When it really isn't a part of the game.
Is it because April marks the beginning of spring?
Or is it because she is born in April?
What a lucky day for me!
Or is it because she brings April flowers?
Into my lonely memory?
Why do I call her April?
When it really isn't a part of the game?
I simply call her April
Because I can't remember her name"-Mike, asked why he calls Phyllis 'April',
Phyllis Ann Barbour was born in 1946 in New York City, to a military family. During her childhood, she lived in Texas (three separate times!), Los Angeles, and Germany. Phyllis may have moved a lot, but her childhood was relatively stable, thanks to the close bond between Phyllis and her family, which included a brother, Bruce (who would later pose as Mike's stand-in on "The Monkees"), another brother named Christopher, and a sister named Joan.
She was put in an accelerated program in grade school, so by the time she was 16, she was enrolled in San Antonio Junior College, where she majored in English and Journalism. At San Antonio College, she caught the eye of an older guy; a tall, dark, and handsome guy named Mike Nesmith. Mike was in love with Phyllis the very first time he met her. He explains: "When I met Phyllis I had a feeling that I had never experienced before and I was so sure she was the girl for me I asked her to marry me before I ever asked her for a date." Unfortuantely for Mike, Phyllis was already seeing some dude named Mark. Apparently, the first time Mike and Phyllis met, the first thing he said to her was "Nine is brown," and Phyllis answered "Three is blue." Which makes absolutely no sense to me. I guess they're too deep. Anyway, they were introduced by David Price and eventually began seeing eachother on the down low. Obviously she had to break up with Mark for Mike. Who wouldn't? Phyllis found out she was pregnant (at age 17!) and so of course, she and Mike had to get married. They were married on March 16, 1963; He was 20, she was 17.
On being married, Mike said in 1968; "Since I've been married I have been a complete person. Before I think I was a half person. Phyllis now makes up my other half and makes me whole." (Can I get a collective "awwww" for all of ya?) On January 31, 1964, Mike and Phyllis had their first son, Christian DuVal Nesmith.
Mike got bored of Texas, and of college, and in 1964, he, Phyllis, and John London packed up and moved to Los Angeles. They were living off of hardly any money while Mike and John were working as a folksinging duo, and MCing at the Troubador. Finally, in late 1965, Mike's luck began to change when he got cast as one of the leads on a new NBC series called "The Monkees". Phyllis took his newfound fame in stride; "I was along for the ride. I happened to be married to someone who was in that position. I think it was very tough...I think it was hard to have a normal life and maintain some stable values. You have a loss of privacy and a distortion of personal identity."
Phyllis also went to England a second time when the Monkees went on tour their in the Summer of '67. Around this time, she became pregnant for the second time.
In late 1967, Phyllis was driving on one of the curvy, narrow streets in the Hollywood Hills and she crashed one of her and Mike's Mercedes. She was rushed home and put in bed while someone called Mike. When he found out, he told her to rest at home, even though she was gashed and bruised on her head. But as Christian Scientists, Mike and Phyllis both believed that if you got injured, you could not go to the hospital, you should have faith that God will help you heal. Phyllis' injuries were actually quite serious, but she eventually recovered. On February 4, 1968, Mike and Phyllis' second son Jonathan Darby Nesmith was born.
Around that same time, Phyllis (who was somewhat of an aspiring country singer) sang backup on one of Mike's songs on "The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees" called "Auntie's Municipal Court". But trouble was going to erupt. Nurit Wilde, a rock star phographer from L.A, who was a friend of Peter's and who had taken the pictures for the back cover of the "PAC&J" LP, gave birth on August 7, 1968 to Mike's third son, Jason Nesmith. Although I think Jason is a complete studmuffin, Mike's infidelity totally changed Phyllis & Mike's marriage. They kept on breaking up, getting back together, and breaking up again. Phyllis moved back to Texas for awhile before coming back to Mike and reconciling. Mike and Phyllis had a daughter in 1970 named Jessica Buffler Nesmith and stayed together for a few more years before divorcing for good.
After the divorce, Phyllis married another man for a short time, though Phyllis describes this marriage as "on the rebound and not successful." She also had to get adjusted to being a single mother of three without ever having to get a job on her own. Since the mid 70s, Phyllis has been involved in Political Public Relations. She began in 1975 working for Senator John Tunney. She's also worked for Alan Cranston. Her interest in politics has helped her become associated with a firm that does public policy formation in energy and public utilities.
Phyllis passed away on February 13, 2010 at the age of 63. Here is an article that discusses a bit more about her life after she divorced Mike.
Phyllis was the most loved and respected of the Monkees Wives/Girlfriends, not just because she and Mike were in love before the Monkees thing started, but because Phyllis seems to be the ultimate mother and wife. She didn't try to control Mike; she wasn't a Yoko, or even a Sammy. No, Phyllis had an aura of being nice. Monkees fans weren't threatened by her, they felt like she was their friend. Also, she wasn't all strung out on drugs, and she wasn't one to get in the spotlight. Phyllis made sure that her priorities were her family and her home, and in doing that, she became a very endearing person. Phyllis is an elusive, yet calming figure in the Monkees history, and she is someone that all of the Monkees female fans can admire, not feel jealous of.
Phyllis and Mike in 1966
(( rewind ))