You may not have realized it, but Davy Jones walks a tightrope. That doesn’t mean he actually strolls across a rope stretched high up in the sky. It’s more symbolic than that—Davy’s tightrope is like the cake that got left out in the rain in “MacArthur Park”—it stands for something else.
In this instance, it stands for Davy’s relationship with Mike, Micky and Peter. It’s a case of delicate balance.
The Other Three Monkees, as they are sometimes called when people gossip in Hollywood, aren’t short, aren’t cuddly cute and they don’t have a groovy British accent. They are, compared to Davy Jones, different. Or perhaps you could say that Davy is different from them.
Anyway you look at it, Mike, Micky and Peter are one step away from Davy. People have argued and argued about the truth and importance of the statement that Davy Jones is the star of the Monkees, but no one has resolved anything. The statement probably would be a little more fair if it were modified to say: Davy Jones gets into the spotlight more than any of the Other Monkees.
When you watch the guys work it’s a fascinating study in people and personalities.
First off, they are all friends. During the filming of “Untitled,” there was a scene where Davy leads Mike, Mick and Peter and shadow-boxes at the same time. Of course, they wind up back in the box.
The guys began filming this scene with all of them having just about equal importance. Davy had the only lines, but the rest of them were fully in the picture.
It just wasn’t what the director wanted. They did the scene over and over again. “Davy, this is your scene, it’s your baby!” he kept saying but for some reason—it was hard to tell why from the sidelines—Davy just didn’t want to take the lead.
The guys would stay together in a close group when they walked the 20 or so feet into the box. The director, by this time, was furious.
“It’s Davy’s scene!” he kept yelling. Mike, Micky and Peter said “Sure, fine”—they really didn’t mind and they told Davy to step out in front of them.
But Davy had other ideas—he didn’t want to be the star this time. Finally, after a huge hassle which tied up filming for a good half hour, it was resolved. Davy led the way—Mike, Micky and Peter walked four paces behind him.
This is an example just one out of hundreds—where Mike, Micky and Peter let Davy take the lead when they might well protest about the whole thing.
The three take a very mature attitude about their roles as Monkees and seem willing to work a little to the shadow side of Davy. They let him take the spotlight a little more often than they do.
This doesn’t mean that Mike, Micky and Peter are letting Davy walk all over them. Davy really has nothing to say about it. Their parts are written for them—only occasionally do they write anything themselves.
The question surrounding the whole situation is very simple: Is it fair? If Davy is more popular than the other Monkees, shouldn’t he have more of the spotlight? Or should the leading parts be split equally with Mike, Micky and Peter? What do you think?