Paris was the first stop on our long list of cities on our summer tour. We went to Paris to film a segment of “The Monkees” TV show and you’ll be seeing it this season. What made Paris very different from almost every other city is that we weren’t recognized at all!
One record is just becoming popular in France and the TV show isn’t on the air yet, although it has been sold since then. I really expected Paris to be like all the other cities, but it was really nice. I spent a fantastic evening walking around Paris with our producer and some other people. We stood on a foot bridge for hours talking, just because it was a foot bridge in the middle of Paris. I was sad we had to work so hard there, because it didn’t give us much time off to dig the city.
There wasn’t too much of a language problem, because I took French for six years in high school and college. Anything I had forgotten came back to me very fast while I was there. We went up and down the Eiffel Tower. We also got exclusive use of an excursion boat and we filmed one of the sequences—a chase scene—on it. We’re planning to score that piece of film, just as if it were a movie and we’re pretty excited about that venture.
I found the streets very funny in France. They’re all different sizes. Some are just barely enough for one car to go down. If there’s a man on the sidewalk, there’s just not enough room for a car, too. It’s really incredible.
People had told me that the food over there was lousy, but I didn’t have any trouble with the food. In Paris it was really great and all the bread was very fresh. It was like it just came out of the oven into your hands no matter what time of day it was. It was really spectacular bread. I wish they could have it here.
After filming in Paris for three days, we went on to London and spent a fantastic week there. There were always lots of fans around the hotel, but we did get a chance to go out and do a little shopping. I bought one very groovy multi-colored shirt that I’ve been wearing a lot on tour.
We had a different way of getting out of the hotel each time we would go to a concert (and there were six concerts)! Once we went in a laundry van, another time we went in a dirty old truck that had the whole back carpeted and seats just for us. In the back of the truck there wasn’t even a panel window to look out, but there was a fantastic effect inside. We were riding along and all of a sudden we noticed there were pictures flashing on the wall. There was a crack in the back door and it acted like a pin hole camera.
The effect was that the scenery was being projected upside down on the front wall of the truck. We sat there in fascination, we even saw colors sometimes, although it didn’t transmit colors too well. It was really spectacular to see this stuff go by inverted—buses, people, everything—really far out!
One thing I really noticed is that everyone in England is very polite. People believe in their jobs in a way they don’t seem to in America. For example, taxi drivers do their job with style, they’re terribly dedicated to their job. In contrast, a New York taxi driver is probably an out of work longshoreman or something like that. In England they believe every job has worth. A Member of Parliament is not anymore important than a ditch digger really.
Also, I found the British girls to be different. In England, being a girl is a reasonable profession. By this I mean just being a girl is worthy of attention. Here in America so many kids aren’t satisfied being themselves. Girls with curly hair want to have theirs straightened and girls with straight hair want to have theirs curled. Nobody is quite what he wants to be. I think people look best when they’re at peace with themselves. Micky has changed his hairstyle again and I think it looks wild. They would cut it and straighten it and finally he said “to heck with it, let it curl any way it wants to.” They did and I think it looks much better. I think it’s the best he’s ever looked, because it’s natural.
It was a gas driving around London. One funny incident happened at the hotel. Fans were always around and screaming “hello” and so on. Well, the Queen’s sister supposedly lived right next door to our hotel and someone told me that Buckingham Palace called to say the fans were disturbing the Queen’s sister. I’m not sure if that really happened or not, but there wasn’t much that could be done.
It was so much fun—I would stand out on the balcony and tell the kids to be quiet. Then I would yell, “I LOVE YOU!” and they’d go nuts! Then I would shut them up and I’d say, “SO DOES DAVY!” They went even more nuts. And I said, “SO DOES MIKE!” and they started to scream. And then I yelled “AND SO DOES HARRY!” and they started to scream and they stopped and everyone was saying “What??” It was hilarious! The whole visit to Europe was so spectacular, I can hardly wait to go back!