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|07-13-2011, 10:06 PM||#1|
Join Date: Feb 01, 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Davy Jones Talks To Spinner about "The Monkees", Mike's Disloyalty, and Reunion Tour
The Monkees' Davy Jones Recalls Beatles Friendship and Mike Nesmith's Disloyalty
Posted on Jul 13th 2011
by Pat Pemberton
When he appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" with the Beatles in 1964, Davy Jones had no idea he was staring at his future.
On the show, he performed a song from 'Oliver!' the Broadway show he was acting in at the time. But two years later, he'd be cast in "The Monkees", a TV show about a band similar to the Beatles and inspired by the Fab Four movie A Hard Day's Night.
Despite its origins as a pretend band, the Monkees became a real one after insisting they play their own instruments and write their own songs.
Meanwhile, tunes like 'Daydream Believer,' 'Last Train to Clarksville' and 'I'm a Believer' were smash hits, contributing to Monkeemania.
While the show only lasted two years, the Monkees -- Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith -- would occasionally reunite. Currently, they are celebrating their 45th year with a tour that doesn't include Nesmith, who opted not to join the band.
Jones recently spoke to Spinner about the reunion and the band's storied past:
In the past, you said, "Never, ever, ever again" to a reunion.
It's almost like athletes who say they're going to retire but can't keep away.
I said I wouldn't go out without Mike Nesmith. And then I looked at a picture of Mike Nesmith, and he looks like a German banker. And I thought, "There's no way that guy's gonna stand on a stage and be Mike Nesmith of the Monkees."
And then a management company came to me and said, "We'd like to take the Monkees out. What do you think?" And I said, "I don't think so -- my schedule's busy." This was last year.
Then, they said, "Can't you please?" I said, "I've got [solo] dates." Then I said, "If you come up with something and Micky and Peter say yes, I'll consider it."
Well, Micky was over in England doing 'Hairspray' and I went to see him after he'd done press for the show, and we got along real good. Then we talked and laughed and discussed stuff we'd done.
Early on, you had a major appearance on "Ed Sullivan", which happened to be the same episode the Beatles were on.
What was the pressure like for that appearance, knowing the Beatles were on and so many people would be watching?
No pressure whatsoever. I did what I did. I came out the stage door every night, and when I performed as the Artful Dodger and came out for my bow, there was still a great applause.
And I thought the 10 kids outside the stage door looking for my autograph after the show was the bee's knees. Then I saw the barricades outside the Ed Sullivan Theater and I'm thinking, "Wow, man."
Afterward, they sent me out to Hollywood many, many times [for auditions]. You know, "The Wackiest Ship in the Army", "Hogan's Heroes", "F Troop", "Batman" and all that stuff.
But just as all that was happening, along came the idea for "The Monkees", and the producer, Burt Schneider, his father was the head of Columbia Pictures, so obviously I had a foot in the door there -- I was already signed to Columbia Pictures.
We just had to find three other boys, which we did. And we clicked, and we did 56 episodes, and it went to 36 countries around the world, and they're still playing the music, and we're still on tour.
The Beatles would go on to say they were fans of the Monkees.
How important was their approval?
It means something that anybody likes us.
Paul McCartney called me up in the '60s and asked me to send some stuff to his daughter, who was a fan of the Monkees.
And Micky has tapes and videos of George Harrison and Ringo Starr at his house, in the Canyon, in the late '60s, down in his little studio, playing. Those tapes must be great to listen to.
It's great the Beatles loved us.
How did the Monkees get along in the early days?
We'd get on the set, we'd improvise and we'd be laughing so much, the producer would say, "If you don't stop laughing and get on with it, we're closing the set down."
Micky and I and my wife and our children always used to get together on a Sunday when we were doing the Monkees show, either at his pool or my pool. We'd have a barbecue and the kids would swim.
We'd all go to a park in the San Fernando Valley, and we'd be playing with Alice Cooper's Vampires. He had a baseball team, and we used to play different teams, local and otherwise.
Peter Tork was a great third baseman, Micky Dolenz a great first baseman. I played second base. I don't know where Alice was, but he organized the whole thing.
Even though 'Last Train to Clarksville' was secretly about Vietnam, the Monkees strayed from controversy. Why?
The world was changing, and they were trying to hide the fact that it was. We were told never to talk about politics, never to talk about the war and never to talk about the marches.
If I've got any regret whatsoever, it's that I didn't march to Washington with everybody when they did have the civil rights march.
Critics would talk about you guys not meeting organically, but it's really kind of brilliant how a great band was created, playing great songs written by great songwriters.
Don Kirshner supplied the Monkees with tunes from all these great songwriters. But just because he provided the tunes, he can't claim the success of the Monkees.
Even some of the songwriters were like, "I wish I had done that song." But they wouldn't have done anything with it, had they done that song. We had a TV show supporting us. DJs were taking the records off the TV that week and playing them on the radio.
When the Monkees made their bid for more control, you guys were really still new. It was kind of a bold move for you guys to say, "We want more control."
Was there ever a feeling like "Maybe we shouldn't mess with a good thing?"
It wasn't spoiling a good thing. It would have become tiresome.
It was mostly Peter and Mike. But Mike had ulterior motives. Mike had the B-side of every single we did. Therefore, he's driving an El Dorado, and I'm driving a Volkswagen.
I'm not aware of any of this -- I'm an actor, employed by a studio. I'm not doing any of that. He knew all about that. If he had spent more time on his acting, that would have been better, but he didn't show up half the time. He wouldn't come in for a show or whatever. And then we find that he's got albums and he's got deals and all that other stuff going on.
So Mike never really put his 100 percent into the marriage. He only was on the surface of the marriage. He signed the paper not with us, but with other people.
And that's the way he is whenever he's come back. In 1998-1999, we made an album and we went to England, we sold out everywhere. We arranged to meet in January for a week's rehearsal, and he just didn't show up.
You went from being an establishment-created band to anti-establishment in that you rebelled against it.
Is that what gave you cred among rock fans?
I don't think we ever really rebelled against it. We asked for things that they hadn't considered. We never considered that Micky Dolenz and I would be driving down the street to a rented house after we made the pilot, and all of the sudden 'Last Train to Clarksville' comes on the radio.
We had never thought about it going on the radio. It came on before the TV show, so we were like, "What's this?"
I didn't say at that time, "Let me renegotiate my contract." I just went on and took the $400 a week they were giving me. Break it down to hours, and it was probably 25 cents an hour, given the time we spent on it.
But you don't all of the sudden work for GM or Ford or whoever it might be on the line and after two years turn around and say, "I want to own the company." You own the company if you buy the company or if you invest in the company.
Micky and I were just interested in performing and working. We were actors, playing the parts of rock 'n' roll singers.
|07-14-2011, 05:02 PM||#3|
Join Date: Jun 18, 2008
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
I am glad to see he fessed up about his remarks about never doing a Monkees tour again.
|07-15-2011, 04:13 PM||#4|
Join Date: Aug 22, 2009
Thanks for posting this.
I was surprised by his remarks on Mike's current appearance (looks). That's strange to me. No matter how he looks, if he were dressed comparably to the other three on stage, I doubt that anyone would've commented that he's somehow out of place.
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