Davy Jones died of a heart attack today. He was 66 years old. I didn’t get upset when Michael Jackson died. I was less than shocked at Whitney Houston’s passing. But Davy Jones was my celebrity. He was my first crush. I was about six when The Monkees was in syndication on television in anticipation of their 20 year reunion tour. I ran away from home for him. Seriously.
My mother bought concert tickets for my four oldest siblings to see the Monkees in concert at a local amusement park. I was devastated not to be included. Her logic: I had already been to a concert recently, Neil Diamond, with my mother, sister, and grandmother. It was so unfair! I hadn’t chosen to see Neil Diamond. He was her favorite artist (although in the interest of full disclosure it should be known that I did listen to his greatest hits cassette every night as I fell asleep, but that’s because the Monkees cassettes all belonged to my brothers). Even if I liked Neil Diamond, I would certainly never have selected his concert over Davy Jones and the Monkees! I knew Davy would be devastated without me there in the audience. I knew he would notice. I tried to convince her of that. But there was no getting through. Her mind was made up. I couldn’t believe my own mother cared so little about true love. I couldn’t live in a home where love was treated so lightly.
I packed a few things, grabbed a partially-consumed package of saltine crackers, and left. I made it to the end of the block before sitting on the curb to cry. I was devastated. My neighbor came and sat beside me. She understood. And she talked me into going home. It isn’t fair, I told her. Davy Jones was going to miss me so much! How was I ever going to marry him if I couldn’t even meet him? My heart was broken. It was unfair to Davy, and it was unfair to me.
I’m not sure at what point in my life I realized The Monkees were in reruns, and that Davy Jones was considerably older than I initially thought. But by then, it didn’t matter. I was his forever. I made plans to eventually move to Beavertown, Pennsylvania (Davy’s then-place of residence), where I would walk by the little yellow house until we met.
I was the Daydream Believer.
In eighth grade biology, when we had to draw pictures of our offspring using a random
dice roll to determine genetic characteristics, my offspring wound up looking surprisingly like Davy Jones.
My best friend and I sang and danced and played CD frisbee in my room to the Monkees. They were never her favorite group, but she knew every lyric because I did. She listened to me go on and on and on about every thing I learned about them. It’s amazing the amount of information I found considering it all happened before the internet and google.
I used to save my lunch money so I could go to Raspberry Records and buy a new CD every month. I still have the packaging and receipts from all of them. I have the Monkees collector’s watch. I have every album and collection. I have two vinyl records: The Monkees and More of the Monkees. I own the television series on both VHS and DVD. I own (and rather enjoy watching) the Monkees movie, Head.
I won radio trivia contests any time the Monkees were the topic. One time, because I’d already won that month and didn’t qualify to enter, I called my younger brother from the pay phone at my school and gave him the answer so we could still win the Monkees-prize. We did. Although we always argued over who deserved the prize. He couldn’t have won without me, and I couldn’t have won without him. The answer was 33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee. I don’t remember the question now. Something about a television special.
The Brady Bunch Movie came out the year I turned fourteen. I went to the theatre seven times to see it. Eight, if you count the time my friend took me to keep me distracted from the surprise birthday party set-up that was happening at my house… but we arrived at the theatre to find they’d already stopped playing it.
When I was sixteen, I bought fourth row tickets to their 30th Anniversary concert. On the floor. During the concert I rushed the stage and held hands with my sweet Davy for a moment. I just knew we were destined to live happily ever after.
When I was nineteen, Davy Jones was a featured artist at Oldies Fest. I stood in the hot June sun, baking for hours, to get a picture with him. My partner-in-crime counted to three for me so I would know just when to plant my lips on his cheek. I knew if he would just look me deeply in the eye, he would fall in love and we could be together. But the lines were long, and he was busy; he never had time to look.
A google search of my full name reveals a post I made on a now-defunct Monkees fan board.
Davy Jones held the number one position on my Top Ten List of Men I’d Like to be Found in the Bathtub With. I was hard pressed to fill the other nine names (Christopher Plummer circa The Sound of Music and Eric Banna are about the only others that have had any longevity).
At some point, I must have realized that we were not going to have the future together I’d always hoped for and imagined. Life moved forward. I stopped listening to the Monkees as often. The Oldies radio station started playing Classic Rock and calling it oldies. I moved away.
I still kept up on my favorite artists, and my favorite celebrity
crush love. I was briefly saddened to hear from my sister recently that he was getting married. I was happy for him, but knew he’d never be as happy with her as he could have been with me.
I am sad that Davy Jones passed away, but glad he wasn’t plagued with drug and alcohol abuse. I will miss him (all 5’3″of him) in a big way.
Rest in peace.