Monkees & Me

Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork

Davy’s New York buddy shares his Monkee summer experiences with you!

At the end of last June I knew that July would be an exciting month, and I was looking forward to it. But ltitle [sic] did I know how exciting! I thought the Monkees were due in New York City on July 12th to start their live concert series at Forest Hills Stadium. Boy, was I wrong! A host of unscheduled events were to happen before then! So let me start from the beginning and tell you all about it:

On July 5th, I was listening to the radio at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon when, all of a sudden, a bulletin was announced: the WMCA Good Guys were going to host a Monkees’ press conference at 4 P.M. the next day! I was flabbergasted, because I had heard nothing about this from my pal Davy Jones. I called 16’s editor, Gloria Stavers, to see if she knew what was happening. She told me that she had just received a telegram inviting her to the press conference and she didn’t know whether she could take me along or not. I could not get in touch with Davy because he was in England (actually, he was over the Atlantic, flying to New York).

Davy Jones
Info Davy practices on his guitar in his New York hotel suite.

You can well imagine that I did not relax for the rest of that day—and that night I hardly slept at all. I got up the next morning in a trance, wondering what would happen within the next few hours. By 2 P.M. I’d just about given up hope when the phone rang. It was Davy.

“I can’t talk now, Jeff,” he said hurriedly. “Meet me at the Warwick at four o’clock. We’re having a press conference. See you then.” CLICK. I didn’t even get a chance to say hello. But that didn’t matter—I was too excited to talk, anyway!

I knew I couldn’t get into the press conference by myself, so I was “escorted” by Gloria Stavers. We met at 16’s New York office and walked to the Warwick Hotel together. When we arrived, there were mobs and mobs of teenage girls outside. Gloria showed her telegram and the security guards escorted us to the main press room of the hotel.

Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz
Info Peter sings at the Monkees’ summer concert while Micky works over the drums.

It wasn’t long before the Monkees were presented and Davy, Micky, Peter and Mike came out in all their glory. David was wearing an achkan with his favorite silver bell and Indian beads around his neck. Micky had on an American Indian jacket. Peter wore a suede cowboy shirt with six strands of his favorite bells and beads—and Mike wore a suede jacket with a striped turtleneck shirt. They looked fantastic.

After about 15 minutes of picture-taking, we were all led to the main ballroom for the interview. The boys were asked all sorts of questions. Ward Sylvester, production executive of The Monkees, was in charge of the conference. When it was over, I started to walk out—but Ward ran over to Gloria and me and said that David was expecting us in his suite upstairs. How happy I was!

Davy Jones
Info Davy takes over the stage.

When we arrived at the suite, Peter was sitting in the middle of a crowd of people and Davy was talking to WMCA deejay Gary Stevens.

Davy came over to us and said, “Hi, I’d like you to meet Gary Stevens.” We all started to chat and more pictures were shot, and before we knew it the time came to leave. The Monkees had to make an early plane flight that evening. But I wasn’t disappointed, because I knew they would be back the following week for the biggest and greatest time of all.

Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith
Info And then Mike comes on.

Davy and the rest of the guys returned to New York on July 13th. Davy called me from the hotel and told me to pick up guest tickets for the Monkee concerts the next morning at his suite.

When I arrived (bright and early) the next day, Davy looked great. He was well-rested. I picked up the tickets and joined him for breakfast. He ordered a pitcher full of fresh orange juice, toast (with plenty of jelly), and a quart of milk. I left soon after, because Davy and the guys wanted to go to the stadium to check the amps and equipment.

Davy Jones
Info Davy takes a “breather” after the performance and chats with his New York friends.

At 8:30 that night my guests and I arrived at the Forest Hills Stadium and sat down to see three great acts before “our” guys went on. The Sundowners came on first, followed by Lynne Randell and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. They were all absolutely great and the audience loved them. But when the Monkees made their grand appearance—to the tune of their theme song—everyone went wild! The cameras never stopped flashing and the screaming was unbelievable! Each Monkee was fantastic in his own way. Davy sang Gonna Build Me A Mountain. Mike played the harmonica. Micky did his James Brown routine—and Peter played the banjo. All this—plus another 35 minutes of the most staggering “talent show” in the world!

After the concert, we went to the hotel and spent a few hours chatting with Davy in the “Courtesy Suite.” David Pearl, Neko and a host of others were there too.

Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork

The next evening I again went to the concert. Again it was great. Again we went to the hotel afterwards: Again we talked. And on Sunday I again went to the concert. But Sunday was different. I went with Gloria Stavers and Dino Danelli of the Rascals. It was a madhouse when the kids in the audience recognized Dino. We had to have the police guard our seats, and Dino had to escape—surrounded by security guards—before the concert was over! But Dino thought the whole thing was a groove, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Micky Dolenz
Info Micky listens to the conversation—a moment of rare repose.

Later, when we all got back to the hotel, it was very interesting to listen to Dino and Davy’s conversation. They really enjoyed each other. They covered all subjects from music to clothes to—yep, you guessed it—girls!

Soon it was time to split, so it was “farewell” once more. But I was startled as we were leaving. Davy said, “I’ll see you next week. I’m coming in on Monday to record.”

I almost fell on my face! This was too good to be true! But again—here goes:

Peter Tork, Davy Jones

We spoke to Davy (in Cleveland) on Sunday night and he told us to be at RCA Studios at 12 noon the next day. When we walked in, Davy was sleeping on the couch, Micky was cutting the harmony for Daydream Believer (which was called Wake Up Sleepy Jean at the time—the title was later changed) and the Monkees’ record producer Chip Douglas was looking thoroughly relieved. When Micky finished Daydream, Chip awakened Davy and they began to cut She Hangs Out and Star Collector. They had no break, because the Monkees were on the run as usual, and had to catch a 5 o’clock plane. So before we knew it, they were going again. Davy’s parting words were, “I’ll see you soon”—and off they went.

That’s all for this time. The Monkees and all of us 16-ers will see you in the April issue of 16, which goes on sale February 20th.

Magazine: 16
Editor: Gloria Stavers
Volume: 9
Issue: 10
Publisher: 16 Magazine, Inc.
Pages: 6–8, 10