WHAT would YOU do if two live MONKEES came for dinner at YOUR house? What happened to JEFF could happen to YOU!
See if you can possibly imagine this happening to you: having two Monkees at your house at the same time! Well, it happened to me and, needless to say, it was one of the most enjoyable evenings of my life! Since you wouldn’t want to miss any of this fabulous fun, come and join me and find out what happens when you have the unexpected pleasure of being host to the swinginest twosome around!
After the Monkees’ first New York concert in September, 1966 (when Clarksville had just started to become a hit), as Davy’s best friend in New York I went to visit the guys in their hotel suite at the Plaza together with my dad and mom. When we entered their suite, we found that things were really jumping—and everyone was extremely excited. On hand were the Monkees themselves and their other invited guests. These included Gloria Stavers of 16 Magazine, Gary Stevens of WMCA radio in New York, and many Screen Gems executives. The night before, Davy had told my mom, dad and I that he would be coming “home” for dinner with us tonight. As we were about to leave, Davy turned and asked us, “Hey, will it be all right to bring Micky along?”
“Of course—don’t be silly,” my mom and I said in unison.
So Davy asked Micky, and at first Micky was very shy about coming along. I could hear him say to Davy, “Gee, I might be imposing. Do you think they’ll mind it? Are you sure it’s O.K.?”
After Davy did a fine job of “convincing” Micky, they went into the bedroom (where Mike and some friends were “hiding out”), got their coats and we all tumbled out the door. Wow—was I in Dreamsville! Two live Monkees—and a whole evening together ahead of us!
The elevators were very crowded, so Micky said, “Well, why not walk down?”
“Hey, man!” Davy exclaimed. “You gotta be jokin’!”
“Oh, no, I’m not!” Micky retorted. And to prove it, he marched off—all the way down 15 flights of stairs—with Mom, Dad, Davy and me huffing and puffing along behind him! Out of breath, we finally reached bottom. Whew! We were really zonked—and what do you think we saw facing us?? Roaring lions? No, worse! Screaming tigers!! Yep, there—blocking the only path to our limo—stood what looked like 500 teenyboppers! Luckily for our precious cargo, a dozen security guards suddenly appeared and got everything under control—and we were off!
“Where did you originally come from?” I asked Micky, once we were all safely in the car.
Micky, eager to start a conversation, answered quickly, “Oh—I come from Los Angeles. That’s where I come from. But don’t get me wrong—I like New York a lot. It’s really groovy. Almost as many lights as L.A. Have you ever been there?”
I couldn’t answer, because Micky talked non-stop—enjoying every second of it. He kept raving on until the car pulled up in front of our building and the doorman let us out.
When we piled out and into the elevator, Micky’s one-man conversation continued, “Oooh—I love elevators with all the buttons and lights and stuff!”.
The first thing Micky did when we opened the apartment door was run to our piano in the living room. But before he could sit down to play, the doorbell rang and he ran to answer it. It was my mother, who had taken the elevator after the one that had carried the rest of us. Micky hugged and kissed her, and then hurried to the refrigerator, where he found one of his favorite things.
“Wow—I haven’t had one of these ice-pops in ages!” he said, licking his lips.
“Oh, no you don’t,” Mom butted in. “Not until after dinner. O.K.?”
Micky nodded, smiled and walked over to the piano. “Who in this house knows how to play this thing?” he called.
“I do!” I responded, and ran to sit beside him at the piano.
“Boy, would I love to know how to play a piano,” Micky continued. “Do you think you could teach me something—and maybe one day we could write songs together?”.
I was a little bit more than stunned, but extremely happy—and I said, “Of course.” (Wouldn’t you?!)
As my first lesson, I taught Micky to play the song More. Much to my surprise and delight, he picked it up extremely fast. “Gee, this is groovy! I really dig it!” he said, excitedly banging away.
After a few laughs it was dinner time, and we all sat down at the dining room table. Micky sat next to me, eager to eat—but it seemed that he also had something else on his mind. The first thing served was tomato juice—and Micky’s eyes lit up. (This just goes to show how easy it is to make Mr. Dolenz happy!) Next came a big salad, to accompany the main course of roast beef and mashed potatoes. Micky was delighted—and said that roast beef was one of his fave foods.
Both Davy and Micky requested music to dine by, so we put on some Rascal, Beatle, Monkee and Bobby Rydell records. One thing you sooner or later find out about musical celebrities is that they love to listen to music loud. So do I—but those poor neighbors! After we finished our main course, Micky and Davy, along with the rest of us, gobbled up desserts of peaches and ice cream. Micky—I discovered—has a one-track mind. The split second he finished dinner, he went over to my mother, and whispered, “Can I have it now?”
She nodded yes, and Micky ran to the freezer and took out his “longed-for” ice-pop. That turned out to be the something else he seemed to have on his mind!
Micky then asked if he could lie on the floor to watch TV. Wish granted, he curled up on the rug, with two pillows and his ice-pop. After quietly watching TV for a full two minutes, he jumped up to get a “refill” on his ice-pop. No doubt about it—he loves ’em!
Before we knew it, it was almost midnight and Micky and Davy were exhausted. Those guys use up a lot of energy in one day! Micky put on his coat, kissed my mom goodbye, and shook hands with my dad and me. Davy did the same, thanked us and told us he’d call us in the morning. As the door was about to close, Micky stuck his head back inside and said, “Thanks, Jeff—for my first piano lesson!”
And I know he meant it, because when I saw him again ten months later he told me that he’d bought his own piano and was taking lessons for real!