If you were a kid in the 70’s and 80’s living in the Bay Area, there was something to look forward to on hot summer afternoons: On KBHK they had reruns of The Monkees. They would show the misadventures of these four boys who always had a hit song, always knew how to make someone smile. We had wisecracking Mickey, gentle Peter, wise Mike, and Davy.
Oh, Davy Jones! Even though the show was fifteen, sixteen years old by the time I saw it, I was in love. L-O-V-E, baby! He had that long hair, he could shake that tambourine like nobody’s business. Okay, he was short. It didn’t matter. Because he had that British accent. Oh, the British accent was so yummy! It made me melt. I was nine or ten, and I melted for Davy Jones. To this day I still have a thing for British and Irish accents (Yes I’m looking at you Pierce Bronsan and Clive Owen) and it’s because of Davy Jones.
He was a jockey to start with, which was perfect for him because of his height. But he wanted to be a star, baby! So he made his name in the musical Oliver! NBC came calling for they wanted to do their own version of the Beatles. Jones had a good voice, he could act, and most of all, he was British. Groovy baby!
All the guys had great songs, that was a given. One time when I was blue I bought The Monkees’ complete collection on sale. For days I mellowed out, singing along to my favorite songs. Of course I had to sing along with Davy: Be it Harry Nilsson’s ironic “Cuddly Toy” his pensive “I Wanna Be Free” Then there was his angst in “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow”) about which girl he would choose, Mary or Sandra? Tough choices pal!
And yet it was “Daydream Believer” I truly loved. The song really didn’t make sense, but it’s one of my mother’s favorite songs because of the lyric “Cheer up Sleepy Jean” (Her name is Jean) Sometimes she’d get the words wrong “Wake up Sleepy Jean!” “Perk Up Sleepy Jean!” but that made it more endearing.
He was the boy all girls loved. The show got older, yet he was still that boy dancing and singing. He had it. And the girls who loved him grew older, but there were new girls who, even though his clothes were kind of weird, loved him too. And it doesn’t seem fair that Davy Jones died today of a heart attack at age 66. Because he wasn’t supposed to die.
Oh Davy. Look out, your cuddly toys will miss you so much.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries