Yes, there are Four New Monkees. Their names are still the same, but other than that they’re new, inside and out!
It’s been a wonderful two years of work, thrills, and fun for Davy, Micky, Peter, and Mike. But these years have changed them. They’ve had to. And, so, next month when their first film hits the screen, you can definitely say that the Monkees are new… all new. Just as quick, just as funny, but far more talented than ever before as performers.
In front of a camera on stage, they are truly something new. But it goes beyond this, for after they’ve taken off their makeup, the fabulous four are now different people.
Micky has grown up more than the other three Monkees because he was more of a child when they formed the group. Micky had always been pampered and was in the limelight since the earliest days of “Circus Boy.” He was loved dearly by cast and crew of every TV show he ever appeared on. Funny, youthful, and full of life, Micky rarely ever had a serious thought.
When the Monkees came along he was ready for them and what lay ahead. These years have brought him more fame, lots of wealth and just a bit of heartache. He’s no longer the Micky who has a date with a different girl every night. He’s met a girl who may be right for him. But Micky, like the other Monkees, has to face the struggle of career versus marriage. How can you move ahead professionally and still make a wife happy?
Today Micky is quieter, more thoughtful than he used to be. He no longer laughs aloud at every joke. He smiles a lot and still has a dozen projects going at once, but it’s a new and different Micky that pursues his career. Perhaps a more lonely Micky.
Serious one minute, laughing the next, Mike Nesmith has changed the least of all four Monkees. He was a mature married man when the group formed. Now he’s two years older, a lot richer, but still earnest about his work and his life.
Twice a father, Mike now seems definitely to influence the decisions of the group most. He’s written more of their songs than any other Monkee and he’s now branching out on his own as a record producer. A funny comedian on screen, Mike seems more content working out plans for the Monkees off screen. He works harder today than he ever did. It seems that the more he does or creates, the more time it requires to take care of the details. At home, Phyllis and the children are his whole life. When he’s with them, there is nothing else for him. He adores them all, and if anything, appreciates them more than ever.
The ‘New’ Mike enjoys being a Monkee more than he did two years ago. He feels that having friends like Davy, Micky, and Peter means far more than any kind of career. He’s no longer unsure of his abilities or about what he wants to do in the future. There’s a clear path ahead and Mike is the one to lead the group in many ways in many directions.
Davy today is a very new Monkee. He’s two whole years older and about ten years wiser. During his relationship with Micky, Peter, and Mike, he’s learned far more about life and fun than ever before. Fans are the people who have taught him what love means and also what responsibility means.
Always when time permits, Davy is there to give everything to his fans. He will travel by plane, train or car to reach a sick or dying fan who wants to see him for just a few minutes. Davy now knows that as a Monkee his life is not his own. But he doesn’t care because as long as fans want him Davy will be there to do what he can for them.
As a performer Davy now is more accomplished than ever before. His main changes are musically. When Davy first became a Monkee, he didn’t really know much about instruments, songs, or arrangements. Now Davy can hold his own with good musicians everywhere.
Rumors keep popping up about whether Davy will do a single after the Monkees split-up. Davy will do this if and when the Monkees go their separate ways. Today, they are still a group and are planning to stay one. But, if and when anything changes, Davy has plans which will include both films and records on his own.
Peter Tork becomes a new Monkee each morning when he awakens. He changes from the person he was the day before to the person he is right now. In his own words Peter has often claimed, “Each of us is the sum total of our experiences. This is why I’m always reading or discussing subjects with groups of people. No one can stand still. We all must grow, so naturally I’m never the same two days in a row.”
The big changes that have occurred in Peter’s life naturally include money. When Peter was hired as one of the four Monkees, he had very few funds working as a dishwasher and folk singer at a local club. His Greenwich Village days were filled with many weeks where money was not to be found. That all changed when the Monkees hit. Peter had more money than he’d ever dreamed of before. What did he do with it? He spent most of it on his friends. He bought them anything they needed and many times he bought them anything they wanted.
Peter has been severely criticized for this, but he doesn’t care. To Peter, money isn’t important. If it makes his friends happy then he’ll spend it and spend it freely. Besides, he believes for every dollar he gives away, he receives back ten fold in love and good things. Perhaps this is correct, because Peter’s life is certainly on a very happy plain.
There is more of Peter today in every way. More talent, more love, and more knowledge. He won’t stop changing. He’ll always keep growing.