Monkees: Mike and Micky

Last month Carole talked about her early days with Davy and Peter. This month she concludes her two part story revealing exciting times with Mike and Micky.

Some of the funniest memories Carole has of the Monkees revolve around Mike Nesmith, who has on occasion done some of the funniest things in the world. Of course, not all of Mike’s humor is actually intentional—a good deal of it sort of comes about by accident.

For example, Carole recalls an incident which occurred during filming one day a few weeks before the show went on the air. “We were on the set one day, and Mike wasn’t involved in any of the shots they were setting up. This particular set used a backdrop—sort of a picture of the ocean, which is supposed to be behind the house in which they live.

“I guess Mike just got bored, and since they were shooting on the other part of the set at that time, he walked over to this backdrop and he started talking to the backdrop!—to the water, and to the boats, in relation to himself and to the Monkees, and how silly the whole thing was that grown boys ‘our age getting in front of a camera and playacting is ridiculous’! He even started composing a song about the whole thing!

“Pretty soon, one by one, everyone stopped what they were doing and just sort of filed over behind him to watch. And, he was completely oblivious to all of them! He was carrying on a genuine conversation with the backdrop!

“After a while, just about everybody had stopped what they were doing to watch, and they were all sort of holding their laughter in. You know, standing there behind him and watching this whole thing, but with their hands over their mouths!

“Finally, when Mike was finished with his conversation, he just picked up and walked off! He was completely unaware that we were there watching! That conversation at that time was very important to him.”

Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz

Of course, Carole saw another side of Mike, a less humorous more concerned side of this complex young man. “One thing about Mike is that he is very conscientious—it’s very important to him what other people he believes in and respects think of him, and of his work. Because, he really tries, he really puts a lot in it.

“I saw him do a dramatic scene one time in which he was talking to Davy’s grandfather who was supposed to be trying to take Davy away. He did a scene in which he had to cry—for real—and he was so believable! He was just so great that I walked over and told him, ‘You know—you really have the makings of a great actor!’ He turned to me and smiled and gave me a hug. That was all he said about it, but you could tell just how important that was to him. He’s very conscientious about his work!”

Although Mike is conscientious, he is also very human, and Carole recalls his impatience with unnecessary stupidity. “One day, I watched all four of the boys being interviewed. This interview was very psychologically-oriented, and the interviewer asked each of the boys to describe himself in a color, or an inanimate object, or something. Everyone said something which more-or-less made sense, but when they got to Mike, he said: ‘Aluminum!’ Then he just got up and walked off, because he thought the whole thing was stupid.

“Another thing he really dislikes is insincerity. In fact, none of the boys likes insincere people and especially now, probably more so than ever because they have been surrounded by so many people who just want to be next to The Monkees—and don’t really care about them as people.

“Mike is a loner—he is an honest loner. He does what he wants to do. It’s funny—with Mike, you are always susceptible to his moods. It isn’t that he is really moody, it’s just that he’s got like a whole private thing going for him. And, sometimes if the situation isn’t right, you feel like you’re intruding. But, I have great respect for him because he is definitely an individual who holds on to his individuality.

“You know, with both Mike and Peter—if this thing hadn’t come along, they wouldn’t have been unhappy. If they weren’t big stars, they would probably be just as happy as they are now. For example, I saw all of their screen tests when they tested for the parts of the Monkees. And, when (The original article cuts off here, and some of the paragraphs are out of order. I’ve re-arranged them into an order that makes more sense.) they said to Mike—‘What are you going to do if this doesn’t go through? What are you going to go back to?’ Mike just said, ‘Oh, I’ll go back to being a failure!” And, that’s just the way he is—he’s happy that way! He was a happy failure!

Carole admits that of the four, Micky was the one Monkee she spent the least amount of time with. She explains that at first, Micky was very quiet and kept very much to himself. In fact, it was almost only by accident that he came over to visit her when the other boys did; and only then did Carole begin to get to know him a little better.

Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz

“Although he had been sort of quiet at first, when he came over to my house to visit with the other boys, he was so open and warm it was really very nice. Although they say that Mike is the ‘loner’ of the group, Micky was actually sort of shy in the beginning, too. It just took me a little bit longer to get to know him than the others.”

One thing which Carole remembers as being very important to Micky were his feelings and opinions on the idea of mind-over-matter.

“Micky is a firm believer in mind-over-matter. It’s a science of the mind, and he really believes that the mind can cure everything. Micky and I went to lunch together one day and we got into an unbelievable discussion on this and he got me very interested in the whole subject.

“In fact, it was actually Micky who did a lot to make me start believing more in myself, that I was really capable of doing just about anything I set my mind to.

“I didn’t spend that much time with Micky, and unfortunately—I didn’t get to know him as well as I would have liked to. But, Micky is the type of a guy who always leaves you wanting to know more, because he gives—he doesn’t just keep basking in your admiration or interest in him. He wants to know about you.

“Micky really is a brilliant mimist and impressionist; he’s got a good sense for television and for timing, especially for comedy timing. He’s a good actor and he knows how to play television.

“It’s true that Micky is sort of a loner, too; he goes his own way. But, he always likes to be included. I guess he likes to know what he’s missing!”

All in all, Carole considers the Monkees to be four of the grooviest and most talented guys around today. Of course, today it is almost the “in” thing to do to praise the Monkees and agree that they are tops. After all, most people think it foolish to knock success. But, Carole Shelyne was fortunate enough to meet the Monkees and watch them work before the public ever really knew them, and she was telling the world how great the Monkees were before it was “the thing to do.”

[Scans by This Lovin’ Time]

Magazine: Monkee Spectacular
Editor: Ralph Benner
Volume: 1
Issue: 14
Publisher: Laufer Publishing Co.
Pages: 51, 53