My Favorite Monkee: Davy Jones (1945-2012)
When the news broke yesterday about the death of the Monkees’ Davy Jones at the age of 66, I imagine a lot of people my age scratched their heads and said, “Who was he again?” And while they might not be the people who somehow seriously didn’t know who this Sir Paul McCartney was who performed at the Grammys, I’m willing to bet that many of them didn’t know who Jones was, or at the very least didn’t really care about his passing.
I am not like the rest of my generation. My reaction was not one of confusion or apathy. No, when I heard the news I reenacted Darth Vader’s reaction to the news that Padmé was dead. I’m talking a loud, sorrowful exclamation of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” And if I hadn’t been sitting at my desk at the time the breaking news alert hit my phone, I imagine I might have fallen to my knees in some dramatic fashion.
The women in my office, all with children my age or older, couldn’t believe that I knew who he was, let alone was so sad to hear of his death. And that’s what’s wrong with my generation; they don’t listen to, or appreciate, the music of the 60s and 70s. I mean, sure, they know the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, but a lot of them probably couldn’t tell you much else about them. And I’ve lamented for a long time that the music world peaked before I was born, but I can still listen to the music every day on my iPod and I’m grateful for that. But I’m always sad when someone from that musical generation dies, especially at what is now considered to be a young age.
Unlike the rest of my generation, I’ve loved Davy and the rest of the Monkees for quite awhile.
I remember the first time I was introduced to the television show ‘The Monkees’. I was flipping through the channels and found an episode of the show in which Peter has the hiccups before an audition and the rest of the guys attempt to help him get rid of them. Why this drew me in I’ll never know, but I guess it doesn’t take that much to make me laugh. After that I was a fan of the show and the band’s music.
In fact, I was such a fan that I once got into a verbal argument with a fellow student in junior high because she had the audacity to tell me that Micky Dolenz was the best Monkee. The argument continued until we would just look at each other and yell, “DAVY!” and “MICKY!” at each other in passing. I imagine most people thought we were insane or had some weird form of Tourette’s.
At the end of the day, I’ll always love the Monkees. The show was funny, the music was catchy and fun to listen to, and the guys were a group of people with whom I’d have loved to hang out. Davy will forever remain my favorite member (sorry, Micky), and I still have my Monkees albums and CDs – and soon the DVDs of the show – to remind me how funny and special they were. I’ll listen to and watch them for a very long time. It’s terrible to lose such a talented man, and though I’ll always lament the fact that most of my generation will probably never experience his talents, I’ll always know what they were. Rest in peace, Davy.
Photo courtesy of Michael Ochs, Getty Images