WASHINGTON, February 29, 2012 — With a string of hits like Last Train to Clarksville, Mary Mary, I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone, I’m a Believer and Pleasant Valley Sunday among the more than forty singles and nearly forty albums and compilation albums, the Monkees were very much a part of the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation.
And the girls, at least a lot of them, had a huge crush on the oh-so cute Englishman, Davy Jones. With his thick brown hair, sparkling brown eyes, and delightfully playful swagger many a teen-age girl found him hard to resist.
According to Wikipedia Gene Roddenberry modeled Mr. Chekov of Star Trek fame after Davy “in response to the popularity of Davy Jones, complete with hairstyle and appearance mimicking that of Jones.”
His records could be found in the record collections of girls all over the world; and he was the first love for many of the girls on our street.
And now he is gone. Davy Jones has died at the age of 66, from a heart attack.
In the group Davy was the one we wanted to bring home to meet mom and dad. Mike was too aloof, Mickey too dangerous (he is a drummer after all) and Peter was too nerdy.
Davy was just right.
And when he sang, whether on the stage, the radio, record album or their weekly eponymous TV half-hour show, he sang to me. At least we all believed that.
Our older sisters followed the Beatles, and the artsy folk singers who were just not fun enough. The rock n’ roll stars like the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Starship and Jimmy Hendrix were all too dangerous with their aura of drugs and sex; for the younger set, The Monkees were perfect.
And we did not care that they would not let them play their own instruments on their TV show; they were carefree, adorable and playful. Each of them.
But Davy was the very cute and cuddly Monkee. I do not know if he would mind that we thought he was cuddly; as a ten year old girl in 1968 that was the extent of my lust.
Davy Jones did sing with his own voice, you should know. Wearing tight bell bottomed hip-huggers, white shoes and often a Nehru jacket; he was the perfect boyfriend for a tween.
Unfortunately, while The Monkees were “brothers” then, time and age had soured their relationships. In 2009 he took a shot at his band mates in Digital Spy. They have not toured together since 1997. For a 45thAnnniversary tour, however, the guys stepped out in May 2011, sans Mike Nesmith. The tour was cancelled in October of that same year due to “internal conflicts.”
The Monkees still have many fans. Unfortunately they won’t see the group inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anytime soon. Jann Wenner of the museum has famously snubbed The Monkees as inductees because “they did not play their own musical instruments in the show.”
Wenner is wrong to hold that against them. Not only did they tour to sold out venues, their records were constantly on the Top 40 charts as well as earning gold and platinum albums.
According to Psycho-Jello “I’m a Believer” was the 5th biggest song of the 60s, Billboard magazine says The Monkees are #27 on the Top Artists of the Rock Era meaning they beat out people like The Eagles, Madonna, Pink Floyd, Neil Diamond, and Bruce Springsteen, and they are also the #8 biggest selling band/artist of the 60s.
With Davy Jones’ sudden passing we are reminded just how much joy and play this band of merry men brought to throngs of young girls, and boys in the late 60’s and, as we still wistfully listen to their songs, today.
After a moment of silence and as my favorite song, Daydream Believer, floats through my memory, I am going to go find three compadres to “Monkee-walk” with me as we shout “Hey, Hey we’re the Monkees, and people say we monkey around; But we’re too busy singing, To put anybody down.”
I hope that those remaining, Mickey, Peter and Mike, are able to remember some of the fun they brought to my life, and the lives of so many, and come together to bid their mate goodbye.
Rest in peace, Davy Jones. And thank you.
Also Read: Monkees singer Davy Jones dies at 66 (Video)
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