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Tribute to Davy Jones

If you've known me long enough, you already know I've been a Monkees fan since I discovered them in middle school on those Nickelodeon re-runs. (Look! One of my oldest LJ icons is a Monkees icon.) And because I was so young and tender when discovering them, I kind of imprinted upon them; I can't view them unsentimentally or objectively, much as you wouldn't be able to view objectively the dog you grew up with. Therefore it goes without saying that I'm stunned and, mostly, very very sad about the death of Davy Jones.

He was my first crush in the band, and a crush at that age sticks with you as part of what makes up your fabric. I'll always be fond of Davy, even if, had we all been the same age and not born tragically thirty years apart, I would have broken up with him eventually and tried for Mike (or "Nez" as the true fans say)--perhaps after a two-week summer fling with Micky. But I don't know; Davy's English accent might have kept me around a while.

Now, obviously he was cute, ready-made to be the TV heartthrob of 14-year-old girls in the '60s...

On the goofy, weird TV show invented to advertise the band, whenever they needed one of the boys to fall instantly in love with some girl and snog her on screen, Davy got the job nine times out of ten. Girls screamed and cried and had seizures for him in real life, nearly to the same degree as any Beatle ever enjoyed. Not bad for a bloke who stood 5'3" (in boots, he clarified with a grin once--and we know how high boot heels could be in the sixties).

Some of the songs they gave him to sing were the absolute sappiest, so gloppy and sticky-sweet you wanted to pour them over your pancakes. (Witness "The Day We Fall in Love," "I'll Be True to You (Yes I Will)" or "I Want to Be Free.") However, he was fully capable at singing, dancing, and acting--he was stage-trained and was nominated for a Tony in his youth--and clearly had fun at it. I highly recommend you have a look at this Rolling Stone tribute, as it gives several great, amusing examples of Davy Moments from the Monkees era.

Another great link from right here in Seattle: the excellent radio station KEXP serves up Monkees songs in their original state, and as covered by others; as well as vice-versa sometimes.

And a beautiful blog entry, complete with videos, from a fan about my age who clearly gets it.

I feel almost as sad as if one of my own uncles or cousins had died. But the somber news today has at least revived the good times I had listening to this band, watching them on cable TV, and playing air guitar to their songs with my little sister on our front porch.

Should you care, these are from my own journal archives:

A brief list of my favorite Monkees songs, split into categories like "cute and catchy Davy songs" and "psychedelia."
A short and very silly piece of fanfic in which Davy meets Legolas, which I totally forgot I had written, until today.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2012 12:02 am (UTC)
I didn't know them by name. Apparently he was the little, cute one. The youngest too, I think. How tall was he anyway? He looks smaller then me, and I'm kind of short.
Mar. 1st, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm pretty sure he was the youngest (maybe 19-ish when the group was formed), and was only about 5'3". Small enough to be a jockey--and he did in fact love riding horses. Nice to see "the cute one" be the shortest for a change!
Mar. 1st, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
Davy Jones
I'm with you. Very sad. I loved him when I was young. So cute and his accent!
Mar. 1st, 2012 05:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Davy Jones
Thanks for reading! Monkees fans may not be as numerous as Beatles fans, but we're every bit as passionate about our boys. :)
Mar. 1st, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
and a crush at that age sticks with you as part of what makes up your fabric

That is SO true. That's how I felt about Jonathan Brandis, and why I was so sad when he died.

Mar. 2nd, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
Thank you! You must have a harder time of it about Brandis, since he's more obscure. I loved him in "It" though--really impressed with the performance in one so young. (Oh, and that soccer movie..."Ladybugs"? Such a cutie.)
Mar. 2nd, 2012 07:57 pm (UTC)
I felt the same way about Jonathan Brandis! He was my first crush thanks to his performances in "It" and "SeaQuest." I was shocked when I heard about this death, and almost as shocked about Davy Jones-he was still so young! I grew up listening to the so-called "oldies" and loved the Monkees much more than the bands my classmates were listening to.
Mar. 2nd, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
The one plus of this sad event is seeing so many people come out of the woodwork to express adoration for the Monkees, and give them some proper respect. They were darn fun and super catchy, not to mention cute and nice, and that's still worth something in this world if you ask me.
Mar. 1st, 2012 09:27 pm (UTC)
This is just lovely, Molly. *hugs* It's been comforting to chat with you over the last several hours, sharing in our common sadness over Davy's passing. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, the very pretty photos and the links. I am trying to gather a few words together, as well....I just know that I won't be able to make it through without shedding a few more tears. I started crying when "Listen to the Band" came on the stereo this morning.

I think I will be having a Monkees marathon this weekend....

<3 xo
Mar. 2nd, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)
It's been a comfort to me as well, to have you and the other subset of loyal fans whose virtual shoulders can be cried upon. Everyone's tributes have revived some great memories for me, and now I'm scheming whether I might get the DVDs and see if I can inflict them upon my own kids. :)

I put "Headquarters" on today and got all teary-eyed at "Shades of Grey"--already a sad song, now much more so. Hugs!
Mar. 3rd, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
"The Day We Fall in Love" is unintentionally hilarious ("...and we'll both be so happy we'll cry").

Check out the alternate, original version of "I Wanna Be Free" on the CD Missing Links 2 - it's sap-free and really rocks.
Mar. 3rd, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I forgot "We Were Made for Each Other"--but it's not as ridiculous as "The Day We Fall in Love." I'd also forgotten there was a much peppier version of "I Wanna Be Free." Way better!

In news of the unexpected, Richard Marx put up a lovely Davy tribute on his blog, with a video of him (Richard) playing an acoustic version of "I Wanna Be Free." It's strangely not bad.
Mar. 3rd, 2012 08:55 am (UTC)
As the last train arrives in Clarksville...
I thought of you the instant I saw the news.
Mar. 3rd, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
Re: As the last train arrives in Clarksville...
Thank you. :) I'm discovering from the outpouring of appreciative tributes that being the resident Monkees fan isn't necessarily such a dorky thing after all!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )