Here, just as it was recorded, is an interview Ann did on the Monkee set with Peter. We think it really shows what Peter’s like… original, talented, and unpredictable!
Ann: Do you try and fill each day with constructive activities?
Peter: Can’t help it. Just because of the way I feel, which is—you can’t do anything but constructive activities.
Ann: What if you just wanted to lay around the house all day?
Peter: If that’s the way I felt, if that’s where the minute of the life led me, beautiful. Then it’s constructive. I needed it. Why does a baby sleep a lot? Because it needs the sleep. Everything is constructive.
Ann: Do you usually try to discover and remove your faults and weaknesses?
Peter: No. I try and, well, how do you say it? This is going to sound corny, but I try and live a positive life, all the time. To search out your faults and weaknesses is not to spend time living a happy life. The way to lead a happy life is to lead a happy life. If you have faults and weaknesses, well, God put ’em there and God will get ’em out.
Ann: Do you ever feel your position is too hard to maintain? I mean not where the Monkees are popularity-wise, just the whole thing you are involved in.
Peter: What position?
Ann: Well, like your position and your job?
Peter: What would happen if I didn’t maintain it? What do you mean by maintain?
Ann: I mean, would you like to throw it all up today and perhaps go back to the Village?
Peter: No. Maintaining is 60 seconds to the hour. That’s all maintaining is. No, of course I wouldn’t chuck it all up. I chucked up the Village a while back to come out to California to be a success. Maybe some day I will chuck it all to go back to the Village or go to Chicago to play blues or to Kansas to lie around in the wheat fields or the Taj Mahal.
Ann: Can you stand alone in a crisis?
Peter: Well, no. In a crisis I generally lie down alone.
Ann: Can you face a crisis alone?
Ann: Is your health what it should be? Do you enjoy physical exercise?
Peter: I don’t believe in should. I don’t believe in the word “should.”
Peter: As it is generally used, the word “should” implies a moral standard. And whose moral standard are you using? Ask me the question again and then tell me whose moral standard and I’ll answer it then.
Ann: Is your health what YOU think it should be?
Peter: I don’t believe in should, for me. If my health is what YOU think it should be then only you can answer the question.
Ann: Do you enjoy physical exercise?
Peter: At times.
Ann: Is your sense of humor enough or does it need to be cultivated? To your liking, shall we say?
Peter: I quit cultivating my sense of humor a while back. I mean, I still allow it to grow rampant, but when I was cultivating it I was in a bind. It’s one thing to get a huge kick out of life and to let the amusement show on you. It’s another thing to be a humorist all the time. Just to have a huge sense of enjoyment somehow doesn’t mean a sense of humor. A huge sense of humor is an attention getting-device.
Ann: Is your disposition usually cheery or depressed?
Peter: It varies. Fluctuates. I can be moody and I very often am. But I would say the majority was cheery.
Ann: Do you prefer flattery or honest opinion?
Peter: No comment.
Ann: Is it difficult for you to think under pressure?
Peter: Yes. I don’t in fact. I often just stop.
Ann: When it comes to the ability to relax, can you “let go” immediately?
Peter: Pretty quick. Sometimes, not always, there have been times when it’s been hard.
Ann: Your life today—is it pleasant or does it get on your nerves?
Ann: Do you usually keep others waiting or are you punctual?
Ann: Peter, why are you answering in that way?
Ann: The questions!
Peter: In what way?
Ann: “Yes” really doesn’t answer them.
Peter: On the contrary, it answers them better than anything else I could possibly say.
Ann: It does?
Peter: I believe so. I hope you’re going to print all this.
Ann: You want me to print “yes” as your answers to those questions?
Peter: That business of “yes, yes, and well, what do you mean by it?” is good. Ann Moses exchanges frank confusion with Peter Tork. You could print this verbatim, including this discussion! Hi, fans!
Ann: But why, when I ask you this OR that do you answer “yes”?
Peter: Let me see the question. Here it is. Now supposing you had said, “your life today—is it pleasant or does it get on your nerves?”—Yes. OR “do you usually keep others waiting or are you punctual?” that is opposed to not living at all?
Ann: No, it’s giving you a choice between two things. For example, Micky answered that question by telling me he’s always late.
Peter: Okay, Micky’s always late, but I’m sometimes late and I’m sometimes punctual and I’m sometimes late by being punctual.
Ann: Why didn’t you answer it that way in the first place?
Peter: Because it wouldn’t have meant the same thing. It wouldn’t have been so far out.
Ann: Is it easy or difficult for you to express yourself?
Peter: I manage. Sometimes.
Ann: Do you usually influence people or are you more easily influenced by them?
Ann: How do you rid yourself of fear and worry?
Peter: Yes. That’s quote, yes, unquote. But the word “yes” as opposed to worry and the word “no”.
Ann: Do you believe in hunches, and are you ever influenced by them?
Ann: Can you think of a time when you have been?
Peter: Yes, when I came to California.
Ann: Just on a hunch?
Peter: No, not on a hunch, I just came to California. It was even less than a hunch.
Ann: Do you worry about what people think of you?
Peter: Used to. The less I do the happier I am.
Ann: What have you found to be the most unique and interesting things on TV today?
Peter: The Smothers Brothers Show and the Monkees Show. As well as the Fascist News in the West.
Ann: If you could choose the future, would you choose to have a full and happy life until 60 or one with ups and downs until 80?
Peter: I wouldn’t care, one doesn’t get one’s choices. If I had that choice the moon would be made of blue cheese. I mean, I do have that choice, but I have no way of knowing what I’ve chosen.
Ann: Who would you like to trade places with for 24 hours?
Ann: Why just anyone?
Peter: Because everyone is different.
Ann: Of all the songs you’ve sung, what song says the most to you?
Peter: Ah, there’s too many. There’s five or a dozen.
Ann: If you could have your own one hour TV show, what sort of thing would you like to do in the hour?
Peter: A variety of things.
Ann: Just a regular variety type show?
Peter: Well, it wouldn’t be what you’d call just a regular variety show. It would be very different.
Ann: Micky said the same thing. He said his show would be different. I’d like to know in what way it would be different.
Peter: Well, sometimes we’d play video tape recordings of us just sitting around talking genuinely for the first time in all our lives about something like us and anybody. Well, Peter Seeger is going to come on our show and do about five minutes for us.
Ann: On the Monkees?
Peter: It’s really very gratifying and I hope, in fact, that you get to print this before it goes on the air, because I’d like everybody to watch it.
Ann: At this time, what one thing frightens you most?
Ann: How would you make a smile appear on someone’s gloomy face?
Peter: I’d make me happy.
Peter: Now, that’s another whole question. That’s getting into the art, and it is an art.
Ann: Can I ask it?
Peter: Well, yes, but it’s like asking me how do you play guitar. I can’t explain it in a few minutes or a few hours. Are you going to print that?
Ann: If you were in a circus what would you like your act to be?
Peter: A rock and roll singer.
Ann: What are some of the most uninhibited things you do?
Peter: I live.
Ann: Where would you like to be if you could turn the time clock anywhere you wanted?
Peter: If I could turn it slowly I might just spend time a hair faster. Wait a minute… maybe I’d just spend time slower. Maybe I’d just stay here. I don’t have enough time to go anywhere.
Ann: You’d rather stay in this time than maybe travel to another century and see what’s happening?
Peter: Oh, yes. I mean, think of all that time it would take me to relate if I landed in the 19th century. I’d be spending all my time learning to observe and watch. I mean it would be a trip, as it were.
Ann: Peter, what do you have so much of you could afford to give some away?
Peter: The only thing there is so much more of to give away.
Ann: Which is?
Peter: The power of love.