There are about five million people called Jones in this world of ours. But there was only ONE who was due to telephone me. So the operator came on and said that A Mister Jones was calling… and she sounded dead bored “WHICH Mister Jones?” asked I…
She checked it out. “A Mister Davy Jones”, she said. “Calling from Hollywood.” A long p-a-u-s-e… and then she hurried back into the conversation with “Oooh, it’s the Monkee Davy Jones.” A short pause while I put on the big-time voice: “Yes, that’s right,” said I! Very cool.
Funny how one Jones out of five million can create such a reaction. Anyway, the next voice I heard was that of Davy. “Hi—and specially say hi to all the fans over there in MY country,” he said. And he talked so fast that it strained my shorthand to the limits. “I hear you want to know about my home here in the Hollywood hills. Well, I’d like everyone over here so they could see things for themselves. But, I guess that’s impossible, so let’s see how I can best describe the lay-out of the Jones’ place!
“First of all, I’m pretty tall in the skies here. Right up in the hills, and on a clear day I can see nearly all of Los Angeles, Really it’s a great lay-out. All round on most sides are the hills and if you look one way you can just about see the outlines of the Hollywood beach.
“The main house has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a den, a living room, a dining-room, a kitchen and a pantry. There’s also a guest house, completely separate, with a living room and a bedroom and a bath. That’s where I’d love to put the entire British Monkee-fan fraternity, though it’d strain the resources of the bathroom! No, honest, it’s pretty spacious, but you have to keep the guest numbers down otherwise it gets like suffocation point.”
Me, interrupting: What about your recording studio—is that part of the house?
“Oh sure! I can just hear my mad lot of musician mates all carrying on inside the house. No, the studio is completely separate, way up outside on the far side from the beach. The studio is slowly being equipped with the material and equipment I want, but already it’s completely sound-proofed. You can wander about in the gardens outside and not have your ear-drums whacked by most of the West Coast pop fraternity!
“Hey, it’s a great scene here at night. You can see the sparkling lights of the city way down below us and it’s really like something out of a fairy-tale picture. I sent over some pictures of me at the front door, hope you got them all right. Well, just in front of me is a picket fence and over my left shoulder is the terrace which runs down to one section of the hill.
“But it’s the inside of the house that I’ve really worked on. Like my bedroom, which has this great circular bed… my pride and joy. I get home from the studios, make myself a night-cap of a drink of milk and then just flake out. And, believe me I’m dead to the world.
“In almost every room there is at least one of my hand paintings. I don’t paint hands simply for my own sake—I just love collecting really good and lifelike paintings of hands. S’funny the things that appeal to people, isn’t it! I meantersay, take a foot. Who’d want a picture of a foot?
“I’ve got a neat and tidy kitchen, mostly painted out in white, and I fix the occasional meal for myself. Beans on toast is a speciality of the house! I’m not so good on anything elaborate. But I hate my home to be too regimented. I like a free and easy atmosphere. I guess I’m not really cut out to be the big boss man.
“Even so, I know what I want to be done. Like the decorations, for instance. I had guys in to do things but if they made the slightest mistake, then I got pretty mad. I’m no do-it-yourself expert, but the fact is that I know exactly what I want. And all the time I think back to the tiny little house we used to live in in Manchester and I wonder whatever did I do to become so lucky.”
Me, interrupting once again: But what do you do at home—I mean, have you any special hobbies?
“What was that, the pips going again? Never mind—I haven’t finished talking yet. My hobbies? Well… I like going into my studio in the garden and just playing around, and experimenting with sounds. Like me singing opera or something, rather than just the pop stuff. But then I’ve also got a good-class film projector so I show movies, some of them surprisingly new. You can rent them out. It’s nice, having a few pals in and just sitting around seeing a film. You get a free-and-easy atmosphere going, something that doesn’t always happen in the cinema though we hope it WILL happen when our first movie hits the screens…
“I’ve been in this house here for quite a year now along with my mate, Susie, the dog. When I moved in, one of the big things I wanted was complete privacy. Which is what I’ve got, on all sides.”
Me, again: What cars are you driving now? How many have you got altogether?
“Only two now! Does that sound big-time? It’s not meant to. But I have a Honda fastback sports car, which is grey with a black strip. And I have a Pontiac Station wagon. But I’m almost as keen on my motor-cycles. Let’s see… yeah, one is a Triumph 500 and the other is a dirt bike, a Velcetta.
“In the meantime, I’m putting in as many plugs as I can for one Harry Nilsson, who has made a truly beautiful album called ‘Pandemonium Shadow Show’. This guy is great and you’ll be hearing all about him soon, specially as he’s out on the RCA label. Still, that’s by the way. All I can say is that I love having people in my home and I can only wish that I could have everybody over to see the things I have here. Just imagine the ball we’d have. Wow!
“What really counts in getting a good home atmosphere going is having the right friends. How they behave. How they kinda fit in to the surroundings. And I have some of the greatest chums over here in Hollywood guys I’d love to have you meet.”
Me: And how’s the film going?
“Well, I can’t say too much. It’s mostly taking the mickey out of the establishment, I guess.
“Say, time is flying real fast. I think I’d better wind up here and now and say good bye. But don’t you forget to give my best wishes, no my LOVE! to all the fans back there in Britain. Just say how I can’t wait to get back there in London again…”
There was a funny sort of clicking noise on the phone and eventually it went completely dead. Davy was in the middle of saying farewell and then got cut off.
Or maybe it was that mischievous dog of his, Susie, putting her foot, or rather paw, on the receiver rest. Anyway it was great talking to this real king of the Jones boys.