Gee, somehow I always knew that the first Monkee to pass away would do so on leap year day.
Of course that’s just typical English gallows humor and probably the kind of dark, self-deprecating quip that Davy Jones would have enjoyed. It’s those brutal England winters, y’know.
But I must confess that the response to the death of Jones from his fans on social media sites and the international media truly caught me off guard and tackle. Boomers have lost another voice from their youth, and the silence is deafening.
It may be hard for younger folks to understand just how much the loss of Jones has affected so many of his fans. He was for many girls their first crush: a boy that you could bring home for supper knowing that even your mom would probably fall head over heels for him, too.
Jones was the perfect front man for the Monkees. His lead vocals on Valleri, Daydream Believer, I Wanna Be Free, and the Neil Diamond-penned A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You are fine examples of just how well he could “sell” a song.
Last year, my wife and I ventured to Atlanta’s Chastain Park with some very good friends to see the Monkees reunion tour. We drove up, checked in to the hotel and hit the pool. While walking back to the lobby elevator a couple of hours later she and I heard a distinctive English accent that stopped us right in our tracks.
YES! It was Davy Jones. In our hotel and with the backing band about to go to their soundcheck. Of course, my better half (who shall remain blameless) immediately and quite uncharacteristically morphed right back into the pre-teenaged girl who once had Jones’ pictures and posters all over her bedroom walls.
Of course, we just had to say hello. He was very approachable and was the absolute epitome of a proper English gentleman. He introduced us all around and even posed with us for a picture that now proudly graces both of our Facebook pages. We told Davy how much his talent and music had meant to us and he could not have been friendlier.
I asked him how the tour was going and inquired if he was going to sing one of our fave Monkees songs, the Headquarters album track Forget That Girl. He laughed and said “no, we’re not gonna play that one. I’ve forgotten that girl!” Everybody chuckled. That was Davy, always the entertainer.
We shook hands and yes, my wife got her kiss from her fave Monkee. No, I didn’t mind one bit as I rather enjoyed her genuine swooning … and melting.
Yes, Davy might have “forgotten that girl,” but we’ll never forget him.
He was exactly as you thought, hoped and wished he would be. Sometimes things actually are what they seem.
Cheer Up Sleepy Jean, indeed.
TURNER’S QUICK NOTES: Bruce Springsteen releases his 17th studio album Wrecking Ball this week. You can catch Springsteen and the E-Street Band on March 18 at Philips Arena in Atlanta … Non-smoking rockers can enjoy The Producers on March 10 and Mother’s Finest on March 16 at Sky City downtown. Yes, both shows are billed as no-smoking events.