Meeting My Tween Idols The Monkees with Photos
Update 2013: I am about to see the Monkees once again as they will be in Houston tomorrow August 1. I swore when Davy Jones died that I would not see them anymore, even though I have doggedly stalked them at every opportunity as an adult. Now Mike Nesmith has come out of retirement, and since I have NEVER seen them perform as an adult with him in the group, I decided to break my vow. I am used to seeing three out of four Monkees but I am so sad that this time it will be without Davy (RIP). Got third row center tickets directly from the box office last week – the tickets miraculously just opened up after I told her I was a member of the Press. (gotta use that more often.) I hear they are doing a big tribute to Davy so that is another reason to see them.
Now I just need a photo with Mike Nesmith. I will be close enough, but alas, no cameras allowed.
The Monkees followed the Beatles in my absolute idolization. I was a mere 8 when the Beatles first appeared so the obsession wasn’t severe – versus the 11 year old tween in me when the Monkees appeared. I loved pop music and the Monkees actually had great music, even though they were created for a TV show and never quite taken seriously by the music world. With Neil Diamond, Carole King and Boyce and Hart (not to mention Mike Nesmith himself who also wrote Different Drum – Linda Ronstadt’s first hit) writing their tunes, even my father encouraged my passion and bought me all their albums, allowing me to play them on the “big” stereo in the living room.
BACK to the Blog that details my close encounters with the real Monkees (with Photos) that was published a while back.
It was the fall of 1966 when the Monkees hit television and the national obsession with them began. I was all of 11 years old. Now of course there is a word to describe that era of life as “tweens.” The newest tween idol is Justin Beiber though a different one develops just about every year. In fact one time when I watched the View, they split the screen and showed the similarities of how Davy – my absolute total love at age 11, and Justin Beiber look very similar. One degree of separation from those teen idols, I’ll tell you.
In fact, the mere mention of the Monkees still transports me back to that idolizing, obsessing, no holds barred worship I had for them. (Do we ever lose that part of us?)
This group accounted for major trauma in my youth when they came to my then hometown for a concert and I was not allowed to go, because much of my childhood hope for two straight years sprang from the promise of their theme song lyrics, “So you better be ready, we may be coming to your town.”
This trauma of being shut out of their concert as a tween was somewhat healed for me years later as an adult, see photos below, when I got to personally meet THREE of the four original Monkees. THANK YOU Writing Career.
I spent an evening with Micky Dolenz when I covered entertainment for a local newspaper and he was touring in Grease. There was a press event, and as I circulated, out of the corner of my eye I saw the then single Micky Dolenz striding up to me. Since I had my press persona on, I had to remain cool and collected, as I extended my hand to him when he walked up and introduced himself as “Hi, I am Micky Dolenz.” (As IF he needed any introduction!!) I said “How do you do, or so nice to meet you,” and we cordially chatted for a while.
I honestly think he thought I had no idea of his previous Monkeedom by the way he introduced himself and talked about his role in Grease and flirted with me, (and I never let on) yet internally, my thoughts as I spoke to him (without giving an inkling of the tween hormones running amok in my body) ran along the lines of:
“OMG, it is Micky Dolenz, talking and flirting with me. I think I might faint! Is he really interested that in me or is he being so nice because of my press status? OMG, I am dying here –how can this be happening to my eleven year old Dork Self? OMG.”
I was internally having a teenage nervous breakdown. It was an out of body experience where you kind of observe yourself being the adult you are today, but emotionally going back in time.
After chatting a bit, Micky asked very politely if I wanted to get together after the press party. He hinted about some “monkeying” around. Since I was married, I politely turned him down. He looked disappointed, but I was able to get our photographer to snap a photo of us. See below:
I met Peter Tork when the Monkees (Threesome – Davy, Micky and Peter) were playing in Vegas and I was there with my husband and another couple having a getaway. We stayed at the hotel the Monkees Reunion Show was playing at, during the mid-80’s, and I spied him in a part of the hotel as I was going out to the pool. Peter was not nearly as happy as I was to meet him, but he smiled politely for the photo below. Oh, I was never a fan of Peter anyway – no bonding whatsoever – although he looked quite good. It is amazing this photo is as sweet as it is considering how off guard he was to bump into a fan. Still, his arm is securely around my waist, a big thrill at the time. (Note that detail in photo below)
But Davy, Davy, Davy. What can I say? One of the highlights of my eleven-year-old self- transported into my early 30’s, was that same Vegas vacation where Davy’s young daughter Jessica was playing in the pool and I went in and befriended her. He chatted with me briefly then. Sigh. (cue again the internal emotions of an 11 year old)
Micky was friendly then too, but very married. No pick up attempt. I caught him off the tennis courts.
I had the opportunity to get to know Davy on a much more personal level when he came to Houston on a fundraiser and I wrote publicity for it. And yes, he was every bit as nice as he always appeared in media. Not only did I spend an afternoon with him, I brought my family, and he bonded with all of us. We took dozens of photos, with him and with all of us, and especially Davy and my son Brett, who he was teasing and putting a tie on. Davy had four daughters so he really appreciated my little guy, who was an enthusiastic Davy Jones and Monkees fan due to their constant MTV reruns in the 80’s. See photo below.
So now I have had close encounters with all of them except Mike Nesmith who got rich from his mom who invented Liquid Paper and ditched the Monkees forever since the late 60’s. Isn’t life grand?
UPDATE: Davy sadly has passed away, and Mike started touring with the Monkees again in 2012/13. I got to see them perform, and finally got my photos with Mike Nesmith. (the only way I could get them.)
What a timely bit today! Thank you a lot for this fantastic post.
How can you find so many facts? I like how you
organize everything, because it’s actually
simple to read. Overall, I can recommend this
report to everyone who’s interested in that topic.
Thank you for sharing this precious info with us. As a practicing author, I can say that I
was hoping to include some details and provoking ideas in my writing
clinic intuitively. I think it’s vital to
spice your writing if you would like to catch the readers’ interest.
However, you did good, thanks
She spells Micky with an “e.”
I’d always heard about a fifth Monkee.
1966 – 11 years old, and totally in love with the Monkees, especially Davy Jones; although Mickey Dolenz did have THE VOICE! When Mickey sang “I’m a Believer”, I was sure he was singing to me, only me, he just didn’t know it yet! My girlfriends and I would pretend they were coming to Philly to play JUST FOR US! The memories…..it’s like yesterday……hot summer days in South Philadelphia……singing, pretending, hormones beginning to rage! Such a fun, wonderful time. I am so thankful for these memories.
My Monkee memory is odd and crosses gender lines. My three closest friends and I would act out the previous night’s episode every Tuesday morning, crossing gender lines. Donna wanted to be Davy, because like he, she was the cutest in our gang and the alliteration worked. Marla was clearly Mike, and it wasn’t just alliteration, but she had his leadership and intellect..and his trademark wool cap. When she put it on, they could pass for relatives. Debbie was the funny goofy one, so she became Peter, with her last name being an alliteration match for his moniker. That left me, as Mickey, and to this day I can’t figure out what I , “KL” had in common with “MD”. Maybe ’cause he was the only leftover? Thanks for the memories!
I love this story Karen! Thanks for sharing!
You know full well that my reason for becoming a musician and songwriter comes from my love of, as Ed Sullivan put it one Sunday night, “these youngsters from Liverpool who call themselves The Beatles.” I’ve sorta told you some of this story in passing, tidbits. I had always grown up with them as part of the vast landscape of what was the totality of culture for me, since I grew up, literally in the 60’s. This story takes a turn in 1985. A friend talked me into going to a Beatles’ Convention in Miami Beach. Having gone to one in the Meadowlands a few years earlier, it wasn’t a proposition the greatly, inspired much fervor on my part. The difference was that Allan Williams, The Beatles first manager was in attendance. When my buddy saw him, he just about blew a gasket! I saw him, too and wasn’t very impressed, as he was among the throes of other barkers hawking Beatle memorabilia, even Beatle panties! So, we walked up to him as he was talkig to some prospective customer and we caught the tail end of the conversation. “You bleedin’ Yanks own England nowadays!” I chimed in, “That’s right. Have the deed right here in my back pocket. Ya want it? Fifty bucks!” He turns his head and gives me a knowing smirk and says, “Oh, bit of a smart ass, are we?” I replied, “Got an ice cream cone? I’ll sit on it an’ tell you what flavor it is!” His smile widened and he extended his hand and says “How would you like to take an Ex-Beatle manger out for a drink?” My answer, “Wheel my to the bar, Allan.” Long story short, that night was almost the sequel to ‘A Hard Day’s Night in the mischief we got ourselves into. The next 2 days, we were brought into the fold of all the other Liverpudlians and made Honorary Liverpudlians, ourselves. And the topper was that Allan had a layover from the end of the fest to when his flight to JFK & finally back to England would happen. “Bernie, do you know of any moderately priced lodging that my and my mate could fins for a coupla days?” “Sure,” I responded, my place, about 60 miles north of here. I’ll get you back down when you need to be here. Besides, you say everytime you come to America, it’s like Grandfather in AHDN, just rooms and lecture halls. This way, I’ll show you a slice of Americana.” The other thing that was wild, within 30 minutes of our first drink, he looked me right in the eye and said, “You were born on October 9th, just like John, weren’t you?” “Yes,” I replied. He said that date had significance for him before he had met John, all the way through this current meet-up with me. I still keep in touch with him, about once a year. He reminds me of my Dad who is gone now. They’re both scared of computers and microwave ovens!
Wow Bernie, that is a fantastic story! Thanks sooo much for sharing!
Actually, truth be told, the Beatles were actually my first idols, but I was only 8 years old!! I saw the movies A Hard Days Night and Help as many times as I could. Paul Mc was my first idol crush – but what does an 8 year old know? But then the Monkees came along as the Beatles were getting into psychedelics and they temporarily became a bit too sophisticated for me. I learned to appreciate the later Beatles not much later in my later teens.