The March was packed. The Monkees were most of the way through their first show of the night. As they played, each of them kept an eye on the crowd, counting mentally. Would all four show up?
Micky gave a loud cymbal crash when there wasn't one called for -- his signal.
Moments later, Mike turned and nodded, once.
Peter gave a single nod ten minutes later.
There was only one remaining --- one woman to come in so they could play the song written just for them. At last, Davy grinned and raised his tambourine over his head, transferring it to the other hand before lowering it.
Dawn had showed.
They were all here. They ended their set with "Steppin' Stone", as usual. But instead of leaving the stage, Mike stepped forward and spoke into the microphone. "We'd like to do one final number for you tonight. This song has three verses and a scat, and each one of us will sing the verse he wrote." He grinned. "Well, except for the scat -- that came out of a jam. Anyway, we'd like to dedicate this to the lovely ladies who inspired it -- -and you know who you are."
With that, Mike stepped back and hit several angry-sounding notes on the guitar. The club fell into an almost eerie silence, hearing a new song come from their favourite band.
Mike stepped forward, his thoughts going to Pearl.
Pearl, who had tried to get him to quit the band and enter her father's business. Pearl, who had demanded he cut his hair and look 'respectable'. Pearl, who he had broken up with once he'd realised how she was trying to make him something he wasn't; how "our goals" and "our dreams" were really her dreams, and he'd been cast in the role of a male Eliza Doolittle.
Mike sang the verse he'd written in her honor.
"If you think I want the life you choose to live
I don't think I want the love you've got to give.
If you think my goals could be so trivial and small...
Then I don't think you know me at all."
Mike stepped back, smiling as he saw Pearl stiffen and flush with anger.
Micky took up the reins, remembering Ashleigh.
Ashleigh, the girl with the body of a Grecian statue and the mind of a pea. Ashleigh, who wanted to be a model and G-d help anyone who got in her way. Ashleigh, who could never talk of anything but what she wanted and always had to have things her way. If Micky was sad or hurting, he couldn't talk to her about it: she'd ridicule him and laugh at him, demanding he return to the clown ways that attracted her.
Micky met her eyes as he sang:
"Born between the covers of your fashion books
You think you can make it, girl, on just your looks
But you could never bring me up, between us stands a wall
No, I don't think you know me at all."
Ashleigh lowered her head to hide the tears that threatened to mar her perfect makeup. The words were a knife to a heart she hadn't even known she still possessed.
Davy sought out Dawn's eyes and sang the "la la la"s of the scat-verse, watching her slowly realise this part of the song was for her.
Dawn, or "Dawnie", as she'd practically forced Davy to call her, had connections to the music business. She had dangled the carrot of success for the Monkees -- only if Davy would be the lead singer on all the songs. All the time. Davy had refused, telling her his friends were worth more than that, and they'd make it as the Monkees-- the way they were configured -- or they'd be content to play little clubs all their lives.
Dawn had broken up with Davy after that declaration. The scatting -- no words, just "la la la"s, were a slap in the face to her.
Davy stepped back and Peter stepped forward, expressive eyes finding Mindi's.
Mindi, the perfect girlfriend --- when others were around. When they were alone, Mindi had wanted only one thing from Peter --- and had literally slapped him around when Peter had refused her. Being a gentleman, Peter stuck to his guns and never touched her inappropriately -- which had infuriated Mindi. Still, they had had some good times together when they were with other people. A heart-to-heart with Mike had given Peter the courage to break up with Mindi -- in public -- which led to her screaming and shouting at him -- and swinging at him in public. Peter had written his verse because "I used to run from people who cared --- now I know to run from people who pretend to care."
His voice strong with conviction, Peter sang:
"Believing in the promise painted in your smile
Changed what I was running from, girl, all the while.
I've known you a hundred times in memories I recall,
But I don't think you know me at all."
Together, the four harmonized,
"No, I don't think you know me at all!"
And the song ended.
The crowd erupted in applause, and one by one, the four women spoken to walked out. Two angry, Ashleigh and Dawn rethinking their lives.
The Monkees shared smiles -- feeling vindicated.
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