Micky’s Mother Answers Your Questions
How has Micky’s part in the Monkees changed your life?
It hasn’t. Not really. I mean, not seriously different. You see, it’s so natural for him to be doing these things. So many people have asked me “What happens when you’re driving down the street and over the car radio comes a record that Micky is singing?” This may sound very silly, but nothing happens. I just listen to it. It all seems so very natural, there’s no big deal.
We miss him, that’s true! This is the first time he hasn’t lived at home, and that seems very different. It’s like a hand is missing. And yet, I’m not the type of mother who says “I want my child home with me until I’m 185 years old!”
How do Micky’s younger sisters react to all this?
What’s funny is that when it first all started Debbie never went out of her way to say anything to anybody. Now everybody knows, but Debbie has never gone out of her way to see that everybody knows. On Monday nights at 7:30 he’s in the Monkees, but he’s still Micky. Now, of course, she wants Monkee clothes and things like that, but not because Micky’s on the Monkees, because they also had Batman costumes.
How do Debbie and Gina react when the Monkees come on TV?
Oh, they scream! They have to scream because they’ve heard all the other teenagers screaming. They don’t know what they’re screaming for. Every time a commercial comes on Gina starts crying “It’s over, it’s over!” For them it could go on all night long. At first (she doesn’t do it anymore), Gina would get up and kiss the screen. She’d kiss Micky good-bye, and Davy, because he’s the only other one she’s met, but she loves them all.
You see, Debbie and Davy are going to get married. Davy told her he would wait for her, she’s eight now. When they’re on TV, Micky is in the Monkees, but when Micky comes home, he’s Micky. The Monkees part is forgotten. We all miss Micky, but we’re very happy about everything that’s happening.
Micky was out of show business for quite a while, then he joined the Missing Links—did you have any doubts about that venture?
I had a lot of doubts about the success of the group. I don’t know if Micky knows that, either. First of all, the group wanted him to sing in a style that wasn’t his own. He’s singing with his own voice now instead of trying to force a style. He wasn’t with the Missing Links exactly, they lived in the house with us!! It was a Micky-the-Musician Mission-type thing. The boys were all very nice, they really were.
Was it hard for you to watch the group struggle?
No, because Micky knew what he was getting into. If he had really been starving (I know Micky has a lot of pride, but he also knows that we’re with him all the way), he would have certainly written home, which he did not do. So I know he wasn’t sleeping on a cold, damp park bench at night. It didn’t hurt me, though I thought it was a little unnecessary. But the experience of going out by themselves, Micky going out by himself, seeing at first hand what it’s like, it was good.
What did you think when Micky first told you about the Monkees?
I never knew a great deal about it. I knew he was going to audition for a part, but not much more than that because I was in Northern California and he was in Hollywood. That meant talking long distance or writing (and Micky’s letters are sometimes not too easy to read. He writes faster than he can think). The importance of it didn’t strike me, because there are series and there are series. That it would ever hit as fast or as big as it has really didn’t think along those lines. As far as I was concerned, I knew if it was the best thing for him, he would get it, that’s all.
What were your first impressions of what the Monkees would be like?
Micky called me and told me (I remember that)—The Monkees, the name didn’t strike me at all because I’d listened to the Byrds and the Animals and the Beatles, so the name didn’t affect me at all. I said, “Well, what is the plot?” He said he couldn’t tell me. I said, “Real handy, what do you mean you can’t tell me?” He said, “I just can’t explain it!” I said, “Micky, does it have a story?” And he said, “Would you believe—no?” He explained that it was on the idea of a Marx Brothers thing, the camera angles, and knowing a little bit about it, this made sense to me.
My first impression was that it would either be a completely kooky nothing (real great for two or three-year-olds maybe), but I didn’t really understand it or know what it was about until I saw the pilot. Then I realized they had something very different. I’m not a big TV watcher, but I liked it.