My Daily Diary of The Monkees Tour

Ric Klein is Micky Dolenz’ best friend, and, served as the Stage Manager of The Monkees’ tour. He is also Micky’s stand-in, and the best of friends with Peter, Mike and Davy. Ric kept a day-by-day diary of everything the boys did, and he took hundreds of pics! Ric invites you to join him as he travels, talks and lives with The Monkees! It’s a once-in-a-dreamtime adventure only in FLIP!

One of the show-stopping moments of The Monkees’ fantastic stage show was Micky’s wild, wild solo spectacular! And, night after night, FLIP’s own Ric Klein (Micky’s best friend and Stage Manager of the entire tour) had the best seat in the world to watch Micky’s frantic performance! Here, in an exclusive series of breath-taking, stop-action photographs, you’re on stage with Micky as he flips through his incredible performance!

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Micky Dolenz
You’re in the picture as Micky, Davy, Peter and Mike take you on tour with them! Your groovy guide is Ric Klein, and the once-in-a-lifetime trip starts right here…

Last month, you lived with Davy, Micky, Peter and Mike as they traveled between Paris, London, New York, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami Beach, Charlotte and New York again. And I left off here—on the first Sunday in New York—promising to continue my exclusive, day-by-day FLIP diary of The Monkees’ Tour. On this Sunday night, we played the last of our three New York concerts. As the first two, it went off perfectly. All the concerts were at the beautiful Forest Hills Stadium, where the national tennis championships are held. And Davy, soccer scrambler that he is, couldn’t resist kicking the ball around on the lush green turf. Until the tennis people, worried about their expensive grass, gently asked him to save his soccer for another place.

Ric Klein, Micky Dolenz
The Monkees recorded parts of their next album whenever they had a couple of days between shows. Here, Micky and Chip Douglas, their record producer (who signs his records “Douglas Farthing Hatelid”), are on their way to a recording session at RCA Victor’s New York studios.

From today until Wednesday, the boys really had time off, time to do most whatever they wanted. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, which was on the tour along with Lynne Randall and The Sundowners, quit the tour here in New York. They felt that concert tours weren’t their bag, they wanted to play clubs and develop in other areas. The guys were sorry to see them leave, but nobody was signed to replace them.

Davy spent some time with Dino Danelli of The Young Rascals. They are each others’ best fans. The Warwick Hotel on West 54th Street in Manhattan continued to be our headquarters, and we always had a reception of fans when we entered or left the hotel. And, then, it was time to leave for Buffalo.

Micky Dolenz
Micky cheerfully listening to a playback of something they just recorded. Looks like it sounds pretty good, judging from Micky’s happy face!

The boys wanted to do what everyone wants to do when they visit Buffalo: See Niagara Falls! And we all went out in a limousine to see one of the wonders in the world. What happened, though, was that the sponsoring radio station broadcast our car route and time of arrival at the Falls. So, of course, there was a large crowd when we got there and we were pinned in the car. Micky, however, managed to get to a souvenir shop and buy some Indian heads. When he got back to the Statler Hilton Hotel, he discovered that they’d been made in Japan!

These were two uneventful days, although the concerts were groovy! Neither city had a pool in the hotel we stayed at, and we all kind of kept to ourselves, resting up for the concert. But, as usual, at the radio stations Micky, Davy, Mike and Peter visited, they broke it up! Making radio spots, taking over the station, playing records! Somehow, they’d always wind up playing The Beatles’ records.

We stayed over in The City of Brotherly Love after a Sunday night concert in Convention Hall: Davy was in a hurry to get back to New York, where he had an early appointment, and the bus we were all traveling on wouldn’t get to New York until later in the day. So he hired a limo. Peter, Micky and Mike went on the bus with the rest of the company. And what a bus ride it was! Micky and Mike sang five-part harmony with Kim, Eddie and Don of The Sundowners. I can’t even begin to describe what it woulded [sic] like! The hour-and-a-half trip between Philadelphia and New York seemed like five minutes, we were all having so much fun!

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    The recording sessions usually go late into the night… so, it’s not surprising to see Micky resting a few minutes, in the groovy company of “Peanuts.”
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    But even Snoopy and Linus couldn’t keep Micky from some badly needed sleep.
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    The sleeping bug also hit Davy, who took off his earphones to rest a minute.
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    Mike, however, looks intent as he listens to a playback. But, maybe his eyes are shut, too, behind his shades!

These were work days! The boys spend much of their time in RCA’s recording studios getting their next album ready. The tentative title is “At Random,” but that might have been changed by now. Everyone was very tired, as you can see in the pics, but the sessions went very well. Davy was kind of sad, because he broke his guitar. He was horsing around at the hotel, and, suddenly, the neck of his favorite guitar broke, making it forever useless. Without saying anything, Peter surprised and delighted Davy the next day by giving him a brand-new guitar as a gift! Peter had asked a friend to buy it for him (it’s kind of difficult for a Monkee to go guitar shopping in mid-Manhattan!) so that he could give it to Davy. And what a beautiful guitar it is: A Guild, 6-string, classical guitar. Davy really appreciated Peter’s thoughtfulness.

In and out. That was the story here. We flew in, got ready in a small room, did a groovy concert, and flew right out to Cincinnati.

On the flight between Rochester and Cincinnati, we all got into a tremendous pillow fight! Micky, Davy, myself, David Pearl and The Sundowners were in it, and Micky won! He got us all pinned into the back of the plane, he piled up all the pillows and attacked us at will! Don’t ever get into a pillow fight with Micky unless you’re ready for all sorts of surprises! When we landed in Cincinnati, pillows and all, about 1500 fans were waiting for us. And the trip from the airport into the city was like a wonderful parade, with about 100 cars following us in!

And it was here in Cincinnati that Peter scared the heck out of me! I was in the hospitality suite at the hotel, when I looked out the window! And there was Peter, grinning his grin, standing outside the window! On a one-foot-wide ledge! Eight floors up, Peter had climbed out of his room, and walked the thin ledge on the outside of the building to pull this super stunt! I was speechless, and Peter was laughing at my shocked reaction. I didn’t think of it then, but I should have said, “Cats have nine lives, not Monkees!”

Micky, Davy, Peter and Mike set a record here! Almost 19,000 people showed up for the concert at the Stadium, which set the record for the largest indoor crowd ever to attend a concert! We stayed at the Astor Tower Hotel, which only has complete suites rather than single rooms. So, each of the boys had a bedroom, living room, sitting room and foyer complex to himself! In the mood for groovy, spectacular living, they visited the “Playboy” Mansion, which is owned by High Hefner, the Publisher of that famous magazine. All of them were there at least once, in this spectacular showplace which has to be seen to be believed, and Peter went back a few times to go swimming while Davy enjoyed the pool table there, and returned for a couple of rounds of friendly pool.

Because of the difficulties in the two cities, we postponed our Detroit concert and cancelled our Milwaukee concert, which had been scheduled to follow our Chicago visit.

The boys now had enough time in Chicago to film some of the “romp” singing sequences for this season’s shows, and we took advantage of the extra time to complete several of the musical numbers for the shows you’ll be seeing the next couple of weeks.

Nick and Beth Tork, Peter’s brother and sister-in-law, met us in Chicago, and decided to travel with us for the remainder of the tour. Peter, who’s very close to Nick, was very happy that they could make it.

In Chicago, Micky and Davy also went to the famous Museum of Science and Industry. And they were both flipped out when they went into a real coal mine and saw the historic German U-boats from World War Two. They were sorry that they didn’t have more time to spend there, and both hope to get back and spend more time in that exciting museum.

Here, as in most of the cities we visited, Micky, Mike, Peter and Davy, went to the local radio stations to be disj [sic] jockeys for a while. Micky and Mike are especially good at being DJs. Micky wanted to be a disc jockey once, and Peter may have been one for a short time in his crowded life, during which he’s done so many different things.

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    In Des Moines, as Ric reports in his diary, Micky pulled out all his photographic paraphernalia and snapped film of Davy putt-putting on the motel lawn. Here, Micky lines up a shot as Davy sets up his putt.
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    As always, when he had the time, Davy obliges his fans with some prized autographs.
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    Light meter tucked into his back pocket, Micky lies low to get a close-up of the golf ball skipping into the hole.
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    Poooped [sic] from putting and posing, Davy takes five on the motel lawn, grabbing a little more sun for his great tan!

Most of the day was spent lazying around the hotel, Johnny & Kay’s. Davy spent most of the day on the putting green, and Micky spent most of the day shooting some 16 mm film. So, I did the natural thing: I took out my FLIP camera and spent most of the day taking pics of Micky taking pics of Davy putting! I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I hope that the pics I did do!

I’ll pick up here in next month’s FLIP, which will be on sale November 9th. What a time we had in Dallas, Mike’s part of the world! Dallas and a lot of other surprises will be yours as you continue to travel with Davy, Mike, Micky and Peter in the next outasite issue of FLIP! We’ll be waiting for you, so make a date to join us! You’ll have the truest and grooviest Monkee seat in the world!

Magazine: Flip
Publisher: Kahn Communications Corporation
Pages: 3–5, 53–54, 57–59