Wednesday, February 29, 2012

RIP Davy Jones of the Monkees

 Davy Jones of the Monkees passed away this morning in Florida.  He was only 66.

For kids of my generation (and we are still kids) this in an especially tough one. If anything, the Monkees represented eternal youth. The goofy spirit of fun and misadventure they projected was infectious. My condolences to his family, friends, and many fans.


We're just trying to be friendly,
So come watch us sing and play,
We’re the young generation,
And we’ve got something to say.

Davy, your music and spirit and playfulness will live on.

34 comments:

Phillip B said...

They may have been more important than they might have realized. There is real value in just being able to make people smile...

Jack Eason said...

Too darned young. RIP Davy, you are already missed.

Mister Charlie said...

Perfectly said, Ken. They represented our very youth. People our age are particularly hard hit by this I think for that very reason. Plus he was not the one I expected to go first, though I confess I had never thought of that with this band before today.

Tom said...

Very nicely put. I was 9 when the Monkees showed up, and I and most of the kids I knew were bigger fans of the Monkees than we were of the Beatles, Stones, or anybody. It's criminal that they're not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (supposedly Jann Wenner has them on a permanent blacklist).

Nancy said...

As my friends and I were saying on Facebook: WAAAHHHHH!
He was the first "popstar" I fell in love with - fighting over the chance to pretend this time he was my "boyfriend".
He paved the way for David Cassidy and the rest of the boys on the cover of Tiger Beat magazine.
Rest in Peace Davy!

Andrea said...

I loved him, too. I loved the Monkees as a kid, and I had a posted of them in my room! Davy was of course my favorite. So sad that he's gone--he was indeed too young--but I guess that dying at home in your own bed is much more than a lot of people get. RIP Davy!

iain said...

The Monkees took a lot of abuse for being a "manufactured" band, as if they were the only successful pop group to ever answer a casting call. They came from diverse backgrounds & Davey Jones was an excellent frontman.

Tom Quigley said...

I had the good fortune to appear in a TV show in which Davy Jones guest starred in 1996, and it was one of the big thrills of my life to be in something wih a person whose music I'd enjoyed as a kid and who'd seemingly stayed out of the spotlight of public scandals and embarrassment.

When I was a teenager, I couldn't wait for every Monday night at 8:00 to arrive so I could watch THE MONKEES, and then when they started showing it in repeats on Saturday mornings, I traded in my Saturday Bugs Bunny fix for Davy and his bandmates and their music.

I also saw him and Peter and Mickey perform at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in 2002, and Davy talked about being a family man, telling the crowd what it was like to raise four daughters. "When you have sons," he said, "you worry. When you have daughters, you PRAY!"

God Bless, Davy. You were such a great part of our lives!

Eric J said...

I was a young adult when they were popular. They were still infectious as Ken says. They represent youth as it probably will never be again. Certainly not for us, but sadly, not for the young either. The world has changed too much

Mary Stella said...

Thanks for posting this, Ken. I have to say it's fun to see comments from men, too.

When I was 9, 10, 11 years old, The Monkees seemed like the center of existence for my girlfriends and me. We vigorously defended them and their show against the scorn of our older brothers and sighed whenever the little sparkle lights shone in Davy's eyes over a guest star girl.

We never got to see them perform as a group, but after they broke up, we saw Davy do a solo show at the old Steel Pier in Atlantic City.

Years later when I was 19 or 20, he and Mickey were playing the club circuit. I worked for a radio station in the summer and got to go interview them. Hard to be objective when I could still so clearly remember how we idolized them as kids.

Sue said...

In 1964 I saw Davy in Oliver on Broadway as the Artful Dodger. My high school friends and I had our first Braodway celebrity crush. He was pint size and mesmerizing on stage. Nice condolence Ken.

YEKIMI said...

One day, there will be nothing tangible left of our childhood but memories.

Paul Duca said...

Yes, I 'm shocked...after all, he had a horse farm and so I figured he was out in the fresh air all the time, getting exercise along with them.

Sue--the irony is, for all the records he's sung on, Davy does not appear on the original American cast album of OLIVER! He was brought in to replace the original actor playing the Artful Dodger during the pre-Broadway tryout--but after they recorded the cast album, earlier than typically done for a musical. to rush release it and head off people buying import copies of the London production cast album.

Breadbaker said...

iain, I think the Monkees' strength came from exactly what you describe: they were set up to fail (just a rip off of the Beatles, cast in a studio, right?), and yet they were just too joyous and cheerful to let any of that matter. It's as though they were too busy singing to let anybody put them down, either. RIP Davy. Somewhere Marcia Brady is inconsolable.

Daniel S. said...

Such a sad day. I saw the Monkees in 1997. Sans Nesmith of course.

LouOCNY said...

A totally heartfelt, spiritual and loving tribute from Michael Nesmith on his Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/michaelnesmith/posts/10150642506705116

Could not be said any better...

LouOCNY said...

My response to Nesmith's post:

Wonderfully put, Michael! As one whose older sister was 11 in 1966-67, and got introduced to The Monkees that way, it has been a sad day indeed. The Monkees were SO important to my sister, her friends, myself and others of our age as an introduction to the world of rock/pop music. Not quite old enough to fathom the realities of The Beatles, Stones, Dylan and others, we listened and grew as you did. Your insistence on trying to make your music grow helped US grow musically, also. So today's news, so sudden, so sad, was a terrible reminder of how much older ALL of us are getting.

May David Jones' spirit live on as his physical body has passed. May all of us remember his family, friends, an the millions of people who were affected by his music and life, and are now searching for that answer of how mortality will affect us all.

DwWashburn said...

Ok you can tell by my moniker that I'm a Monkees fan. I was just telling my wife on the 25th that it was so good that all four Monkees have survived since we lost two of the Beatles.

While Michael Nesmith has always been my favorite Monkee, the news about Davy struck hard. Davy was the youngest of the guys and seemed to always keep himself in shape. Just shows you that you never know.

Michael's tribute to Davy on Facebook was great. Well worth reading.

Anonymous said...

How did you get Peter Tork to appear on Wings?

Birdie said...

I was 9 when they had their 20th anniv comeback and were on MTV and Nick at nite all the time, so for me and my sisters and many others of my generation, The Monkees were part of our childhood as well. Very sad day.


I'll always enjoy their music, no matter what anyone says, and their show was pretty great - it won an Emmy for best comedy series, in case anyone forgot. And each was talented in their own way. Micky had the best voice and comedic timing; Mike was a very accomplished songwriter; and Davy was the best showman.


I hope Antenna TV runs a marathon this weekend. And someone needs to show The Brady Bunch episode!

Anonymous said...

Timely story from Mark Evanier here:
http://www.newsfromme.com/2012/02/12/hooray-for-hollywood/

Mike Barer said...

Who would have thought that Davy Jones would be the first of the Monkees to go?

Anonymous said...

For Ken and all the other Davy fans. Come to the party!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqK-1H4NjiA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLSfYdCMIfQ&list=UUq3YkAE5DgpE336AGQblVhA&index=7&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYTzBOPp72I&list=UUq3YkAE5DgpE336AGQblVhA&index=6&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYTzBOPp72I&list=UUq3YkAE5DgpE336AGQblVhA&index=6&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJVpjd50AFs&list=UUq3YkAE5DgpE336AGQblVhA&index=5&feature=plcp

Eddie D. said...

My kids, boys, 15 and 13, just discovered the magic of vinyl. I set them up an old stereo system.

And they're playing my wife's old copy of the Monkees...

Lovin' it.

Pat Reeder said...

I was a bit too young to be into the Monkees when they first aired, but I later discovered them when I became a fan of Mike Nesmiths's First National Band. I played with a garage band in high school, and no songs were more fun to play than "I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone" and "Sweet Young Thing." Have loved them ever since, defending them against snooty people (ahem, "Jann Wenner") who thought that great, fun pop music was somehow beneath the dignity and grandeur and political importance of the truly great rock music they preferred.

Now, here we are 45 years later. Most of those "important" bands are forgotten or sound horribly dated, and everyone from kids to seniors still loves "I'm a Believer" and "Daydream Believer" and "Last Train to Clarksville,"
etc. etc. And that pretentious gasbag Jann Wenner, with his ironclad control of the misnamed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, bans the Monkees because of some juvenile ideal of his long-past youth that they weren't a "real" group. This because the same session players who really cut the classic Beach Boys and Byrds albums he champions played for the Monkees, too. And just on their first two records! Yet he keeps putting in rappers who not only can't play any instruments, they can't even sing and don't even try.

So long and rest in peace, Davy. Thanks for all the laughs and great music.

Naz said...

Awwww Davy, you left too soon. RIP

:(

Zach said...

It was rather serendipitous that Modern Family had a Monkees joke last night.

While setting up the Wizard of Oz themed party, Mitchell answered the door and two guys with flying monkey costumes were there. They each said Hey, and then one said we're the monkeys.

Anonymous said...

We thought we were pretty cool, but our lives still came to a screeching halt so that we could park ourselves in front of the TV for the Monkees. No matter what else was going on, we watched the Monkees instead. When we tried to explain this to my niece, she just said, "Well, duh! Why not just DVR the show?"

Mike Barer said...

Jimi Hendrix, I have heard, opened for the Monkees way back when. David Bowie was born David Jones, but changed his name so not to be mistaken for the better known Davy. Even though the Monkees were considered lightweights, at least two Rock legends were directly effected by them.

Mike Barer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ref said...

Their version of "Riu Riu Chiu" is not to be missed. It's on Youtube and iTunes.

Kirk said...

Late commenting here. Somehow passed right over this one.

As I understand it, Davey Jones and Mickey Dolenz were professional actors who could also sing, whereas Micheal Nesmith and Peter Tork were aspiring musicians who'd thought they'd give acting a try. Ironically, I personally feel Nesmith's and Tork's acting stood out more, because they were fresh and different, wheras Jones and Dolenz seemed more conventional. Nevertheless, all four were great together. RIP Davey Jones.

mike said...

It's too bad that DJ passed, but let's have a spot of reality, shall we? The Monkees were hired as actors to play a band on tv. They were to mimic Hard Day's Night era Beatles and that's what they did. Sorry, but they don't belong in the R & R hall of fame. Nor does Madonna, nor do the rap artists for that matter. Sure they were maligned, perhaps unfairly, but they simply can't be compared to the folks that gave us the rock and roll music from whence the idea for the tv show arose.

Eco Guy said...

who didn't love davy!! :(