An exclusive probing interview with the most popular Monkee. Micky Dolenz reveals some secret stuff about his plans for the future, his rough childhood, his ex-romance, “Randy,” marriage, girls he digs, his reaction to sudden wealth and fame, his eyesight problem, his hobbies, what he likes to do, that embarrassing moment, Ringo, and that ring on his left hand! Never-before-told intimacies only for you HULLABALOOS?
Q. What do you think of Davy doing a single?
A. What you really mean is are the Monkees going to break up. Some day they will, but not because of Davy. All good things can’t last forever. We’ll ease off like the Beatles did, but that will be a long time from now. Personally, I don’t blame Davy for trying to pave the way so that he can go it alone when the time comes. I’ve been talking to movie producers. They seem to think I can be a film comic some day.
Q. Do you want to be a movie funny guy?
A. I never really thought about it until I was approached. I think Woody Allen is the greatest, and I don’t know how I could ever be that good.
Q. You have a reputation for not being serious. Why do you always come on so loose?
A. I had it rough as a kid. My dad, who was a great actor, died when I was 15, and mom moved away from Hollywood to escape the memories. I missed show biz, but I tried to go straight—you know, become an architect. But my building began falling down on paper—imagine what would’ve happened if they ever built one. I Was pretty low, and then I fell deeply in love. I suppose I needed something or someone to lean on. Anyway, she broke it up. When I got over the hurt, I promised myself I would never take things seriously again. My bag now is just foolin’ around.
Q. Don’t you have a girl now?
A. My favorite chick now is Randy. She’s super-special. She understands how I feel about getting too serious. We really groove together.
Q. Will you marry her?
A. We’re having too much fun to talk marriage. I still see other girls, and I don’t mind her dating other guys. We don’t pretend to own each other.
Q. What kind of girls do you date?
A. I really dig blondes with long hair—the longer the better. But every girl I take out has to like me for myself, not just because I’m a Monkee.
Q. This is the first time I’ve ever seen you in glasses.
A. I’m as near-sighted as a bat. Can’t see a thing without my glasses. I wear prescription shades when I’m driving. But I can’t very well wear them on the show while I’m rompin’. I’ve tried contacts, but they burn my eyes. So I settle for squinting. Maybe my real future in comedy is to be a real live Mr. Magoo.
Q. When did your eyesight first get bad?
A. When I was about ten years old. I was a “child star” then on the old TV series Circus Boy. One day I said hello to a chimp on the set, and my mom thought I was wigged out. She observed me closely for a month of pure idiocy until she figured out I needed glasses. But the producer wouldn’t let me wear them on the show. Now I’ve been squinting so long that I even squint with my glasses on.
Q. Is it because of your eyesight problem that the focus of your life is so visual?
Q. I’m referring to the fact that your hobby is photography.
A. Oh! Yeah, I’ve got a Pentax with two lenses. I just can’t stop buying equipment—every gadget really grabs me. You can catch me a few times a week just drivin’ down Sunset Strip taking crazy angle shots of lights, things and people. I’m even building a dark room in my garage.
Q. Are you sentimental?
A. If you mean mushy, over-emotional—No! Sentimental people are serious people. I am attached to a few objects like this initial ring—not wedding ring as many people think—that was given to me by a person who … well, it’s my secret. I always wear this medal around my neck. It was given to all us Monkees by Steve Blauner, a veep at Screen Gems. It’s positively ecumenical—St. Christopher on one side and a Jewish star on the other.
Q. What was your most embarrassing moment?
A. Somebody once stole the hub caps off my GTO Pontiac. I looked like a bloody fool driving around with my nuts and bolts showing.
Q. What’s the favorite thing you like to do?
A. I get more kicks when I visit my old home and gang in North Hollywood. My sister Coco and I always have a ball together with the other kids. We just run around goofin’ off and doing crazy things. Once Coco just sat down in the middle of the sidewalk. People thought we were protesting or something. I told them we were protesting against tired feet.
Q. What do you think of Ringo as a drummer?
A. I wish I were as good as him. Ringo is the driving force behind the Beatles. I’m a drum nut, I’ve got three sets of drums—one each at the house, studio, and rehearsal hall. I manage to get in three hours practice a day. My best trick is breaking the foot pedal of my bass drum about twice a week.
Q. Before closing off, tell me your secret. Who gave you the ring?
A. Shut up and drink your coffee.
(Next month Mario Secondari interviews Peter Tork for HULLABALOO.)