Coco Dolenz, in every way, is Today. She can look shy in a colorful mini-dress or striking in her favorite Indianish cape complete with love beads. Coco has so many friends that some of them give her beads they have made as a token of their friendship. She pays them back by being one of the warmest friends anyone could have. The Monkees think Coco is outasite and so do we!
Everyone always asks me, “What is it like, to be a Monkee’s sister?” I really don’t know what to tell them, for being Micky’s sister is all I’ve ever been and that’s good enough for me.
Sure, the excitement of the whole thing is fun, but my job working with Micky’s fan club is just like any other job. The only difference is that it’s harder than most jobs because an eight hour day in show business is just not heard of!
Having Micky on television is not new to me or my family. I am old enough to remember “Circus Boy” days. Sure, he was a celebrity then, very popular, etc…. but those days and these days are quite different. He could go where he pleased, then, do what he wanted to do and all he would encounter was a little group here and there asking for his autograph or picture. The favorite question then was, “Hey, Corky, where’s Bimbo?” Bimbo was his pet elephant on the show.
I’ve grown up with having my family on television and I’m used to it. However, the days of “Circus Boy” compared to the days of the “Monkees” are widely different. Our family was “normal” for quite a few years. Then… all of a sudden… my brother begins getting mobbed by thousands of screaming girls. Quite different, wouldn’t you agree??
I’d like to tell you about the first time I was with Micky as a Monkee, rather than just my “MeMe”. (MeMe is what all of us kids have called Micky at one time or another. It’s a lot easier when you’re little to say MeMe than Micky. I don’t know why, though.) The day I want to tell you about is September 11, 1966.
It was the day KHJ radio in Los Angeles sponsored the “Last Train to Clarksville.” About 450 kids were chosen by postcards sent in to ride a train from Los Angeles to Clarksville (Del Mar by the sea became Clarksville for one day officially). There they met the Monkees and everyone rode back together in the train while the Monkees performed in one of the boxcars. It was a gas! Prizes were given away and everyone got their first glimpse of the Monkees, for the show hadn’t been on the air yet.
The day was one filled with many emotions for me. After we all arrived in Clarksville, we paraded down to an open stage on the beach. After a little while, as the excitement kept building, Micky, Peter, Davy and Mike arrived in helicopters.
Before all this happened, the whole thing was just a fantasy to me. Sure, I was on a train headed to see my brother. Big deal. I had just left him at his house and we were saying how exciting it was and that I’d see him in a few hours. Up to this time I was very nervous, but still feeling great. Then… all of a sudden… as I stood there watching policemen swarm around the four guys, it hit me. That’s MY brother, all these kids are here to see him and the other Monkees!
I guess the excitement was just too much for me, because I broke down and started to cry. Cry? Maybe should say I went into hysterics! I was so proud of him and the other guys! My tears were tears of joy for their success.
From the time they left the helicopter to right now has been like one long day. From that moment on Micky was no longer just Micky. He was a Monkee and had other obligations. I realized that there would be less time for singing together and doing the many things together that we used to do.
Micky and I have always been very close. Sure, we had our brother-sister spats. but basically we have always been together and doing things. We have a closeness in our family which can never be removed. I don’t care if we are thousands of miles apart—mileage doesn’t count where love is concerned.
I remember last summer when Micky came up to Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California. Our family had been at Asilomar Conference Grounds for a week with our church. Micky came up the last day just so he could see us. We drove down that week to Los Angeles and on the way we were trying to get a Los Angeles radio station so we could hear “Last Train to Clarksville.” Micky and I had never heard it before on the radio.
Around Santa Barbara we finally heard his record for the first time. He said how he was glad that we were together when we each heard it for the first time. Some people may think that’s silly, but we are sentimentalists, and we love it! We were together for another first the day of the train ride, for it was Micky’s first public appearance.
Micky and I don’t see each other very often, but when we do we know we don’t have to talk about business. We sit and talk or he sleeps and I go about my business. We are both growing; and the only difference between years ago and now is that we aren’t watching each other grow. I see him for a week, then I see him months later. People go through a lot of changes in a few months. It’s like each time I see him he’s a new person. We have to adapt to each other, but it doesn’t take us long. He’s going through changes in Hollywood and I’m going through changes up here in Los Gatos.
The difference between life in Northern California and Southern California is amazing. Up here everything is peaceful, people take time out for each other and there is a whole sense of love and calmness. While in L.A. everything is rushed and although people are basically the same, they take on their environment characteristics. Even though Micky loves his work and all that it entails, he comes home every so often to relax and get away from the chaos.
I know that Micky will make many “firsts” in his life. He knows what’s happening, he knows that there is something within each and every one of us that is always waiting to be expressed. It’s something that says “you can do it if you want to and if you try.” He knows it and our family knows it. He’s the most fantastic person in my world. There’s nothing he can’t do and everything he does has one reason in back of it—Love! Not only people type love, but a love for self expression and a love for individuality. Remember, Micky loves you all and so do I.