It isn’t very often that any of the Monkees are alone—they are almost always busy with filming, touring or just entertaining their friends. That’s why they often say they dream about having a place to get away from it all. They don’t mean that they don’t like people, performing and their fans, because they love all three, but sometimes they wish they could just be themselves.
It hasn’t always been this way, however, and I remember a night about a year and a half ago when I actually felt sorry for Davy and Mike because they were being ignored—just as if they weren’t there at all—in a Hollywood nightclub.
It was a winter night and all of Hollywood’s pop music society was in the club to see the Turtles and a good-time group, now split up, known as the Everpresent Fullness.
Everyone sat around listening and swaying to the music, drinking Cokes and eating the cherries that came in them. It was about 10:30 p.m. and the club was almost full except for a few tables in front and one towards the back, right behind a large post which made it almost impossible to see the stage if you were unfortunate enough to be sitting there.
About this time I just happened to be watching the doorway and who should walk in but Mike and Davy. Davy had on his Navy blue pea jacket and Mike was wearing a dark green coat, plus his wool hat.
Though I KNEW the doorman recognized them—their TV show had been on for about two months—he acted like he didn’t even know they existed. In fact, he usually showed people to their tables, but he just left Mike and Davy standing in the aisle!
They looked around for someone to seat them but everyone connected with the club seemed to be busy. Finally they just stood there helplessly, looking like they wished they could fade into the woodwork. Then someone waved them to a table—the awful one with the post in front of it!
Dave and Mike sat down shyly, looking uncomfortable but too polite to complain. They leaned to each side of the post in an effort to see the stage but after awhile they just gave up.
A waitress walked by and almost as an afterthought asked if they would like something to drink. They both ordered Cokes and when they came, Mike spent most of his time stirring his with a straw.
The Monkees had seen some of the celebrities at the back tables—the Mamas and Papas, Scott McKenzie, Johnny Rivers, and others—but I guess they didn’t see Davy and Mike. I know they wouldn’t have ignored them if they had.
Anyway, after awhile everyone started dancing and Davy kept looking around to see if anyone would like to dance with him. I couldn’t believe it! All the girls acted like he wasn’t there. Finally he started talking with three girls at the table in front of him. Two of the girls were very snobbish but one girl, a blonde of about 19, started chatting with him and I could see them laugh occasionally.
Mike was still just stirring the ice in his drink, which was almost gone by now. He kept looking around the room but then he got very shy and kept slipping down in his seat, like he hoped he could disappear into his jacket. He almost did, too. His collar, which he had turned up, was almost touching his wool hat—that’s how much he was trying to hide!
Davy came back to the table then, looking a bit odd next to his dancing partner who towered over him by about six inches. They had looked very good on the dance floor. Davy is not a wild dancer, but he has a good sense of rhythm and movement which he uses to look just right—neither show-offish or too inhibited but just free, like he is doing something he really wants to.
Davy escorted the girl back to her table, pulled out her chair and then pushed it in for her, thanking her for the dances. She giggled but quickly stopped when her girlfriends kept giving her the cold shoulder.
With a puzzled look on his face, Davy finally stopped talking to the blonde. He said something to Mike, who was still sliding down into his jacket, and Mike said a few words back.
The two Monkees tried to watch the rest of the show, an almost impossible feat. Once someone did come by briefly and shake their hands. They were so happy when someone said “Hi” that they both broke into wide smiles. But the cheerfulness didn’t last long.
Pretty soon I saw Mike lean over and say something to Davy. He nodded in reply and almost at the end of the set, when everyone was busy dancing or clapping or talking, I caught Davy and Mike quietly slipping out into the Hollywood night.
Today, Davy and Mike don’t get ignored. A year and a half ago people might have overlooked them because they didn’t feel the Monkees were worth recognizing. They were newcomers to the pop music business and apparently the old-timers were jealous or frightened or just snobbish about being friendly to them. Today, people realize the Monkees have made a name for themselves in show business… a very big name.
I’ve seen Mike and Davy get the royal carpet treatment in the very same club, though they seldom go there. But I’ve also noticed something else. Whenever they see someone who looks like he might be ignored or forgotten, they make a special effort to go by and say hello or invite them up to their table.
People may have ignored the Monkees once, but the Monkees know that two wrongs don’t make a right!