It’s 8:30 p.m. and as your car winds up the curving roads of the Hollywood Hills, you can see Mike Nesmith’s gas lanterns burning on the top of the hill. A few more curves and then you spot the entrance to the Villa Antela.
As you arrive at the gate, Alfie’s cheerful voice comes through the speaker at the gate. (Alfie is Mike’s personal chauffeur whom he and Phyllis met on their London vacation last year.) Alfie can see you at the gate through one of the four closed-circuit television cameras on the grounds. He checks the guest list, as the party is by invitation only, and suddenly the big iron gates open automatically. You drive in mentally preparing yourself for an evening of fun and excitement at the Nesmith’s Far East party.
You are greeted at the door by Mike’s beautiful wife, Phyllis, who is wearing a groovy floor-length East Indian-style dress. As you pass through the entryway and into the living room, Mike glances and comes over and says, “Hello, come on in… glad to have you with us.” He’s wearing a velvet East Indian peasant shirt and bell-bottomed slacks.
Michael asks if you’d like to see the rest of their new home. “I’d love to,” you admit and off you go. Before you leave the living room, decorated in Spanish modern furniture and luxurious with thick off-white carpeting, you notice many of Mike’s friends sitting around on the floor (the old Oriental custom) talking happily. From the fireplace a warm fire lights the room.
From the dining room there is an almost 180 degree view of the San Fernando Valley and on the terrace Mike has a powerful telescope, which he received for a Christmas present. Here Mike introduces you to his close friends Keith and Judy Allison who are engrossed in star gazing.
Next Mike leads you into the den, which is a most unusual room. In one corner is the soda-fountain/bar which even has an ice cream machine. Behind the bar, a real tree grows through the floor and on up through the ceiling! The floor is carpeted in deep orange and a large semi-circular sofa fills the opposite corner of the room.
The amazing feature of the comfortable den is the indoor–outdoor swimming pool. The pool comes right into the room and is separated from the outside by sliding glass doors that rest on steel runners. You can swim both in and out of doors by going under the runners and they can be automatically removed by the flick of a switch to make the pool one large area.
But what Mike is especially proud of in this room is his new pinball machine. “It’s real and it’s life size and Phyllis got it for me for Christmas!” he says so excitedly.
Off the den is the library–study room carpeted in rich red. The sofa here is done in exquisite white tapestry and there are two chairs upholstered in red, blue and green psychedelic-pattern tapestry. There are matching pillows with gold tassels which decorate the floor.
From here Mike leads you up the spiral staircase carpeted in a brown-red tone pile. At the base of the stairs is a section of brown antique tiles set into the floor. On the way up you pass three large hanging lamps over the staircase. A turn to the left and you are in Christian’s bedroom. Chris is asleep now, but Mike explains that his room is done in shades of green and that his windows are sliding glass doors that lead to a balcony overlooking the front entrance to the house.
On down the hall, which is lined with gorgeous paintings, is Mike and Phyllis’ bedroom. The carpeting is green with beige flecks and so thick you feel as if it might be a cloud. The king-size bed is covered by a green bedspread that blends beautifully with the carpeting. The curtains, which cover one side of the room, work automatically, as Mike demonstrates, by a control next to the bed.
Downstairs again, you join the other guests like Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, Brendan Cahill, Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson and Mike’s many other personal friends (all dressed in freaky Far Eastern clothes). Everyone begins lining up for the buffet supper which has been catered.
Among the delightful dishes are beef dip, mushroom and steak hors d’oeuvres, potato dip, noodle currie casserole, roast beef and rice, artichoke hearts and green beans. The huge centerpiece is made from various grapes surrounded by sour cream, strawberries and mouthwatering melons.
After dinner everyone seems to congregate in the den. As you enter you notice that Mike has changed into levis and a Lewis and Clark ribbon shirt; the outfit complete with moccasins. Of course, he’s busy playing with his favorite Christmas present—the pinball machine!
In another corner there are two of the most unusual chairs you’ve ever seen. They appear to look like two big eggs and relaxing in one is Bobby Darin, dressed in a white Oriental peasant shirt and looking very cool. He’s listening intently to “Magical Mystery Tour” through the speakers in the sides of the chairs!
The remainder of the evening you spend listening to Mike’s groovy tapes and talking with his interesting friends. But it’s getting late and time to go. So, thanks Mike and Phyl for a great evening. We’ll never forget it!