360 starts now.