Sunday, March 04, 2012

RIP Davy Jones

Photo via Imprint
I'll be honest--I'm not a huge Monkees fan, but after seeing the outpouring of tributes to Davy Jones on Facebook and Twitter last week, I wish I were. The Monkees were not the greatest 60s band of all time by all means; instead, they are considered the first true manufactured boy band, a group put together to capitalize on The Beatles' fame and make some money. But what became apparent to me after the passing of Davy Jones at the age of 66 is that all of them were extremely likeable and approachable by fans. People posted pictures of them meeting Jones; women said that they felt like a part of their childhood had just died along with him. For many girls growing up during the 60s, Jones was their first true celebrity crush (and I'm sure many of them envied Marcia Brady for getting to meet their idol.) Even The Beatles admired them and invited them to a party around the time of Sgt. Pepper's success, and said they only had the utmost respect for the band.

Most Monkees fans know that The Beatles were responsible for changing the direction of Jones' career early in his life. His background was in acting, having starred in a British soap called Coronation Street starting at the age of 14. On February 9, 1964 he made an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show as The Artful Dodger in the Broadway stage production of Oliver!. It was the same evening that also featured The Beatles' first Sullivan appearance. Jones watched them from backstage and said later of the experience, "I watched the Beatles from the side of the stage, I saw the girls going crazy, and I said to myself, this is it, I want a piece of that." He also trained to be a jockey while in his teens, and loved horses and horse racing. 

For people of my generation, The Monkees enjoyed a surge in popularity years after they had disbanded and their show was canceled, when MTV ran a Monkees TV show marathon during the 80s. I can remember female classmates of mine in the 7th grade who were fans of the show, proving that good music and innocence carries from decade to decade.

Shortly after his death, the other members of the Monkees publicly expressed their sentiments. Guitarist Michael Nesmith stated that Jones's "spirit and soul live well in my heart among all the lovely people", bassist Peter Tork said, "Adios to the Manchester Cowboy", and drummer/singer Micky Dolenz said, "He was the brother I never had and this leaves a gigantic hole in my heart".

I think that pretty much sums up the way all Davy Jones fans feel about the man--rest in peace. 

My favorite Monkees song is A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You which was the second song Neil Diamond wrote that was recorded by the band (the first one being, of course, I'm A Believer.) 

 

7 comments:

John Incampo said...

Following is something I wrote on Facebook a few days ago which reiterated what you were saying about how wonderful and approachable they all were:I loved the Monkees - My favorite memory of Davy was when my daughter Eleanor treated me for Father's Day to a Davy concert a few years back at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. At the end of the show Davy invited the audience to stick around and watch his second show of the evening at no charge and after that, he stuck around for another hour to sign autographs and take photos with all of his fans until he met every last fan waiting in line. He was very gracious and put on a wonderful show. R.I.P. Davy - you will be missed!!!

John Incampo said...

Following is something I wrote on Facebook a few days ago which reiterated what you were saying about how wonderful and approachable they all were:I loved the Monkees - My favorite memory of Davy was when my daughter Eleanor treated me for Father's Day to a Davy concert a few years back at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. At the end of the show Davy invited the audience to stick around and watch his second show of the evening at no charge and after that, he stuck around for another hour to sign autographs and take photos with all of his fans until he met every last fan waiting in line. He was very gracious and put on a wonderful show. R.I.P. Davy - you will be missed!!!

Pam@GoRetro said...

John, thanks for your comments...very timely as I was just at Mohegan Sun on Saturday. Your story echos the many I've been seeing on the social media channels the past week about Davy Jones and all of The Monkees--they seemed to be very humbled by and grateful for their fans. I'm glad you and your daughter got to meet him and can cherish that memory.

Anonymous said...

Davy will be sorely missed by most anyone of our generation, both as a loved individual and an iconic personality. Mickey Dolenz has correctly intimated it is that they (The Monkees) remind us so, so much of the happy times of our youth (and the 60s,70s was a G-G-G-Great! time to be alive). Godspeed Mr. Jones. s-a-h-d

Tom said...

I was born in '67, so I was a little late for the first run, but I watched them in reruns and always enjoyed the show and their music not to mention Davy's appearance on the Brady Bunch. 66 was too young.

Darrin.. said...

I really used to dig the Monkees! I bought some of their albums as a kid, and loved their show! Remember the episode of the Brady Bunch Davy was on? The thing about Davy that I loved so much, is that he always seemed to have the boyish aura of an upbeat kid, even well beyond midle age. I think we'd all do good to be more like Davy in this aspect.

Lacey said...

I only knew the Monkees in Saturday Morning re-runs, but loved the show all the same. Loved the Brady Bunch tie in and the Brady Bunch movie when they used that plot.
I was sad when I heard the news.

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