Photos and Story by Ric Klein (Micky’s Best Friend)
Hi! I’m Ric Klein and I’ve been a friend of Micky’s for many years. I’m also a camera bug and one of my hobbies is shooting all kinds of pictures of Micky. When I found out I was going along with him on his vacation, I took my camera along because I knew you’d like to relive my trip with Micky and see some of the things we did.
When the Monkees took a break between seasons, it was decided that all of them needed a good rest. So all of them made plans to fly off to other parts of the world. Mike took his wife, Phyllis, to England; Peter went back to visit his favorite Greenwich Village; Davy journeyed to the Bahamas and then went home to England, and Micky invited me to go along with him to England and the Scandinavian countries.
We left on a Saturday, and the limousine that was to take us to the airport was 15 minutes late. It was supposed to pick us up at 7:30 a.m. We paced the floor and it finally got there at 7:45 a.m. We went to Chip Douglas’ house (he’s one of their recording producers) to save time, only to find that he had left to go to Mike Nesmith’s to save time. We lost more time. We tore over to pick up Mike, Phyllis and Chip, then we crept to the airport and arrived there 10 minutes before plane time. We were met at L.A. International by a TWA Representative who checked our baggage and drove us on a small cart to the boarding area. It was a gas, because we beat all the people on the moving stairs.
We boarded Flight 100 TWA and found Russ Mayberry, one of the directors for our show, on the flight too. Mike sat in the plane lounge most of the flight, talking with the other passengers and they all seemed to dig talking to him. A lot of the passengers came up to us and asked for autographs for “my kids” and many of them said “My kids won’t believe that I flew with the Monkees.”
Micky slept a greater portion of the flight to New York because he’d been up all night packing. He did wake up when lunch was served and had some roast beef. The service was groovy. It’s the airlines’ new service for first class and what they did was bring the beef down the aisle and let you choose which piece you wanted. Then they cut it right there in front of you. We ate and arrived at Kennedy Airport at 5:00 p.m.
We were met by three limousines. One took Mike and Phyllis to the Plaza Hotel. The other two took Micky, Chip and me to our hotel, the Sherry-Netherlands. We had a suite with two bedrooms and a living-room and the whole place was beautifully decorated in greens and blues. Micky’s room had a double bed and mine had twin beds.
Later, there was a knock on the door and Jim Valley (Harpo) came in and we talked for awhile and then, Micky, Harpo, Chip Douglas and I went to Greenwich Village for dinner. As we were turning the corner we passed the Playboy Club and saw the Bunnies picketing. They were carrying signs saying “Unfair”, but we still don’t know what it was all about. Micky wanted to borrow someone’s sign and march with them, but was asked not to by one of the policemen there.
After that episode, we went to The Dug-out for dinner. It’s like one of those basement restaurants of the 1920’s. The waiters with garters on their sleeves and the whole bit. Of course, people were always asking for autographs and tons of people were following us through the Village. After dinner we went walking about and stopped at the Head Shop West and looked around there awhile and then we strolled over to the Nite Owl where we met two more of the Raiders, Fang and Smitty. It was a groovy place and we stayed there quite late. After the Nite Owl, we went back to the Hotel to pick up Davy Jones and then Micky, Davy, Harpo, Fang, Smitty, Chip Douglas and I, all went to Ondine’s to watch The Daily Flash. We all dug The Daily Flash and Davy danced with some girls there but Micky was still too tired to dance. We arrived back at the hotel at about 2:00 A.M.
On Sunday, everyone got up late and Micky, Harpo, Chip, and I had lunch in the suite. After Lunch Micky, Harpo and I went to Greenwich Village to the Blown Mind Shop. It’s a button shop and Micky freaked out over an A Bomb poster. He bought that and several buttons, but I can’t remember what they all said. As we were leaving the shop, a “friendly” Villager dumped a bucket of water, cold water, on us from a couple of stories up. Well, it missed everyone else and landed right on top of me. I was furious and just about ready to kill whoever had dumped that water, because I was wearing a suede jacket and the water just soaked it. I tore through one door, because I was so mad I was going to kill him. The second door was locked and I couldn’t get to him. By this time, Micky told me to just forget it and so we continued on. Micky’s cool about things like that.
There were mobs of people following us and all around us. There were at least a couple of hundred kids and the crowd was getting so that we couldn’t even move! In the nicer sections of town there was no mobbing and we had a security guard for Micky, so no one really bothered him there. They just asked for autographs, but the mob in the Village was different. There were just too many of them, so the minute we had a chance, we split—fast and drove back through Times Square on route to the hotel. Micky went picture taking in Central Park after we got back to the suite, and he wasn’t bothered while taking pictures. He shot pictures of cab drivers, people in the street, a guy selling balloons and a girl with a dog. Later he took the girl riding with him around Central Park in a hanson cab (horse cart).
We checked out of the hotel and left for the airport a little after 6:00 P.M. The girl with the dog came to see us off and we sat in the V.I.P. Lounge and had a drink. What was really amazing was all the diplomats and other important people who came up to ask us for autographs. Can you imagine people like that asking you for your autograph? It was really a mind blower.
We boarded the plane at 7:45 P.M., TWA Flight # 700 for London. Aboard the plane, we played cards—a game called Hollywood Gin and Micky beat the heck out of me—He speculates a lot, and I haven’t won a game yet. We played cards in the lounge and that’s where we ate. Micky had Filet Mignon and tried caviar for the first time. He didn’t like it! His reaction was “Yuck”! He also had tomato juice, orange juice, asparagus, peas, potatoes, salad with oil and vinegar dressing and mushroom soup.
The crew found some emergency equipment and Micky put it on. We took pictures of him in the suit and he also did a whole round of monster faces for the camera. He did a fantastic Gila Monster face! He also wanted to re-enact the old Playboy joke with the crew walking down the aisle with life preservers on and their hands in their pocket, whistling as though nothing was happening, but the Captain wasn’t going for it.
I remember one thing that really upset Micky, not because he had to pay—the money didn’t matter—but because the whole thing was so ridiculous. In order to use the earplugs, Micky had to pay the stewardess $2.50, because of some new trans-oceanic law. Can you imagine having to pay money to put plugs in your ears? So he thought it was ridiculous. Another thing he was upset about was that there were no movies on our flight and for eight hours there was nothing to do.
Both Micky and I went to sleep and woke up about 7:30 A.M., London Time. We were circling London Airport hoping that the fog would lift. It didn’t, so we went to Shannon, Ireland, and stayed for an hour and then headed back to London.
At Shannon Airport the only place we could go without having to go through customs was The Duty Free Shop and Micky bought Steve Blauner (a Screen Gems executive) a pipe which he ended up keeping himself and the book “Kennedy”. He also signed about 40 autographs because everyone had to hit him for an autograph, including the customs officials. A lot of people also asked me for an autograph, because I had long hair. I kept telling them that it wasn’t my autograph they wanted and it was there that I decided to get my hair cut.
We arrived at London Airport about 1:30 P.M. and were met by Jack Magraw and Cyril Black of Screen Gems and David Cardwell of R.C.A. There was a huge mob at the airport (some of them had been camping since Friday night), and we couldn’t get out of the airport the first time, so we had to go back inside. One thing that didn’t help at all was that they had the limousine waiting for us right out in front and people were just surrounding it. We got to within 100 yards of it and the girls spotted us. One girl jumped right on top of Micky’s head from a ledge above him and I mean right on top of his head. She had a dead aim. Fortunately the police caught him before he could fall. My camera was bent by some of the mob and some others in the crowd took my cigarettes because they thought they belonged to Micky. To avoid the crowd we ducked through some passages and went around a back way. We finally made it to the limousine and went to the Grosvenor House, a hotel on Park Lane in the West section of London.
Compared to the mobs in America, the mobs in England are deadly. It would take 100 American girls to do the damage that 10 girls in an English mob can do. That’ll give you some idea of just how uncontrollable they are. Davy and Micky call them “Killers” because that’s the only word they can find that would even half way apply to the English mobs.
The British Press was waiting for us at the hotel when we arrived, so, instead of changing from his travel rumpled clothes and freshening up a bit, Micky, who didn’t want to keep the press waiting, went straight to the lobby to meet them. They asked questions and took pictures for a little over an hour and their reaction was basically good, but some of them were really throwing him some loaded questions and I thought that Micky handled them very well, in spite of the fact that he was very tired. Even when Micky’s tired, he clowns around for the press and that Press Conference wasn’t any different. They just took it more seriously. One of them told him that he’d have to dress more neatly if he wanted to go any where nice in London at all. Whoever made that remark had obviously not taken into consideration the fact that Micky had been traveling and didn’t change because he didn’t want to keep the press waiting. When Micky kiddingly said that he was a Hollywood Phony from way back, everyone laughed and thought it was funny. I’m sure they all knew he was joking, but the next morning there it was; the headline on one of daily papers said, “Micky Dolenz Says ‘I’m Just A Hollywood Phony’”. The same story also put down his messy clothes. The thing that gets me about the whole thing is that it was probably the reporter who laughed the loudest at Micky’s kidding around, who made him look so bad in the story.
After the “Press Conference”, we went up to our rooms for more press interviews. Then we washed and showered and slept for a couple of hours. We woke up later and dressed to go out for the evening and then had steaks for dinner. After dinner we found out that Paul McCartney had invited us to his house for the evening. We went over at 9:30 P.M. and Paul greeted us at his front gate.
Two of his friends were there, Dudley Edwards, the up and coming Pop Artist of London and Roy, a friend of his from San Francisco. Paul took us into his music room and showed us around. It has a complete stereo center, numerous albums, and a piano painted by Dudley. That piano is the freakiest think [sic] you’ve ever seen. It’s lavender, gold, blue, orange—everything you could imagine—it’s got millions of colors. Paul played “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” for us and he also played a new track which was really a gas!
The house itself is totally great! It’s four stories and decorated in extremely good taste. It’s basically white and looks exactly like any of us would picture Paul McCartney’s house to be. I found everything in there that I expected to find. Paul, of course, had told us to make ourselves at home and we had bread, butter and jams and we talked on and on about all kinds of things like the Beatles and the Monkees and what the future is going to be in music and lots of other subjects. During our conversation on music, Paul was telling us that there’s a need for change in music, but a slow change. He talked about how you have to be willing to change your approaches and how the public expects and should get something new everytime. While we were talking and listening to tracks, Paul played a few things for us on his left handed sitar.
Along about 2:00 A.M. Brian Epstein called and we went over there in Paul’s Aston Martin DB to watch some films of the Spencer Davis Group and the Cream. About 4:30 that morning, Paul dropped me and Micky off at our hotel. The whole evening was so groovy and informal and Micky thought that Paul was a really outasite guy—just fantastic. Micky didn’t know what to expect when he met Paul, but he found in Paul a very straight, down to earth guy who is very much the genius he is said to be.
Tuesday, we got up early and attempted to walk through Carnaby Street. It was so jammed with people that I couldn’t even lift my hands to take pictures of the whole scene. We waded through Carnaby to “Lord John’s” where Micky bought six suits. The suits aren’t really so different from the ones you can get in America, but they’re a gas. They’re very mod and continental in cut—really great looking. After he bought the suits, Micky went over to the “Pop-In” show where he appeared as a guest and totally surprised the audience. After the show, tons of photographs were taken and it took Micky 20 minutes to sign all the autographs for everyone there.
After “Pop-In,” we headed for the top of “The Tower” for lunch and had roast beef in a wine sauce. The Tower is really weird. It makes a complete 160 degree turn every half hour so you always see a different view every time you look up. After a revolving lunch, we went back to the hotel for another press conference and more pictures. Then on to the BBC to do a show for “24 Hours,” a talk-type show. After a normal “How did the Monkees start” and “How do you like being a Monkee” type interview, we slipped over to the Marquee Club in Soho to meet and watch the Spencer Davis Group play. Micky really enjoyed that because he thinks that Spence is a fantastic guy. The Marquee Club is kind of a Hullabaloo Club for younger teens only much smaller and they play mainly rhythm and blues. In fact, rhythm and blues are very big in England now and that’s just about the only thing you hear when you go to a club in London. After the Marquee Club, we headed over to the “Scotch Of St. James” club. You have to go through an alley and down some stairs to get there. It’s an underground club and Micky really dug it. He’d like to open one in the United States, probably in Hollywood.
On Wednesday morning we got up at 10:30 and went to Regents Park Zoo (Also known as London Zoo) to do some film clips for the BBC. The shots were of Micky drinking tea and looking at the animals and that took about 1 ½ hours. We were mobbed by the kids who came up wanting autographs and Micky signed as many as he could before we split back to the hotel to meet Spencer Davis for lunch. Spence and Micky talked about the comeback that rhythm and blues are making on the music scene.
After lunch, Micky went back to Carnaby Street to buy some shirts and then returned to the hotel. I spent the rest of the day resting and Micky went outside to shoot some pictures of the crowds. There were always a lot of girls around in mini skirts and that was a gas! Of course, there, everyone from 10 to 40 years of age wears a mini skirt. Later we went to the “Scotch Of St. James” and then on to the “Bag Of Nails.” It’s the current “In” club and is Cromwellian in style. Mike and Phyllis were there and so was Paul McCartney. He asked us to join him and that night we didn’t get to bed too early.
Thursday dawned bright and late because we got up late and then we went to Biba’s to get some clothes there. Then back to the hotel for dinner. After dinner it was off to the BBC-TV for a “Top Of The Pops” show. Gene Pitney and Peter Noone, Mike and Phyllis were already there. The Monkees were awarded a silver disc for “I’m A Believer.” There was no real chance for any conversation with anyone at “Pops” aside from the usual “hellos” and “goodbyes” and congratulations. We decided to return to the “Bag Of Nails” again and Sandy Shaw and Samantha Juste joined us there. Bed was late again.
Friday was another late start and so we went directly over to Spencer Davis’ house for lunch with him and his wife, who is a doll. We listened to some of his albums and some LP’s by other English artists for most of the afternoon. Later, Robbie Dale of Radio Caroline, a pirate station, came over and gave Micky an honorary admiralship from Radio Caroline’s Disc Jockeys. Spencer dropped in with his wife after having dinner with Mike and Phyllis, who had both gone over to a Beatle session after dinner.
On Saturday we rented a Triumph Zovo and went to Stratford On Avon with Samantha Juste as our guide. Most of the afternoon we just goofed off and walked around and talked about loads of things and we watched the people fishing in the river.
We got back that night and to bed again. On Sunday we lazed around the hotel all day and did absolutely nothing and it felt great! The Pop Disc Awards were being held at the London Hilton last night and we had been invited, so off we went. While we were there, we had a great time and were really surprised when the MC said that had the Monkees not been so new to the Pop scene, they would have received an award. So many people were there that I’ll only mention a few as it would take up pages and pages of paper. Spencer Davis was there with his wife and so were Cliff Richard, Cat Stevens, Brian Epstein. Bobby Dale—the disc jockey I mentioned earlier, Del Shannon, the actress Adrian—who’s made quite a name for herself in London and should eventually do tops all over, and Samantha Juste, who had now become our permanent guide in England, was with Micky.
I don’t know how we did it, but the next day we really got up early. Micky rushed over to Lord John’s again where he bought some shirts. Then he dashed over to Dudley Edwards and didn’t get back until late afternoon. We rested a little and then Cass Elliot, Spence and Del Shannon came over with a whole group of people and we had another party and late to bed again. About this time I was almost exhausted and at least the press wasn’t bothering us, because Davy had arrived that morning and they were hot on him.
On Tuesday, we got a very, very late start. First Micky and I went to the Carleton Towers to see Samantha Juste in a fashion show and she looked outasite. After the show, we took off for Carnaby Street again and we went crazy buying clothes. We went to Biba’s, Susan Lockes, Dandi’s, Grannie Takes A Trip and then we went back to the hotel. Micky really dug all the clothes at Biba’s and Susan Lockes and practically bought out the stores. He also bought a dress for Samantha. It was the same dress that Sam wore in the fashion show and it looked fantastic on her. Micky bought it for her because she didn’t have it and she had been so nice, spending her time showing us all around.
For dinner, Micky took Sam to a fantastic Italian restaurant and then they went to a discotheque called Samantha’s. It’s an op-pop place with a mechanical go-go girl who changed the records. They also took in the “Scotch” again and had a real blast. Samantha was one of the greatest people I’ve ever met. She went out of her way to do really nice things for us.
On Wednesday, we rode out to the airport and took BEA to Copenhagen where we stayed at the Hotel Palace. They had a press conference for us at a discotheque called The Club 6 and then we had dinner at the hotel. We went on to The Club 6 and and the Hit Club and they weren’t bad places. The next day we had a radio spot with the big Disc Jockey in Denmark, Jorgen Mylius, and then we just goofed off. Oh, yes. We sent some of our laundry out to be cleaned and the next day when we left for Stockholm, we forgot it.
In Stockholm, we stayed at the Apollonia Hotel. We arrived there at 1:00 P.M. It was snowing there and we had a photo session. We slept for a few hours and had a press conference at the hotel at 6:00 P.M. Later we had dinner at the hotel and then went to “The Kalen Club.” Micky was amazed at the beautiful girls there. All of them had long blonde hair and blue eyes. They just kept getting more and more beautiful and Micky kept blowing his mind. He just couldn’t believe it at all. He kept saying “This is impossible, it can’t be true. Look at her and isn’t she groovy!” He just couldn’t believe the girls they had there in Stockholm and I still don’t think he’s over it.
On Friday we went down to an island, Svavelso, about 20 miles north of Stockholm with Peter Goldmann and Bo Billten from the Swedish Broadcasting Corp. to do a film clip. Bo had just recently done a film of the Beatles singing “Strawberry Fields.”
Micky had some bread when we got there and then they filmed him ice skating and skiing on the frozen Baltic Sea. He also went waterskiing behind a motorcycle at about 30 miles an hour on one ski and he was scrunched way down. We broke for lunch and had scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sweet bread, cheese and coke. The ice was about a foot or two thick, but the top two inches had gotten slushy and Micky and I both thought we were going to fall right through because the top two inches were cracking. We’d take a step and go down two inches as we’d hear this crackling sound and it was scary. I didn’t like it and besides, I was freezing out there taking pictures, but Micky was all right because he had on a heavy wolf skin coat and a cap.
We drove back to Stockholm in the afternoon and found that we had to change hotels because of someone else’s prior reservations. We moved to the Anglais which was a much nicer hotel anyway. We slept there awhile and then went down to the lobby where Micky bought some milk chocolates—that real rich kind. Later Micky had a fruit cocktail, an orange juice, coke, filet mignon, rice, French fries and an artichoke for dinner and then we went to bed about 9:00 P.M. Just as I was getting to sleep, Micky called me from his room and told me to turn off my lights and shake my bedspread and watch the sparks from the static electricity. I did and I think that everyone on that floor must have thought we were both insane, yelling back and forth about seeing sparks on our blankets and who was making more sparks.
We flew back to London via Copenhagen on Saturday. In Copenhagen we had a one-hour stopover and so we picked up the, until now forgotten, laundry from our hotel. It was really funny because most of the things we’d left to be cleaned were underwear and can you just imagine how we felt waiting in that airport and holding our underwear on our laps? We finally got on board for London and when we arrived we stayed at a groovy house that overlooks the Thames. No one knew that Micky was coming in and one of the first things he did was head for a paint shop where he picked up paints and everything else you can think of. For the next few days he just stayed in the flat and painted some of the wildest pictures I’ve ever seen.
On Tuesday we went out into the world and took in a Beatle session. During most of the time, the Beatles just talked out different ideas and decided what they were going to do. A few things were put down on the tape, but it was more discussion than anything else.
Wednesday dawned bright and we left for home. The flight back was a polar flight and we saw movies and listened to music and had some really great things to eat. We really missed England the most because we’d had such a fantastic time there. Micky thought that England was totally outasite and would like to go back there again to visit all the new friends we found there. He’s looking forward to his tour there this summer and I’m hoping to accompany him on the tour so that I can let you in on everything that happens.