Christmas is supposed to be the most joyous day in the year, but last Christmas was just a blur for me—a day I barely remember, I was so caught up in a fog of impatience and anticipation. I remember the day after Christmas, though; in fact, I’ll never forget it! Because on December 26th, the Monkees arrived in Denver!
They arrived at the airport in a private plane at precisely 12:37 p.m. It was supposed to be a deep secret, and it was to most people—but not to me, because I’m President of the Monkees Fan Club in Denver. At 12:45 P.M., the boys crowded into a public telephone booth at the airport and were introduced to Denver’s teeners via KIMN Radio—and then they were whisked off to the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Rooms 1003 and 1004.
The name of the hotel—and of course the rooms—in which Davy, Peter, Micky and Mike were staying were also a secret to all but the “favored few,” and for the better part of the afternoon, the Monkees holed up in their quarters, stepping out for a few hours to rehearse for their appearance at the Denver Auditorium Arena that evening.
As the Monkees’ “official lookout,” stationed in the hotel lobby, I kept my eyes wide open and faithfully recorded the following activity:
1. Davy, Peter and Mike left their rooms and came downstairs only for dinner.
2. Micky, on the other hand, came and went five or six different times (he’s quite a rover, is Micky).
3. An assortment of girls schemed outside the hotel for a way to slip past the guards and make it to the tenth floor, where the Monkees were quartered. (In case you’re wondering, none succeeded.)
That the girls knew where the Monkees were staying in spite of the fact that we who knew the secret had been sworn to keep it can be laid squarely to none other than our beloved rover boy, Micky Dolenz. First, he gave the secret away in a public announcement at the Arena that afternoon and later he told everyone who asked him while he strolled around downtown Denver. Actually, the Monkees wanted their fans to know where they were, being the kind and considerate performers they are; it was the people around them who insisted on secrecy because they felt they should “protect the Monkees.
At about 7 p.m. that evening the boys invited me to join them upstairs, and for nearly an hour we just talked or played their private game, “Bang, Bang.”
Later that night they overwhelmed 8,000 Monkeeluvvers at the Arena with not only a group performance but individual performances. Peter did a banjo solo, Mike did a harmonica solo, Davy gave an interpretation of Gonna Build A Mountain and Micky launched himself into his own version of I Got A Woman which included some never-before-seen dance steps and a few athletic stunts most acrobats would be unwilling to try!
Finally, the show over, Davy, Micky, Peter and Mike stole through the darkness—and a lightly falling snow—to their waiting plane, and disappeared into the night sky, the lights on their plane twinkling like the bulbs on a Christmas tree. For the day they spent in Denver was Christmas to me—and to every other teener who saw and heard them.