Today we celebrate the 72nd birthday of my favorite Monkee, Michael Nesmith. What better way to do so than to revisit Head (1968)? Here is the birthday boy (slightly blurry, sorry about that) with the late Davy Jones (also born this date), Micky Dolenz, and Timothy as Lord High ‘n’ Low. Again – don’t try and figure it out, just enjoy.
I would love to get a chance to ask Michael about his memories of working with Tim. It must have been quite a hoot. Atta boy, Mike! Happy birthday!
“You really can’t describe the picture. I read the script and actually it’s the most bizarre film story I ever read before. Each page is another movie. It’s quite unique. I’ve never really been involved, I’ve worked in films before but never any quite as unique as this one. It’s a very hard film to describe. People say, ‘Well go ahead and see the film, you’ll find out.’ This is usually a promotional stunt or something. But in this picture I played about four different characters. And I didn’t know what I was doing most of the time. These Monkees, you know, to be honest, they’re not the most disciplined actors. I remember Davy had to get a hair cut right in the middle of the scene. (laughs) And three of the other actors, they had to walk someplace on top of the roofs to get inspired, they’d lost the feel of it. They just walked off and they came back about an hour later, much to the dismay of the assistant director who couldn’t quite grasp it. They had to replace four assistant directors; they broke down, they just couldn’t take anymore because of the Monkees’ antics and carrying on. I mean it was just impossible sometimes, but of course this is the Monkees and this is what makes their talent so unique and so great. It was strictly a picture for the Monkees. I’m sure their fans all over the world will really love this show, you know, because it’s so outstanding. It makes Tiny Tim look like a Sunday school teacher.”
– Promotional radio interview for Head with Dick Strout for The Hollywood Report, 1968
These two fellas wrote an article about me, David Newman and Robert Benton. These are the fellas that wrote the exciting picture Bonnie and Clyde. Much to my surprise, my brother called me up from New York back in 1965 and said, ‘Tim, you’re in Esquire.’ I said, ‘You’re kidding, what do they want me in Esquire for?’ Anyway, there’s a picture of John Wayne and a picture of myself, and the caption above it was ‘The Old Sentimentality vs. the New Sentimentality.’ Under John Wayne’s picture they had ‘Old Sentimentality’ and under mine they had ‘New Sentimentality.’ And they said ‘It happens that an actor,’ and they said a bit actor too, which I didn’t like. Anyway, they said that ‘Tim Carey is our new underground celebrity.’ They said I was dirty, now, they said I was uncouth. (laughs)
– Promotional radio interview for Head with Dick Strout for the “Hollywood Report,” 1968 (pic from the Psychotronic interview)
Our pic of the day is from Bob Rafelson‘s Head (1968), starring The Monkees and co-scripted by Jack Nicholson. Tim portrays a fellow known as Lord High ‘n Low. Here he is at the start of the infamous “Atta boy Mike” scene.
Um. Not sure what else to say, honestly. I love this movie, but if you can figure out just what exactly is going on here (or at any point in the film), would you please tell me? Thanks…