Davy Jones died yesterday. When I heard the news, my body lurched, involuntarily and unexpectedly.
I’ve certainly been saddened by the deaths of many celebrities I’ve admired over the years, but Davy’s, well, I think Davy’s death is the one that I always knew would come, just not when. The death that would hit so close and hurt and shake and move me like no other before, because it meant not only that the world had lost a good and talented person, but also, selfishly, that I had finally lost the last of my youth.
I was a huge Monkees fan. I taped the photos from 16 and Tiger Beat magazines of only one band to my bedroom walls when I was 9 or 10, and that band was The Monkees. Every night I kissed goodnight the photos of Mickey, Peter, Mike and finally Davy, before I went to bed. Davy was always the last, because he was my favorite.
I watched their TV show religiously, sometimes with my mom in a darkened living room, and especially loved the song segments (MTV video precursors, actually). I bought their first five albums, and remember as clear as a bell bringing More of the Monkees to a slumber party and dancing to I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone ’til the record was surely almost worn through. Ridiculously, I sold them at a garage sale during high school about 7 years later, I think because I was trying to impress a boy I liked with my cool taste in music. The irony of how getting rid of those albums actually diminished my music sense escaped me at the time.
I was fortunate to see The Monkees (sans Mike) in revival mode in San Diego during the late 80s or early 90s, and it was fun. It’s amazing how well you remember every word, note and nuance of the songs you loved when you were growing up, as though they were woven directly into the fabric of your soul. That’s true even today, 45 years after the fact, when otherwise I have a tendency to forget something I said at the beginning of a sentence by the time I get to the end.
Back to Davy. By all accounts, he was a delightful and charming fellow, and that boy could sing and dance. The loss to his family and friends must be overwhelming. The loss to his fans is incalculable.
Been listening to a lot of Monkees songs this evening, in tribute and because I really love so many of them. I’ll remember Davy as that impish young fellow on the show, usually getting the girl (to the obvious chagrin of the other boys), and I’ll hold close the comforting and amusing thought of him in heaven or whatever better place he must be in, eyes twinkling and teeth gleaming.
Godspeed, Davy Jones. I will remember you.