A Tiger Beat Monthly Column
The Monkees write to YOU… by Davy, Peter, Mike and Micky
I thought you might like to I know a little about how I found England on my recent visit. Some of the things might surprise you.
Lots of Americans have left and gone to England to live and work in the record business. There is one girl who went over when she had just quit a Hollywood radio station, wandered into the Rolling Stones’ business office and just never left. She’s a secretary there now.
Down the street from the Stones’ office are several record companies, many of them run by Americans. And now, in Hollywood, I’ve noticed that more and more people are leaving for London. They’re arranging jobs before they go, of course, and apparently lots of people there are hiring Americans.
Actually, I can’t figure out why there are so many Americans in London right now. The U.S. sound is very big there now so possibly that’s why.
The clubs in London are very nice now, though they tend to be pretty expensive. Many are by private membership only, though I saw a very few visiting Americans get in by showing their passports.
Carnaby Street really isn’t too much anymore. The Beatles closed Apple, their clothing store (they just gave away all the clothes) and none of the other shops had much in them. Everyone has their own tailor instead.
I had a good time in England but I must admit that I felt out of touch. I’ve lived in America so long I feel like part of the permanent scene.
Lots of you have written in and asked me what I find in other people that draws me back to them. I’ve got several really good friends and I see a lot of them, despite the fact that I really don’t have much time with all my work.
Well, first of all, I like sincerity in a person. I want my friends to mean what they say. If they say, “Wow, I really dig your new car!” I want them to mean it. I can’t stand insincere compliments. In the same way, if they said, “Micky, man, that shirt is just the most awful thing I’ve seen this side of Maine,” I want them to mean it too. I don’t like my friends to not really mean what they say. That leads us up to the next qualification for my friends: honesty.
It’s all a part of sincerity—they go hand in hand. Honesty is important, especially to me. You see, bcause I’m a Monkee, I’ve always got hundreds of hangers-on following me around. That’s just the way it is. There are always people who want to share in the spotlight—or in my case, live in my house, go on my trips and generally use my name for whatever they can get.
Probably more than anything else, that upsets me. I don’t mind inviting people along—in fact, I love to. But I insist that my friends are honest and that they can carry their own. They’ve got to have their own interests and their own business and their own personality. And they’ve got to be honest.
Those are just two qualifications for being my friend, but I think they are the two most important. What do you think?
“Wichita Train Whistle Sings” isn’t a roaring success, someone pointed out to me the other day. My exact words were something to the effect of “too bad.”
People think I can’t take setbacks for some reason. Well, that’s not the case. If life was a steady climb uphill, it would get pretty tiring and boring too. It’s the ups and downs that make it interesting.
Now, if I do something that the general public or just one person I care about doesn’t like, it’s not the end of my world. I might even do it again, depending on what it lends to me.
I like recording music that I know is not commercial. It’s my thing. It’s catharic for me and often times it’s what I get out of it that counts in the long run.
I learn from my past mistakes, and I’ve made plenty. But they’ve all benefited me in the long run and I’ve really learned my lessons well. It’s called education by “hard knocks.” It works but it’s painful too. It’s not always easy to have that attitude about the whole thing but it helps if you can smile a little to yourself.
So keep in mind the fact that I’ll keep doing things because I feel there’s a need for them, a place that’s been left wanting.
Just wait ’til you hear my next project!
The other night I went down to the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles to hear one of my favorite singers—James Brown. He was good, naturally, but that’s not what I want to tell you in this issue.
I don’t think people try hard enough to reach beyond themselves and really experience different things in life. You’ve got to be adventurous to make it in this world. I really mean that. You’ve got to be willing to try different things—from entertainment to food to where to live and what to do with your life.
If I hadn’t been adventurous, I wouldn’t have done a lot of things—like live in Greenwich Village and sing in coffee houses and become a Monkee. But I wanted to do something different and I did.
It’s the same way in thought processes. You’ve got to be able to bend your mind to new patterns and thoughts. People from other countries or other centuries have lots to offer us.
Now the reason I got off on all this in the first place was that I did see enough of you at James Brown’s concert. In the same way, I don’t think enough of you really tune into Indian music or classical music or even try, just once, to listen to a bagpipe album all the way through.
It’s fine to dig the sounds on your transistor radio, but you really shouldn’t, for your own good, let all those others go by too. I’ve been tuning in to different sounds for the past several years and I’m surprised by what I’ve learned.
You really ought to try it.