Another Monkee Exclusive
Bruce and the brand new Pontiac Firebird that Monkee Mike Nesmith gave him for his birthday. It was completely a surprise-type thingy. Mike (who is married to Bruce’s sister Phyllis) took Bruce along when he went car-shopping, bought this beauty and then handed Bruce the keys, who about… well, never mind that. Sorry about the blurry pic. It’s another JM specialty. (Perhaps I should have taken up plumbing.)
When JM asked me to get to the bottom of the Davy Jones Draft Dilemma, it sounded like a pretty tall order, but it turned out to be just the opposite because the only “Dilemma” to be found was a lot of rumors and unnecessary worry.
Unfounded as they were, the rumors really set off sparks. There was a “demonstration” by Davy fans in England that hit the papers all over the world, there were letters to President Johnson, and there was much concern on the part of Monkee fans all over the world.
Well, all of you can relax. Davy has not been drafted. He hasn’t even been called up for a pre-induction physical. All he has done is receive his classification. This makes him eligible for the draft, but why panic about that? Thousands of other guys (would you believe millions?) are just as eligible.
The whole big “Dilemma” seems a little ridiculous when you realize that it all started just because Davy could be drafted. So could a lot of other stars, and here’s hoping the panic-button-pushers don’t try making a big deal out of this, too.
You might be wondering how and why Davy could be drafted while he’s still a British subject.
Many people don’t know that when a citizen of any other country takes up residence in the United States, they must agree to make themselves available for military service. The military service isn’t a compulsory thing—what you agree to do is take the same chance of getting drafted as an American citizen does.
After six months in the U.S., all draft-age non-citizens have to report to their local selective service board and receive their draft classification. This is the same thing every male citizen does at the age of eighteen.
There are a lot of pros and cons about whether a non-citizen should be drafted. Some say why should he because it isn’t his country and its problems aren’t his problems. On the other hand, some feel that if a person lives here, he should abide by the same rules we do—all of them. How you feel about the subject is up to you.
Davy received a 1-A classification, the highest rating you can get, meaning you’re in A-1 shape for military service. But many, many such classifications are made every day, and not everyone who receives one is called. Not nearly everyone.
Will Davy Jones be drafted? That’s like asking if John Smith or Joe Doe will be drafted. Because they have just as much chance of being drafted as he does.
The best thing to do is not to worry. Sure, Davy appreciates your concern, but he doesn’t want his fans shook up, especially when there’s nothing to be shook up about!—BB
Bruce purposely kept his Monkee report short this month so I could tell you just how much Davy appreciates your concern.
After Bruce had, at my request, gotten the above info from Davy, I had an unusual and unusually nice phone call.
I have to tell you how it happened, although I shouldn’t take up the space with my ravings. It was during the evening on a week night. I was home, listening to records with several friends, when the phone rang. (Oddly enough, this usually precedes a phone call, unusual or otherwise.) (Oh brother.)
To put it mildly, I hate phones. After talking on them all day, I’m inclined to let the one at home ring off the blasted wall before I’ll answer it. When it became apparent that I wasn’t going to answer it this time, one of my friends did, in his usual friendly (grrrr) manner. He then said “Who’s this?” in an equally friendly manner.
“David Jones?” he added, still in that one tone of voice.
That’s when I kicked him. Grabbing the phone, I headed for the tall timber (otherwise known as the privacy of my own broom closet).
As you may have guessed (ho), it was Davy. He’d called just to make sure that we had all the facts so we wouldn’t further stir up his already falsely-alarmed fans.
“There’s no reason to make a big deal of it,” he said, and rightly so. “I’m only eligible for the draft, and who isn’t?”
I don’t know if I succeeded, but I tried to sort of apologize to Davy for the fact that anyone had even tried to make a big deal of it. I get a bit tongue-tied or self conscious or something around English stars because I know they’re pretty shocked by some of our press tactics in America. Meaning the way some magazines make mountains out of molehills and some newspapers print slanted, opinionated stories under the guise of straight news.
I also told him we wouldn’t even be printing about the big “dilemma that never was” if so much hadn’t been printed already and if so many Monkee fans weren’t up in the air, not knowing who to believe. All we intend to do, I promised him, is tell the readers of TS there’s nothing to be upset about and never was.
When the conversation turned to other topics, Davy mentioned the Monkees forthcoming (at that time) concert at the Hollywood Bowl. He was excited about it, and with good reason. Good reason you’ll be reading about in the next issue of TS.
Before he rang off, we got back onto the subject of the draft again, and I said: “You don’t have a thing to worry about until you open a letter that begins GREETINGS…”
Davy half choked and half laughed. “Is that how it starts?”
“I’m afraid so.”
“That I’ve got to see,” he said.
And all I can say is that I hope he doesn’t see it for a long, long time.—JM