A feather headdress. Fringe. Beads. Bells. Ribbon shirts. Soft moccasins. Headbands. Peace symbols on rawhide thongs.
Yes, Micky the Monkee Dolenz! Not a typical Hashbury hippie (if there is such a thing), but familiar-face Dolenz, Monkee madman-mimic, looking as if he’s looking for the nearest reservation (Indian, not hotel.)
Why the sudden change of Micky’s image? We’re glad you asked that. Actually you didn’t, we did, but we hope you’re asking it, because we’re going to attempt an answer, and it would be pretty silly to have answers without questions. All this is called a digression.
Sometime between summer of 1966 and now Micky discovered hip. He may have discovered it much earlier than that, but if so he kept it carefully disguised under mod suits and tried to keep his hair growing down. Now his hair could qualify him for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and his clothes might be tailored by the Crazy Horse Indian haberdashery (if it existed).
If you asked Micky “Why the change”? he would probably say that he just likes fuzzy hair and Crazy Horse clothes, which is true. He would probably decline to state that his new look stands for anything because… well, because. We think it does stand for something, and we’re perched out on a limb while we tell you.
Micky is peace loving. He may be frantic and jump around a lot, but he isn’t violent; he wouldn’t hurt anyone, verbally or physically. He doesn’t dig fighting or war. The peace symbols he wears are only ornaments that declare his attitude—ornaments that, in most cases, he made himself out of metal and glass.
Micky likes gadgety, jiggling things. Fringe, beads, bells—they all move and make noise, they’re fun and graceful. They make a person more aware of himself and his own movements. The soft suede shirts and moccasins are nice to feel and comfortable to wear—which needs no further explanation.
The Eastern Indian robes and bells and the American Indian beads and feathers are a very simple but obvious way of stating an attitude, a preference. It’s all very intertwined, so that the mysticism and peace and beauty of the two cultures combine with the basic comfort and dress-up fun. The easiest way to explain the attitude or preference is by noting that Micky does not wear spiked helmets and swastikas.
Someone suggested that Micky change his look because “he was tired of straightening his hair and because he wanted to look different from the other guys on the show.” This probably had something to do with it, but it’s not the whole story. There are any number of ways to be “different,” so Micky chose the one he felt best with—the hippie look, if you want to label it.
Looks and clothes change as fast as people, so it’s very possible that Micky will have abandoned beads and bells by the time you read this. If so, it doesn’t mean he wasn’t sincere or honest—it simply means he goes through changes like the rest of us.
It’s the only way.