I am a Monkees fan
I am a huge Monkees fan. Have been ever since I was a kid. Here in NYC, The Monkees used to be shown on Channel 5, then on Channel 9 as part of their 60's summer block with Gidget and My Favorite Martian. I loved the music and the show and would never miss it when it was shown. Then, when MTV started shoing the show and the Monkees became superstars all over again, it was Monkee-mania all over again. I missed out on it in the 60's, so I got to enjoy it in the 80's. When Mickey, Davy and Peter (Mike opted not to tour) came to NYC on their tour, I begged my mom t let me go. Of course, my mom said no as I was too young to go to a concert by myself. Luckily, a friend from school went and he bought me back a concert shirt. I wore that shirt proudly down the halls of John F. Kennedy High School, getting the first of what would be many, many weird looks from people over my devotion to The Monkees.
Fast forward a few years later. I am hanging out in Kmart with my buddy, George. We're in the CD section and I come across Arista's Monkees CD, That was Then, This is Now...The Best of the Monkees. Not owning a Monkees CD, I grab it and try to hide it from George. I wasn't sure what he would think and I didn't want to get teased about my musical tastes. George, however noticed I was hiding something and asked what I had. Sheepishly, I hand over the CD, waiting for the inevitable laughter. The laughter, however, never came. He asked if I was a fan and I said I was and he said he was as well. Relieved, I paid for the CD and it was the beginning of a 22 year Monkees run for us.
We went to concerts, Met Davy and Peter a few times, bought CD's, Videos, tshirts, vintage stuff. Whenever we went on a road trip, a Monkees cd was in the car and we would have a blast, singing the songs on our way to whatever destination await us. We had tickets to their tour last year, which unfortunately was cancelled for reasons still not known. As upset as George and I were, we were convinced that they would make it up by touring again real soon.
Then, Feburary 29th 2012 rocked my Monkee world.
I was out to lunch, awaiting my order when I got a text from my friend, Honey. It had 3 simple words.
Davy Jones R.I.P
I was stunned. It was news that I was not expecting, nor willing to accept at that point. How could Davy Jones be gone? I wasn't aware he was sick or anything. Surely, it had to be a mistake, right?
Sadly, it wasn't. I found out when I got back to my desk that Davy passed on due to a massive heart attack. He was gone now and wouldn't be back. I felt terrible for his family, fellow Monkees, and fans. Selfishly, I wanted him back. It was really upseting to me that he was gone. I understand that death waits for no one. But his was so unexpected. The rest of the day was a fog to me. In my head, I can hear my memories play "Girl", "(I'll) Love You Forever" and "Daydream Believer" over and over. I spoke with George later that night, sharing our devistaion over his passing.
This past Tuesday, I was lucky enough to attend An Evening Of Music: The Davy Jones Memorial and Memories at B.B. King's in Manhattan. George, his wife, Marge and myself joined hundreds of others paying tribute to a man who spent his life entertaining millions for so many years.
The concert was put together by his band, with help from his 4 daughters, 2 of which were in attendance. The show was emceed by radio dj, Cousin Brucie. During the course of the evening, we were shown rare videos of his first apperance on US TV, singing a medely from Oliver, his apperance on Ed Sullivan with the rest of the cast of Oliver, his Monkees screen test, his apperance on Shindig, a video of him winning a horse race in England, recording Your Personal Penguin and some vintage Monkees commercials were shown through out the night.
The band offered their memories of Davy and played some of his most well known songs. There were special guests Like 2 of Davy's daughters, Tommy James, Gene Cornish of the Young Rascals, and Denna Martin all offered up memories of Davy. Richard Marx sent in a video of his memories as well as a video of him playing I Want To Be Free. At the end of the night, 2 of the biggest surprises appeared.
Peter Tork took the stage to share memories and play What Am I Doing Hanging Around
Mickey Dolenez came on stag to perform Just You and I from Justus and then I'm A Believer. He didn't share any memories as he said it was too soon for him. Then everyone joined the band to close out the evening with Daydream Believer. Mickey broke down during the song and you couldn't help but feel for him. What he was feeling was shared by myself and everyone who was in attendence.
It was a wonderful evening of music, laughter, tears and memories of a very gifted performer, a funny gentleman and a wonderful man. It was an evening I'm sure Davy would have enjoyed. Good bye Davey. Thank you for the joy you bought upon me and everyone else.
P.S.-All proceeds for the show went to a foundation Davy's daughters are starting in his honor called the Davy Jones Equine Fund. This is a foundation that nutures and cares for the horses that Davy rescued and loved. Davy saved 16 horses in his time and to continue to care for them will cost a lot. The Jones family are setting up a website, www.manchestercowboy.com. If your intrested in donating or looking for more info, send all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.