OUTASITE WORLD-WIDE FLIP EXCLUSIVE! DAVY’S MOST PERSONAL THOUGHTS
PART 1 OF HIS RAVING, REVEALING INTERVIEW WITH KEITH ALTHAM, HIS CLOSE FRIEND AND FLIP’S LONDON EDITOR…
In the suite of the Grosevenor House hotel in London, Davy was reading some of his huge sack of fan mail aloud to me.
“I think you are cute and little and I would like to look after you,” Davy read from a card and looked up at English publicist Marion Rainford. “Would you mind mailing this young lady a bomb in the post first thing in the morning?” he requested, kiddingly.
Davy is constantly coming up against remarks referring to his size but always treats them with good humor and one of his favorite remarks is “If I only were a foot taller I’d show them!”
As a little kid, Davy recalled that he used to take his baths in the sink at home in Manchester while his Dad scrubbed his back and sang nursery rhymes to him. At school he was picked on for his lack of inches and so set out to prove himself as good as some of the bigger boys—he became captain of the under-13 football team at school. Davy is a classic case of a little man who faces up to the fact that being small has no disadvantages (if you admit the fact to yourself).
“I like tall girls so I can look up to them,” he cracked at one point in our chat, and at another when Cassius Clay was mentioned, he said: “If I were a foot taller I’d kick him to pieces,” he exclaimed leaping to his feet and shadow boxing about the room!
Energy is something that Davy seems to have an unlimited amount of although when I saw him after an exhausting flight from Nassau at the end of a day when he had completed some 9 interviews for the BBC, newspapers and TV he was beginning to slow up.
“People have no idea just how hard we work,” said Davy. “All of us are on doctor’s shots to get through the strenuous shooting schedule on the Monkees TV shows.
“The doctors told me that Yoghurt was good for you and it replaces lost energy. So now I have yoghurt for breakfast, yoghurt for lunch and yoghurt for tea—and I HATE YOGHURT!” he screamed.
Humor is something very important in Davy’s life—it helps him keep things in perspective when life gets up tight. He informed me that the American comedian Bill Cosby is one of his particular favorites and Peter Sellers is another. His own specialty is the gentle send-up—a kind of good humored swipe at success.
Outside the hotel window were two or three hundred fans who had apparently gathered for the express purpose of chanting “We Love Davy!” He jumped up from the couch where he was seated and began addressing the crowd as if they were a union meeting. They were of course too far away to hear what he actually said:
“I suppose you’re all wondering why I’ve called you here today,” began Davy in his heavy Lancashire dialect, “Well it’s come to my notice that there is a lot of second hand rubbish in the streets.”
Screams rise up from the street below!
“Now this has got to stop—tomorrow I want to see first class rubbish.”
“We love you Davy!”
“And another thing—I’ve noticed several of you haven’t been coming to the Saturday night singalong.”
“Tomorrow I want you all there.”
This parting remark accompanied by a wave caused several hundred young ladies to attempt an assault upon the hotel lobby where the commissionaire was having a minor heart attack.
“That’s nice,” said Davy, “The doorman’s waving too!” And the doorman was—in no uncertain manner!
Davy admits unashamedly that he loves success.
“I’ve only been in the business ten minutes and it’s all new to me,” he said, “But I love all the screaming and attention. Maybe after I’ve been around for two or three years it will bore me but at present it’s great to find that as an actor the fans have decided I’m a rock and roll idol!
“We’ve had some pretty close shaves with the youngsters. I think the most frightening was in Memphis when we were coming out the back entrance of a hotel and about 100 girls spotted us.
We had three bodyguards with us—well they just trampled clean over them man and we turned and ran. We ran down into a subway and turned a corner where there were about 2000 fans on their way to our concert. They saw us and we ran out racing, along the main-road with them screaming in pursuit.
“I was the first to realize they were chasing us towards the stadium where we were to appear—and there were another few thousand outside who couldn’t get tickets. We were rescued in the most dramatic way when two police cars pulled up alongside us—we’re running between them—They opened the car doors and pulled us inside just in time!”
During the Monkees visit to England they were replaced at one time in the charts at number one by Pet Clark’s “This is my Song.”—How did Davy feel about Pet Clark?
“Groovy,” grinned Davy—“G-R-O-O-V-Y—if I could be anywhere at this moment I’d like to be right between Barbara Streisand and Pet Clark. Anything Pet Clark does is OK with me—she can replace me any time!”
At this point a phone rang and Davy took the call.
“Hello—is that you Jim? Great to hear from you, Jim. What are you doing, Jim? Going out tonight, Jim? Fantastic—write when you get work!”
He came back and sat down on the cough—“That was Fred,” he explained dead-pan and as Marion Rainford got up to leave the room—“Don’t you ever leave the room when I’m telling joke!” he snarled.
For a moment Marion thought he was serious and then he cracked and burst out laughing—another of his send-ups with a gentle put down.
How does Davy feel about being in that exalted position now where firms all want to gift him with their products in order to collect free advertising?
“Honda gave me a motor-bike,” said Davy, “I spent nearly a 1000 dollars on improvements and they wanted it back—which is cool with me because Triumph wants to give me one anyway.
“You get a lot of the restaurants who want photographs taken of you in their places to put on the wall—then they say you can eat free. In cases like that I prefer to pay my way—I always have done.”
While I was present one of the BBC technicians who were clearing away equipment from a previous interview admired Davy’s cuff-links.
“You like ’em,” said Davy, “Hold on a minute,” and he shot away to the bedroom and returned with another pair, “I got about 10,000 pairs back in the U.S.” said Davy, “The fans send them in and I can’t wear them all.”
We had another brief interval while Davy slit open some more mail with his hand.
“See that hand,” said Davy waving it about with karate-like chops, “It used to be lethal—now I just use it as a letter opener.”
Just for the record, Davy’s best friend Stephen Pearl who accompanied Davy on his trip was something of a karate expert and had taught the mini-Monkee a few useful moves. I noted Davy fooling about, once smashed his elbow into the door without any apparent pain and I have it on good authority he has a head like a bullet—loaded, of course!
Enter a waiter who addressed Davy, “Good Evening sir,” and placed some coffee on the table before us.
Davy quietly took the waiter to one side and inquired.
“Waiter, what’s your name.”
“Joseph,” replied the waiter.
“Mine is Davy,” said the Jones-boy, “Would you please call me by that name if you come up again—I hate all this “sir” bit.”
Exit a puzzled but pleasantly surprised waiter.
Davy gets his biggest kicks in these days of fame by helping those he was not in a position to help before. Being able to assist his family and particularly his father and sister give him satisfaction.
“I took the younger married members of the Monkees TV team up to San Francisco to see one of our concerts—all expenses paid,” said Davy. “There’s nothing particularly noble about that—it gives me pleasure to give pleasure to others.”
These incidents and topics covered about my first hour with Davy one evening at his hotel. Later he talked more seriously to me about his real views on the Beatles and some of the stupid attacks upon the Monkees by pop personalities in England. We also talked about his very early days and how his success as a childactor has prepared him for the Monkee-business.
We also talked about those things which he is forbidden to talk of—next month in FLIP.