On the set of The Monkees television series, Peter, Micky, Davy, and Michael each had someone to assist them in the production of the show (and later for their 1968 movie, Head). Their stand-ins would work with the camera crew during pre-filming rehearsals or lighting tests, and even appeared as extras or bit players in various scenes. The original stand-ins for The Monkees were David Pearl, Ric Klein, David Price, and John London.
David Pearl: David was a friend of Michael Nesmith's from their time at San Antonio College in Texas, where he had been studying medicine. After leaving school and venturing to Los Angeles, he moved in for a short while with Nesmith and wife Phyllis and was later hired as Peter Tork's stand-in when The Monkees series commenced filming. Pearl was also visible as an extra on many episodes and accompanied the group while on tour. He quickly became good friends with Davy Jones and went on to co-manage The Monkees throughout 1969, while also partnering with Davy to open the Los Angeles shopping mall The Street in the summer of 1970. In the post-Monkees era, David worked with various bands and singers (including Paul Revere & The Raiders) and pursued a career in music publishing. His last appearance at a Monkees event was in August 1988 at a convention in Chicago, Illinois. Listen to an interview with David Pearl that was conducted on the Headquarters radio program in 1988.
Ric Klein: Ric met Micky Dolenz in the early 1960s while they both were attending Los Angeles Valley College in California. Like Micky, he was a child actor who appeared on Broadway and in various television shows (like Playhouse 90). Klein was Micky's stand-in and can also be seen frequently in the background or as an extra on the TV show. Ric acted as stage manager for The Monkees while on tour and was the best man when Micky married Samantha Juste in July 1968. (Micky stood as Ric's best man at his wedding in 1967.) He co-wrote "Bye Bye Baby Bye Bye" with Dolenz, a song that appeared on The Monkees Present in 1969. Ric passed away in the early 2000s. Listen to an interview with Ric Klein that was conducted on the Headquarters radio program in 1989.
David Price: Another friend of Michael Nesmith's from San Antonio College, Price was Davy Jones' stand-in who also acted as a roadie for The Monkees while on tour. Beyond numerous cameos on the show as an extra, you can spot David playing drums during The Monkees' television special, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee. In 1969, Price became a member of The New Buffalo Springfield, headed by original Buffalo Springfield drummer Dewey Martin. That band morphed into Blue Mountain Eagle, opening for acts like Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd and releasing a lone album for Atlantic Records in 1970 (which is downloadable on iTunes and Amazon). David later worked with Micky Dolenz in 1971 while Dolenz was producing his first single for MGM Records, contributing the song "Oh Someone." The sessions also happened to include Peter Tork, who played bass on "Oh Someone" with Price adding rhythm guitar and Micky on drums and lead vocals. David was credited as an arranger on the track and for its eventual A-side, "Easy On You." In 2012, he was seen in pictures taken at the private memorial for Davy Jones held at Samantha Juste's house after Davy passed away. Read an extensive interview with David Price about his career in Blue Mountain Eagle and more.
John London: Befriending Michael Nesmith at San Antonio College in the pre-Monkees era, London immediately formed a musical bond with Nez after the two met in 1963. The duo worked on material together and eventually performed publicly, winning San Antonio College's Headliner of the Year contest in 1964. Moving to Los Angeles, Michael and John joined The Survivors, a group that included future Monkees associate Bill Chadwick. He would became Michael's stand-in on the television series and would occasionally play bass guitar on Monkees recordings. London also co-wrote "Don't Call on Me" with Nez, which appeared on Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. After The Monkees, Nesmith asked London to be a part of the First National Band, ultimately recording three albums with the group. Around this same time, John played bass for James Taylor on his second LP, Sweet Baby James. But after contributing to Linda Ronstadt's breakthrough album Heart Like a Wheel in 1974, London left the music scene and found a new career in Hollywood, working as a key grip on a variety of TV shows and movies, including The Karate Kid. He also spent time in advertising sales for several different Texas newspapers. John London passed away in Texas in 2000.
Bruce Barbour: In 1967, John London joined the Lewis & Clarke Expedition, a rock group that also included Michael Martin Murphey, an old friend of Michael Nesmith's and the songwriter responsible for "What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?" Nesmith's brother-in-law, Bruce Barbour, replaced London as Michael's stand-in on The Monkees during the second season and was also present for the filming of Head. Barbour went on to become a respected Hollywood stunt man.
Ric Klein co-wrote "Bye Bye Baby Bye Bye" with Micky Dolenz:
David Price can be heard as the lead vocalist on "Feel Like a Bandit," a song from the sole Blue Mountain Eagle album:
In 1968, the Lewis & Clarke Expedition, featuring John London, appeared on I Dream of Jeannie and in the film For Singles Only:
Here's a key Lewis & Clarke Expedition song, "Blue Revelations":
John London co-wrote "Don't Call On Me" with Nez. The song appeared on The Monkees' fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.:
Monkees Farewell Tour
Dolenz sings Nesmith
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