It’s flyin’ time again—so come along with our editor, Gloria Stavers, as she takes you spinning off into the magic world known as Monkee-land!
Welcome back to Monkee-land! Your host on this trip is Peter Tork, but the very first Monkee you meet is David Jones!
As usual, there is a large crowd of fans standing just outside the North Beachwood Drive entrance to the Screen Gems lot. In the middle of the crowd—all teenage girls, of course—stands the one and only delightful, delicious Davy Jones. Though it is early in the morning and Davy has a hard day’s work ahead of him, he has stopped to give autographs and chat with the kids who were kind enough (and lucky enough!) to drop by with the hope of catching him on his way to the studio. When Davy sees you approaching, he recognizes you as a 16 regular and makes his way through the crowd to personally greet you.
“Come along,” Davy says, taking your hand. “You’re in for the biggest blinking surprise of your life!”—and as you and Davy run past the crowd toward Studio 7, your heart beats a mile-a-minute and you can’t help feeling absolutely super. Of all the vast multitude of Monkee fans, you are the chosen one who is about to spend untold heavenly hours in the living presence of the four most wonderful guys in the world—Davy, Peter, Micky and Mike!
In the last issue of 16 you were on hand while Micky directed a Monkees segment. Now it is Peter’s turn “in the barrel”. Peter and Micky are the only two Monkees who want to direct Monkees segments, so please don’t think that Davy and Mike were left out. They themselves decided to “fade out” when it came to TV directing.
Peter’s Monkees segment is called Monkees Mind Their Manor. The whole thing takes place in merrie olde England. Hold on, me luv—it was actually filmed right on the Screen Gems lot in Hollywood, Calif., but it looks as though it was filmed in England. Of course, some of the filming was done at the famous Columbia ranch—and you have the pleasure of watching one of the funniest scenes in the script being shot there. It features an outdoor charity bazaar and there are real tents, balloons, everything—including dart games. Well, there were supposed to be dart games, but you have to smother a giggle as you watch the propman running about confiscating the darts from the Monkees—who have been having a ball popping all of the balloons with them!! At one point you, Mike, Davy and Micky really break up as the exasperated propman runs across the field, hands Peter a big bunch of balloons, and says, “O.K., you’re the boss today. You blow ’em up!”
“Wow!” Davy shouts suddenly. “It’s raining!”
You start to run for cover, but Mike grabs your hand and says with a slight smile and a Texas drawl, “Don’t you know about us movie folks? We don’t let nothin’ like a little rain bother us.”
Before you know it, the huge arc lights are wheeled out and the cameras whirl on as artificial “sunlight” is provided for the Monkees’ Charity Bazaar.
Suddenly a loud voice booms, “Lunch break! Everybody take an hour—Monkees take 45 minutes!”
Mike, the expectant father, wanders off to find a phone; Micky disappears; and you find yourself standing between Davy and Peter.
“She’s mine!” shouts Davy, pulling one of your arms. “No, no!” cries Peter, pulling the other. “She’s mine!”
They look so dead serious that you wonder if they are really having an argument over lucky you, or are just gagging around! Whichever is true, you have ascended from Monkee-land to Monkee-heaven! After all, it isn’t every day that a girl has two of the world’s top teen idols quarreling over which one she will lunch with!
“I’ll tell you what,” Peter says. “I will take this half of her—and you take that half of her.”
They earnestly agree, and both boys march off in opposite directions—each holding on to one of your arms! Clowns that they are, just when they’ve stretched you to the breaking point, they swing around and bump smack into one another!
Davy says to Peter, “What on earth are you doing here?”
“I always come here to get out of the rain,” Peter explains seriously. “By the way, have you met my girl friend?”
Davy looks you over, shakes your hand and says, “Don’t believe so, but she sure looks good to me. Shall we eat her for lunch?”
Your private Monkee dreams are suddenly interrupted by the onslaught of a cute little MG driven by a cute little brunette. The car bears right down upon you. The boys hold their ground, and the MG screeches to a halt two inches from Peter’s knees!
“Hi, Marilyn, you little daredevil,” Peter says calmly. And the boys introduce you to their secretary/Girl Friday, Marilyn Schlossberg. You are delighted by her warmth and friendly manner, and you’re grateful to her too—when she suggests that the boys take you off to the ranch cafeteria “…before it is too late to get anything good to eat!”
Back at Studio 7 that afternoon, fun-time really begins! Funtime for Peter, anyway. One of the jobs of the “director” in Monkees Mind Their Manor is to wrap up the other Monkees like mummies and stuff them into coffins! (If you wanna know why—you gotta see the segment!)
Every time Peter gets one Monkee wrapped and encased, the one he completed before pops out of his coffin.
“Hey, sweetheart!” cries Micky, popping out of his wrappings—to Peter’s dismay. “Wanna suck blood with me?” Then Micky, who is inclined to crack up at his own jokes, bursts into a powerful, hearty har-de-har-har-har!
Somehow, Peter manages to get the scene down without blowing his cool—or his top, for that. However, he does have quite a hassel getting all three of his little friends to stay “wrapped up” and in the coffins—all at the same time!
At tea time, Davy comes up to you and says, “How would you like to see my room?”
At first, you are not quite sure what he means, but your answer—without hesitation—is “yes”, and Davy escorts you to his brand new, recently decorated dressing room. The first thing that amazes you as you walk in is the “lobby”. The lobby is actually a small living room. The door to the left of this room opens into Micky’s dressing room, and the door to the right leads to Davy’s dressing room. The living room itself is finished in royal blue. It has a color TV set, two overstuffed chairs and a great big couch.
Davy says “hi” to some guys as you fly by and you instantly recognize David Pearl, Neko and some of Davy’s other friends. Davy’s dressing room features a double-deck sleeping bunk, the top half of which is covered with clothes, photos and copies of 16 and 16 SPEC. A rack with some of Davy’s achkans on it stands in the corner and there is a large, colorful hare krishna poster on the wall. Davy explains to you, “Hare krishna is an ancient chant and the words are whispered softly or thought upon in solitude. They bring a feeling of joy and contentment. We Monkees first learned about hare krishna from the Beatles. They had made up a little song using these words and George Harrison taught it to Micky and Micky taught it to us.”
The light on Davy’s private phone is constantly blinking and you are both amused and amazed that Davy doesn’t even notice it. At last he says, “Oh—that. It never stops ringing. It is supposed to be my unlisted, super-private number, but somehow it just leaks out. Well, let’s see who it is.”
Davy sits down and softly chats for a few moments and you wonder who the lucky listener is. “Nothing exciting,” he says when he hangs up. “Just the gardener to tell me that ‘Susie,’ my dog, dug up three rows of flowers!”
After the tea break, it is back to work for the boys. You spend the rest of the afternoon watching them mug through their scenes while Peter keeps a sharp eye on his buddies.
The last shot of the day is a hysterical scene between the boys and Myra De Groot, who plays a fuddy-duddy English schoolteacher named Mary Friar. Super-director Tork is so good that the boys actually get through early and spend the last 30 minutes or so chit-chatting with you. When you ask Peter how he feels after having directed the Monkees segment, he thinks for a minute and then says, “Micky was much more radical than I. I used one camera—making master shots and close-ups. Micky did the opposite. I don’t know whether the Monkees are hard to direct or whether I am just not experienced enough, but it wasn’t easy. Even so, I’m hooked, man. I am really going to try it again. You know what? Now I would like to direct a musical spectacular!”
Mike and Davy, who have been eavesdropping, suddenly crack up. “Hey, man—we think you were great!” they exclaim. And all at once you realize that they are not joking; that they had a ball working with Peter and really mean what they said.
Once again a fabulous Monkee-time has come and gone. You are sad because it is over, but you are glad because you know that this is not really the end. There’s more—much more—to come later.
Yep, that’s right! Don’t miss the June issue of 16 Magazine and Monkees And You—when Peter, Mike, Micky and Davy invite you to the exclusive preview of their fantastic new Monkee movie! The June issue goes on sale April 25.