Marion Rainford is slim, blonde and pretty. And she has the sort of job that millions would love to have. For she works in a publicity company which includes among its clients… THE MONKEES! When any of the boys come to Britain, the company handle much of the organisation. And Marion, lucky Marion, is the one closest of all to Micky and Mike, Davy and Peter.
No wonder so many of Marion’s friends don’t regard it as a job at all. More like a paid holiday, they say. But really it’s a tough job, one which never quite ends, for now that the Monkees are the tops everybody wants to meet them. Marion’s job is to make it all work out for the best. See her setting up interviews and pictures for a Monkee. Watch her answering the phone about twice a minute. Note how she has to stay cool in a crisis. The bigger the star, the bigger the panic. And, as we all know, the Monkees are THE biggest!
Marion knows many other stars. It’s part of her job. But she has a special soft spot for the fantastic foursome. She knows them well. So tune in for a while as Marion talks of her views of the boys. Everything from now on is just as Marion tells it….
“Micky is great. He’s wonderfully attentive to females. When I was first introduced to him, he had this terrific startling effect on me. You think that you’re the only girl in the world. He looks deep into your eyes. It’s like there is nobody else in the room. Mmmm….
“When he first came to London, the plane was late. He should have met the Press at about mid-day but they were all still waiting an hour and a half later. But he insisted on rushing straight in to see them, even though he didn’t have time to comb his hair—it was all standing on end because of the rush. He just came in and sat down and went straight into the questions. I felt a wee bit sorry for him because, in a sense, he was paving the way for the Monkees. All those awful things that were said against the boys….
“Micky had to bear the brunt of all the questioning. ‘Can you really sing; can you really play?’… Micky answered the same things over and over again yet kept a very even temper.
“Then he went s upstairs to his apartment and went through another two hours of individual interviews. Remember he’d just flown the Atlantic for the first time. He was hungry and thirsty. When I left him for a while, hours later, he still hadn’t combed his hair.
“He went out to Carnaby Street, and came back armed with suits and sweaters. I don’t know where he gets all his energy. He was carrying on yet another interview while he was trying on new clothes.
“And all the time could tell how proud he was of the Monkees’ success—and how hurt at the criticisms. He bought a cape, incidentally, which he now uses in his stage act when he does his James Brown bit on stage. He most anxiously wanted to meet Spencer Davis, and hear him play. I managed to get in touch with Spen’s manager… and Micky was knocked out when I told him how keen Spencer was to meet the Monkees. We got them together eventually at the Marquee.
“Micky also met Paul McCartney—they got on well together. Actually I think Micky was a bit nervous about meeting the Beatles. He thought they were so great.
“Next day they had to be up early, Micky and his friend Rick. We were going to the Zoo for pictures. They were still in bed and nobody answered the door-bell. Eventually I had to go back to the reception desk and get them to phone through….
“All they had for breakfast then was a Coke for Rick and a tumblerful of pure orange juice for Micky.
Most of all I knew that Micky was astonished at the lack of information some of the British press had about the Monkees.
“Oh, with all the Monkees we had so many calls coming through to the hotel. I vetted a lot of them. The fans got to know my name, so often they’d ask for me, then ask if I could get them to meet, say Micky or Davy. Just to get through all the business work, I had to put some of them off. But Micky was always delighted to meet the fans. He told me: ‘They stand out there, just waiting. Least thing I can do is shake them by the hand and talk to them’. Some fans got into the hotel suite—they were always made welcome. Sometimes it’s hard to understand, from the fan’s point of view, but you have to make rules where big stars like the Monkees are concerned.
To be continued next month.