In this exclusive MONKEES BOOK interview Wembley concert girl LULU talks about her off-duty moments with the group during their recent London visit.
I must say I liked all THE MONKEES even before I met them. My favourite record was ‘A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You’. I have always accepted The Monkees for what they are doing and if they are a bit like early Beatles who cares because I’m sure The Beatles don’t mind.
“It’s difficult to say which of The Monkees I liked best but the one who comes over as the sweetest—I think it’s his face more than anything—is Davy. But I thought I might be disappointed when I actually met him. It’s happened to me so often before—I’ve had a big favourite and then found out how wrong I was. I thought how terrible it would be if Davy turned out to be horrible and big-headed. Then I’d hate myself and I didn’t want to be hurt. I had this preconceived idea so I didn’t go out of my way to talk to him. I go all out to be nice and friendly to people but it’s so easy to have your illusions shattered. So I waited until Davy came to me and I was so knocked out! When I got to know him he was even nicer, even more charming, than his TV image.
“On the day of the first show we went to Wembly [sic] for rehearsals. Peter was the first Monkee I met. He came over and said ‘Hi! I’m Peter Tork’ which I thought was great but unnecessary! He said he’d seen me on the Johnny Carson Show, a TV programme in the States, and he thought I was very good. That was a lovely introduction. Next I met Micky who hadn’t seen me on the Carson show but he said ‘OOh? Were you on that programme?’ and we got talking. That evening just before the actual concert all four Monkees were searching for the right dressing rooms and they all sort of toddled into my room. It was all very hectic so I didn’t get into more than small-talk with them until the following day.
“On Saturday afternoon Peter got chatting about Donovan. We both agreed Don was terrific and Peter really digs him and wanted to set up a meeting. It never happened because Donovan lives in a little cottage in the country and nobody can ever get in touch with him.
“Peter said he hadn’t seen much of London. He described his whole life as being like a long series of passages. A passage through to a car, one leading out of the car again, more passages to a hotel room, to a dressing room or to a stage. All closed in and no chance to break out. But he DID and I’ll tell you about that in a minute.
“On Sunday I got around to meeting Davy. That was a particularly nice incident. He came round to my room and was very sweet and asked if I’d mind signing some autographs. He said he knew I was busy and everything. I said I’d love to and he said he got embarrassed asking! Anyway he put his arm round me and said: ‘Listen, I know you must be tired out but would you do me a great favour? Would you come and meet my sisters.” His two sisters had come to see the show. I said ‘Yeah, sure’ and he added ‘They’re dying to meet you.’ I was so thrilled.
“That night after the late show I went to the Speakeasy Club with some friends and George Harrison came over. The Monkees had said they wanted to get together with The Beatles so I told George and he said it sounded fine. As George left the club Mike Nesmith arrived. This was the first time I had talked with Mike for any length because it’s all a bit formal when you’re working and getting dressed and jumping on stage and all that.
“‘We’re all going to meet up’ said Mike ‘I’ve just seen George and The Beatles are coming to the party tomorrow night’.
“Then Mike said he’d watched my part of the show that day and he said I’d got a lot of soul. You know the way Mike talks. ‘Man, you’ve got a lot of blue-eyed soul there’ he said. He said he’d worked with folk-blues people who took stuff to make their voices sound like mine. He couldn’t get over the husky thing I have in my throat and he kept asking how I got it that way!
“‘When you come to America you must come and visit us all, see our homes’ he said later. I thought that was terrific of him.
“The Speakeasy was really buzzing that night. Just as our party was leaving Peter turned up. He said he’d phone me next day.
“Well, he DID phone me—at seven in the morning! I was out for the count, dead, at that hour. So he phoned back at noon and I arranged to take him and Micky down King’s Road, Chelsea, to see the antique market and all the boutiques. Peter said he’d get some money, organise a car and call for me. Anyway he came round to pick me up in the afternoon and we went back to Kensington to call at the Royal Garden Hotel and pick up Micky and Samantha Juste. The trouble we had getting out of the hotel was unbelievable—there were hundreds of fans everywhere.
“By the time we reached King’s Road the shops were beginning to shut. But Micky and Peter saw all sorts of things they wanted to take home with them. Then Micky found a quiet place where we all went for an Indian curry. It was so funny because Micky was the only one who was really used to eating curries. Everyone was getting so hot and croaky voices were saying ‘Water! Quick! I can’t breathe!’
“I don’t know how they got to know two Monkees were there, but scores of fans had gathered in the street by the time we were leaving the restaurant. It was a surprise because the place had been deserted when we arrived. We managed to reach the car—along another of Peter’s passages! and we drove back to my flat so that the boys could phone the hotel. They had to call in to tell people to get ready—they were on their way!
“But Monday night was the highlight of the whole thing. There was a big farewell party for The Monkees. The little restaurant at the Speakeasy Club had been taken over for the occasion. It was a fantastic scene. In this tiny room just about everybody of importance on the pop scene had crowded together. Beatles, Monkees, Cream, Procol Harum, Dusty. You name ’em—they were there! Down one side of the room was this long table—or several short ones put together, actually---which Beatles and Monkees had commandeered between them. Peter was sitting beside George. They called me over right away. George sat on the floor to let me in. All night long we were singing and joking. George made up this crazy, mad song about Harry somebody. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a party so much.
“That was the last I saw of The Monkees—but not the last I heard of them. A couple of days later they flew to New York for a Press Conference before starting their summer tour. I spoke to Micky and Peter on the phone. They repeated how much they’d enjoyed the Wembley shows, the Speakeasy party and everything. Peter said they hoped they’d be able to come back very soon. I hope so too don’t you.”
[Scans by This Lovin’ Time]