Inside his private home…
how he furnished it
and what it means to him!
…told in his own words
When I began looking for my house, I didn’t think in specifics, I don’t think in specifics anymore, because you’re always disappointed when it doesn’t match exactly, I think in general terms. For my house I thought, “Hills and cool green” and that’s what I got.
When I first moved in, the previous tenant’s furniture was still there, but as soon as he found another place and moved his furniture out, I began to furnish it myself.
I hired an interior decorator and I chose my furnishings from suggestions he made. The biggest feature in the living room is two beds that fit into the corner, with orange slip covers so that they double as sofas. The color orange dominates the house, because I like it. Orange is a warm color and it goes well with candles and quiet.
My decorator suggested my coffee table and I liked it immediately. It’s a heavy table that matches the walnut of the television set and the teak of what’s going to be in the dining room table and the shelves. It’s great because it’s so heavy you can stand on it. You can actually get through a crowd of people by walking across the table.
The easy chairs in the living room are sculptured Danish modern. They’re beautiful because they’re sculptured. They’re not just formed and buzzed and sawed and manufactured. It’s very tasty. The Danish people are very quiet in their taste, but they do quality work and as a result, their pieces are comfortable and practical.
There’s a fireplace against one wall and sometimes I have a fire, but you have to use artificial logs, because using real logs involves hauling it in from out of the city or else a lot of expense. They have a few advantages, too, they burn more smoothly.
As you walk in the front door of my house, directly across the room there are floor-to-ceiling glass windows that look out onto a small balcony and the green hills. At night you can look out on the lights of the little valley. It makes it very pleasant during the day with the sunlight streaming in.
There are a couple of wall lamps, but the socket on one is burned out and the other lamp fell down off the wall, so all the light is by candle. There is no lighting except by candle and I even read by it. I enjoy the colors candles throw off.
Across from the sofa is my color television set. I sometimes turn the dials around and it makes it fun—seeing green people, purple people and red people. When the Monkees come on, I get the color as good as I can and leave it because I’m interested in the show and what’s happening on the screen with an eye toward making my own performance better. I laugh all the time, I think it’s a very funny show. Often I’ll be in my dressing room playing my organ or doing an interview and I won’t see the scene they’re shooting until I watch the show on Monday night, so it’s new and fresh for me.
Covering the wall behind the sofa is a series of calendar posters by a fellow named Wallace. They’re called, “13 ways of looking at a Blackbird.” Each one has verse, free verse, like one says, “On two snow-filled mountains, nothing moved but the eye of a Blackbird.” They were a gift and I enjoy reading over them often.
There’s nothing happening downstairs—just two bedrooms and a bathroom; and neither of the bedrooms is decorated. There’s a bed in one and a whole mess of junk in the other—remnants, personal effects of persons who have lived there or visited and have left them while they travel.
I plan to add shelves to the living room for books and hi fi equipment, and maybe a piano in there somewhere and maybe a this or a that. Someday I’d like to add a whole tape system with many speakers so you hear full stereo no matter where you are in the house.
I’ll always keep candles in the house because I prefer them to light bulbs. I prefer the color and the intensity. I like lights to be down and colorful.
Other bits of information about the house—is the kitchen is orange with paper flowers on the walls. There is another poster, a present from Steve Stills, showing a man and a woman hugging on a deserted beach with the word “Love” at the bottom. Then David Jones printed the word “Love” on my wall with his stamps.
But I don’t want to write too much about my house, because it doesn’t say much about me. It doesn’t pay to dwell on it… just dwell in it.