Brian Visits The Monkees
And Finds Peter Tork is Leaving...
| Peter Tork, the flop haired "slapstick innocence"
element in the Monkees, has left the group. Lovable, but far from
simple, Peter was known for his folk background and excellent banjo playing
as well as his zany antics in the Monkees' television series. Just
back from a brief visit to America, Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the
Trinity met all four Monkees in Los Angeles and later, Brian revealed the
story to RM
"We were filming a Monkee special with Madman Jack Good producing and it was there we were told that Peter was leaving the others to involve himself in recording and producing other people. Mike, Mickey (sic), and Dave gave him an exquisite gold watch with the inscription "From All the Guys Down at Work", which I thought was a rather amusing anecdote. When the filming began, the Monkees wandered in one by one, picked up their instruments and began playing this simple melody, "Listen to the Band". Then the Buddy Miles Express, another U.S. group and ourselves descended on them and started a disconnected jam session all around them. We kept this up while they, undaunted, continued with this simple tune. Eventually, we dwindled our music down and into their song until everyone is raving away at "Listen to the Band". At that point it becomes a complete explosive jam session built around that tune.
Later Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones arrived. Micky went into the drums and Davy sat goggle-eyed throughout. When we finished and the fuses were nearly all blown, we all felt like we'd just ploughed the North forty. It was then turkey time. From Mike's actual radar oven, came a golden brown bird (fowl type) with all the trimmings. We ate as much as thirty people would and sank back into a little digestive hibernation.
A few days later, we had a press reception and played for the journalists and guests. Jeff Beck, Arthur Brown, Buddy Miles and a load of others showed up, plus all four Monkees. Davy was still goggle-eyed and told us he'd never seen anything like it. Of all the Monkees though, Mike is the one who really has it all together. We had gone over expecting to find four rumbustious teeny boppers and found instead four - and particularly Mike - switched on musicians with valid things to say about music and the present scene. We look forward return for a tour some time early this new year.
Transcribed by GCF, 2001