by Keith Altham, FLIP’S Editor in London
Unaccustomed as I am to getting up at 7 a.m. on a cold and frosty English Winter’s morning, I made a special effort recently when Monkee Davy Jones invited me to breakfast at the Westerbury Hotel in London. It might also have had something to do with the 500 odd requests from your Editor to get something on Davy or perish in the attempt. I did both. Giving myself A for effort I staggered bleary-eyed into the breakfast room a short lurch ahead of Davy himself—who looked even more tired than I—which was pretty difficult. He informed me that he’d been travelling for about the last 48 hours and had no sleep. “Funniest thing just happened,” he giggled, “I got hung up in conversation with this old guy in the toilet. He says to me, ‘I’m not against you son—dont’cha worry I’m not against you. All that long hair I don’t mind it.’ So I thanked him and he goes on, ‘There’s some that’s against you but not me. I won’t put you down—I’m on your side.’ Can you imagine that scene—we shook hands and here I am.” He pinched himself to make sure. Davy was in no mood for his bacon and eggs. “Y’know I eat a lot of Yoghurt,” said Davy proudly. “On our kind of schedule you have to eat a lot of Yoghurt—it keeps you fit and replenishes lost energy. I have Yoghurt for breakfast, Yoghurt for tea and Yoghurt for lunch—and I HATE Yoghurt,” he screamed, banging his spoon on the table and causing the photographer opposite to pour tea all over his cornflakes. This and Davy was all too much and we burst into laughter. I managed to contribute to the hilarity by pouring boiling water from another jug into my coffee cup. It took us some time to work out just what was in which jug. Davy had it all worked out though—he lifted the lids first. “Good thinking,” he emphasised the point. From that point on I liked him—and without having seen a Monkee show I was prepared to buy the product of this kind of laughing mind. “What show are they screening first?” Davy wanted to know, “Oh no, not the sword fighting one—have they taken the laughter dubs off—they really should take the laughter off for England. “Y’know I’ve got this great idea for one show in which one of our English commediennes would be great—the one with that catch phrase—“She’s knows you know” I’ve been trying to remember her name for weeks.” We arrived at the conclusion he meant Hilda [sic] Baker. At this point three pretty models were brought in and Davy took one look at the height of ‘micro’ skirts and declared himself finally and positively off his breakfast. “They shouldn’t do that to me this early in the morning,” he moaned. I tried to relieve the pressure by asking him about England. Did he miss the old country away from home? “I miss my family—my father and sister. I’ve bought my old man a house in Denton up in Manchester with a bit of garden. I shall be going to see him this afternoon.” Davy looked at his watch—“Say do you know what time it is in Hollywood—it’s 2 o’clock in the morning.” He relayed this fact to everyone else who came in the room. “We’ve bought our own jet plane to get us about in the States now,” informed Davy, “The distances are so phenomenal we just have to have something like that. “Say y’know what the film was on the plane coming over—Dean Martin in some cowboy—it wasn’t supposed to be funny but I was sitting there in hysterics, all these people about me were going ‘shush, shush.’—can you see that scene. I think I must read things into films which aren’t there or something.” Before becoming a Monkee, Davy was a comparatively successful young actor over here and played the role of the Artful Dodger for some months in the Lionel Bart production of “Oliver.” “I would have got the lead in the London production,” said Davy, “But for one thing. I sang and they all liked it. Then I opened my mouth to do the cockney monologue and they all fell about at the Lancashire accent. “Funnily enough, about six months later I was working in a production of Peter Pan with Jane Asher in the title role and she taught me the cockney accent.” Something Davy has always been keen on is horse racing and he even once considered a career as a jockey. “While I’m over here I’d like to buy some English yearlings,” he said. “Over the jumps in the States everyone who knows backs the English horses and they always win. I’d like to get a few over there and stable them.” Amongst the people who make Davy really laugh are American comedian Bill Cosby. “I’ve got all his LPs,” said Davy. “Great Guy. He does some really fabulous things. He has this dry, relaxed humour which really hits me.” On the pop scene he had a few words to say about artists he likes. “Donovan is good because he is simple and honest with his songs—the industry needed someone like him. The Byrds have a great sound but they’ve spoiled the image somewhere along the line.” At this point, Davy was pulled away for the photo session with the young ladies—I waited for opening gambit. “Say—do you know what time it is in Hollywood?” he said, grinning. I’m proud Davy Jones is English and even prouder now I’ve seen the shows!