Inside Every Monkee There’s a Person

Mike Nesmith

Standing around the entrance to Screen Gems, you can always run into different types of people—television stars, producers, writers and even a grey-haired grandmotherly woman who rides a motorcycle for some unusual Screen Gems purpose.

But one of the most unusual people you can meet standing on the concrete sidewalk near the gate is a Monkee fan who has just been lucky enough to meet the group. Ten times out of ten, she’s easily identified because she’s standing there either whispering or shreiking [sic] “But they’re so real. They’re so human. They’re just like people!”

Peter Tork

This may come as a shock to some of you but inside every Monkee, there’s a person trying to get out.

Mike for instance, has barred himself into nearly total seclusion at his home. He lives there with his wife and two small sons, Christian and Jonathan, and they do what most families do. You can bet that when Mike wakes up in the morning, he brushes his teeth, combs his hair, probably says a few harsh words at the thought of getting out of bed so early and then climbs into one of his seven cars and drives to work.

Pretty ordinary, really. Mike also plans to buy a huge ranch where he can spend his spare time living the life of a normal person. What he means by that is he wants a place where people will know him as Mike Nesmith and not Mike The Monkee.

One of Mike’s fondest dreams is to find a place where both Christian and Jonathan can live, go to school and grow up like other kids, and not be constantly in the shadow of their famous father. Just as John Lennon did everything he could to protect his wife Cynthia and son Julian from too much exposure in the press, Mike is trying to shield Phyllis and their sons.

Davy, on the other hand, doesn’t live such an isolated life. He tries to find the kind of existence enjoyed by a lot of the less famous guys in Hollywood—like studio musicians or writers or producers. They are able to visit places and do things unrecognized to the general public but very recognizable and very important to those in the know—people who realize what’s happening behind the scenes. Of course, Davy can never be unknown but he can visit places where people don’t make a fuss over him.

Davy Jones

Davy’s extremely friendly—anyone will tell you that—and easy to get along with. He tolerates all types of people, even those who wind up costing him money or people who are considered “Hollywood hangers-on” which means they don’t do anything more constructive than bug pop stars all day long.

Davy isn’t flashy despite the fact that he is single, very datable and cute. He lives a quiet life and no one ever hears the comment, “Wow! Was that a wild party at Davy’s last night!!” He sticks to quiet gatherings.

Micky, on the other hand, is noted for his loud, noisy parties and his fast-paced life. He gets totally wrapped up in what he’s doing, like building things or going to clubs or throwing parties or showing movies.

Micky Dolenz

Micky fancies himself more an inventor than a movie star. If you run into him at a restaurant, he’s probably more concerned over who he’s sitting with than where he’s sitting. He wants all his friends—and the many people who come to his parties—to be cool.

Just the fact that Micky makes a big effort to do unusual things: build a gyrocopter, create wire sculpture, sew his own American Indian costume, proves that Micky is very concerned with being himself, an individual, a real person.

Last there is Peter, who strives harder than any other Monkee to be intellectually his own person. Peter studies Zen Buddism [sic] and philsophy [sic] and economics and then formulates his own opinions—and sticks to them. He says what he thinks to the press—especially in England—and has joined Micky in producing his own Monkee show on television.

He tries to get away from his screen image more than any other Monkee by letting his beard come and go at whim (providing he’s not filming, of course). Peter was one of the first Monkees to adopt Indian clothes and music to his life. At the Monterey Pop Festival, Peter was judged enough of an individual to introduce several groups and calm down the audience when the “Beatles-on-the-fairgrounds” rumors got too big. He was introduced, by the way, just as Peter Tork and not Peter The Monkee.

All this goes to prove that the life of a star can be great and fab, but it can also be boring and tedious when it’s off camera and you don’t live your life as an individual, as well as a star. The Monkees seem to have licked the problem.

[Scans by This Lovin’ Time]

Magazine: Monkee Spectacular
Editor: Ralph Benner
Volume: 1
Issue: 14
Publisher: Laufer Publishing Co.
Pages: 32–33