Peter Tork Answers Your Questions

Peter Tork

1. What are your girl friends like?

“I consider my girl friends to be strictly my own concern and, of course, theirs. However, I will say that most are very independent and they enjoy my company and I enjoy theirs. That’s really all I care to say about the subject.”

2. What do you want to do when The Monkees break up?

“I try not to think too much about what happens after the Monkees break up. It’s rather depressing since I don’t know what I want to do. So far, I’ve found my grestest [sic] joy in being a performer and musician. When I’m on stage performing, I get a feeling of fulfillment that I don’t get at any other time. I’m inclined to think that I wouldn’t spend much time on television, unless there was a live audience. That’s what really makes it fun—having the people right there. I like to work with a crowd, to sort of mold the act to suit the type of people in your audience. You don’t get that kind of challenge on a television-set, except an occasional laugh from the crew. They get so used to your antics and they’ve seen you when you’re not quite so clever, so it’s very difficult to get a reaction from them. With a normal audience, however, even when they don’t react, it’s some kind of non-reaction. Maybe they can’t hear you or they can’t understand you or they just don’t like you. So, in conclusion, more or less, I think I’d want to do something for a live audience, but what sort of thing, I don’t know yet. Maybe I never will.”

Peter Tork

3. Are you happy being a Monkee?

“‘Happy’ is a word with many definitions and connotations. It’s also relative. In some ways, I’m always happy. In others, I’ll never be happy. Actually that word is one of the many examples of the inadequacies or faults of the English language. Chinese, for instance, has some tremendous number of words for love, each describing the exact kind of love: mother love, friendship love, physical love, mental love, puppy love, married love, teacher-student love, animal love and on and on. But there’s no one word for love, encompassing all these meanings. Anyway, to get back to the question, sometimes I’m happy being a Monkee and sometimes I’m not. This is my fault. Well, not really fault, but because of the way I am, not because of the show or the other boys or the people we work with. Being a Monkee is not an end, but a means to another end. What end, I don’t know.”

4. What is your home like?

“Comfortable. If I say anything else, five thousand fans will be there within ten minutes of reading about it. Not that I dislike fans. Good Lord, they’re one of the seven or eight wonders of the world. But I’m always sure that this fabled five thousand will arrive when I’m taking a shower and bust down the doors. I’d be very embarrassed. I like to think they would be too. Do fans get embarrassed? I’ve never seen an embarrassed one.”

Peter Tork

5. What do you do in your (non-existant [sic]) spare time?

“Sleep a lot. But mostly I talk. I love to talk, as anyone who has met will confirm. It’s because I love people and I love to learn all about them and tell them all about me and I have to talk to do this. It’s one of my great pleasures in life. I used to go out quite a bit. If we didn’t have to get up too early in the morning, I’d go to the Whisky a Go Go just about every night and dance. Then there was all the trouble on the Strip and the Whisky stopped having rock and roll groups, so I quit going. I play my banjo—I’ve gotten very rusty since the old days. I write a great deal as well. Just about what I think and what happens to me and the people around me. And I think. Just sit and think. There’s so much to think about and so much you have to consider before you make decisions. I started to say judgments, but I don’t believe that you should judge others. You can only judge as far as your personal opinion goes. There’s no other basis on which to judge people, and that’s not a particularly good one. How do you know you’re right? You can say, well it’s only my opinion. But you’re still judging. Do you see what I mean?”

6. How did you meet your friends and what are they like?

“Most of my friends are musicians and singers and their friends from the old days. A lot of them are people I knew in New York and the rest I met when I moved to LA. This is not necessarily because I’m convinced that anyone I meet now will only like me cause I’m a Monkee. It’s that I get along best with musicians cause I’m a musician and I had met most of the musicians and singers out here already and had made friends with them or not as the case might be. I have no prejudices against people outside the music business—there usually is just no common grounds on which to base an acquaintanceship. (However, some of my best friends are non-musicians!).”

Peter Tork

7. Where do you go when you go out?

“As I explained before I used to go the Whisky a Go Go. Now, I rarely go out at all. In most of the other clubs in Hollywood I would be recognized and bombarded with autograph seekers, which means that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the show and the management would be disturbed and I would probably be asked not to come again. If any of my friends are playing at concerts and I’m not busy, I’ll go visit them backstage and watch from behind the curtains. Also I go over to other people’s houses and to parties. I’m basically a social person, so I get out as much as is feasible.”

8. What do you like best about the other Monkees?

“What’s there to like? (Laughter, loud and hearty). I have a great deal of respect for Mike as a musician and a songwriter. He’s very good. He could make it on his own easily. Also he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.

Micky has a practical side that he tries to hide behind his jokes and imitations, but it’s there nevertheless. I’m not practical at all, so I admire this in him. He’s got his business affairs in order at all times and knows just what happens to all his money and things. I never do. I can’t keep track of how much money I have with me at a given time.

Davy has a lot of guts. Internal fortitude if you prefer. I wouldn’t want to be as popular as he is. I mean, I’d like it, but it scares the heck out of me to see the way twenty million girls will rush him at once. What knocks me out is that it’s always me or Mike that’s trampled or ripped. Little Davy (oh, I hope he doesn’t see that) is never harmed, though there will be twice as many after him. I think it has something to do with small people being quick and light on their feet and big people being slow and plodding.”

Magazine: Flip
Publisher: Kahn Communications Corporation
Pages: 22–25