Sad news out of Florida this morning that head Monkee and Marcia Brady prom date Davy Jones succumbed to a heart attack. I’m sure there will be plenty of “Last Train to Clarksville” puns, but you won’t find any here.
The Monkees loomed large for my generation. They were part of a small group of artists that appeared in every elementary schooler’s record collection in the early Seventies, the others being John Denver, Neil Diamond, and the Beach Boys.
At that age I didn’t really understand the attraction to the others, but The Monkees I got. Their television show was in after school syndication, right there with The Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, and The Little Rascals. Unlike the other shows (Johnny Bravo not withstanding), the Monkees were funny and they rocked. What more could an eight year old want, other than maybe a Batman cameo?
The Monkees have been kicked around quite a bit over the last forty-five years for being exactly what they were supposed to be, which was the Pre-Fab Four, but strip away those prepackaged notions and listen to the records and they are some of the best crafted pop of the era. And right up front was Davy, with absolutely no shame in his game.
You can find all the biographical stuff on the intergooglewebtubes, that’s not really my bag. I’m just here to tell you why it matters, and I can’t imagine a day on the playground, an after school snack, or Hot Wheels in my buddy’s basement without Davy and his tambourine in the background.
So that’s why it matters to me. What about you? I’m listening.