This month’s epic comes to you direct from the Monterey Pop Festival, as I sit in a Ford van, typewriter perched on the engine, and people milling about outside wondering what on earth I’m doing.
As the Festival has not yet actually begun, I’ll pull my shades down over my eyes and try to recall the last few weeks’ events.
The biggest “happening” was, of course, the sell-out Monkee concert at the Hollywood Bowl, where Micky climaxed his James Brown imitation by jumping into the moat which separates the stage from the box seats! Every last one of us were on our feet, but, as The Mick had planned it all ahead of time, there was really no need to worry.
During intermission, I saw Genie the Tailor, tape measure around his neck, thimble on her finger, trying to convince Davy that he’d look great in a sari—“I got the idea, Davy, when I saw that ruby in the middle of your forehead…”
There were actually two fab haps; the other was the night the Whisky opened with rock ’n’ roll groups for six nights. The Byrds and Doors were billed, but, as we went inside, the doorman said, “Oh, the Byrds sent in a note from mother saying that they’re sick. It will be the Buffalo Springfield instead.” We were not exactly heartbroken. Unfortunately the Buff Spri bass player was back in Chicago, so Steve Stills had to play bass the first night, and Bob Mosely of the Moby Grape flew down from San Francisco to play it the next night and both were good, but not in top form (but they’re better than 90% of all the rock groups in any form. )
As for the audience, well, it was old home week, with all the old-time, mod-Western-paisley-freaks in wide screen and technicolor. And then, mid-evening, in came Davy Jones and Dave Clark, which definitely distracted me for a while, especially that ruby in the middle of Davy’s forehead! (Later he told me that he’s moving out of his apartment into a house which he is decorating himself.)
Speaking of the Monks (one of my favorite (pre) occupations), Clancy and I got to visit Peter’s house. As we drove up the winding road that leads to the Tork household, we passed a lone motorcyclist, who pulled over to the side of the road, lifted his helmet and smiled the smile of a Michael Nesmith. And it was. “Hey, when you’re through up there, come and visit us!” We nodded and waved acceptance to the invitation, and continued up the treacherous (if you drive like I do) road.
We finally arrived, were welcomed, and given a tour of the house, which is two story and has a great view of LA and looked more like a fraternity house! Peter had two friends living with him—Joey Richards, an old friend from the Village, who is a groovy songwriter (he co-wrote “For Pete’s Sake”) and (here they come again) Buffalo Springfield Steve Stills, another old Village friend. Like any quartet of songwriter–guitarists, Peter, Stevie, Joey and Clance were soon in the middle of a jam session (with Trace on drinking glass, coffee table and candle). By the time we were through/exhausted, it was too late to do any more visiting, so it was a coupla nights later that the Nesmiths were honored. From the moment we walked in, and little Christian came up to me with a Monkee album in his hands, it was a delight. I mean, I’ve known some groovy people in my day, but…
Well, three Monks down, leaving only Micky, whom we met van to van on a one-lane dirt road in the canyon the other day, he in a red, white and blue VW bus (which is smaller than a Ford van, so he had to back up). In the back of his car were two of the sweetest kitties and in the back of ours was one of the sweetest kitties and after a few minutes of animal-lover talk, we discovered that the three are related—they all have the same father. His are two short-haired black and grays and our Kanga (daughter of Harpo’s own White Cat and soon to be joined by an orange Baby Roo) is white with a black spot on her head. I don’t know if you know it or not, but Micky has a great love for animals and small children—the latter are his favorite kind of fans (“Unless they’re tall, thin, and blonde…”).
Former Action dancer and one-time Flip columnist Mike Williams invited us over to watch the Mama’s and Papa’s on Ed Sullivan on his color TV set (Let me tell you how great John looked someday when you have a few hours) and found Keith there, too! Mike had spent the weekend shooting pictures of him for Keith’s second album cover.
NOTE TO STEVIE: Mebbe. Mebbe not.
NOTE TO PETER: How much will you charge fans for the picks I left at your house?
NOTE TO NEIL: Confusion say: Man with senstive [sic] face should not wear stomping boots with spikes.
NOTE TO SMOKEY AND VIKI: How are the Young bloods?
Good old Columbia records had a grand debut for their latest and greatest group, the Moby Grape, this month—they flew all kinds of magazine and newspaper people and Clance and I to San Francisco and had a great big party at the Avalon (where they played the new Beatle album over the loud speakers and uh, well, blew everyone’s proverbail [sic] minds; that is, everyone who had their heads on to begin with). The Grape are Don Stevenson, Skip Spence (original Jefferson Airplane drummer, now rhythm guitar), Peter Lewis, Bob Mosely and Jerry Miller. They are long-time mucicians [sic], accomplished, professional, mature, fresh and exciting…
All of which I hope I’ll be right like… next month in the issue of FLIP on sale September 7th.