Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Goodbye, Cuddly Toy: Monkee Davy Jones Passed Away Today

This one really hurts.  As a Monkees fan from the very beginning -- and I do mean beginning, from the first show of The Monkees on NBC back in September of 1966 until today -- it was shocking to learn of the fatal heart attack of  Davy Jones, who died this morning in a Florida hospital at the too-young age of 66.  Davy was nominally the "cute one" of the Monkees, an almost-diminutive (he trained as a jockey) but super-talented Brit who prior to becoming part of what wags dubbed "The Pre-Fab Four" was an acclaimed performer on the Broadway stage and British TV.  Davy, along with Micky Dolenz -- he was the other show biz veteran in the group, starring in his own TV show as a youth -- was a performing dynamo and a consistently adorable presence whose accent made him even more delightful. 

It's always interesting to ask ladies of a certain age who was their favorite Monkee. I went for Micky who was the most traditionally comedic of the lads -- I've always gravitated towards the funny -- but I'm sure that most young girls set their sights on Davy.  I can easily imagine what a huge mountain all the Pee Chee folders of yesterday adorned with Davy's name in little hearts would make.  He was probably the ultimate teen idol -- sweet, enthusiastic and talented until the end -- and the hearts he won more than forty years ago never stopped loving him.  (Even a few years after the initial craze of Monkee Mania, Davy Jones was still a powerful force, famously setting Marcia Brady's heart aflutter on the "Getting Davy Jones" episode of The Brady Bunch in December of 1971; clips below.) 

Despite only having a two-year 58 episode run, The Monkees series has been a TV favorite for decades.  Syndication kept Monkee magic alive during the 1970s and early 1980s, then in 19
86 MTV scooped up the series and enabled a full-on revival of Monkee Mania thru marathons and special events.  Since that time the show has truly never left the air, always keeping faithful fans happy and constantly winning over more hearts, each new fan discovering the tremendous goodwill that emanated from Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith as The Monkees.

The Monkees, singly and together in various iterations, have continued to make their music for loyal followers, too.  Davy, particularly, had a full schedule of personal appearances all over this country and abroad, delighting audiences with his non-stop energy and genuine joie de vivre wherever he went. Fans lined up to hear him revisit his collection of hits such as "Daydream Believer," "She Hangs Out," "I Wanna Be Free," "When Love Comes Knockin' At Your Door," "Cuddly Toy," "Star Collector," "Valleri," "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" and also all the Monkees hits where he wasn't the lead singer.  (We highly recommend reading this thoughtful article from Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone for an appreciation of Davy's pop star status.)  Relax a while and revisit the marvelous music of The Monkees:

Davy Jones left us too soon.  There were still songs to be sung, audiences to be entertained, new memories to be made and old ones remembered.  The Flaming Nose TV Blog offers our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Davy Jones.  We will carry his enthusiasm with us always, and we will never forget how much we -- and the world -- loved this consummate entertainer. 


Dean Treadway said...

I concur entirely. I'm working on my own article about Davy Jones, ane the Monkees in general, for FLAMING NOSE. But this one says it all, really. Lisa, I will always remember the moments where we got together and, in tamdem, gushed about each Monkees' appeal. And in particular, we had sweet laughs over Davy Jones' own particular magic. I'm with you...out of many celebritys' passings, this one hurts me to the core...

Jane said...

I was always "Team Mickey" too, but certainly recognized the charms of Davy the heart-throb. More proof that a Brit accent and fetching smile are irresistable for American teen girls.

I think this is just the tip of the iceburg, sadly. For the rest of our lives, we Boomers are going to be hosting a non-stop memorial online, as one after another of our icons goes to the great beyond.

Wonderful post Lisa!

TheLazyComic said...

One of my favorite Monkees songs sung by Davy was "It's Nice To Be With You". Not a huge hit for them, but has really fond memories for me. Randy, The Lazy Comic.