Davy Jones' amiable manner resonated with fans

An appreciation
March 2, 2012 12:00 am
  • Davy Jones of the Monkees during an appearance here in 2011.
    Davy Jones of the Monkees during an appearance here in 2011.
  • Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones in 1967.
    Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones in 1967.
  • The Monkees, (from left, Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz during a performance here in 2011.
    The Monkees, (from left, Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz during a performance here in 2011.
  • Davy Jones attending the 43rd Annual Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Jones died Wednesday Feb. 29, 2012 in Florida. He was 66.
    Davy Jones attending the 43rd Annual Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Jones died Wednesday Feb. 29, 2012 in Florida. He was 66.
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"I'm Davy's dad. Davy will be out here in a minute."

That's how Davy Jones introduced himself when he took the stage with The Monkees at Stage AE last June.

Obviously, he was making light of himself for still playing the role of teen idol at 65, but he didn't have anything to be ashamed of. From the gallery, the "cute Monkee," who died Wednesday of a heart attack at 66, looked and sounded remarkably like his old self on the group's 45th anniversary tour, which found the members digging deeper into their song catalog than they had ever gone.

Pat Dawson of Churchill was one of the screaming ladies in the front, happily experiencing a Pleasant Valley Wednesday. "I was 11 at the height of Monkeemania, and my middle class Irwin, Pa., world was immersed in Vietnam, drugs, racism and a lot of angst," she says. "The Monkees were a haven for my best friend Ronda and me. They allowed us to escape the real world (and a painful pubescence) through music, silliness and fantasy.

"Over the years, as The Monkees dwindled to three, we saw every local concert, Ronda and I. We knew every song, the antics, all the corny dance moves. Davy allowed us to escape to that insulated world again, when we were 11 and everything seemed new, and fun and possible."

Although there were long Monkee-less gaps in the concert timeline, Monkees fans had plenty of opportunities to see Mr. Jones live over the past six decades, with and without his mates. The group -- Davy, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith -- of course, was assembled for the NBC-TV series inspired by The Beatles, earning them the nickname of "Pre-Fab Four." Mr. Jones, just 5-foot-3, fit the bill as The Monkees' "Paul," despite coming with a resume as a British stage actor and horse jockey.

The Monkees, who initially sang but did not play on their recordings, were never designed to be a touring act, but the group was too hot in the late summer and fall of 1966 not to Monkee around. "Last Train to Clarksville," released in August -- prior to the debut of the TV show in September -- was blasting out of every transistor. It eventually went to No. 1 on the charts, along with the album, which came out in October. The group was put on the road that fall, starting with a date in Hawaii. The Monkees' sixth-ever concert was a KQV Christmas Shower of Stars show at the Civic Arena on Dec. 30, 1966.


First Published 2012-03-01 23:18:33

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