A TiGER BEAT monthly column from us to you… by Davy, Peter, Mike, & Micky
Each month in TiGER BEAT the Monkees ten an about themselves and their lives… in their own words!
This month I thought I’d talk about my house and what it means to me. I know that you’ve all seen pictures of it in “TiGER BEAT” and “Monkee Spectacular” so you have a general idea of what it looks like. There are so many things that don’t show in pictures, though; I thought you might be interested in knowing about them.
For instance, I bet you don’t realize just how high up on a hill my house is. It’s perched on a little hill that’s part of a very big hill and from my living room window I can see practically all of Los Angeles. In fact, on a clear day I can see the ocean and that’s a pretty good accomplishment if you know how far away Hollywood is from the ocean! At night the lights go on all over the city and most of them blink on and off in all sorts of colors and you can just sit by the window and groove on the beautiful scene. The stars in the sky seem to almost touch the earth in the distance and it’s so beautiful you can’t even begin to describe it. Since my color TV is right by the window, too, I often sit there in this big chair I have and sort-of listen to the TV while I watch the city and play with Suzie II, my dog. I play with her a lot because I don’t like visitors to play with her and I don’t want her to feel neglected.
As you walk in the front door there are stairs to the left which lead up to the bedrooms and then to the right there is a curtain of beads across the doorway. This leads to the living room.
When you go into the living room you’ll see a lot of people first as I’ve usually got loads of visitors. They’ll be sitting around talking or watching TV, or they’ll be in the kitchen because it’s got everything I need to cook a great dinner for twelve people and that’s one of the things I really enjoy doing. The kitchen is also so well organized that I can clean up after dinner in just a few minutes, something pretty important to me as I’m the one who cleans up!
Out in the yard there’s a small swimming pool which I always wish could be larger because I like to swim. BUT, there is so little room left on the lot that if I expanded the pool it would hang out over the cliff on the side of the hill! So, I’m content with just having a swimming pool at all.
Well, that’s a small tour of the Jones house. I’m very proud of my house and I always wish that I could take all my fans through it, but that isn’t really very practical. I hope you like this substitute.
Oh, before I close for this month I want to thank all of you for the wonderful birthday presents you sent to me. There were so many I still haven’t had time to open them all but they’re all great. You’re wonderful fans and I love you.
The Far Eastern Tour is not far off for us now and we’re really getting excited about it. None of us have ever been to any part of Asia before and we’ll also get a chance to visit Hawaii again, a place we remember for the wonderful reception we got when we played there before.
Since most of the tour will be in Japan I’ve been working for months on learning all about the country and the language. I’m being tutored on the set by a Japanese language teacher and I’m sure getting a lot better now than I was when I started! Japanese looks like it would be very hard to learn because they use a different form of writing but it is really very easy. It’s much more logical than English, which means that there aren’t a lot of exceptions. You learn something and you can use it for just about every situation. In English you have to learn many, many different rules for the same sort of thing.
Even the writing, though I’m not really studying it, isn’t nearly as difficult or complicated as it looks. Everything in Japanese was once a picture of the object and gradually the pictures got simplified until they look like they do today. If you get a book where they show what the original picture looked like, it’s not hard at all to understand how they write today.
I’m also studying a lot more about the country itself. I’ve been reading a lot of books about Japanese customs and history and it’s amazing just how interesting these things can be when you want to learn them. I remember when I was in school I sometimes thought that history or geography was boring or something. Well, when you get older and begin travelling to these places you find that these things are really fascinating. Lots of times on the set now we have friendly arguments about things like who opened Japan to the Western world: Captain Cook or Admiral Perry (It was Admiral Perry). Just the things that you sometimes don’t want to learn at all in school!
The Japanese have a very beautiful way of life and the more I read about it, the more I appreciate Japan. They have some very deep beliefs that are very beautiful and I think that anyone would find them fascinating, as long as they weren’t being taught by some teacher!
So, we’re off to Japan and concerts and fans and the opportunity to see things we’ve never seen before. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
I got the most exciting opportunity the other night. Most of the time (in fact it’s hard to think of any exceptions!) when I’m out in public it’s always as Micky the Monkee. That’s pretty groovy, except lots of times I feel that people listen to me just because I am a Monkee. Well, the other night, I went on a live radio show here in Los Angeles as a “Mystery Guest”. They didn’t identify me at all as either Micky Dolenz OR as a Monkee. I was just a voice and it was great. I talked about being a Monkee (though I didn’t name the group!) and what I wanted to do and what I’m now doing that doesn’t really have much to do with being a Monkee.
For instance, right at the moment I’m busy recording an album for very young children, the five and younger set. The album will be something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and it will be quite different than most children’s records. I’m busy recording it right now in my private recording studio at home, which I just completed. I’d like to give you a few clues about the album but I think I’ll just let you be surprised. Since it will be so different from what the Monkees have been doing I think I’ll let you guess for a few weeks. How’s that?
I’ve been doing something else that’s very exciting, too. A few weeks ago I wrote and directed an entire Monkee show and it’s the first time that any of us have done that!
It was a lot of fun. I won’t give away the plot because I want it to be a surprise for you. I had a lot of fun writing it and all of us had fun acting in it. It was groovy being “in charge” of the show, too. When we usually film, and someone else is directing, then they are the one “in charge”, but this time it was me and I think I did a pretty good job, considering that it was my first time. Of course I did goof sometimes but I learned a lot, too, and the next time there will be a lot fewer goofs. I’m very proud of the fact that we got further in the script on our first day than we ever have before. That means that we were all grooving very well together.
Unfortunately, with my writing, directing, record-making, gyro-copter building, house remodeling and Christmas-visiting I haven’t had time for much of anything else! See you next month!
I think best friends are the most valuable things that a person ever has. It doesn’t matter what else happens in their life, or how successful they become, the most valuable things are the things they started with—their best friends.
I don’t think a person really realizes just how valuable best friends are until something does happen—they fail in something or they become quite successful, as I have been. Now that the Monkees are in the position we all hoped for when we started two years ago I find that there are always people hanging around, trying to become my friend for reasons that really don’t have anything to do with friendship. They want money, or a job, or maybe even the satisfaction of being around someone who’s done what they set out to do. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have anything to do with me as a person and I resent it. I want to be liked for me.
I’ve found that the only people I’m able to really depend on to be true friends are the people who’ve been my best friends for years. They’re the people I got to know in San Antonio, mostly when I was going to school there, and they’re the only people I really consider my friends. I know that it doesn’t matter to them that I’ve got a lot more money than I used to have, or that I’m a lot more famous. To them, the only thing that is important is the fact that I’m their friend.
I know that everything could crash tomorrow and they would still be my friends.
When we were all going to school together we didn’t know that things would turn out as they have—we were just kids going to the same school who had somewhat the same ambitions. Well, things did turn out and yet nothing changed with us.
So, now that you’re in school, find your life-time friends. Find people who enjoy the same sort of things that you do, who like you because of the person you are. Then, when your ambitions come true you’ll have the people around you that really mean something.