This summer we became friends with four of the greatest guys in the world, the Monkees. We weren’t actually friends when the tour began because we’d only talked to them a couple of times. We didn’t even really know Mike, who arranged for us to tour with him. He’d just seen us play a couple of times and he liked what we were doing so he asked us if we wanted to join the tour. We signed up without knowing the Monkees much at all.
This situation didn’t last any longer than it took for the first pillow fight on the first plane of the tour! From that time on the Monkees and the Sundowners discovered we were all the same kind of people. We were all off for some of the wildest, funniest times either of our groups has ever known.
To begin with, every plane trip meant at least one huge pillow fight and usually more. Our fights were really wild and once, outside Houston, the pilot had to come back and tell us to cut it out because we were fighting so hard the plane was rocking!
Then there were the wrestling matches. Right outside of Chicago everyone was changing into different clothes on the plane. Bobby Dick and Davy both had their shirts off and Davy asked Bobby how much he weighed and how tall he was. When he found out that he and Bobby were about the same height and weight he announced that he’d never been beaten in a wrestling match by someone his own size. Bobby told him, “Oh, well, you’re just about going to be beat”, and they were off. Bobby got on the plane’s public address system and announced, “To whom it may concern: David Thomas Jones has challenged Bobby Dick to a wrestling match.” Right then everyone on the plane started laying odds down on who would win.
Bobby and Davy couldn’t do it right then because both of them had sunburns that were pretty bad but everyone was ready for the match when the whole crew landed in Detroit. It was a draw, the first match at least. Davy and Bobby both had each other in headlocks when the door of the hotel room opened and a reporter came in just as they both knocked over a lamp and pushed a bed aside. Well, the girl couldn’t understand what was going on; nobody had told her anything so she probably thought Bobby and Davy were really fighting. Anyway, she certainly looked at everyone very strangely.
There were lots of fun times in different swimming pools, too. Davy and Bobby continued wrestling, each trying to outdo the other one. Then there were water fights with everyone joining in. With the pillow fights and the water fights and everything else, it was just like one big, happy family.
The Monkees are really great. When we started out they didn’t know us very well but they sure did take care of us during the tour. Mike was really swell, to begin with. He warned us that sometimes things wouldn’t be too cool on the tour and told us some of the things fans did sometimes without realizing how dangerous they were. The fans were great, though, and so nothing ever really happened that wasn’t cool.
The Monkees showed us that sort of consideration all through the trip. Pretty soon we were so confident of ourselves that we were playing all sorts of practical jokes on them. Then they would kid us and say, “Uh, what show are you playing on next week,” and other things like that, playing as if they were taking us off the tour. But it was all done with humor so we wouldn’t think they were serious or anything.
They went on several radio stations on the tour and they would always say, “Come and see the Sundowners and Lynne Randall and us,” and all they needed to say was “Come and see us.” They plugged us every chance they got and we thought that was really great.
You know, the Monkees really try to give their fans what the fans want if they possibly can. It’s really funny, though, many times the fans mess it all up themselves. There were several times when the fans played it really cool, like in Los Angeles in the airport and in New York in the park, and they didn’t mob the Monkees or anything. When this happens the Monkees always give as many autographs as they can and they pose for snapshots, too. But most of the time fans just bunch up in mobs and start screaming and crying and the Monkees have to get out of there before anyone gets hurt. People just completely lose their cool in mobs and some bad things have happened because of it so the Monkees are under orders—when a mob forms, get out quick. But if the fans are cool then the Monkees are there doing everything they can for them.
We found out how really good a musician Peter is on the tour. We played at this place called the Three Thieves one night and everyone was just sort of goofing around. Peter played some stuff that was good, and I mean really good. Then Peter played the organ and Micky played bass and everyone was having a great time.
We all had a lot of time to talk on the tour, too. Micky talked about his cameras a lot, he’s a real bug about them, and he always had his movie camera hanging from his neck. Davy talked a lot about horses and his horse farm in England and what he wanted to do with horses when he got back to L.A. Mike really digs the outdoors and he talked a lot about the hunting he’s done and things like that. He likes most anything Western, just like Bobby Dick does, and he likes Gene Autry-type things, too. Peter read a lot and we found out that he always reads at least a book a day.
We’re all back home now and the tour is history but we know that the Monkees will always be our friends. We’re really happy about that for, in our opinion, they’re the greatest guys in show business.