By Janett Allison, age 15
I know by now you have already fallen in love with Mickey [sic], Peter, Mike and David on the tube, but believe me, they are all that much greater in person. I was one of the lucky teens who was permitted to go along on the train ride dubbed “The Last Train to Clarksville” to promote The Monkees’ great hit of the same name. It was wildness, sheer wildness, indeed when we teens congregated to board the train. There is always that glunk feeling in your stomach when you wait, anticipating seeing your teen idol in the flesh. The real live Monkees came sailing up in two sports cars. There was a tremor of excitement throughout the rows of girls and some of us dropped the lunches that had been packed for us.
You could tell just on that short train ride that they are an honest-to-gosh-real-life fun group. It’s one thing for a guy to give off a fun wave or two on cue—but these yummies are four guys who are naturally funny.
Sure, the show is patterned after The Beatles slapstick format, but they say even THAT came partly from the Marx Bros. (whoever THEY were), but just as The Beatles added something of their own, The Monkees are adding plenty of their own.
Hate to pick favorites, but if you insist, I guess the one of The Monkees most for me is David. He comes across on the tube, but the swimmingness in those dark eyes is something else again in person. We had our box lunches and refreshments on the train ride and it was David who saved me from spilling mine all over the place. I was that excited.
As a TV series, they kind of wrap up all the things we like in all the great groups, giving us a kind of running story along with the good sounds. Just keep Mickey [sic], Peter, Mike and David (especially David) on the screen the biggest part of the time and The Monkees can’t ever fail.
Early in Monkee history, about the time the train made it’s first trip to Clarksville, the Monks were as amazed with their fans as the fans were with them. One lovely brunette followed Mickey [sic] around all day on a publicity gig. She hardly said a word but somehow communicated that special mesage [sic] that all true Monkee fans have for their idols.
Photographs by Frank Edwards