Monday, March 5, 2012

Losing Davy Jones

The news didn't generate the public displays of wailing and grieving that were triggered by the deaths of Elvis, John, Michael, or even Whitney. But for the millions of fans of Davy Jones, the loss is being felt deeply and profoundly. And it is indeed a 'loss'; certainly not the dimension of loss being felt by his wife, his daughters and the rest of his family; but for us, a loss of a different kind. Those of us who spent two years of Monday nights watching the original show, buying Slicker lipstick by Yardley, writing "Mrs. Davy Jones" on the inside cover of our notebooks, have lost a part of our adolescence.

Reruns on MTV allowed us to share this with our own children, and many of us were fortunate enough to take these children to Monkees concerts...the concerts, of course, that we only dreamed of going to when we ourselves were twelve. Except for the reunion tours, Mickey, Peter, and Mike all kind of disappeared from our lives over the years, but Davy...he grew up with us.

We didn't see his name in the tabloids...didn't hear about brushes with the law, drug use or stints in rehab...stories that littered the careers of other celebrities, because there were none. He appeared at casino shows, state fairs, theme parks...always allowing us a trip back in time. Music critics have always found the Monkees and its members easy targets, but nobody made fun of Davy Jones more than he himself did. His shows were pure entertainment; song, dance, and groaningly bad puns.

The last two shows I attended, I was fortunate enough to sit right in front of the stage. I can tell you than nobody had any more fun than Davy did. Although I was lucky enough to meet him once, I never felt I could say I 'knew' him. But through Cindy Bryant and her Purple Flower Gang, I've come to know people who DO know him, and have found out that with Davy, the stage persona and the real persona weren't all that far apart. He genuinely, truly, cared for his fans; he was the real deal.

All this makes his death even more sad, if that is possible. Davy wasn't done yet. We knew that they'd never be another reunion tour; after all, tours are tough business even for the young bands. But there were going to be more solo shows, and I guess that is what I'm having the hardest time with. There will be no 'next time'

So, while people gather in Beavertown, PA this weekend for a fan-organized memorial service, those of us who can't attend will mourn Davy in our own way. Sharing fond memories with others who love him, playing his music, and remembering the boy who made our hearts skip a beat, who grew into the man who was loved and admired for his loyalty to us, his fans. And we will be smiling through our tears, grateful for someone who has brought us so much joy.

Rest in peace, Davy.

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