If you’re in love with a Monkee, and you’re afraid you’ll never meet him, you may think it’s all pretty hopeless. But Peter says it’s not, and he tells you what to do about it!
So many of you are writing letters saying, “I’m in love with a star. What’ll I do?” Or, “I love Peter. Please help me!” So, I decided the best person to go to for help would be Peter himself, because, besides getting so many of these letters, he always seems to have a straight-from-the-heart, well-thought-out answer to any problem.
In Peter’s Monkee set dressing-room I settled comfortably on the green rug. Peter sat cross-legged on the couch.
First of all, I took out one of the many “Help!” letters and showed it to him. After he read it I asked him just how he felt about being loved like this. He looked at me with his wise, deep but now almost bewildered, eyes and said simply, “I think it’s unreal. I don’t believe it.”
From that short, direct answer I thought perhaps that this problem had puzzled him or he just didn’t want to answer it. But Peter dismiss an important problem? Never! He started talking right to all his fans then, through me—and I could tell that this was a problem he’d worried about and considered often—maybe even stayed awake nights looking for an answer. After all, it directly concerns him and all the girls everywhere that he gives happiness to hour after hour, day after day!
“I think some girls are pretending to feel love for me which is really not love, even though they don’t realize it. They direct their feelings and daydreams toward the image of me they see on the screen or in the magazines. Really, this is not love.”
“It’s no good to just go about worshipping an image on the screen because, for one thing, that isn’t really me they’re loving because they don’t really know me. They write words on paper saying, “Oh, I love Peter”, but they don’t love Peter.
“The reason this just can’t be real love is because if you’re really in love, then it’s all happening. You know it for sure because love is like a two-way thing all the time. Real love is totally returned. You can’t really love somebody if they don’t know you. This business of “Oh, I’m in love with a boy who doesn’t even notice I’m around and I love him so desperately that I dream about him at night”. All you love is the image of somebody that you want to have, just to dream about him at night.”
“This can happen because girls may look around and not see what they want to see. They might see guys around who have something about them they don’t like or who lack what they’re looking for. Then they look at this picture of me which has all the faults removed from it.”
“For instance, you’d never know if I had complexion trouble because it would all be under makeup. You’d never know if I were mean or angry unless you just happened to be in the way of one of my temper tantrums, which sometimes happens to fans. I sometimes lose my temper, like anyone, and if you happen to be in the way of it at the time, you might think, “Oh, what have I done?” You’ve done nothing. I was just being human.”
“Now, I don’t think this loving of images is necessarily harmful, as long as those girls eventually find some other means of expression for their feelings. Nothing is harmful in itself, you know. Even smoking isn’t desperately harmful if done with moderation. But you smoke a pack a day and you’re almost sure to get cancer. So why do it at all? Why even bother to worship my image in the first place?”
“Fans and stars can do each other a great favor by starting to treat each other like human beings, because if you don’t treat us like human beings, how can we treat you like a human being? Sometimes we get locked in these situations where fans come at us in a mob and we have to treat them as a mob.”
“If, on the other hand, fans gather orderly and quietly, then we can all have a nice time. I have had good times with large crowds of girls. They didn’t ask questions. We just sat and grooved together. They didn’t say, “Oh… You have groovy eyes!”, and all that. My eyes are just plain brown. They’re not particularly dark and they’re not particularly light. There’s just no way that they can be called a really groovy color.”
“I’d much rather you just think of me as the kid on the corner who made good. The guy who happens to enjoy being an entertainer, standing on the stage and performing, and who got himself into a little more than he bargained for when the Monkees became famous.”
“Now it doesn’t really upset me when a girl screams at me. I understand what it comes from. I realize that all this energy is just the normal-type girl energy that she’s letting out. But if I pass a girl on the street who screams at the top of her lungs and jumps up in the air and turns around, well, this is totally the wrong way to react. What would she do if I did that to her?… if a stranger on the street just came up to her and started leaping up and down and screaming?”
“Even though I’m there in person, it’s not me they’re clutching at when they run up to me. It’s still the image. But remember, there’s a real person underneath and if he feels clutched at and smothered, he just might start screaming at the top of his lungs because he doesn’t like to be clutched at and smothered, especially by thirty people at a time! I sure don’t!”
“Of course, I’m not saying that all these feelings girls have, or think they have for me, are wasted, or that it’s all hopeless. There are constructive channels for all these energies, constructive ways to put it all back to work. There’s a lot of mess going down in the world that you, reading this, can do something about.”
“First of all, if you really love me, you’ll do all your own thinking. You won’t accept anyone else’s belief as your own, or any of these images, unless you’ve thought it all out in your own mind. You won’t believe anything you see or hear or read, whether it’s about me or someone else, unless you’ve already got foundations for belief. And, if you ever read in some magazine, ‘Don’t believe it unless you read it in such and such a magazine,’ definitely don’t believe it! In other words, don’t believe anything until you’ve been shown it to be absolutely true for yourself.”
“I’ve grown not to believe in tragedy. I’ve grown to believe that all things work out for the best. Even if you’re in despair, you’re going to discover that there’s more will to live in you than all your despair and you’ll come out of it. The will to live is a will to be cheerful, and to be on top of things. Stay cheerful!”
“In other words, if you really love me, you will look for these constructive ways to help. You’ll step in and help some poor underdog or smile at an unpopular kid. You will help somebody with his homework when he’s failing. These things are really acts of love.”
“For every ounce of energy you think you feel in love towards me, practice generating your own love where it seems not to be wanted, even where you think it won’t be accepted. That’s what’s called Christian love. And it’s better than trying to show your love for me by just helping my career. If you want to buy all my records, that’s cool, because I’m trying to do some nice stuff on the records. But helping my career is not a full-time occupation for anybody.”
“I believe that all is One, that there is only one everything and we call it God, so God is everything.”
With that last, brief, statement, Peter stood up and stretched. It was that time again. He had to go out to the cameras and get back to work with Micky, David and Mike. But he had answered the question so often asked: “Please help me… what’ll I do?” And the more I thought about this last statement, “All is One”, the more I understood what he meant by it. Peter feels that all life is One and that One is Love. Therefore, when you are loving the person near you, you are showing your love for Peter right where you are. You are loving Peter in the very best way possible!