What Peter Has Learned from Micky

Peter Tork

How many times have you met someone you just didn’t like? Someone who seemed to be everything you didn’t like? Someone whom you didn’t have the slightest interest in getting to know any better? Yet you did get to know them better and you found that they were actually wonderful friends and great people?

That’s what happened between Peter and Micky. Peter just didn’t like Micky when he first met him, yet there was nothing he could do. Both of them were now Monkees and that was that. So they had to get to know each other better and Peter found that instead of being nowhere, Micky was actually right where everything was at.

Micky Dolenz

“When I first met Micky I thought he was nowhere. I thought he was right out of ‘Reader’s Digest’. He seemed to be everything I stood against: second hand humor, second hand situations, everything. I thought, well, they hired him because they needed someone with professional experience. Period.

“You see, when Micky was in Circus Boy he didn’t have anyone at all around that was his age. His whole life was spent in pleasing adults—it was the heaviest experience of his life. So that affected him a lot.

“Then I got to know him and he grew and evolved and got bigger and bigger and bigger. He just didn’t stop growing and now I think he’s a full-fledged genius. He’s really one of the brilliant people of our time.”

When the Monkees first started, there was practically no time when they weren’t together. There was just too much to be done in a very short space of time. So Peter and Micky were thrown together nearly twenty-four hours a day and Peter began to really know him. They would talk and argue and discuss things for hours on end because during the long waits in filming and recording there was nothing else to do. At first their discussions were endless circles: Peter had his ideas and Micky had his and the two just didn’t have anything in common. And Peter, who is always searching for Truth, would always put Micky’s ideas down as not being logical or valid. But over a period of time, Peter began to change his ideas. Maybe Micky had something after all.

Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz

“I used to say things like, ‘Micky, don’t you know that that’s not right? It has to be this way,’ and he’d tell me, ‘No, man, that doesn’t matter.’ Well, after a while I discovered that he had been right! Whatever it was, he had been right and I’d been wrong. That’s the sort of thing that really got me thinking. His attitude would have seemed to be so wrong to me, yet I’d find out that it was so right. I’d get overwrought over nothing.

“Then there would be something that I wouldn’t think was worth much and he’d be fascinated. I’d tell him, ‘What’s the matter with you? Man, you’re hung up on the wrong kind of thing,’ and he’d tell me, ‘No, man, this is where it’s at.’ Well, again he’d turn out to be right.”

Peter would do a lot of thinking after these things happened. Maybe Micky was actually a couple of steps ahead of Peter and it had been Peter who was out of step! Peter began to re-think all his opinions and arguments in the light of what Micky thought. Eventually he came to the realization that Micky was doing a lot more teaching to Peter than Peter was doing to Micky!

“Now we share our religious and philosophical viewpoints, which are very similar. For instance, we both believe that God is not a man sitting on a throne somewhere. We both think that this viewpoint is simple, childish and inaccurate. Anyone who worships this sort of God is worshipping an idol, not God. We both believe that peace on Earth can only begin with me, which is pretty much the basis of everything.

Peter Tork, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz

“Where we differ is in political opinions. For instance, do demonstrations accomplish anything? Are they worthwhile? I think demonstrations are vital and necessary. I think Micky feels that demonstrations can be done without. I don’t think he feels they accomplish anything worthwhile. Now this may not be an entirely accurate representation of his views, but I think that this is basically what he feels. I know he doesn’t feel them to be as worthwhile as I do.

“We both feel that the Monkees show could be broadened greatly. Right now we think the series is too square and restricted. There are lots of things that we could be doing that would be good things, but we aren’t.”

Another area where Micky has taught Peter is hobbies. Peter’s spare-time activities are mostly things like reading, playing different instruments, composing songs. Micky’s spare-time activities are, for the most part, things like building his gyrocopter, making things like wire lampshades, recording his album of children’s music.

“I enjoy a lot of the things Micky does, but not to the point of participating. It’s enough to just watch him do the things he does and I learn a lot that way.”

Micky and Peter have become very close since they started working together. As both of their viewpoints have changed, they have found themselves in closer and closer accord. They have taught each other much about life and their work. The two who at first didn’t like each other are now true friends.

Magazine: Monkee Spectacular
Editor: Ralph Benner
Volume: 1
Issue: 12
Publisher: Laufer Publishing Co.
Pages: 44–45