Come with Gloria as she flies with you to Hollywood, where you spend a glorious day with Davy, Peter, Mike and Micky. Then, bang!—you turn around and jet right back to New York City with Editor Gloria and join her as she covers, exclusively, the opening of Davy Jones’ fabulous new boutique—Zilch I!
This month we are going to visit the fabulous Columbia Studios “ranch” just outside of Hollywood. The “ranch” is where the Monkees shoot all the outdoor scenes you see on their TV series. It is an incredible place—like ten towns rolled into one. There’s a typical American street, a Gay Nineties street, a Western street, a racing strip, and even a whole desert all set up! Of course, the stores and buildings along the streets are fake fronts and there is absolutely nothing behind them!
We arrive at the “ranch” an hour before lunchtime and catch Mike, Davy, Peter and Micky in the middle of filming a Monkees segment—a satire on their accidental encounter with a rough, tough gang of way-out motorbike riders. As we come on the “set” the boys are in the middle of a “take”. One of the actors in the “tough” gang is about to beat up adorable Davy Jones! The moment the “nasty” cat grabs Davy by the lapels of his leather jacket, Davy “faints” dead away.
“Now y’all see what y’all gone and done?” drawls Mike, in a fake Southern accent.
“Cut!” cries the director. “That’s a ‘take’. Everybody can have a five-minute break now.’
The first person to greet us during this recess is Davy Jones. Having completely recovered from his “faint”, he is all smiles and bubbling over with things to say.
“Hey, hey!” he yells. “I just looked at a ranch that I may buy in Malibu!” We listen raptly as Davy describes the fantastic new house, guest house and wooded acres.
“Finally, I’m about to realize a life-long dream,” David says softly, with a faraway look in his eyes. “Do you know that the stables are big enough for me to have 25 horses if I want them? I’ve already started picking out horses. I suppose I will want a couple of race horses, though I don’t know where I will race them out here. But I’ll get ’em anyway. And then I am gonna have some regular horses, you know—just for riding.” He looks at you and gives you a special smile. “If you’re not used to riding, I’ll even have a very gentle horse—just for you.”
As Davy is about to give you a detailed description of his new home, someone yells in a fake “Joisey” accent, “Hey, youse guys—on da set! Last one on is a rotten egg!”
The voice sounds vaguely familiar. You turn around. It is familiar! Before you stands Peter Tork, his blond hair blowin’ in the wind. He is shouting through a portable electric megaphone and the sound is enough to drive you up the wall—unless, of course, you are an ever-lovin’ Monkee-luvver. And aren’t we all?!
The next scene in the Monkees’ segment is about Mike, Davy, Peter and Micky’s bike club—they have nicknamed themselves “The Chickens”—and a challenge to a rumble they receive from the enemy group. The Chickens try everything to avoid the rumble. Peter pretends that he is really a spaceman-astronaut who simply got off at the wrong stop—and Micky tries to con the bully gang into settling for a tongue-sticking-out duel instead of a brawl.
Alas, our fave-raves are finally cornered, but just as they are about to be forced to fight (heaven forbid!), the Monkees point out that the name of their gang is The Chickens and, as Mike puts it, “Well, fellows—we ain’t called The Chickens for nothing. You see, we really are chickens!”
Whereupon Peter, Davy, Micky and Mike stick out their hands, in which each holds one genuine Grade A chicken egg—and start clucking at the top of their voices!
“That’s swell, guys,” the director calls. “Cut! That’s a ‘take’. O.K., we all break. It’ll be 45 minutes for lunch.”
Suddenly, everyone vanishes except the Monkees themselves.
Davy dashes over and puts you on by saying, “Look, darlin’, I have got a jam buttie right here in my pocket for us to share—” Just as you are about to believe him, he wanders off with his buddy David Pearl, whistling Day Dream Believer.
Peter Tork comes over and plops down next to you in a director’s-type chair. He starts clowning around, but after a bit he settles down and starts reading a book. He sees you looking and explains, “This is a book of some of the excerpts of the Upanishads. Actually, these are excerpts from ancient Hindu writings. I guess you could say that in a sense they are like the Bible, only they were written many centuries before the old testament.” Peter stops speaking for a moment. “Am I boring you?” he asks gently. After you assure him that he is not boring anyone, he continues, “Well, the Upanishads are simply but beautifully written. I mean, they are quite easy to understand. You can buy the Mentor pocket edition for about 50 cents—”
Just about that time, Peter becomes aware of 16’s camera focusing on him. He promptly becomes a clown again, laughing and joking and holding his book myopically up to his eyes. You realize that you have just had a glimpse of the real Peter Tork—the sensitive, sincere young man who hides behind the veneer of a silly-funny Monkee. And it makes you feel very warm that for a brief moment you have glimpsed Peter Tork’s secret self.
“Hey, ya bum!” a loud voice calls—and you whirl around to see Micky Dolenz parked on top of a bunch of motorbikes calling to Mike Nesmith, who is slumped in a chair and taking a nap. “It’s time to get back to work!”
Sure enough, it is. In a flash, Davy, Peter, Micky and Mike resume being Monkees again and you have a ball for the rest of the afternoon watching them—but in the back of your mind, you are anticipating what awaits you the following weekend!
The following weekend you get to visit the opening of Davy Jones’ fabulous new boutique, Zilch I! Zilch I is located at 217 Thompson Street, in the heart of Greenwich Village in New York City. It is Davy’s “New York project”.
As Davy explains it, “Though singing, acting and my career come first with me—I have always wanted to have a clothing store of my very own. I guess every young person has a fantasy about that. You know—a place where you not only sell all the groovy kind of clothes you dig, but where you personally design them too. Well, since I am in the process of making a few of my childhood dreams come true, I decided to open my own store. Now, I not only can walk into a place where I can get what I want to wear, but I can also make sure that the kids who dig the way I dress have a place where they can go and be sure of finding exactly those kind of clothes!”
The gala opening is a triple-wonderful surprise, for not only Davy appears (wearing Zilch threads) but so does Peter Tork and a gang of their L.A. friends, including David Pearl, Sally Field and Lynne Randell. And—of course—Jeff Neal, Davy’s New York pal, is there too.
On opening day you stand in a corner and stare with wonderment. Besides Peter, Jeff and David Pearl, the boutique is filled with Davy’s well-wishers, friends and admirers. In fact, so many of them show up that more than 250 teenagers are jammed into the narrow street outside the store!
The most popular items in the shop prove to be the Davy Jones-type achkan jackets. Some are trimmed with golden silk braid and others are cut in brilliant paisley designs. In addition to the achkans, there are satin shirts, sheep-trimmed jackets, soft pullover sweaters, a multitude of brightly-colored scarfs, Love-Beads, bell necklaces (which ring merrily when you wear them) and loads and loads of other goodies. The boot department (which wasn’t finished in time for the opening) is in the basement. You follow Davy and Peter down the stairs, and Peter picks up an incense stick and gesticulates wildly, saying, “An orange wall here—a yellow wall there—and lots of posters. That’s how I see it, Davy.”
Davy is all smiles. Before he goes back upstairs, he and Peter plan the whole lower floor in a mad, typically “Monkee manner”!
When it is time to say good-bye to Davy and the others, Davy tells you about the great “give-away” clothes contest he has planned for you and all other 16 readers! If you are one of those skeptics who doubt that your dreams will ever come true, just turn to pages 24 and 25 and see what Davy has in store for you!!
More Monkees & You (with David Pearl) will appear in the March issue of 16, on sale January 23. Don’t miss it! Reserve your copy now!