Friendship has always been very important to me but I never realized quite how valuable it was until I became a Monkee. You see, after you become successful there are always a lot of people who want to be your “friend” for reasons that have nothing much to do with real friendship. When this happens, it’s great to have true friends that you can depend on, no matter what.
I’ve been very lucky in having lots of true friends all my life. Now that I’m a Monkee, these true friends are the people that mean the most to me in the whole world. I know that whatever scrapes I get into, or whatever moods I might feel—my friends will be there.
But just because you call some people your “friends” doesn’t necessarily mean that they have anything in common. My friends don’t. All my friends have different qualities. I just know that someone is a real friend and I couldn’t really tell you how I know.
For instance, Charlie Rockett was originally a friend of Mike Nesmith’s. He came from San Antonio to Hollywood with Mike and he and I met out here. We hit it off well from the beginning and then he needed a place to stay so he moved in with me. We wrote some songs together and our friendship just sort of grew. Now he’s got his own place but we’re still good friends, of course.
Charlie had a friend, Steve Pitts. You see, in Texas Charlie and Steve and Mike and David Pearl—they were all buddies. Well, when Mike became a Monkee all his friends just got to know everybody and I got some good friends.
Well, back to Steve Pitts. He’s really funny. He went down to the Troubadour one night and we all went to hear him and he was telling these funny stories and everybody in the place just cracked-up. The stories were as funny to the people who didn’t know him as they were to us. He and I wrote some songs together, too. He went back to Texas a few weeks ago to get married and everyone went down for the wedding.
David Pearl is my best friend. David Pearl is the best friend I’ve ever had. He’s been the most helpful to me as a person and to my career. He handles all the business parts that I often don’t get the opportunity to take care of. David Pearl is my best friend because he’s never, ever held out his hand to me for anything. We do all the same things, go to all the same places, everything.
He’s becoming a personality in his own right. He’s got his own national fan club in England and he gets mobbed wherever he goes. He’s really getting to be big and I’m all for it.
The only person who lives with me now is Lindy. Lindy is the brother of a kid who was in “Oliver!” with me, now he’s in “Mame”. Lindy is nineteen and he’s in college—he goes to school every day. I’m friends with his family, all of them.
Neko is another friend of mine. I’ve known him for quite a while, now, and he’s often up at my house. He’s an artist and he draws groovy pictures of us and the Beatles. He does a lot of different things for us and sometimes he even gets into the Monkee act. On tour once he brought some cotton candy on stage for all of us and we ate it during our act. It really looked groovy.
Then there’s Henry Diltz. Henry is the photographer we work with most. He’s so great to have around because he’s never up-tight. He just takes picture after picture and we often don’t realize he’s there. That’s important because after you get photographed as much as we’ve been you get really tired of photographers who make a huge production out of taking a picture.
As you can see, there’s really nothing that my friends have in common except that they’re my friends. Each one of them is my friend for a different reason and yet I like every one of them.
I know, too, that whatever happens in the future with the Monkees that my friends will continue to be my friends. Those are the kind of friends to have.