Hurple Hoopla

Friday, March 02, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Thoughts about Davy Jones and The Monkees

Several days have gone by since the passing of Davy Jones, and I think it's time I put some thoughts down about it. I have been a fan of the Monkees since I was a little kid, running into the house as soon as I got home from school to turn on the TV and catch the show on WZTV Channel 17 out of Nashville. I even used to sit there with a little cassette recorder on pause with a crappy handheld mic pointed right at the TV speaker waiting for the song at the end of each episode.

I have to be honest, here. Out of the 4 guys, Davy was always my least favorite. Not because I didn't like him, or didn't think he was funny, or didn't think he was talented. no, he was obviously all of that. He was my least favorite simply because what he believed would entertain people was not what I wanted to be entertained with. To put it more concisely, I love Peter's folky style, and Mike's country-pop-rock sound, and Mickey's bluesy jazzy thing. but, Davy tended to Broadway showtune-sounding stuff... and I HATE Broadway showtunes.

However, he was also the guy that sang "Star Collector" and "You And I" (featuring Neil Young on guitar!) and those are certainly not even remotely showtune-like. They're also my favorite Davy-sang tunes.

He was a nice, funny, extremely talented man who loved to entertain more than anything. He always had time and kind words for his fans. (Although not always for non-fans or celebrity chasers.) The world just seems to contain a little bit less fun than it was last week.

Now, some may be asking why a bitter old punk like me would ever like a band like The Monkees. Well, the kind of punk I am is the true anything-goes DiY punk aesthetic. I like the break the rules, fight the man, nobody controls me aspects of the punk movement. And, to tell the truth, I think very few acts represent that part of punk more than the pre-fab band that rebelled against the machine that controlled it. True, the Monkees had several great songs in their early days, "Stepping Stone" "She" "I'm A Believer" and several others are really awesome songs, but, once they took control of their own musical output they really began to shine. It started with "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" and steamrolled with "You Just May be The One" "Randy Scouse Git" "Star Collector" "Goin' Down" "Mommy & Daddy" "Circle Sky" and many many many more. That's the good stuff.

So long, and good journey David Jones. You didn't know me and never met me, but you changed my life forever, in a most tangible way. I wouldn't be living the life I am living now without you, and the rest of the group. Some of you reading this might even know exactly how the Monkees changed my life. Most won't. I'm not going to explain it here. Thank you, Davy. Thank you.