Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart (Those Who Know Them Best) Tell All About The Monkees
PERSONALITY - Davy (along with Micky) is the most vivacious one of the group. Davy is the ladies’ man—not just in the series, all the time! He’s the cute little boy. Thanks to Davy and Micky, our record sessions are just as funny as the show. They are off stage exactly as they are on stage!
He’s very funny. Together he and Micky could almost be a comedy team, like they’re very quick at ad-libbing. Once we started a session and they were both on different microphones. Mickey [sic] didn’t know where to come in on the harmony part, so Davy says, “Micky you come in here,” and Micky was saying “Here?… Now?… Where?…” It was so funny we recorded it! We put it on one cut in the album and it’s unbelievably funny!
BEST TRAIT - Davy is very English. He’s always very proper, polite and pleasant.
CLOTHES - He’s very mod. He likes tight-fitting striped pants and the mod hats and bell-bottomed pants—like you see in the British magazines.
MUSIC - Davy (and Micky) love Stones! All The Monkees love The Beatles. Davy likes most of the rock and roll that’s played today.
QUIRKS - Davy is very conscious of his hair. He’s always straightening it. Even when he comes to recording sessions, he’s always dressed very neatly. He’s very conscious of his appearance at all times.
MOTTO - He has no one favorite motto, but he’s always coming out with very British sayings. He’ll say “What’s that, luv?” and other short phrases, probably things we might say, but his accent makes a real difference.
PERSONALITY - Peter is the reserved type, he was a folk singer. He and Michael are more different off camera. He’s very funny in front of the camera, but off camera he’s quieter. Peter would probably go home after a recording session and put on a Joan Baez album or play his guitar. Peter is a very serious musician. He studied musical theory for a couple of years in New York and he plays really fabulous piano.
BEST TRAIT - His musicianship. Peter is a very serious, emotional, deep person. He thinks a lot. He probably spends a lot of his time alone; and he likes to read.
CLOTHES - Peter is the average kid in the way he dresses. He likes tennis shoes, no socks, levis and tee-shirts.
MUSIC - likes folk music. He likes people like Joan Baez and the Mama’s and the Papa’s.
QUIRKS - Peter almost always brings his guitar and a book to recording sessions. During the breaks, he plays folk music or goes info one corner and reads a book.
MOTTO - Peter is famous for long cliches. He’ll pick them up from his readings. He’ll say a whole string of words that would mean the same thing as if Davy said, “What’s that, luv?”
PERSONALITY - Micky is THE funny one. You could sit for an hour and listen to him, he loves to talk. He does a million impressions. He can go through a Jonathan Winters-Maude Frickert impression that cracks you up.
A lot of times we’ll be in the middle of recording and all of a sudden he’ll break info one of his scenes and say “Brrrrrr—earth calling space, earth calling space, come in please…” and he’ll go through a whole routine. He’s always doing unbelievably funny things—just so there is someone to watch him. He’s funny without an audience, but with an audience his mind goes a hundred miles an hour. What he likes is reaction. If he sees you smiling, he just won’t stop.
BEST TRAIT - His sense of humor. No matter how tight a situation, he can say something and make everyone feel at ease.
CLOTHES - Micky’s the casual one! He’s always barefooted, his hair is usually mussed and he always has a sports shirt on.
MUSIC - Micky is a Monkee fan. Along with Davy he loves the Stones; and along with rest of the guys he loves the Beatles.
QUIRKS - Before and during recording sessions, Micky has a “thing” about getting hot soup. He grabs his throat like “Oh, I have to have some soup!” He likes either split pea or vegetable beef. He says, “Please get me some soup!” like it has to be in the next 20 seconds or he’ll die!
MOTTO - Micky has no one saying. If he wanted to get an idea across, he’d use one of his impressions. He has lots of funny voices; and sometimes he talks like he was speaking into a public address system to a crowd.
PERSONALITY - Mike is very funny, but in his own way. He’s the Will Rogers of The Monkees. Just like everyone liked Will Rogers, you like Mike the minute you meet him. He’s always writing songs. Two of his songs are on the Monkees first album. He likes to ride his Honda and go driving in his GTO. All the guys have Hondas and GTOs.
BEST TRAIT - His drive. He’s very ambitious. Also, his personality. Maybe it’s because of his western accent, right away you dig him.
CLOTHES - He’s very western in his dress. He wears plaid shirts, big-buckle belts, levis and, of course, his wool hat. He wears his hat everywhere. It’s his “thing.” He’s probably had a hat like that since he was a little kid.
MUSIC - Of course, he likes Monkee music, but when he goes home he probably puts on albums like Hank Williams and Flat and Scruggs. He definitely likes Country and Western music.
QUIRKS - Michael continually wants to write songs better. He’s very interested in melodies and works on them a great deal. Also, he always has to be doing something, he can’t sit still.
MOTTO - Michael is likely to come out with things like a country Tennessee Ernie Ford or Jimmy Dean. He’ll say things that sound like something from “Beverly Hillbillies.”
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart write most of the songs for the Monkees. They began developing the “Monkee sound” long before Davy, Micky, Mike and Peter ever heard the word “Monkee.”
Tommy recalls, “We read the first script during the time the studio was auditioning actors for the parts. There was only a concept of four singers, a group. We took everything into consideration and created the Monkees sound, which was derived from Bobby’s background and my own.”
Tommy’s background includes the penning of the “Where The Action Is” theme song. He also wrote and sings the closing song heard every day on “Action.” He co-wrote the big hit “Peaches and Cream” and with Bobby, co-wrote “Come A Little Bit Closer.”
Besides his interest in writing, the sandy-haired writer is eager to pursue his own singing career. Both his records “Sunday” and the new one, “Nashville” were well received.
Bobby, too, doubles-up on his talent. He worked several years in nightclubs in Las Vegas, where he played organ. He is now the lead singer and organist in his own group, the Candy Store Prophets.
It was Bobby who conceived the idea for “Last Train To Clarksville.” Bobby says, “There’s a little town outside of Phoenix where I used to spend my summers called Clarksville, Arizona. That’s how I got the idea for the song. Sometimes we get ideas from the script.”
Tommy continues, “In one show, Davy is going with a girl and he likes her, but he doesn’t want to be tied down. It was like, ‘I like you and I want to be with you a lot, but I want to be free.’ That’s how we got the idea for ‘I Wanna Be Free.!”
Since they got to know the boys they started to write more comical songs. “The Ladies Aid Society” is a song on their second album. Tommy and Bobby got the idea from one of the many funny ad-lib stunts put on by Micky and Davy.
The six young men seemed to hit it off from their first meetng [sic]. Tommy remembers the hectic scene. “We met them long before the show was sold; and we were recording a song for the pilot film. The instrumental track was on tape and they were at the microphones recording the vocal parts. In the corner of the studio there was a ladder. There was a long guitar break in the song and when it came over the loud speakers, they all jumped down from their stools and started a big wrestling match in the center of the floor. Michael climbed to the top of the ladder and was narrating it!
“Then all of a sudden when the guitar solo was over they were back up at the mikes singing!” It was an insane meeting and it’s been that way ever since.