Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Aw, man. I just read that Davy Jones from The Monkees died today of a heart attack at the age of 66. I’m sure his death won’t be as newsworthy or as shocking as the death of, say, a Whitney Houston or a Michael Jackson, but there is a large group of women of a certain age who will be really sorry to hear the news.
It makes me especially sad, since Davy didn’t know that I planned to marry him one day – and now he never will.
Actually, it’s probably a good thing he never knew I existed. At age 10, I was still shorter than his height of 5’3”, but by age 13 I was nearly half a foot taller than he was. Since I’m not real comfortable towering over my man, I’d probably have had to move on to one of the taller guys in the group, even though Davy was my first and ultimate tweener crush.
Still, I have many fond memories of singing Daydream Believer and Last Train to Clarksville. I even recall a really embarrassing incident when my best friend Michelle and I were standing by the record player belting out the lyrics to Valleri when my older brother came into the room and started making fun of us. When he wouldn’t stop, we trotted downstairs to complain to my mom, but she very gently suggested we tone it down a little. Huh. We thought we sounded pretty spectacular, but I suppose we could’ve been a “little” pitchy.
Oh well. My brother had cooties at the time, so what did he know?
Michelle and I spent countless hours holed up in each other’s basements decorating appliance boxes as the houses we would share with Davy when we became Mrs. Jones. Of course, since even at the tender age of eight we knew both of us couldn’t be Mrs. Jones, we’d have to call dibs. The loser had to be Mrs. Tork or Mrs. Dolenz or even (ew) Mrs. Nesmith. (What was with the green beanie knit cap with the pom-pom on top, Michael Nesmith?)
Anyway, while I can’t exactly recall, I’m sure being a little slow to call dibs now and again had one of us stomping home in a fit of pique when we didn’t get to be Mrs. Jones that day.
I don’t remember what day of the week The Monkees television show aired, but I remember being glued to the TV whenever it was on. This was, of course, decades before the advent of TiVO and Hulu or even videotape, so if we missed an episode, we were out of luck.
I can, however, clearly remember saving up my allowance until I could afford to buy my first record album, which was simply titled, The Monkees. We played that record until it was worn out, but it was one of my most prized possessions.
Critics might have called The Monkees a “fake” band put together from a casting call, but we couldn’t have cared less about any of that. We just thought they were cute and our crushes were completely sweet and innocent. And it didn’t matter one little bit that the only musical instrument Davy ever really played was the tambourine and the maracas on occasion.
By the time I turned 13, however, I’d lost all interest in The Monkees. Part of it was because, like I said, I towered over Davy Jones, but it was more likely due to the fact that I was 13. Thirteen-year-old girls are not known for the longevity of their crushes. As a matter of fact, I’d already blown through crushes on Bobby Sherman and Donny Osmond and David Cassidy (although it was hard for me to move on from David).
But by this stage, we were spying on the live (and potentially more accessible) teenaged boys in the neighborhood who played basketball at the house across the street.
Over the years, there have been a few reunion concerts for groups like The Monkees, but I’ve never been interested in attending one. Mostly because I couldn’t imagine being a grown woman with more than her share of wrinkles jumping up and down in excitement like a giddy schoolgirl belting out the lyrics to Valleri along with the band. (Probably I’m still a “little” pitchy…)
Instead, I preferred to remember fondly those first crushes while maintaining a little dignity, even though my dignity might already be blown by admitting publicly that I had a crush on Davy Jones.
And whether they admit it or not, there will be a whole lot of women around my age who will feel a little sad when they hear the news that Davy Jones is no longer with us. So rest in peace, Davy. You made a lot of little girls daydream believers.