Has Success Changed the Monkees?

Peter Tork

It has Peter, and here’s why!

Peter Tork likes to hear himself talk, so he talks most of the time. Fortunately for those who are listening it is quite often a groovy experience. Peter is very good at putting words together in a statement that says something. He’s no good at small talk or joking. He likes to communicate important thoughts to those around him, and today, more than ever before, he’s succeeding.

“When I was 16,” Peter admits, “I just didn’t have any confidence in myself. I really thought I was devoid of any kind of sex appeal. But today all of that is really changing.

“It used to be that the girls I dated weren’t necessarily beauties, but now it seems they’re getting more and more beautiful because I have added confidence in myself as a person.”

Before you start thinking Peter’s getting conceited, stop right where you are and let him explain.

“Now by beauty, I don’t necessarily mean what’s on the outside. I mean the whole of a person. Her mind, her soul, and her body. In other words, the total person. A more complete person is a more beautiful person.”

Peter looks back on his problems during his teenage years as mostly being caused by thinking too much about himself in the wrong way. “I thought a lot of things about myself when I was younger that just weren’t true. Now that I’m older and have studied I think I’m beginning to understand where it’s at. Before, I just didn’t. Now I can forget myself and enjoy what I’m doing because I’m not really searching to find out who I am anymore. I know.”

Peter Tork, James Frawley, Natasha Pavlova (Ondine Vaughn)

Peter gets a great kick out of life now. He loves being a Monkee. “I think creating plastic Beatles was a groovy idea no matter who knocks us,” he states seriously. “The fan is great. Note I’m not saying the fans, because each Monkee fan is an individual and deserves to be treated in this way.”

There’s no denying that Monkee fans as a group respond to Peter’s personality and sincerity. Last summer on tour, it was always Peter who was standing hours on end to sign autographs, or Peter who was taking the time to discuss ideas with the many fans he met on tour. He doesn’t hesitate to tell fans what he thinks. If they’re misbehaving or disorderly, he tells them to shape up and have some courtesy. He’s not afraid of losing fans by being honest.

Peter Tork

“I’m a success because I want to be a success. You create your own success and success creates you. People who are failures have been lied to. They just don’t know that they can be successful!”

Peter often returns in conversation to when he was 16-years-old. “I had no faith, then,” he admits. “I was constantly leaning on other people. This wasn’t fair to them or to myself.” Today, of course, Peter has developed a very strong philosophy… a deep belief in himself and his place in the universe.

Peter Tork

He isn’t interested in money except for the fact that it exists. “Money is paper and coins,” he laughs. “It represents buying power. It’s a mutual thing between people… a mutual understanding.” Because of his opinion, Peter is super-generous with his friends up to a point that is considered risky by his business advisors. If he has something, he willingly gives it to someone who wants it.

Peter’s material wants are few. He constantly works on improving his understanding, but rarely buys clothes, cars, or furniture. He would sooner spend money on taking Japanese lessons. Also, he seldom carries cash on him. It’s sometimes surprising to those around him that Peter Tork, the wealthy Monkee, usually is without cash! But to Peter, it’s just not something he remembers.

Peter Tork

When he talks, Peter likes to sit cross-legged. This doesn’t have anything to do with meditating or yoga, it’s just that he likes to sit cross-legged. His piercing brown eyes focus intently on the person he’s speaking to. This is a quality Peter radiates… one of making others feel totally involved. He’s there all the time and you can feel him.

To know Peter and understand how he’s changed, it’s simple enough to say that he’s matured, mellowed, and relaxed because of his constant desire to improve and be a better person. To get the true meaning of his character, it’s best to just review a few of his statements:

“It’s impossible for any of us to waste time. We’re where we are. If I sit rubbing my elbow staring out into space, that’s where I want to be, what I want to be doing. It’s never a waste of time. Nothing is if you want to be doing it.”

“Love means understanding.”

“Don’t buy lies. Don’t believe everything you’re told… especially when growing up. Investigate for yourself and find out the truth on your own terms.”

“If you want to have sex appeal, think beautiful thoughts inside. Beautiful faces reflect beautiful souls.”

“The Beach Boys have changed a great deal over the years as individuals. I saw Dennis Wilson the other day and he’s true spirit now. He’s got it. He’s beautiful!”

“I guess you might call me a know-it-all!”

“I’m getting to enjoy life more. It’s easier for me to be in love.”

[Scans by This Lovin’ Time]

Magazine: Monkee Spectacular
Editor: Ralph Benner
Volume: 1
Issue: 14
Publisher: Laufer Publishing Co.
Pages: 18, 20–21