“We’re gonna miss the train, Ja’far!” “I know, just… Give me a minute.” Ja’far called back over the section of the collar of his poncho, though his head didn’t even sway. No, his eyes remained fixated on a single segment of the old, dirtied walls of platform 9 ¾. On a single brick, too small for almost anyone to notice - though with the child’s trained eyesight, he caught it within moments - somebody had etched a certain mark into the wall. The Dark Mark. The old symbol for Voldemort’s followers… The boy’s dull green eyes narrowed at the sight, a quiet, short sigh escaping him. Who would put this here in times like this, when all but three of the infamous Death Eaters remained alive, and Lord Voldemort’s end was a memory of distant past? Who knew, but it bothered him. Mainly because it reminded him of the faded design scripted into his left forearm.
“Ja’far? What’s up?” Vittel suddenly spoke up, placing a nimble fingered hand on the silveret’s small shoulder. What was up? Not much really… And Ja’far said so, turning away from the wall and murmuring. “Nothing.. Come on, we have to leave. Hurry the fuck up and get your ass on the train before I beat it.” “A-ah, yes sir.” Was the immediate response, Vittel hurrying off to start helping load their loosely packed bags onto the train. Not that they had much of anything to begin with.. The steam whistle cried out, warning passengers of its departure, and Vittel, Ja’far, and Mahad were all hopping aboard. No need to look back for parents waving in farewell. They didn’t have those. All they cared for were empty seats, and at this rate, they might be easy to find. Everyone was still standing, waving obnoxiously out the small open windows. Ja’far silently hoped their arms got blown off..
The train began to move, and compartments began to fill, and inconveniently enough other people seemed able to fill up a compartment before these few boys. Vittel sighed. He had his own cart to be on after all, with the third years, and Mahad had sixth years to ride with. But Ja’far needed his seat. “Look, there’s got to be one around here, don’t worry.” The light haired boy tried, a reassuring gleam in his red eyes. Ja’far only glared. “Did I ask you to be sappy?” He hissed, only continuing to walk. Vittel looked away nervously, making the silveret sigh.
The Monkees have a long history of….memorable
Back in the 60s, the guys often
embraced trends in and around the entertainment scenes. Davy and Peter were
often seen with love beads, Nehru outfits and paisley prints. Nez often went
with a more western flavor with his cowboy attire when he wasn’t going for more
colorful, tailored looks.
One interesting variation within
the group was Micky. Micky often seemed to go his own way entirely when it came
to fashion. Sure, he would occasionally go the “psychedelic” route with his
clothes or something else truly unique like his ruffled shirt with stripped
pants. But just as often, it seems as if he just wore whatever was on hand
without any thought about having a discernible style.
I do think it’s that this
laissez-faire approach to how he dressed had something to do with why he ended
up wearing a poncho made out of a tablecloth. A part of me thinks that we’ll
never know the whole story behind why Micky decided to make clothes out of
table decorations. Although, I wouldn’t completely rule out “recreational
Whatever its origins, the poncho
remains another fashion signature of The Monkees, much like Mike’s hat or the
eight-button shirts. Its mentions in that memorable post-episode interview from
Everywhere a Sheik, Sheik ensured
that it would be remembered with more than one appearance in Rainbow Room
performances further cementing its place in Monkees history. It’s a bold,
colorful and weirdly appealing look for him that he manages to pull off partially
because of his personality.
I think a large part of what
appeals to me about the tablecloth poncho is what it can represent. Sure, it
can represent a goofy fashion statement, but I also think it’s something that
is inherently a Micky thing to do. He is the type of person who could look at a
tablecloth and see it as a poncho. The wool hat of Nez’s can be taken as a sign
of his individuality. The tablecloth poncho can be taken as a sign of the
creativity Micky had that went beyond his work as an actor or musician.
Although I think you can also make
the argument that the same part of his personality that would turn home
furnishings into fashion would also work its way into his entertainment career.
It shows up with his interest in the Moog and the way he could hear the
potential for music in what might have seemed like random sounds. It is
demonstrated in the way he’ll write songs with such a unique blend of genres
and ideas. True, not every song he wrote was a Randy Scouse Git which harnesses that creativity with the right
balance of accessibility. Some were more like a Shorty Blackwell, a fascinating, but not really successful experiment.
Still, it was always interesting to see how his distinctive creative process
In the end, I think it’s more than
nostalgia that encourages Micky to keep the poncho as part of his Monkees
signature to this day. He may be older, but he’s still the same inimitable
Micky Dolenz…much like the inimitable James Cagney he so enjoyed parodying.
Micky didn’t inspire a movement toward tablecloth ponchos outside of the
Monkees faithful. He just decided to pursue an off the wall idea for his own