Posted by: lylescott89 | March 1, 2012

The Loss of a Legend: Davy Jones (1945-2012)

Hey kids,

February 9th 1964 is often remembered as the night The Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.  Also introduced to American audiences that night was a young actor & singer from England appearing with the Broadway cast of Oliver, Davy Jones.  As he watched The Beatles perform Davy said “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.”  Not long afterwards I was born.  Wait that has nothing to do with this story.  Scratch that please.  As I was saying, not long afterwards he got his “piece of that” as the breakout star of The Monkees.

When I was a kid my sisters had all of The Monkees albums and yes, they were albums.  They also had various 45’s.  I wonder if they ever had a Monkees lunchbox.  I’ll bet they can tell me if they did.  I’m not sure I recall exactly when I discovered Monkee mania, but I seem to think it was sometime around the age of seven or eight when they were playing Monkees reruns on WTOG, channel 44.  I actually discovered The Monkees before I discovered The Beatles if you can imagine that.  During those years I became a huge fan of the music of The Monkees.  And while I was not hanging up photos of Davy Jones on my walls I loved hearing him sing.  I still have all those albums that still technically belong to my sisters, but have not played them in years since I have nothing to play them on.  I can tell they still belong to my sisters because they wrote their names all over them.  However, they have not ever called and asked for them back so I continue to have them in my possession.

As we all know by now we lost Davy Jones to a heart attack on February 29th, 2012.  He was 66 years old.  Way too young to die as far as I am concerned, but death is an angry bitch and she comes to all of us at some point.  Davy seemed to be in perfect health.  He was a vegetarian.  He ran daily and was in good shape.  None of that mattered at all however, because death wanted him and no amount of exercise or eating right could stop that bitch.  Kind of makes you think doesn’t it?  You can do everything right.  You can exercise, you can eat the right foods, you can take all sorts of vitamins and you can avoid red meat, tobacco and alcohol, but in the end none of it really matters.

To this day I still listen to the music of The Monkees.  I love their music as much as I love The Beatles.  Yes, I realize that The Monkees were put together for a TV show, but doggone it they still put out some pretty damn good music.  It was the music of the times and, at least to me, it still holds up.  Just try listening to Bobby Sherman or Jack Wild in 2012.  You’ll laugh your ass off.  But listen to The Monkees and you’ll be smiling and singing along.  Last night I was listening to the song “I Wanna be Free” and almost started to tear up.  Corny?  Yes, but I couldn’t help it.  The death of Davy Jones is a bigger loss to me than Whitney Houston, but we will not see his funeral on CNN.  We will not see the flags at half mast in New Jersey for him.  In a few days most people will have forgotten that he was once an icon and was once voted the #1 teen idol of all time.

Back during my senior year in college I received the news that The Monkees would be doing a reunion tour sans Michael Nesmith.  (I guess when you’ve got all that White Out money you don’t need to do a reunion tour)  A larger group of us all got tickets and we got great seats just a few rows back from the stage.  After sitting through Gary Puckett, The Grass Roots and Herman’s Hermits we finally were introduced to The Monkees.  There they were; Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davy Jones all performing together for me.  All those great old songs (except the ones in which Nesmith sang lead) were being performed live.  The crowd probably was nothing like the crowds that greeted them 20 years earlier, but they looked very happy to all be back together on stage.

Donna and I saw Davy Jones perform solo once at the Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot.  It was back in the 90’s and we were walking by the America Gardens Theater across from The American Adventure and saw that Davy Jones was there performing.  It’s a big amphitheater, but it was only about half full.  We sat down and were able to hear him sing a few of his biggest hits.  He still looked good and his voice was still the same.  Plus he still had those dance moves that drove the teenage girls wild in the 60’s.  I don’t know how long he had been on stage when we arrived, but we got to hear him sing about 3 & ½ songs before he ended his set.  It was pretty cool.

No matter how old I get, listening to the music of The Monkees always brings me back to being a kid.  Music is one of those things that generally sticks with a person and can invoke great memories.  I can remember sitting in my room with my record player listening to album after album of The Monkees.  I can even picture myself and…oh my gosh what a dorky looking kid I was.  Stop that memory now!  Go away dorky little kid you’re scaring me.

Phew, he’s gone.  I have to think that a lot of us that liked The Monkees were dorky kids.  Even in high school I was able to connect with other fans.  MTV had begun playing reruns of t he classic TV show and Monkee mania had returned to a new generation.  In fact I remember when my friend Rob discovered a “lost” Monkees song, called me up and played it for me via his tape recorder over the phone.  That was modern technology at the time.

We lost Davy Jones, but his music endures.  The loss hurts, but best way to heal is to listen to the music of The Monkees and just let it fill you up.  Excuse me while I go listen to Daydream Believer.

Namaste

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Responses

  1. Great tribute, Lyle. I loved the Monkees, especially Davy. You can play the albums on our record player anytime. xo

  2. That was a great blog. I had no idea you had the Monkees albums. What else of mine do you possess? I must say that even though Davy Jones was very cute, Peter Tork was always my favorite. I remember watching the Beatles debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, but I don’t recall Davy Jones that night. I do remember watching every episode of The Monkees and LOVING their music. You will be missed Davy Jones.

  3. Great tribute to my favorite “Monkee”. And yes Lyle, I did have a Monkee’s lunch box. And if you may recall I had posters of Davy all over my bedroom walls. Along with a few of Bobby Sherman. I know that you have the albums, I have actually asked you about them a few times. I would love to have them back someday. Do you still have my train?

    RIP Davy.

    • Yes, I still have the train. Any time you want the albums back just let me know.

  4. Oh and I do have a record player too!


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