I’m saddened to report the news that Davy Jones, singer for the Monkees, has passed away at the age of sixty-six. He apparently died of a massive heart attack.
I believe this terribly sad news is going to hit many folks of my generation (and a little older) pretty hard. Young Davy Jones was one of the earliest of the pop-culture/teenage “heart throbs,” immortalized not just on The Monkees (1966 – 1968) and in the film Head (1968), but in a popular episode of The Brady Bunch, “Getting Davy Jones” (1971) as well.
I remember watching The Monkees
in reruns as a kid, well after the initial Beatles and Monkees crazes had died down. And yet the series was still popular in the mid-1970s when I watched, and I remember owning at least one Monkees album.
Like Star Trek, Gilligan’s Island, Lost in Space, The Twilight Zone, The Brady Bunch and I Love Lucy, The Monkees remains a Generation X touchstone, and Davy Jones was a crucial element of it. Today, I still remember Ben Stiller’s 1990s riff on The Monkees, called “The Grungies,” and how it satirized the offbeat stylistic/humorous flourishes of the 1960s series. I suppose certain people will always consider The Monkees a TV-cash-in on The Beatles, but the great thing about television is that it offers you the opportunity to get to know characters in a series more intimately than a film does, over a period of weeks, months, and years.
That’s what happened with The Monkees. The group — Mickey, Peter, Mike and Davy — came into our living rooms and quickly become friends. They never left us, at least not in our memories, and we never forgot them.
One thing is for certain, Davy Jones brought a lot of joy into the lives of my generation as it was growing up, and losing him now is a difficult proposition. My sympathies go out to his family for the loss of a tremendous talent.
Below I’ve embedded some of Mr. Jones memorable musical performances.
Rest in peace, Davy Jones…