The newswire just delivered a stunner. Davy Jones of the Monkees died today of a heart attack. He was 66 years old. I liked him and their music. They were the Beatles Lite. They were fun. They were goofy. They sang the kinds of songs we all could sing along with and smile when we did it. The Monkees were my Generation’s Milli Vanilli. But, eventually, they learned how to play their own instruments and became credible.
Davy was the cute Monkee. Girls went nuts over this little guy. In 2008, Yahoo Music voted the #1 Teen Idol of all time. In later interviews he also aged better than the other three guys. He took the Monkees on nostalgia tours and always had time to sign autographs and make his fans feel special.
He was a prince. A little prince.
I was their biggest fan in 1967 and I can remember so many of my life experiences that still connect to one of their particular songs. Isn’t that what music is all about? Their music was shallow, snappy, corny and feel good. They were never in the category of classic rock groups but their pop sound popped nicely. I still remember all the words to many of their songs including, “I’m a Believer,” “Shades of Gray,” “Daydream Believer”and, “The Girl I Knew Somewhere.”
I will never forget the maudlin, “I’ll be True to You,” that Davy sang in his own syrupy way. I used to sing it to girls back then. They laughed and laughed. Some of them with me. The others just laughed.
Whenever a celebrity dies it takes a small bite out of your soul never to be replaced again. It is a reminder that we are all getting closer to our own mortality. For me, the passing of Cheryl the Mousketeer, John Lennon, Mickey Mantle, Troy Donahue, Johnny Unitas and now, Davy Jones, all sadly and personally resonated with me.
They are all gone. Really?
Another piece of my childhood is gone. Slowly but surely it is disappearing.
As Davy sang, “I wanna be free, like the warm September wind, babe…”
I want to say this to him…
Now, you are.
And, thank you.
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