(Continuing FLIP’s Spec Series)
Monkee Mike has changed the most since the Monkees were officially born at the beginning of 1966. He was very new to show business. That is, the type of show business that means getting up at 6 o’clock every morning to be at the studio at seven to get the makeup on by eight… and then sit around all day, waiting for your one line in the scene at 6 o’clock that night.
The kind of show business Mike was acquainted with (all too well) was the hanging-out-at-coffeehouses-trying-to-get-job type of thing.
So Mike changed. The first thing (or things) Mike noticed were the hangers-on, the girls that flocked to the set. At first, he was polite and friendly to them. But, as time wore on, he grew to dislike hangers-on as a breed, and he ignored them. Today, one of his pet dislikes are hangers-on. And another one is the nickname of “Wool Hat,” which he has never liked. Anyone who knows Mike (or wants to get to know him) wouldn’t think of calling him by his nickname.
The second change in Mike has come about, in large part, because he’s married. All the happy unprofessional things which The Monkees did at the beginning were fun. Now, they’re a drag, because they hold up the shooting and that means less time at home with the family—his wife, Phyllis, and his son, Christian.
Mike hasn’t lost his sense of fun. All the shooting would be a drag if the boys didn’t play around a bit and enjoy their work. But many of the crazy antics that were so amusing, but also time-consuming, have been stopped.
The other Monkees look up to Mike musically. He has a wide and complete knowledge of rock ’n’ roll and a good smattering of country-and-western, rhythm and blues, and jazz. So, he’s the hardest to please when the boys go into the recording studio. He’s happier now with their music than he was at the beginning. And he’s trying to get them to do different things. Like “Mary, Mary.”
But one thing hasn’t changed—he still likes to play the kazoo!
The main change in Davy Jones (short Monkee, English Monkee, cute Monkee, show-off Monkee) is that he has calmed down.
He still rides his motorcycle to work, but he doesn’t tear up and down the streets at the Screen Gems lot like he used to. And he’s even been known to ride his Mustang or his jeep instead of his “hot” Honda.
He still thinks a great deal about horses, and hopes to train some of them to compete in American steeplechase events. But, for the first time in his life, he has given up any thoughts of ever becoming a full-time jockey again.
He still adores girls (his proudest weakness!), but he no longer wears his heart on his sleeve. He still falls in love often, but the chances are that the other Monkees will only know her name instead of hearing the complete history of his current romance.
There are still frequent visitors to the Jones home. Davy loves to entertain. But no more parties where thousands came and thousands stayed. He used to change houses every week—by request! Now he’s a more selective, but equally cheerful, party-thrower.
He still wants to be a millionaire, and he still desperately wants the group to be successful in England, where his family and friends are. Now that both are on their way to happening, he doesn’t spend much time thinking about these material things, anymore. Because, as The Beatles discovered, once you’ve got them, that’s all there is—and you dissolve any hang-ups you once had. Davy is still a terribly generous guy, anxious for his father’s security and concerned that his three sisters (Lynda, Hazel and Beryl) are provided for.
Davy is still very close to the other Monkees. But not in the same desperate, clinging way that they were together at first. Then, they didn’t know what was going on and how long it would last and if it was good. But there were three other guys who didn’t know, either.
So they stuck together. Perhaps a little too much. You can only depend on someone else so much before the relationship breaks off. The Monkees haven’t broken off—they changed in time.
And Davy, now that he’s changed, is happier than he’s ever been.