WHEREVER TRACY THOMAS, FLIP’S GROOVY GIRL IN HOLLYWOOD, WENT THIS MONTH—THERE WENT PETER, AS WELL! AS IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH, TRACY JUST LEARNED THAT ONE OF THE MONKEES MIGHT BE MOVING RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO HER!
Well, this seemed to be my month with Peter. Every time I turned around, there he was. (Or was it that every time he turned around, there I was?)
It all began on a quiet Monday evening. After (dutifully and eagerly) watching the Monkees on television (or should I say listening because we don’t have an aerial), Clancy, the former bass player for the Quick Silver Messanger [sic] Service, and I set off for a local folk music club for hoot night (it only costs a dollar and there’s usually at least one new rock and roll band). We were (more or less, depending on who was performing) enjoying ourselves, when this boy came in and sat next to me with some friends. He kept talking very loudly about “People who are so cool that they won’t say hello to their friends,” and things like that. Well, I had to agree with him, but I didn’t agree with him saying it so loudly.
Finally, I got really uptight and turned to tell this guy to cool it… I was greeted with a very famous smile and a suddenly familiar voice saying, “Well it’s about time, Trace. I thought you were going to sit there all night without saying a word to me!” Peter really shouldn’t have said that—I started making up for lost time. He was saved in a few minutes, though, when the announcer announced a special hoot nite treat—Monkee Peter Tork was going to sing and play!
And did he play! Pete started off with “Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” and then sang a bunch of songs by Boyce and Hart that will be on their next couple of albums. His guitar playing was the best that whole evening and his jokes were sometimes faster than the audience (not too fast, though, for those of us who were hanging on every word).
The crowd was full of non-Monkee fans, even anti-Monkee fanatics, but they were all impressed with Peter’s ability and he picked up a lot of points for the group in general.
Other Monkee types in the audience were Davy’s stand-in David Price, now in full mustache-regalia, and Mike’s stand-in, John London, who is in great demand as a bass player and is at that particular club nearly every Monday night, backing up what always turns out to be a good group.
But that was not the last I saw of P. Tork, musician singer extraordinaire. Clancy invited him up to the house. He came and brought his guitar with him and some of the tracks from the then-unreleased new album. The record player was put on full-blast and so were our minds. Even my hipped neighbors, who are notoriously anti-Monkee, came up to find out what the racket was, and stayed to groove with us. “What’s the Monkees?” was the gist of their conversation (and conversion). Clancy and I sat back and smiled the smug smile of someone who knew it was going to happen.
Meanwhile, back on the Monkee set, I talked to Mike, who told me about his outside musical activities.
“Well I’m kinda working with a group called the Lewis and Clark Expedition.”
“Not the very same one I saw at a prominent folk nitery at the Monday night hoot?”
“Yes, the very same,” he replied. “The leader, Boomer, is a very old friend of mine, and I like the kind of music they’re singing—it’s all country-Western, with a touch of blues and spiritual. I’m their spiritual advisor, you might say. And my stand-in John London is their bass player.”
A few days later, I saw Mike talking on the set to a cute little blond (male) with little round John Sebastian glasses and a huge suede coat. “That was Boomer,” Mike informed me. “We were holding a secret conference.”
I noted that since I had seen them, probably a lot of other people had, as well, but…
Micky was still excited about his stand-in, Ric Klein’s, wedding.
“It was a very solemn affair, you know. I had to get all dressed up and not make faces or do anything ridiculous.”
He refused to tell me whether or not he had managed to pull off this monumental feat. “Uh, ask Ric when he gets back,” he said uneasily and quickly changed the subject. “I’m moving soon—probably to Laurel Canyon.”
Suddenly I remembered that both houses on either side of Our House are empty. I had seen a burgundy GTO parked outside one of them the other day and had heard voices inside saying things like, “Oh, it’s very nice” and “I think it will be just fine.”
Could this be true? Could there be a real live Monkee moving in next door to me? Read next month’s column to find out! (You never can tell, maybe he will!)