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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Someday Man and a Maybe Child

I can't let the day end without sharing a few more thoughts on Davy Jones. I'm among those who first discovered the Monkees in the mid-80s when MTV started rerunning their television series around the clock, and somewhere in there I got addicted. I've been revisiting the show lately and I find it still holds up. As actors they had shades of the old comedy greats like the Marx Brothers or Abbott and Costello about them. As musicians and singers, well they actually were more influential and talented than a lot of people give them credit for, and if anything, their songs always make me happy, but this isn't really about debating the merits of the Monkees, it's about saying goodbye to one of them.
I only ever saw them (well, three fourths of them) live once, during their 2001 tour, but Davy... I saw him perform almost once a year for nearly a decade. Living close to Walt Disney World has its benefits and for a good while one of them was the opportunity to go see Davy Jones perform live every spring at Epcot. And it wasn't just watching him perform, it was seeing his multi-generational fan base. The crowd was always made up of fans (mostly women) who first saw him in the 6os, their children, and grandchildren. (I wouldn't be surprised if there was a great-grandchild or two) Then there were the ones who discovered the Monkees in the 70s on Saturday mornings or in the 80s on MTV and their offspring. And Davy sure could work a crowd, and he wasn't afraid to get down in the stands with them. I met Micky Dolenz once, but I never got to speak with Davy personally, but he struck me as kind and generous with regard to his fans. I remember one incident in particular, and I think this was at the very first concert I saw him in at Epcot. A man approached the stage and passed him a note, at first he seemed distracted, and I though he may have been thrown off his game, but the note turned about to be from someone who had once seen Davy as the Artful Dodger in Oliver!, and soon we were treated to a medley of Oliver! songs that had not been part of the planned set. I thought that was rather gracious of him. A week ago, I was already mentioning plans to see Davy again this spring, but sadly this tradition has come to an end. This was part of a series of concerts in an open air auditorium every spring in the park. I doubt I'll be able to walk past any of the other acts without a tear coming to my eye. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to see him perform so many times.

Opinions will always be divided as far as the Monkees are concerned, but to me they belong right up there with many of the other big groups of the 60s: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who... And until today, they were the last of my favorite long term bands whose roster was all still with us. I'm gonna miss you, Davy. To paraphrase a song by your bandmate, Mike: We won't be the same without you.

I'm sure most people are playing "Daydream Believer" today. Great song, I don't blame 'em, but I think this one's my favorite of his.

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