Call them what you want — a “fake band” or a “marketing gimmick” — but in 1966 the British import band the Monkees hit the television and music scene by storm. Teenyboppers across the United States were captivated by their good looks, charm, and catchy tunes. The next year, the Monkees silenced their critics and naysayers by releasing one hit after another. In the summer of 1967 they broke record sales by trumping the two biggest bands of that decade, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. .
I was privileged to grow up during the mid 1970s, in a time when musical sit-coms like the Partridge Family, Sha-Na-Na, and the Monkees were all the rage, at least in reruns. Davy Jones was perfectly cast as the squeaky clean lead singer. As a young boy, I gravitated toward his character but enjoyed the hi-jinks stirred up by the rest of his band-mates. Micky Dolenz on tamborine, Michael Nesmith on guitar, and Peter Tork on keyboards rounded out the quintessentially-cast, Beatles-lite, 1960’s era rock band.
The Monkees sang the types of songs that run loops in your brain if you are not careful. For me Davy Jone’s “Daydream Believer” refuses to let go of my sub-conscience mind. I am actually humming this song as I type this article! According to www.brainyquote.com Jones once said, “People ask me if I ever get sick of playing ‘Daydream Believer’ or whatever. But I don’t look at it that way. Do they ask if Tony Bennett is tired of ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco?'”
Jones tested his acting and singing chops on London’s West End. He even starred on Broadway as the Artful Dodger in Oliver. His diminutive size allowed him to excel at horseback riding, a passion of his since his youth that he considered pursuing professionally before the acting and singing bug consumed his time and energy.
The Monkees held four reunion tours since the show ended in 1968. Jones last participated in the band’s 45th reunion tour in February of 2011. The following year, on February 29, 2012, Jones died from a severe heart attack. At the time of his passing, band-mate Mike Nesmith commented, “For me, David was the Monkees. They were his band. We were his side men.” Jones’ presence will be sorely missed this year when the Monkees reunite for their 50th anniversary tour.
On the eve of the Monkees’ 50th Reunion I can think of no better way to remember Davy Jone’s than by watching the official music video to the hit “Daydream Believer”. Prepare to have your mind temporarily kidnapped by the hypnotic melody. Please click on the link below: