Peter in a Pickle

Take one look at Peter’s face—you’ll see worries that are on his mind!

Will he or won’t he? Should he or shouldn’t he? Poor Peter’s certainly gotten himself in a jam!

This story goes back to the spring of 1966 when Peter was employed at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, California. He was kind of a jack-of-all-trades there. He washed dishes, backed-up people instrumentally, etc. And if they needed a second act, they’d put his name on the bill. Whenever this calling came, he’d pull out his trusty old banjo. It was easy for him to be available at all times since he lived right around the corner.

But Peter was disgusted with the life he was leading. He was beginning to feel like a no-talent loser!

Peter had a problem. In fact, he was on the verge of sinking into the dregs of depression. He even considered going back to his old home and haunt—Greenwich Village.

“As long as I’m going to do nothing of any importance,” said Peter, “I might as well do it there. At least I have a lot of very good friends there I enjoy talking to and being with. Maybe if I went back, it would pick my spirits up a little!”

Now Peter really had a dilemma. He didn’t know whether to stay in California or return to Greenwich Village. After all, even if his job wasn’t exactly exciting or getting him anywhere, it still was a job! In New York he had nothing. And yet, his friends were all there and they might be able to help him out. Peter was really confused!

But just at that time something happened which made it unnecessary for Peter to make any decision at all. He ran into his best friend in California, Steve Stills of The Buffalo Springfield. They had breakfast together and Steve asked Pete what he was doing with himself.

“I don’t know, man.” Peter replied. “Not much now. But I just want to do something, anything, but something!”

And then Steve told Peter about the auditions for The Monkees. In fact, Steve himself had answered the ad in Variety, but he didn’t feel that it was his kind of role. With Peter’s sense of comedy combined with his musical talent, Steve felt he’d be a natural for the role.

It was just a good thing for Peter that the break came along when it did—’cause he was surely at the end of his rope! But it did come along and it was the beginning of Peter’s lucky streak. He went down for The Monkee audition and they liked him right off the bat!

Of course, Peter’s entire life has changed drastically since then. He’s no longer the guy who fills in as a second act and washes dishes. Now he’s a big star, with trillions of fans who adore him!

But the nicest thing about Peter is that he’s never let “show-biz” or success go to his head. Maybe it’s partly because he can remember a time, not so long ago, when he was just a guy in a pickle!

Magazine: Star Time
Page: 19