Can you remember what you thought when Micky first described the series to you?
I thought it was going to be groovy from the start. First of all, I loved “Help” and “Hard Day’s Night” and this was going to be on the same order. I remember the first time he told me about it. It was five in the morning and he had just come up from L.A. and he woke me up and he sat on my bed and told me all about it. He was really excited.
I can remember before the show started, Micky took me to see the Beatles at Dodger Stadium in L.A. and I sat next to Bob Rafelson, the show’s producer. I remember everyone was screaming and I told Bob, “Wait ’til the Monkees play here!” But I’m not sure if I really believed what I said. We thought the show would go like mad or be a complete flop—no in between.
I never dreamed fan mail could come in like it does. Fan mail was a complete shock to me. When the show came out, our whole family tried to look at it objectively and try to forget Micky was there. We still love the show. I would like it even if Micky wasn’t in it, because it’s such a fun show!
When did you first meet the other Monkees?
I met Davy when I was still a senior in high school. It was about five months before the show started on TV. I went out to my pink Volkswagen after school and there was a note saying I should come home right away because Micky was coming up. My mom and I still had a lot of fixing to do to Micky’s room. The note also said he was bringing Davy Jones.
I knew he was one of the other Monkees and a girl I knew said she had seen him in “Oliver” and that he was really cute. So I rushed home and we fixed Micky’s room all up. Then we waited. They were hours late and then I remember Micky opening the door and saying “Hi! Coco.” I was so glad to see him and we were hugging and all and I glanced over and saw Davy standing in the hall. I thought he was cute, quiet and very young looking.
At dinner he ate European style and my mother kept saying he looked like a 12-year-old boy. Of course, we got the full treatment of Micky and Davy’s humor at dinner. For two days they put on a constant show for us. At dinner Micky would say, “Do you want a glass of water?” Davy would say, “No, do I look thirsty?” and Micky would say, “No, I just want to see if your neck leaks.” Later that came out on their first album. They would get up and do these dances together and keep everyone in complete stitches.
How did you meet Peter?
I met Peter on the set when they were filming one of the early shows. This was before the show had been seen on TV. I was just watching the guys do a scene and then Micky brought Peter over and introduced him to me. I thought he was really nice. He was very friendly the first time we met.
They filmed at the ranch the next couple of days and Micky took me along and that’s when I really began talking to Peter and getting to know him. Now when I come down to L.A. Peter sometimes asks me over to his house and we have long talks; it’s really groovy.
When did you first meet Mike?
It was before the Monkees’ thing began. I came down to Los Angeles to sing with Micky at a club. We had been singing together and it was my first professional gig. We were down at the club rehearsing and Mike and Phyllis came down to watch. That’s the first time I met them.
So Micky and I were rehearsing and Mike began to do the whole number on me. Micky and I were sitting on stools singing—I remember one song “Doom to War” that Micky wrote a long time ago. And it was about a guy going off to war.
Mike began teasing us. He would yell out (during that song) “Oh the poor boy, the poor little boy,” and whatever we would sing he would change it around and dramatize it. He made me laugh so hard I was crying.
What’s funny, the night we opened, Mike came (and none of them had too much money then) and he got kicked out because he wouldn’t order a drink! Today they’d probably pay Mike just to come to the club.
How has Micky’s being in the Monkees changed your life?
Well, I feel I always have to be on my guard. When it comes to friends I have to be careful, because of Micky’s position. Now when I start liking a guy, the first thing that enters my mind is “Does he like me or am I just an easy way onto a movie set?” But I’ve never really run into it yet.
I also have to be on guard when I’m out in public. Like once in Los Gatos I wanted to go to Foster Freeze and get a hamburger. I had been working in my room and I looked sloppy and had this headband that Micky made me out of beads. So I went in and there were some high school guys around and I thought, “Wow, I don’t know them, maybe I won’t get teased.”
Then all of a sudden I heard a voice from the back say, “Oh, I hate the Monkees, especially Micky.” And I thought, “Here we go again.” This went on for a little while and I said, “If you don’t like them, that’s cool, not everybody does.”
It’s really fun, though, to hear people talk about the Monkees when they don’t know I’m Micky’s sister. It happened once when I was driving with some people and a friend of my friend didn’t know who I was. A Monkee song came on the radio and this guy said, “They’re going to be the greatest thing since the Beatles.” And we started laughing and he said, “What’s so funny?” And we said, “Nothing.” And he didn’t find out until a week later.
Do you help with Micky’s fan club?
Yes, my girlfriend, Patricia Fitzgerald, and I work really hard on it. We sort all the mail and put it in stacks. Then it goes to my grandmother and she does a lot of the mailing. She separates all the gifts and makes sure that Micky gets to see each one. It’s totally impossible for Micky to answer all the mail, but he reads a lot of it and even answers some of the letters when he’s home. I answer some too, not as Micky, but as me.
Does anyone try to get to Micky through you?
In Los Gatos some of the letters come addressed to me and say, “Dear Coco, Please have Micky write to me, etc.” I know nine times out of ten the kids who write to me just want to know about Micky. I do get letters from kids who want to talk to me and that’s groovy. There are some who come to the house in Los Gatos looking for Micky, but he’s hardly ever here. This one girl comes over to the house all the time and she’s a Micky fan like you wouldn’t believe! I mentioned that I was going to Hollywood to see Micky during the summer and she was at Micky’s door (in Hollywood!) two days ago. So I invited her in (Micky was on tour) and showed her around the house. She was very happy.
Did you help him decorate his new house?
He really hasn’t had much time to concentrate on the house. I just move things around for him because there are so many things still in boxes. I take care of his cars while he’s away and when I’m not there his friend, Tad, does.
Micky is the kind of guy that really likes to do things himself. So I hope he gets some time off when he comes back from tour so he can work on the house. He’s dying to build bridges in the back and a really fantastic tree house in one of the trees outside.
You mentioned a beaded headband. Has Micky made anything else for you?
Micky had on a groovy headband at the Pop Festival. It was made out of rawhide or leather and it goes around the head and then it has about one inch of beads in a little pattern that spells out “b-e-a-d-s.” I told Micky I thought it was outasite, so he gave it to me.
Did you go to the Pop Festival with Micky?
I met him there and, you know, we went through a big change at the Festival; we’re much closer now. I don’t know, but something snapped at the Festival. After the Festival was over, we drove down to San Jose together and he flew to Los Angeles from there.
We did a lot of talking and he said we’d have to start seeing more of each other. Part of the time we didn’t even talk. He was driving and he reached over and grabbed my hand and started squeezing it and I said “Yes!” and he said “Me, too!” Without saying anything, we finally realized that things are different; they’re not the way they used to be. Things are going to get better and better.
We’ve been talking a lot more lately. We don’t do as much running around because when I do see him we just talk. He wants to start singing together again, which is really beautiful!
Can you tell about some of the funny questions you get from Micky’s fans?
Sometimes they ask, “Do you really get along with Micky or is it just publicity?” I tell them it’s all true, because we get along very well. They also ask, “Is Micky as funny off screen as he is on?” And I tell them “Yes, and more so!”
Usually they tell me how lucky I am to have a Monkee for a brother and ask, “What’s it like?” It’s so hard to describe, but it’s really groovy having Micky popular and I enjoy it. When I’m asked for my autograph that’s really fun.