RIP, Davy Jones

It’s a sad day in Clarksville; Monkees singer Davy Jones has died at the age of 66.

I’m old enough to remember when the Monkees first came on the scene, and I was prepared to really hate them, because they were a pre-fabricated band intended to capitalize on the success of the Beatles. But they turned out to be more musically interesting than anyone predicted, even if the instruments were played by studio musicians and the songs were written by other people (Mike Nesmith was the only real musician in the band), and they had a string of memorable hit songs.

Davy Jones will be missed.

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36 comments

1 AK-47%  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 12:51:26pm

Cheer up, sleepy Jean...

one of my absolute fave-rave songs as a kid.

2 wrenchwench  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 12:55:15pm

They did the impossible: they made me like a Neil Diamond song.

3 Sheila Broflovski  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 12:56:25pm

When I was in high school (way back when the Monkees had their own hit TV show), our class put on an "anti-drug" skit for a school assembly. We played a bunch of stoners singing this little song:

Everywhere we go
And everyone we see
Is smokin' weed
And droppin' LSD!

Hey hey we're the Junkees!
The fed try and give us the bust
But we're havin' too much fun trippin'
To worry 'bout the cops gettin' us!

Of course the purpose of the assembly was to portray the "Junkees" as losers, dropouts, unpopular, ugly, zitpocked kids, while the cool, popular, college-going athletic beautiful kids were drug free.

Yeah right.

4 Dancing along the light of day  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 12:57:42pm

66 is very young.
Celebrate your life, while you can!

5 William Barnett-Lewis  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 12:58:13pm

I'll always have a soft spot for "Last Train To Clarksville". I was young enough that the prefabricated didn't matter till much later. They did much more with it than anyone had a reason to expect.

I'll lift a whisky to him tonight.

6 makeitstop  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 12:59:06pm

Yeah, I'm feeling nostalgic about this today.

I loved the TV show, and I remember not even being too upset upon learning that they didn't really play their instruments (although they did on their later albums). I just loved the show, and their music was a result of the best studio musicians and songwriters the pop world could offer at the time.

But I have one small correction, Charles - Peter Tork was also a professional musician, albeit not in rock. He was a folk-bluegrass performer in New York prior to singing on as a Monkee.

7 Kragar  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 12:59:32pm

re: #3 Learned Mother of Zion

When I was in high school (way back when the Monkees had their own hit TV show), our class put on an "anti-drug" skit for a school assembly. We played a bunch of stoners singing this little song:

Everywhere we go
And everyone we see
Is smokin' weed
And droppin' LSD!

Hey hey we're the Junkees!
The fed try and give us the bust
But we're havin' too much fun trippin'
To worry 'bout the cops gettin' us!

Of course the purpose of the assembly was to portray the "Junkees" as losers, dropouts, unpopular, ugly, zitpocked kids, while the cool, popular, college-going athletic beautiful kids were drug free.

Yeah right.

Of course, my friends and I had our own version

Here we come,
Shootin up some speed,
Can't stop from taking,
All the drugs we need!

Hey hey we're the Junkees,
and people say our veins are too dark,
but we're too busy singing,
to cover our tracks marks.

8 AK-47%  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:00:23pm

re: #6 makeitstop

Peter Tork was good friends with Steven Stills, who failed the audition because he had bad teeth.

Imagine Steven Stills as a Monkee?

9 Decatur Deb  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:01:43pm

re: #6 makeitstop

Yeah, I'm feeling nostalgic about this today.

I loved the TV show, and I remember not even being too upset upon learning that they didn't really play their instruments (although they did on their later albums). I just loved the show, and their music was a result of the best studio musicians and songwriters the pop world could offer at the time.

But I have one small correction, Charles - Peter Tork was also a professional musician, albeit not in rock. He was a folk-bluegrass performer in New York prior to singing on as a Monkee.

Basket houses shouldn't count.

[Link: www.dangerousminds.net...]

10 makeitstop  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:02:22pm

re: #8 Ministry of Fairness and Balance

Peter Tork was good friends with Steven Stills, who failed the audition because he had bad teeth.

Imagine Steven Stills as a Monkee?

Maybe the young Stills could have done it. The older, gruff Stills might not have been the best choice. :)

11 Sheila Broflovski  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:03:52pm

re: #7 Kragar

Of course, my friends and I had our own version

Here we come,
Shootin up some speed,
Can't stop from taking,
All the drugs we need!

Hey hey we're the Junkees,
and people say our veins are too dark,
but we're too busy singing,
to cover our tracks marks.

I don't think these anti-drug assembly skits had the effect that the school officials wanted them to have.

12 makeitstop  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:04:36pm

re: #9 Decatur Deb

Basket houses shouldn't count.

[Link: www.dangerousminds.net...]

In the opening scene of that video, you can see a sign that says 'Manny Roth's Cock and Bull.'

Manny Roth - the uncle of Van Halen's David Lee Roth. He now owns Cafe Wha?, where VH did their 'unannounced' NYC show last year.

13 Kragar  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:06:29pm

re: #11 Learned Mother of Zion

I don't think these anti-drug assembly skits had the effect that the school officials wanted them to have.

Probably not.

14 Decatur Deb  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:06:29pm

re: #12 makeitstop

In the opening scene of that video, you can see a sign that says 'Manny Roth's Cock and Bull.'

Manny Roth - the uncle of Van Halen's David Lee Roth. He now owns Cafe Wha?, where VH did their 'unannounced' NYC show last year.

Dated a waitress at Cafe Wha in 1964.

15 mojo9  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:07:42pm

i had all their albums until the 11th grade when i traded them all for a Black Sabbath 8 track tape. don't even remember what the tape was. kinda wish i still had the albums. :>(

16 makeitstop  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:08:01pm

re: #14 Decatur Deb

Dated a waitress at Cafe Wha in 1964.

I auditioned to be the guitarist in their house band when I first moved to NY. It came down to me and another guy - the other guy got it because I didn't read music. That's show biz!

17 mr.fusion  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:08:04pm

Would it be fair to call the Monkees the first boy band?

18 makeitstop  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:08:50pm

re: #17 mr.fusion

Would it be fair to call the Monkees the first boy band?

Beatles. Let's remember who the Monkees were modeled after.

19 nines09  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:09:50pm

He has a summer/hideaway house not far from me in Pennsylvania. He liked the idea that nobody bothered him. Got in a few scuffles when he was in his cups, (Google Edison Hotel Davy Jones) for one, but from all accounts was an unassuming nice guy. If you could play "Last Train To Clarksville" on the guitar you were a star in certain circles when I was young. That's a shame he's gone. For a hoot go to YouTube and look up "We're From Snyder County and we like it that way." Davy also liked the Shade Mountain Inn mentioned in the tune, since closed. Rest well Davo.

20 Sheila Broflovski  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:09:50pm

re: #17 mr.fusion

Would it be fair to call the Monkees the first boy band?

the Beatles preceded them.

21 Decatur Deb  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:09:59pm

re: #16 makeitstop

I auditioned to be the guitarist in their house band when I first moved to NY. It came down to me and another guy - the other guy got it because I didn't read music. That's show biz!

"The Fat Black Pussycat" was around the back on Minetta Lane. Dylan wrote something in their basement.

22 Kragar  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:10:22pm

re: #18 makeitstop

Beatles. Let's remember who the Monkees were modeled after.

Ronnie and the Redcaps?

23 makeitstop  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:11:41pm

re: #22 Kragar

Ronnie and the Redcaps?

It still absolutely amazes me that Dio spanned such a long time in music.

24 Decatur Deb  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:12:46pm
25 AK-47%  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:13:15pm

re: #17 mr.fusion

Would it be fair to call the Monkees the first boy band?

Beatles were not artificially created: the Monkees were, I think that makes them a Boy Band, but I suspect there were others from that mold we never really heard of

26 Kragar  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:13:32pm

re: #23 makeitstop

It still absolutely amazes me that Dio spanned such a long time in music.

To be fair, Ronnie and the Prophets probably had more of a Monkees vibe

27 Our Precious Bodily Fluids  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 1:32:24pm
28 SteveMcG  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 2:40:44pm

It's funny how a TV show can spawn surprisingly good original music when you don't expect it. I still keep a CD of songs from Bear in the Big Blue House in my car. I keep forgetting to put it on my Itunes.

29 SteveMcG  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 2:44:13pm

I always liked the guitar accompanying this one:

30 Eventual Carrion  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 2:45:01pm

R.I.P. Davy

31 SteveMcG  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 2:45:49pm

I guess Davy is the reason we have David Bowie!

32 sagehen  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 4:22:29pm

Michael Naismith's mother was very wealthy, because she invented White-Out (if you're old enough to remember typewriters, you know what that is... she's a great hero to secretaries of her generation. It seems such an obvious product in hindsight, but only a secretary would have thought of it).

33 MYLiberman  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 4:39:37pm

I don't think it's true to say that "Mike Nesmith was the only real musician in the band". Peter Tork (original name Peter Thorkelson) had been working as a folksinger for five years or so before he auditioned for the Monkees. I went to school with his younger brother Nicky, and heard Peter play before the Monkees were formed. I thought he was pretty good. His Wikipedia entry says:

Tork was a proficient musician, and though the group generally did not play their own instruments on their first two albums, he was an exception, playing what he described as "third chair guitar" on Mike Nesmith's song "Papa Gene's Blues" from their first album. He subsequently played keyboards, bass guitar, banjo, harpsichord, and other instruments on their recordings. He also co-wrote, along with Joey Richards, the closing theme song of the second season of The Monkees, "For Pete's Sake"

34 danhenry1  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 4:41:37pm

Good Dude.

35 wiffersnapper  Wed, Feb 29, 2012 5:57:06pm

Buck Compton died too...

36 JHPfan  Thu, Mar 1, 2012 6:47:08am

I thought they were MADE by the suits as a parody of the Beatles? I like some of their songs but The Beatles were geniuses. As you all can tell from my profile I'm biased.


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