Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Monkee see

I'm on my third Scotch in the bar at The Palm West.

The crowd is starting to thin out a little as theater goers leave to catch The Lion King, or Chicago or Spamalot or whatever the hot new show on Broadway is tonight.

We're standing there, our group of six, talking about nothing in particular but especially not work, when a distinctive looking older gentleman walks in the door.

Not distinctive in the sense that he was distinguished. His clothes, while not shabby, didn't appear to be overly expensive. He wore a brown fedora, which was unusual for the venue, and a tan topcoat.

It was his face that was so distinctive. A mile-wide grin seemed to force his eyes into squints. The smile was quite friendly but veered close to maniacal.

I could swear I'd seen him before, but chalked the feeling up to "he must just have one of those familiar faces."

So I went back to a discussion with my work associate, Brad Pitt, about lake front real estate prices or Brooklyn microbrews or whatever. I was absorbed in a conversation about the relative merits of various male skin care products when one of my female counterparts, Lindsay Lohan, asked me if "that guy looked familiar."

"Yeah, you mean that guy with the hat?" I say. "I swear I've seen him somewhere before."

"Doesn't he look like that guy from The Monkees?" Lindsay Lohan said.

That's right! My mind quickly sorts through its admittedly small database of useless pop culture trivia.

"Mike? Mick? Micky! That's it, Micky something," I say.

"Micky Dolenz," Lindsay Lohan gets it.

Lindsay Lohan is a bit star struck at the pseudo-celebrity sighting. She's old enough to know who The Monkees were, but not really old enough to have really been into their music when it was new. Still, she calls her husband to tell him the exciting news.

So I ask her if she wants to get her picture taken with the former Monkee.

"I don't know," Lindsay Lohan says. "Do you think he'll mind?"

"How about I just go ask him," I say. Heck it could be the Scotch talking, but the worst that can happen is I get blown off by a Monkee, which would also be a great story.

So I amble over to the bar where Micky is talking to what looks like a friend of his. I wait for a break in the conversation before saying "Excuse me. You're Micky, right?"

He flashes his big grin and nods with a "Yes" as we shake hands.

"Hey, great. You know my friend Lindsay Lohan is a big fan of yours, and I was wondering if you would mind taking a picture with her," I say, pointing over to our table.

Micky smiles again and says "Sure!" He's very gracious, really classy about the whole thing. While I was taking the pictures with Lindsay Lohan's digital camera, one of the other women in our party, Paris Hilton, was calling her parents.

She's just out of college and has no idea who Micky Dolenz is, but she said her parents were impressed. She decided to go ahead and get a picture as well and walked up to the Mickster to ask. He was gracious and kissed her hand as she introduced herself.

You hate barging in on the personal lives of people who aren't really in the public eye anymore. Surely they just want to have a quiet night out like the rest of us.

Normally I would just shoot a surreptitious picture from my camera phone as evidence of the celebrity sighting

But Micky Dolenz was really cool about the whole incident. Like I said, a class act. I get the feeling he's happy to be recognized at this point in his career.

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  1. It was because of that "maniacal" smile that I loved Micky more than any of the other Monkeys. Of course, I watched the show when it was in reruns (which happened to coincide with my being 8), but he's my favorite still. He was so goofy!

    Good story, man. And I'm so glad to hear he's as nice as he is with strangers! Some formerly-famous people can be real assholes in person.

  2. Big deal. It's not like you met Peter Tork or anything.

    Seriously, that is a pretty cool encounter.

  3. That happends to be all the time. Strangers (chicks) walk up to me wanting my pic or autogragh or some milf wanting my number. I'm always happy to give it to them. Just as long as I'm not in the process of eating or reproducing.

    And who the hell is Peter York?

    FYI, today I'm telling everyone to call me Jude Nelson.

  4. Now I checking the email box.

  5. Not to nit-pick, but isn't it spelled "Monkees"?

  6. Anon, thanks for the nit. Corrections are being made.

  7. Hey Jude, don't make it bad.

  8. Way cool. They were the "in" thing on TV, right up there with Adam West as Batman during my first grade year -- not that I'm old or anything.


  9. Peter Tork was corporal agarn on F troop, right?

  10. Its a good thing when a celeb turns out to be kind and gracious. Good for you, Lindsey and Paris.

  11. he was happy you didn't ask him to sing the intro song from the show

  12. But did he do his awesome impression of James Cagney? "You dirty rat! You killed my brother!" That's never not funny!


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