Although the Hollywood Vampires is now best known as a covers-heavy occasional supergroup led by Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, and actor Johnny Depp -- that wasn't always the case. The Monkees' Micky Dolenz recalled the original bunch of softball-playing drinking buddies that bounced around the Sunset Strip and Hollywood Hills in 1973 and '74 featuring, arguably, the coolest gang in town.

During a chat with Goldmine, Dolenz set the record straight as to what went down back in the day: "I started the Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper. (Harry) Nilsson and (John) Lennon joined shortly thereafter. Alice had this idea of starting a softball team to play on weekends for charity. We played some serious softball locally against the fire department, the police department, various boys' clubs and record labels. It turned into an informal softball league that raised a little money. We got good press and everybody loved it. We had a great Hollywood Vampires softball shirt and cap with a big V on it. We played hard. It was Alice and myself with Peter Tork as our pitcher. He was very good. Actor Albert Brooks was on that team."

A plank of wood featuring the legendary musicians' signatures is immortalized at Hollywood's Rainbow Bar and Grill in the club's upper level, known as "Over The Rainbow." Dolenz shed light on the more hedonistic after-hours side of the Vampires: "We would hold court at the Rainbow until ungodly hours, true. There was a private area where we'd congregate, drink an ocean of booze and raise holy hell. It was after the softball games."

When pressed as to why he never hooked back up with the Vampires once Cooper turned the informal club into a recording project. Dolenz said: "I was always too busy. I went to the rehearsals, though, just to hang out. But the original Vampires never performed as a band.

During the recording of Harry Nilsson's 1974 Vampires-era Pussy Cats album, John Lennon -- who produced the set -- had Nilsson, Ringo Starr, and Keith Moon all share a beachfront Santa Monica house together. Lennon's then-girlfriend, May Pang, explained why some of the richest and most hard partying rock stars ended up all hunkering down under the same roof: "John thought of it, it was his idea. Because, he said, if he left it to everyone -- ‘cause he had not spent that much time out in L.A., and he realized that if we couldn't get everybody to the session on time, unlike New York, then all was lost. So he said, ‘Let's pool everybody in, into the house.' And this way, I was driving a group, somebody else was driving a group, so that two cars would be driving and everybody would be getting to the studio on time. He just wanted everybody to be there."

AUDIO: MAY PANG ON JOHN LENNON LIVING WITH RINGO STARR, KEITH MOON, AND HARRY NILSSON