A Tiger Beat Monthly Column
The Monkees write to YOU… by Davy, Peter, Mike and Micky
Well, Davy, Micky, Peter and I all got together this month and decided we’d pull a little switch on you and all write about the same topic. You may have to write on this same topic when you go back to school, so maybe what we write will give you some ideas. Our topic for this month is “What I Did On My Summer Vacation.”
The first thing I did was to head for Nashville. There I worked day and night in the recording studios, putting down some ideas for the next Monkee album for when we all got together and I also took time to work on a new project of my own. I can’t tell you any details, but it will be very different just like “The Wichita Train Whistle Sings,” which I hope you liked, by the way.
You may think this was “working” during my vacation, but to me, recording is one of the most exciting and relaxing things I can do. Putting my feelings and vibrations on tape for everyone to hear is really a groove.
When I did come home, I found we had a groovy house guest—Phyllis’ younger sister, Jone (it’s pronounced Joan). Jone is 15 ½ and lives in El Paso, Texas.
Jone said she loved meeting all the new people she did like Sajid Khan and a group I’m working with called the Clingers. They’re four sisters ages 15 to 20 and they are the greatest performers around. You should be hearing them on record soon.
As you can see, my vacation wasn’t what you’d call super-exciting, but it was relaxing and fun and I really had a chance to enjoy my hobby—recording, my family and my friends. To me, that’s the most important thing.
Wow! Was the first part of summer hectic and exciting for me! As soon as we finished the final bits on our movie, I took off for London and Davy and I were there at the same time. I did a few interviews and Sammy and I appeared on “Top Of The Pops,” the show she used to be on and after that we sort of forgot we were Monkees for a couple of weeks.
Sam and I spent a few restful days in Scotland. We just took long walks along the beautiful, green countryside and got to know a few people in the little village where we stayed. They were all so friendly I didn’t want to leave, but we had to. First we went back to London and visited Sammy’s parents for a few days and then flew up to Manchester and stayed with Davy at his sister’s house.
Really, I love England, but I’ve found out that the only way to really see England is to stay with a British family. They are so warm and friendly, you immediately feel like one of the family. Also, it was great being with Davy in his hometown. In a way he’s almost a different person, just one of the mates, when he’s at home. I’m especially glad I got to share that time with him. He used to come home with me to Los Gatos and it was a gas getting the reverse treatment.
After a couple of weeks I came home to work on my house. I realize that you’ve been reading about my remodeling project for several months now, but that’s how long it’s taking! The thing is—I like to be there while the workmen are working, so that means while I’m gone no work can be done. But it’s all for the best, because it’s really looking groovy.
The pool is almost finished. It’s just outside my kitchen in the back yard and fits into the curve of the mountain behind my house. It’s all done in rock, so it looks something like a natural lake, complete with dark blue water. There’s also a beautiful waterfall streaming down the mountain into the pool. It was especially built; along with the pool, but the way it’s been constructed it looks like a mountain waterfall splashing into a real lake…
Inside the house I’ve redone the living room and den by just putting in new furniture. The major work inside was done on my bedroom. I had a special loft built where my bed goes. You get to the loft by climbing up a beautiful circular staircase that stands in the middle of the room. Everything is just about finished now and I’m very excited. Hope you had a groovy summer!
My trip to England at the beginning of the summer was really the greatest! My sister told you last month about the film I directed, and let me tell you, it was hard, but good fun, too! My dad was feeling very fit and having the family together was just wonderful!
I also had a lovely experience while I was in London. Just before I left for England I had been very mixed up, you know how you sometimes don’t know where you’re headed as a person. I had been working very hard and I wasn’t in the greatest shape, healthwise. While I was in London I met Donovan.
He invited me out to his cottage in the country and we spent several hours together. It was beautiful because he didn’t ask about the Monkees or my work or anything like that. We took a long walk in the fields of flowers around his cottage and just talked for hours about life and love and peace and things of that nature. Don is such a peaceful person, so full of love, I left there feeling like a new person.
When I got home there were many things that needed to be fixed up around my house. My pool table finally came from England after many, many months of waiting—so I converted the garage to a pool room. It has windows on one side that overlook the pool and I can’t go in the room without Susie having a fit. I have to let her in and when I do she runs over and sits on the couch and watches me play pool! It’s really funny!
I got a new patio set for the pool and two rafts that Susie and I play on. He can really balance well and he’ll climb on one and we’ll wrestle out in the water. What he looks like is a dog surfing! In the time we had off, which was mostly days because we’d rehearse at night, I got a pretty good tan. Also, I set up one room of the house like a gym and I, work out about an hour every other day with weights. I really feel fit when I do.
I have three new additions to the family, by the way. Two black rabbits and one grey and white one. They are the softest little things you’ve ever seen and they make the grooviest pets! The only thing is they’re very independent—they run off for two days at a time, but they always come back. Annie Moses and Kenny Lieu were up at the house the other day and took lots of pictures, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing pictures of my “little darlings” soon.
The first part of my summer “vacation” was spent very much like Davy’s and Micky’s fixing things around my house. While Micky was remodeling his house in the canyon, and Davy was cleaning and gardening, I was furnishing my new home in Studio City. I used to live in the Hollywood Hills, but my place was just too small, so I got a larger house in the Valley.
I often have friends stop by from out of town and when they come, I like to be able to offer them a room. That’s pretty hard in a two-bedroom house and with more than one friend at a time, so I got a groovy big house with a pool. I’ve really been enjoying that!
I had a very nice surprise in early July—my parents were my very first house guests! They flew in from back East with my sister, Annie, and stayed out here for a couple of weeks. It was great fun having such a long visit with them, because in the past two years we’ve only been able to get together like two days at a time.
Would you believe we did the whole tourist bit—Disneyland, all the tourist spots like Grauman’s Chinese Theater (that’s where all the star’s footprints are in cement) in Hollywood. It’s funny, but even though I’ve lived here for about three years now I had never seen some of those places. I’ve found that most people who live in Hollywood or nearby have never seen most of those places. I wonder, have you even been to the “tourist spots” in your town?
During their stay, I took my parents to one of my favorite places—Marineland. It’s a huge sea park down at the Beach. They have shows with whales and porpoises doing amazing tricks and they also have great trained seals. But the thing I dig most about Marineland is seeing the huge aquarium tanks. Here you can see all the gorgeous fish in their almost natural state. You can really see the wonder of Nature’s work.