Imagine how groovy it is when you see your faves shopping, or at a local restaurant!
It’s possible to meet the Monkees in the strangest ways and doing the most ordinary things. For instance, I was driving down La Cienega Blvd. in Hollywood—the street with all the art galleries—when I stopped for a red light. When I leaned up to the rear view mirror to check my lipstick situation, I caught a glimpse of the car behind me and practically froze at the wheel.
It was Davy!
Davy Jones was wedged into the middle of a bright yellow Corvette Sting Ray. On each side of him were two men who were about twice his size. Davy was apparently sitting on top of the transmission box as Corvettes have only two bucket seats.
Apparently, no one was talking. One guy looked sort of hip and the other looked like my father—very unhip. I couldn’t imagine what they were doing together, and I’m not certain they could. Davy looked bored—not to mention in pain whenever the car hit a bump and his head hit the ceiling.
But the driver was smiling because he couldn’t decide where to turn. He had started the car up when the light turned green and he was driving very slowly (of course, not because he was following me and I was going 5 m.p.h.) and he was looking from side to side. Several times the Corvette swerved to each side of the road, like they were about to turn, then didn’t.
Finally I saw Davy point to the left and they headed into the left lane and turned into one of the plush restaurants.
The headwaiter must have gotten quite a shock. When Davy crawled out of the car, he had on jeans and a powder blue Indian shirt. The headwaiter always wears a tuxedo.
Now that blew my mind. I’d just been recovering from seeing Peter two nights before in a small folk club in L.A. Peter had wandered in with sort of a large conglomeration of people behind him. He led the pack and walked in the door first. I just happened to be watching the whole thing.
Some of the guys in Peter’s crowd had beards and one stood out because his beard was red. There were a couple of girls too, one with long blonde hair and another with short dark hair. I REALLY watched Peter after that in order to see if he was with a girl. I was crushed. I don’t think he was.
They all found a row of seats and sat down quietly. The show had just begun and Peter was watching the act very intently. Whenever anyone in his party talked, he seemed highly annoyed. I guess because Peter himself is a performer and knows what it’s like to have an unruly audience, he’s a very polite member of the audience.
The group on stage wasn’t really too good. They were a small group from L.A. who had never had a hit of any kind, and you could see they were honored and awed at having Peter practically at their feet. In fact, when he walked in the lead singer missed a note or two, but Peter just smiled and nodded like he understood.
When the set was over, Peter smiled and applauded loudly, even demanding they come back for an encore. They did—really thrilled—and when the show was over, Peter headed backstage. He said a few hellos, then waved to his party to join him and they all split.
Another place to meet stars
Another good place for meeting stars is a grocery store, believe it or not. The Hollywood Ranch Market is one of my favorite spots, ever since I ran into Rolling Stone Brian Jones looking at the jams.
But I wasn’t quite prepared for rounding the corner near the carrots and seeing Micky Dolenz with his nose in a magazine. Actually, I’m lying. It was a comic book, I think, but I was too flustered to check it out. I mean, do you just walk up to a Monkee, bend under his magazine and search for the title. Of course not. You don’t take your eyes off of him for a second. Moments like these are precious.
Anyway, I shoved my cart over to one side of the aisle and began frantically searching through the waxed paper—or so it looked. I was looking at Micky, of course.
His hair was awry, like he’d been riding around in his convertible. He had on sort of a purple Indian shirt, boots and a brown suede jacket.
He has an odd magazine-reading-posture. He puts his weight all on one leg, then two seconds later shifts to the other leg, just like a stork. It’s just the sort of thing they always tell you not to do in a posture class. Every once in awhile, he’d tap his toe a few times, like he was singing along with the print.
Finally, Micky put down his book and shoved his hands in his pockets. He strolled up and down the magazine rack a couple of times, looking at the covers. He even paid attention to some of the sophisticated women’s fashion magazines.
Then he checked the large store clock, turned his collar up and strolled out of the open air store. The last I saw of him, he was looking for his car in the parking lot. I think he’d temporarily lost it.
I met Mike Nesmith when he nearly knocked me over on his way to a recording session. I’d wandered down to see another group perform and they were late as usual. Apparently Mike was late too because he came flying—or running very fast anyway—around a corner, darted through the back door and was still running down the corridor when he clobbered me.
His boots were the modified cowboy variety and he was wearing jeans, a blue shirt and a leather jacket with fringe on it. His hair looked like he’d just run a block (which he had) and he was breathing hard—like he hadn’t had that much exercise in awhile.
I’d run into Mike a couple of times before—but not literally—at Ravell’s Restaurant. The Monkees were cutting their first album then and he was always eager to talk about the group.
The one thing that strikes you most about Mike when you meet him is that he is tall and thin—very tall and thin. They say television puts 20 pounds on a person and with Mike, you can believe it.
Mike also smiles very easily, even when he mows you down. It’s a little like Haight-Ashbury hippies were a year ago, when Hashbury was a groovy place, unlike now. You’d bump into a person accidently [sic] and you’d apologize. But they’d say, “That’s okay, man, I’m glad you bumped into me!”