My Secret Diary by Peter Tork

Magazine: 16
Editor: Gloria Stavers
Published:
Volume: 10
Issue: 4
Publisher: 16 Magazine, Inc.
Page: 30

Peter Tork

Peter shares with you the secret thrills and private wisdom that have marked his career as a Monkee!

Actually, my secret diary is kept right in my head. It isn’t that I would mind anyone reading it; it’s just that the things that are important to me are things I would never forget anyway—so I don’t have to write them down.

Biggest thrill

So many, many things have happened during the past several years to change my life that it’s difficult to pick out one especially big thrill. Becoming a Monkee, of course, was a great moment in my life—but I was more scared than thrilled at the time.

I guess the most thrilling experience I have ever known was the night we Monkees played the Hollywood Bowl. It was absolutely packed. We’d put together a brand new show and the audience reaction to it was nothing short of sensational. It was like we all turned on together!

Looking back now, I realize that our live performances have always been the high points in my life. The very first one was in Hawaii—and I will never forget it as long as I live! The Hawaiian fans are “electric”, to say the least. When we played Chicago, the thrill was even more intense—for Davy, Mike, Micky and I were informed backstage (just before the show) that we’d broken the indoor attendance record for a rock and roll show in that city. There were over 20,000 kids packed into the Chicago stadium!

Serenity

All my life I have been interested in eastern philosophy and wisdom. I have read the writings of Tao for many years and The Sayings of Buddha (a small, inexpensive book you can find in almost any book store) always rests on the night-table beside my bed. I find that ancient wisdom, meditation and contemplation puts my mind in order and brings me great serenity. These things also broaden my scope of understanding. I now realize that all men (and women) are born with the ability to be happy naturally—and that unhappy people are those who don’t face reality and those who live a lie. I am not putting them down. Quite the contrary. I feel great tenderness and compassion for them and for all my fellow men and women. If each of us could pause for a moment or two several times during the day and just let everything “fall into place”, we’d be much happier as individuals and as a nation. That simple little practice of pausing, standing still, and clearing the head of all foolish thoughts is as refreshing and invigorating as a good night of restful sleep. If you don’t believe me, try it and you’ll see.

You—& our first movie

A large part of my secret diary is about you. Sometimes performers get upset by the enthusiasm and “onslaught” of energetic fans. I don’t, because I think I understand. Love is expressed in many ways, and there is nothing at all wrong when a young girl expresses the love she has for me—or the Monkees, or any group or teenage idol—by screaming, jumping up and down, waving or even crying. Sometimes love produces waves of emotion that are so gigantic they are irrepressible—so why repress them? It would be just plain unnatural for teenagers to sit calm, cool and collected through one of the Monkees’ concerts—now, wouldn’t it?

Making our first movie was a fantastic experience. It’s so scrambled, so fast and so funny that I think you’ll find it totally entertaining. I sure hope so! Whatever, it was a gas doing it. And next on our schedule, as you all know, is our first full-hour spec for NBC-TV late this fall. Wait’ll you see that!!

Oh, I musn’t [sic] forget to tell you about my latest thrill. I finally bought my very own home. This is the first really big thing I’ve owned in my entire life. It’s funny, I have always avoided owning anything—but recently, for some reason, I’ve had a longing to have a home. Well, that dream has come true. I’ve got it—and I sincerely hope that you will come and visit me one day.

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