This month all the boys were available at the other end of the Trans-Atlantic link—ready and anxious to talk to us about their plans. You can read about those exciting, indeed sensational, plans elsewhere in the magazine.
I chatted briefly to each one in turn. Then I said: “But it’s Micky I want for a real long chat this month.”
Said Davy: “He’s just creeping outta here. He says he wants a Coke…”
And an ear-rending Manchester-type yell halted Micky in his tracks.
Next voice I heard was Micky’s.
“You only just got me, Jackie,” he croaked. “Hear my voice? That’s what happens to me when I’ve only been out of bed for a coupla hours. Okay, so it’s tea-time your end of the line. Out here, it’s time for breakfast and what I have for breakfast is a Coke or two or three. I tell you, Jackie, this is a very hard life. Imagine being cut off from my Coke at this time of day.”
Me: Gosh I’m sorry Micky. You sound right brought down.
“Oh, forget it—I’m just putting you on. It’s lovely to talk to you again and you just bang away with any questions you want to put to me.”
Me: Fine, Micky. I’ve been talking to the others about the more professional side of your lives, so with you I want to pry hard in how your own scene is going at home.
“Well, I’ll tell you this. When I was but a single guy and without a care in the world, I used to rush around the clubs and go mad and make life one long ball. Great. Then came the Monkees and suddenly I didn’t have so much time for… well, making whoopee. And then I met Sammy and that was it. No longer did that old life appeal to me. I was happy just to be in her company.
Me: How about Ami Bluebell—what’s it like watching her grow up?
“I wouldn’t say I’m terribly possessive about her. But believe me I watch her every move like some kinda hawk. I’ve always liked meeting people and studying how they behave, but here is a new friend, a new person, and she belongs to Sammy and I. I really work at being friends with her and I guess the greatest thing in my life right now is seeing her suddenly turn on a great big smile. She has her own nursery and it became a matter of importance to me that I did all the decorating there and all the carpentry, too.”
Me: She’s a good baby?—Oh, I suppose you wouldn’t say she was anything else, though.
“Look, Jackie, I can say that she is the greatest. She’s no trouble at all. We’re so lucky, Sammy and I. We heard what a terrible job it was bringing up children unless you had tremendous patience and so on, but really it’s all been relatively simple. We take her out with us as much as possible and I’m determined that, no matter what work I’m doing, that I shall see as much of her as possible, specially in these early years. Tell you something else, too. She seems to have perfect health. I’m keeping my fingers crossed over this, but we don’t have late nights when we’re kept awake by her crying and she seems to go for her food and she really is no bother at all. Honestly, it is the most thrilling time of my life…”
Me: Tell me exactly how you picked her names.
“Easy. Sammy was always keen on the name Ami, so she had her own way over that one. Then we looked for a second name and it was my choice so I went for Bluebell. It’s a lovely name, isn’t it? Go on and ask me why I picked that. Forget it, I’ll tell you anyway. I picked it because we picked Bluebells when we were in Scotland, Sammy and I. We went up for a few days’ break and we actually picked some of those Bluebells of Scotland and the whole thing was kinda groovy, Anything else you wanna know?”
Me: Lots and lots and lots. Like are you writing a lot of material these days? I mean, has marriage and fatherhood given you a lot of new ideas?
“Jackie, I’m getting more inspiration nowadays than ever I did in my gadfly days as a bachelor. As a group, we’re now writing a goodly percentage of our stuff and I certainly have at least two new songs on an album we’re working on right now. Know when I first got onto this songwriting kick? It was at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, when we were first over there. I felt kinda bushed after a lot of interviews and one afternoon in my room I just started jotting down a lot of thoughts that came through my head. Honest, Jackie, when I started I had no idea that it was going to end up as a song—I certainly didn’t sit down with that idea in mind. But I found these thoughts sort of ran on and made a bit of sense, so I went ahead and finished it. That song was originally going to be ‘Randy Scouse Git’, which shows what was going through my mind. It eventually got changed on the record to ‘Alternate Title’, of course, but that’s how it all started.”
Me: It’s been said that you have absolutely no fear of heights—that you’ll go out on the parapet of a hotel and not get that sinking feeling in your tummy? Right or wrong?
“Right—in a sense. I remember that incident. I transferred from one suite to another—and on the outside of a hotel some twenty floors up. Well, I’ll tell you. I am not afraid of heights but I am afraid of falling. It’s like I don’t mind being high up, but I have to have something to hang on to. I don’t think I could jump from a plane, even with a parachute. I’ve piloted a gyrocopter, which is a one-man helicopter, and had no worries—I can look down at the ground and not worry. But if there is no support, then I get the fear of falling.”
Me: I heard something about you buying a submarine. Right?
“That’s not quite right. What happened was that I was going to buy a company that made these midget submarines. They were in the process of testing them. They were big enough for two or three people and a sort of underwater addition to the sports scene. But I don’t know what happened to the final testings. I just didn’t hear much more. Maybe I’ll still get into the company. But they sure looked like nice submarines—all upholstered and rather like the inside of a limousine.”
Me: Looks like you’re really going through a busy spell, Micky. And we have heard on the grapevine that you might even be moving house—and getting away from California.
“Yeah, that’s another thing under consideration. Trouble is that I’ve got used to the atmosphere here and I’ve lived in the area for a long, long time. I suppose I’m the sort of cat who likes to see different things and sample different ways of life. We’re looking, yes. But there is nothing concrete in the air. The trouble is that there are so many different types of people moving in here that there is really not much tradition left. Somewhere else might have that long-time sense of tradition, so one day we’ll move out. But that is not the vital thing. The vital thing is setting up the right sort of home for Ami Bluebell to live in, to develop in. And that’s something that we’re working at all the time.”
Me: So you don’t have a Nanny—a nursemaid?
“Well, we have help. We have to have a certain amount of help. But everything that WE can do, we do. It’s not being possessive, as I said before, just a matter of wanting to be as involved as possible in the growing up of the new member of the Family Dolenz.”
By now Micky’s voice was showing distinct signs of wear and tear. I noticed that nobody rushed out and offered to get that long-awaited Coke. Beasts… thought I. Then thought better of it—after all, Davy and Mike were probably thirsty, too!
Me: Bye, then, Micky—and thanks again for all your help. Look forward to meeting you face to face again.
“Bye—and love to everybody, Jackie. Now I’m going to wash my tonsils round with somethin’ good!”