I had it all worked out. Davy Jones was coming through on the Transatlantic telephone to give me some fax ’n’ figures for Monkees’ Monthly Fans. I was going to let him do his usual cheery “Hi-how-are-things” introduction and then I was going to come right out with it. “You’re a stinker, Davy—come to that, you’re ALL stinkers.”
All because we’d just had the news that the boys’ European tour, taking in Britain, was coming later in the schedule—maybe not until the beginning of NEXT year.
And I was going to play it tough with our Davy… only in fun, of course!
So I kept rehearsing the right way to say “You’re a stinker” and it sounded suitably ticking-off when suddenly the phone rang—and, after the operator had checked that she’d got the right number, on came Davy in a rush, breathless, as if he’d just run up a flight of stairs.
“That you Jackie? Oh boy, made it right on time, didn’t I? Say, Jackie, let’s say right away how upset we are that plans have had to be changed over our trip to Britain. You know me, how much we want to play again in England, and so I’m maybe more upset than the others—who send their love, by the way.”
Me: Davy, you’re a stink… er, what’s that?
“Yes, and I’ll be missing cooking for my friends. You know, Jackie, one time I had a housekeeper, a nice lady who did all my cooking for me. So I felt like the Lord of the Manor—all that dinner-is-served stuff and that kind of thing. But I found I was nipping into the kitchen between meals and knocking up a meal for myself. So, I bought cookery books and tried more exotic dishes and my mates thought it was good, so I decided I could get along without a resident housekeeper. I haven’t poisoned anybody yet, so I can’t be too bad. I’ve got the proper chef’s hat, too—it’s just about as tall as I am.”
Me: I know you don’t have a diet problem, Davy, ’cos you burn up your food in sheer energy, but what kind of food do you like best?
“Well, I like to keep a sort of English atmosphere going in my house. You know, the furniture is very much English in style, and I’ve got souvenirs of my days as a jockey-apprentice all over the place. So I try to reflect England in my cooking, too. I really do the best chips—with everything—in the whole of California. I do steaks to go with them… you can’t go wrong with plain cooking. But I’m experimenting with fish, now, trying to get the batter right so it’ll taste just like from a fish ’n’ chip shop back home. It’s getting to be quite a craze over here, fish and chips wrapped in newspaper.”
Me: I hear Micky and Sammy are going a bit English in the decoration of their home, too.
“Sure thing. When it was just Micky there, it was somethin’ like an American college-boy’s pad. But Sammy moved in and made it all much more feminine, with lots of drapes and bits of pottery and glassware. Looks real great. Micky feels he’s at least half British now and when you think about it, his kids will be, too.”
Me: How’s about the film? It must be pretty well finished now…
“Oh sure, certainly from our point of view. But you can’t be sure about anything in this movie business. You see, there’s a whole lot of technical stuff goes on after the main shooting is over. Like dubbing and editing, and if anything goes wrong we’re all called back into the studios. I’m still not going to give away any more of the secrets of the story-line but it’s a very complicated sort of picture and the technical side is taking a lot longer than was at first thought. I don’t understand that side of it too well, but I understand that the premiere will be held in the States at the beginning of November… it’s just impossible to get a tight schedule and then stick to it.”
Me: Bet it’s worth waiting for, though.
“Yeah, I think it will be. But something else for you to watch out for is Mike’s LP ‘Wichita Train Whistle’, because it’s real groovy. I understand it will be released in Britain some time around now, on the Dot label. Don’t expect any Monkee business from it, though, because this is Mike veering off in a completely different direction. He got a real kick out of conducting those guys, specially as some of them are top names in jazz. He wondered how they’d take to a pop star conducting them but, though he won’t say so himself, it’s true that they very soon developed a great respect for him. The whole operation helped Mike relax… you know what they say, a change is as good as a rest, and we haven’t had much resting time in the last couple of years or so.”
Me: Davy—can I break in here? What I was trying to say early on in this call was that you were stinkers for not getting back to Britain as fast as we expected. But I wasn’t really serious and I can tell that all your true fans here do understand that you can’t be in about a hundred places all at once. In some of the papers here, people have got a bit nasty about the cancellation. Well, if you get to read their letters, please believe me that we DO understand… and if we have to wait that little bit longer, well it’ll make it all that much more exciting when you DO arrive. Maybe you can make a personal call, say for Christmas.
“I’d sure like that, Jackie. Thanks for saying those nice things and send on my love to everybody in Britain. Right now I’ve got a little dinner party to organise, so ‘bye and bless you!”
Phone goes dead. Davy had talked fast and furious through our call. But then it was never all that easy keeping up with… the Joneses.