Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Goodnight, Mr. Jones

This is a blog entry I never expected to write. My head is in a fog as I am typing, but I feel like I need to do something, so here goes...

David Thomas Jones, 1945-2012
As I remember it, Davy Jones was the first hero of my childhood (that is if you discount Underdog, Mighty Mouse, and H.R. Pufnstuf). My brother and I had a few Monkees 45s, but it was somewhere around age 4 or 5 that my life changed when a neighbor kid lent us his sister's Monkees LPs  (The Monkees, More of the Monkees, Headquarters, and Pisces, Aquarius, etc.). We played the shit out of those records, so much that she just let us keep them (we beat them up pretty badly).

The Monkees were the spark that started my passion for music. Eventually I made my way to The Beatles, which upped the bar a bit, but I kept coming back to The Monkees. In '86 I saw them in concert for the first time, and it was almost surreal. My brother and I were pretty damn close to the stage, and in my head I remember thinking "OMG - those are really The MONKEES."

Davy & me, 9/22/2005
Over the years I saw every Monkees tour that came through the Twin Cities, and even ventured out for a show in Wisconsin and another in Mankato, MN.  Last year I attended one of their highly acclaimed 45th Anniversary concerts, and it was the best I'd ever seen them.  Davy in particular seemed to finally be at ease with the legacy of The Monkees. Although the tour was abruptly cut short (actually it was extended and then cut short, or something like that), it seemed that Davy, Micky and Peter would likely resume touring again at some point this year.

My heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved David personally, particularly his daughters, his wife, and his bandmates. Speaking for myself right now, Davy Jones' passing is very hard to process. I don't think I've felt this way since John Lennon died. Obviously, the death of my parents in the past few years has been a far more profound personal loss, and that is a healing process that is ongoing. Still, the death of a hero is different. It creates a void that's hard to describe. (Seriously - I got stuck on that word -void- for about 5 minutes just now). So I guess I won't try to describe it.

Thank You, Davy Jones, and may God be with you as you continue your journey. Thank you for all that you gave of yourself. You were a true entertainer, a gifted and very funny comic actor, and an accomplished musician and songwriter. I feel very fortunate that your star found its way into my stratosphere while I was at such a young impressionable age. As far as first heroes go, I could have done much worse.

With much love, admiration, and a heavy heart,

Your fan,


Anonymous said...

You were the first perennial fan I thought of...
Leave it to David to leave us in a leap year. A strange day in that the cold bitter winds bit into my skin whilst on my walk. I knew not why? It was only when I arrived home I heard the news of David's departure.
I am at a loss of words myself. Take care!

Jeff said...

Anon - Thanks for the comment. As clobbered as I was by this news on Wednesday, it's interesting how the grief has been moving more towards celebration of his life in the past 24 hrs. An enormous loss, and yet what a gift he left us with his body of work, including his knack for humor.

Thx again. Peace - Jeff

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. It sums up many of my own feelings in a way that I can't. Thank you.

John Medd said...

Only 3 seats left in the Monkeemobile now. I like his Wreckless Eric cover.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff --
Personal anecdotes make the best obituaries. I see David's passing not as a subtractive event. That is, minus one from the nostalgic experience of the Monkees, but as an empowerment of his legacy and his band mates. I digress. I'm in my late forties. During that period 1966 - 1969 I had a pretty and plump teenybopper baby sitter who used to let me stay up and watch Ed Sullivan and various other hip programs that featured music. I'd drive her nuts to ask what they'd (the Monkees) be singing about.
"What's a believer?" I'd ask.
She'd flick her fingernails at me like "go away".
Anyway I can live the statement that the music of the Monkees collectively and as soloist have aged very nicely.

Since I grew up to be rather short fellow I do fondly remember David's cracks on his "shortness" made me feel good about myself. Hey he's short, popular, the girls love him. I guess what we can surmise about his death is that we need to check our engines (heart)
periodically. Oh. I think that's a nice gesture to allow David's family to grieve in private.

And so I leave with a short poem.

Celebration for David Thomas Davy" Jones R.I.P.

Peach-faced, doe eyed David.
Distinctly voiced, wild ad-libs delighted us.
You will always be forever groovy!
So, "wipe your tears from your eyes."

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff --
Whoops! The last line is too cliche. This should be more apropos.

Celebration for David Thomas "Davy" Jones
R.I.P. December 30, 1945 – February 29, 2012

Peach-faced, doe eyed David.
Distinctly voiced, jolly ad-libs delighted us.
Forever you will always be groovy!
'tis in my memory lock'd.