In They Made A Monkee Out Of Me, Davy Jones’ recently-released autobiography, the vocalist gives readers his personal tale of the Monkees’ phenomenon. Here, for TIGER BEAT readers only, is a special excerpt.
One day we’re all pretty tired—Frawley (Jim Frawley, director of The Monkees) had been working us hard, and we decide we’re taking off. Nesmith jumps in the driver’s seat and somebody suggests we get out of Hollywood—we really need a break from the place. I get cozy in the back, Nesmith gets onto the Santa Monica Freeway—and for the first time since I’d arrived there, I’m seeing the L.A. freeway system by day, and it looks great.
Everything’s bright and white, and the new gig is starting and we’re gonna get something to eat and… all these thoughts are dashing around, y’know? This is the first time that the four of us have done anything together. Socially, I mean. I’m looking forward to it.
After a while of just dreaming, I see hundreds and hundreds of ships’ masts over to the right. We’re coming into Marina del Rey, and from the looks of it, half the population is living in the water. But, more to the point, the water’s population is readily available on dry land—the streets are alive with sea-food restaurants. Great—this is just what I fancy…
“Pull up, my woollen-headed chauffeur. Anywhere—there’s hundreds of ’em.”
Oh, boy. In my mind, I’m already tasting lobster drenched in butter. Micky suddenly shouts, “Here. Here!” And Mike promptly pulls into the only Crummies for miles around.
Crummies is not the real name, of course—I’d get sued, sure as eggs are powder. But it’s one of those mass-franchised cheapo family restaurants that America is famous for. The country is inundated with these places from coast to coast—sort of like a certain chain of holiday hotels, only without the bedrooms. The food and furnishings are just as awful, whether you’re in New Jersey or New Mexico. You always know what you’re in for, though I’ll give ’em that.
Suffice to say, my dreams of Seafood Heaven are severely dashed, and I make a mental note to keep this group idea strictly business.
Once inside, my worst suspicions are confirmed. And not just about the food. Micky Dolenz, it turns out, has the worst table manners—atrocious. Probably still has. Fame has no reputation for changing anybody for the better. But to be fair—I admit I’m not prepared to risk finding out. I think I’ve eaten with him a total of three times since we met—and that’s two times too many…
They give us four plates of wilt, called ‘Pacific Paradise Salad… exotically different.’ There’s even a photograph of the original one. I’m sort of playing with my lettuce, trying to find a piece that might put up a fight—still dreaming of hot, succulent, lobster-dripping with garlic butter… just like the ones they’re serving up the road, down the road and across the road. I’m not very happy.
Slowly, I become aware of this banging noise coming from across the table. I look up and there’s Dolenz, his fork in a sort of cave-man grip, stabbing repeatedly at his plate. It looks like he’s stamping passports. On a busy day. Everytime he spears something, there’s half a beat pause while he disposes of it—the salt and pepper pots settle—and then… stab, stab, stab again. Really loud. I mean—the whole restaurant’s looking at this guy like, “Who’s that?” And this is just a Crummies, y’know? Murderers eat at these places!
Dolenz is oblivious. Stab, stab, stab. Bits of plate and pieces of Paradise flying everywhere. He doesn’t care. He just isn’t conscious of anything other than getting this garbage down. He’s enjoying himself. I can’t stand any more. I put my knife and fork down and I just stare at him. Stab, stab, stab.
Slowly, Mike and Peter stop talking. Then they stop eating. And now they’re just staring at me, staring at him. STAB. STAB. STAB. His eyes catch mine for maybe one stab. Shovelling another mouthload, but without chewing, he glances at Peter, Mike, and then me. Then—chew, stab… stab… STAB.
That’s it. I’ve had enough. I speak up, very deliberately—very slowly
“Your table manners… stink. My dog eats better than you!”
“That is the worst thing I’ve ever seen at a table. Anywhere.” Micky really has no idea what I’m talking about. He looks around like, “What’d I do?”
“You’re just disgusting, Dolenz. That’s all. Disgusting!”
Nobody dares speak. I pick up my knife and fork and begin to cut my salad, like a surgeon. I’ve got them right where I want’em. Carefully, I place my knife and fork down at the side of my plate—pick up the oil and vinegar dressing, and apply liberally—but very neatly. I replace the bottles in their filthy Crummies rack, smile politely at the three stooges—then pick up the entire salad in my bare hands and rub the whole lot in my face. Then my hair, neck, armpits—everywhere. I’ve got bits of tomato in my ear, oil and vinegar all over my clothes.
“Mmmm… exotically different.”
The ice is cracked. Pandemonium. You should have seen their faces. Now nobody wants to eat with me ever again. Which is just fine by me.
Want more information on They Made A Monkee Out Of Me? Then drop a line to Dome Press, Box 4000, Beavertown, PA 17813.