By Frazer ‘Jamie’ Hines
who went to the same acting school as the famous Monkee
You’ll know Frazer Hines, one of Britain’s most fastrising actors, better as “Jamie” of the long-running “Dr. Who” series on television. He has a massive fan-club of his own—and he’s soon making his first record. He’s 22, dark-haired, hazel-eyed and just around 5ft. 8in. tall.
He comes from a theatrical family—mum and dad were both actors. He’s been singing and dancing since he was three and went to the famed Corona school in London. Apart from “Dr. Who”, he’s been on television countless times in plays and Sunday afternoon series… notably “Silver Sword”.
Okay, you’re asking, so what has Frazer got to do with the Monkees. Well, just this. He’s an old mate of Davy Jones! They spent a lot of time together in Manchester some six years ago, when both were looking for the big break-through in show business. Davy was appearing in “Coronation Street”; Frazer in a “Play Of The Month” production. They met while shoving sixpences into a coffee-machine in a TV studio corridor. They got on well immediately. As friends, they went around together. That’s what Frazer Hines has to do with the Monkees.
Care to hear his memories of Davy? Sure you would. So here goes, in Frazer’s own lingo.
“Funny thing is that Davy recognised ME first of all, from the TV plays I’d been doing. He was more or less a beginner and he kept on at me about what sort of life it was being an actor. We got chatting. Now Davy was a really little fellow. I’ve got a brother who is a bookie and I’ve always been interested in horses and I always ask a little chap how much he weighs and when he tells me five stone or something I always say: ‘You ought to be a jockey.’
“So I did this bit with Davy and he told me straight out that he USED to be a jockey but that he’d been persuaded to try the acting lark. Anyway, this knocked me out so I suggested we went into the canteen and had a cup of coffee and talked about horses and racing. Soon as he said he was keen on horses, and had worked in stables, I hoped to get some inside tips from him.
“I didn’t get any hot information in the beginning but we did start watching racing on television together. We’d check the horses walking by the paddock. And I’d say: ‘How about the favourite—worth backing!’ And Davy would say something like: ‘No, look at number six. That’s got great legs and haunches. Fact that it’s just finished raining will help it.’ And sure enough that would be the horse to win. He knew everything about the subject…
“It’s always been my ambition to own a horse of my own—a horse for me to ride and one which could go racing. So Davy and I went off to some stables near Manchester to hire some nags for ourselves. Well, we both rode with very short stirrups, leaning forward and trying to make the horses really go. It caused a lot of trouble.
“One of the owners of the stables had a go at us. She said we weren’t jockeys and we weren’t riding racehorses. Had a real go at Davy—she said: ‘Mr. Jones, you may be the height of a jockey, but you are not one.’ We got to hate these stables so we moved on somewhere else. We liked to pretend we were great jockeys and couldn’t see any harm in it.
“Actually Davy and I were always taking about our future in show business. We went to see several films—usually a Western and we said to each other that if we ever made the grade we’d make our own cowboy film. It wasn’t that we could see ourselves as Gary Coopers or anything—just that we wanted to be in films where horses had important parts.
“Davy was a great character in those days—and he still is. He loved chatting up people, and not only the girls. I mean, we were talking like old chums after only a few minutes.
“One thing I specially remember was the two of us being chucked out of a public-house in Manchester.
“No, this wasn’t as bad as it might seem. But I’d been in the pub before to have a light ale and the blokes more or less knew me. So when they refused to serve us, I said: ‘Come on, I’m eighteen.’ They said: ‘Yeah, but your kid brother certainly isn’t.’ If I’d wanted, I could have parked him outside the door and taken him out a packet of crisps and a lemonade, but Davy wasn’t having any of that—and I don’t blame him! So we argued a bit and eventually they ordered us out.
“Davy was always asking me about the acting life. He kept on telling me that somebody had told him that the best way to learn lines was to relax in a warm-water bath and just let them sort of work their way into his brain… holding the script up above the water. I’d never heard of that—I told him that he’d probably just end up with a blue-with-cold body and no memory at all. I told him that I just read them over as we worked out the different scenes on stage and remembered them that way—and he was very glad of the advice.
“He was always pleased when anybody helped him. And he asked me if I had a fan-club. Well, I wasn’t all that known—and it’s funny how things have worked out since. But I didn’t have one though we both agreed that if ever we did make the grade we’d always put the fans first.
Frazer tells you more about Davy next month