Exclusive! A new TiGER BEAT monthly column from us to you… by Davy, Peter, Mike, & Micky
Each month in TiGER BEAT the Monkees tell all about themselves and their lives… in their own words!
Up until just about a year ago I used to go to hospitals to visit the kids there. Even after the Monkees started I went a couple of times because I really dug it. I can’t go now, of course, because we just don’t have the time any more, but I wish I could go back once in awhile.
I don’t even remember how I got the idea to do it. I just one day decided to go to a hospital and I did. It was really groovy—talking to all the kids—and I sort of got hooked. After that I just started visiting hospitals all over the United States, wherever I happened to be. It wasn’t anything much, like I usually didn’t sing or anything, I just talked to everyone and did some of my stunts and funny faces, things like that.
When you see some kid that was pretty sad because they’re in the hospital, after all, it’s not the best place in the world to be, and then you see them get all happy because you’ve spent a little time with them, well, it’s pretty swell.
There were a few kids that I remember from those days but unfortunately I just don’t remember their names anymore. But I remember how they looked and what was wrong with them and how great they were when I tried to make them feel a little bit better.
There’s so much good that anyone can do if they would just do it. For instance, I can’t visit hospitals for a little while yet, but there are lots of fans who could, if they wanted to. All it takes is just showing up at the hospital during visiting hours and going into the children’s ward and talking to the kids that don’t have anyone there to talk to them. It doesn’t take any time, really, and it does so much good. Why don’t you try it, sometime? You’ll just never know how great you’ll feel.
I’ve found out one thing since I’ve become a Monkee—once you’re famous, people ask you the silliest questions and say the dumbest things. It’s possible that I’m super-sensitive on this point because I’ve never liked dumb questions or things like that but it seems like it ought to drive anyone crazy—the things people say.
I think one of the reasons for it is that people want to talk to you and when they finally get to meet you they’re sort of stuck. They’ve dreamed of finally getting to see you and then there you are and they suddenly discover they don’t have anything to say. So they ask some question they already know the answer to, or they’ll say something, just to fill in the time, and it really sounds dumb.
When this happens it’s often difficult to be really polite. I mean, all of us four guys work very hard all the time and we never get any time at all even to think by ourselves. So we’ll be somewhere trying to get everything done that has to be done and some fans will see us. They’ll come up and after the shock wears off they’ll say something like, “Gee, I guess you like being a Monkee, huh?” or “Wow! You’re cute!” or something like that. Now what are we supposed to say to those things? Of course we like being Monkees or we wouldn’t be Monkees. And how do you say anything polite to a compliment that really isn’t a compliment—they’re just saying the words and who knows if they really mean them or they’re just trying to fill in the time?
I wish that all of you that would like to meet us would think of some original questions or comments for when you do get the chance. We like to answer questions that are fun or original. And we like genuine compliments, if the person really means what they say. We all like to talk to fans, too, if the fans have something to say, but, too often they don’t.
So if you have something you really want to know about us, and it’s something that hasn’t been answered twenty times in a good fan magazine, go ahead. But, please, don’t ask us dumb questions or make silly remarks—we know you’re a lot smarter than that, but sometimes it seems like you don’t want to act it.
You know, I’ve never taken a dance lesson in my life, yet dancing is one of the things I like most of all to do. I’m not the best dancer in the world but I dance what I feel and that’s the important thing. Dancing is a way of expressing what’s inside of you and it doesn’t matter if you’re a good dancer or not—it makes no difference—if you feel something and you express it then that’s cool.
I go on the dance floor and I do whatever I feel like doing. Like if I wanted to fall on the floor and kick my legs in the air I would do it and that would be a good part of my dancing at that moment because I would be doing what I was feeling inside. I don’t care who’s watching me because it’s another way of expressing myself and if another person doesn’t understand me at that moment it doesn’t matter because I understand me. It’s like a fan who screams at a concert. She’s getting something out of herself that she wants to get out and I do the same thing with my dancing—I have the very same feeling as she has.
One person I really admire is David Winters—he moves just fantastic. He reminds me of somebody who has been to school for twenty years and knows everything about school—only with him he knows everything there is to know about dancing. I would like to move the way he moves, although not copy him you know.
Right at the moment I’m inquiring into taking modern dancing lessons, and they will be the first lessons I’ve taken in my life. I’ve done a lot of different kinds of dancing but I’ve just done what came into my head and I’ve learned some from watching other people. But right now I want to learn how to dance really well for the show and so I’m thinking of these lessons.
It’s funny, too. I like all kinds of dancing, not just the hip modern ones. Like I like to waltz and quick step and polka and do all of those supposedly square dances as well as the ones that are popular now. I used to enjoy dancing the bop with my sister as much as I enjoyed waltzing with my mother. To dance is just another way of expressing yourself, a very groovy way, and it’s something that I’ll always enjoy.
This month I’d like to talk about the groovy gifts you’ve been sending to all of us. We really appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into your gifts, and we know that you always try to send us things that you think we’ll like, so I thought you might like to hear a little about the things we like most of all.
Now that we’re Monkees we’re able to buy most everything that we could ever want of the things that you can buy in stores. But we can’t buy things that are made with love and affection. Those things are the things we value from you, when you do send us gifts. Things like love beads, which you’ve strung yourselves in groovy designs and colors that you’ve thought of all by yourself. Things like books of your poems or stories that you’ve created for us. Things like cards you’ve designed and drawn all by yourselves. And letters you’ve written on stationery that’s your very own ’cause you’ve designed it.
These are the things we really want from you. Lots of you have been sending us things that we really can’t use. Things like shirts you’ve bought, money, and stuff like that. With these things, we sure appreciate the thought. But we have enough shirts, enough money, and enough of everything else. But when we get something that you’ve spent your time making with love, then those are the things we really appreciate and really use.
Davy’s favorite gift, I think, is his “Inspired Box”. It’s a groovy box that a fan made and sent to him and inside were all sorts of quotations from the Bible on little slips of paper. He uses that box every single day and he really loves it. He’ll pick out a slip of paper and read what’s on it and that will be his motto for the day.
Those are the things we really enjoy. It’s something that we can really use, we know that the fan who sent it really had love in her heart, and the whole thing is just groovy.
So, if you ever get the idea of sending one of us a gift please send us something you’ve made yourself with lots of love because these are the things we dig most of all.