"Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce to you a band from California and winners of the Atlantic Records unsigned band contest, the Monkees!!!"
We went out and played "Never Tell a Woman Yes," "Words," "Mary, Mary," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," and "Last Train to Clarksville." The audience roared for more and Mike saw John Phillips motioning for us to do an encore from the wings, so he yelled over the roar of the crowd to do "Yellow on the Broom."
Which got roars for another encore. But this time Phillips ran out and took the mic, "Sorry but we’ve got so many acts we need to let someone else take the stage but if there’s time maybe they’ll come back. For now, let’s give them a hand!" We got a standing ovation, and I realized that I was now where I wanted to be -- performing for audiences, and making great music.
The rest of the evening went by in a blur. Back at the Pad several days later I looked at the program and saw that Laura Nyro, Jefferson Airplane, Otis Redding and Booker T and the MGs had performed but I remembered none of it. I was on a high from that standing ovation that would last for days.
That night we again spent in the Monkeemobile, Davy again reducing us in height so we’d be comfortable. We woke up late Sunday, getting take out again, and then sat backstage to watch Ravi Shankar. Ravi was captivating but I was still on such a high I barely heard his music -- even though I had thoroughly enjoyed that part of the Monterey video every time I’d watched it.
Steve joined us for dinner -- gyros again, along with David Crosby. While Peter and I went to get the gyros, he said to me, "Hey Len, since Steve is eating with us . . . um, do you mind playing up our relationship a little?"
"How so?" I asked.
"Well . . . back in the Village he always got the girls -- kind of like Davy does here. David said a little while ago that Steve doesn’t have a girl right now so . . . " his voice trailed off.
"You wanna make him jealous." He nodded. "No problem. Shall I sit in your lap and feed you pieces of gyros?" I said with a grin.
"Sounds good to me!" he purred and gave me a kiss on the lips.
My first kiss from a guy.
It was terrific. And it added to the high from the previous night’s standing ovation. I was in a lovesick fog while Peter ordered our dinner and paid, and while we flew back to the fairgrounds, invisible. After dishing up the food, Peter sat me in his lap and put his gyros and mine on a plate together. We fed each other, bite by bite, causing everyone around to roll their eyes and Micky to make hilarious gagging noises.
Sunday evening, the Blues Project opened. Big Brother did "Ball and Chain" again for the cameras, then The Group With No Name followed. Steve went out with Buffalo Springfield and did my favourite one of his songs -- "For What it’s Worth." I enjoyed hearing it live but I didn’t really *hear* -- I was too busy making goo goo eyes at Peter. The Who followed, smashing their instruments and giving the stage crew heart attacks. The Grateful Dead were up next, followed by Jimi Hendrix. The Mamas and The Papas closed out the festival. But Peter and I were in our own little world.
After the festival closed, several impromptu jam sessions started up. Peter grabbed the 6-string and banjo and we joined the session with Hendrix. We didn’t sleep at all that night.
Last updated 03 DEC 98
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