I have a very vivid memory of being at our old house in Inkster and dancing with my brother, Dennis to The Monkees "Cuddly Toy" in our basement. I think he had on a little top hat and was dancing with a cane, to mimic Davy Jones in the video. I remember laughing and having so much fun at the time and thinking that The Monkees were the greatest thing ever.
I bring this up because it's the first thing I thought of when I heard the news that Davy had passed away at the age of 66 from a heart attack. When I say that we loved The Monkees, I truly mean that we LOVED The Monkees. We grew up in a rock and roll household. My parents were always, always playing music and it was a given that you would find Dennis, Jay, Natalie and I dancing our little butts off on a Friday or Saturday night (I'm sure there are videos to prove it!). Inspired by their music, for Christmas, Dennis got a guitar from Santa and I got a keyboard (so I could play like Peter Tork). I like to think that The Monkees are what planted the seeds in our minds that music is awesome and so much fun.
We adored the television show. From 1986-1988, Nick at Nite played reruns of it and we watched obsessively. The show was silly and corny but we thought it was fantastic. I loved that every episode had their music in it. Whether it was incorporated into the storyline, or just a music video thrown in, I thought it was so much fun. Davy was the one who had stars in his eyes and fell in love in practically every episode, he was the one all the girls swooned over, he was the one who would talk in the middle of a song and profess how much he "loved you girl", he was the baby faced cute one and he was real good at playing the tambourine.
Now, we don't listen to The Monkees every day and obviously we have moved on to other bands and different kinds of music throughout the years and our tastes have changed a bit, but The Monkees have always been in the back of my mind as a kind of driving force as to what music means to me. They remind me of really great times as a kid, dancing and singing in my pajama's and friends and family singing "cheer up, Sarah Jean!" to the tune of "Daydream Believer" when I was sad. They were the first band I loved and every single member, Davy, Mike, Peter and Micky left their mark in my music mind separately and together in one way or another.
On Tuesday night, I found out that Peter Tork was going to be at the Motor City Comic Convention in May. I was real excited! I immediately sent Dennis a text to let him know. Needless to say, I had planned on going to the comic convention anyway, but knowing that a Monkee was going to be there was like icing on my nerdy cake. The next afternoon we found out the news about Davy. The very next day. So weird. That same afternoon, Dennis sent me a text about his passing and said "so strange that our last two texts were about The Monkees." SO strange. And with that, it brought back a multitude of happy, great memories.
I am honestly surprised (and delighted) by the outpouring of love and affection that critics, bloggers, celebrities and fans have shown for him since the news broke. Not that I don't think he was well respected but I know a lot of people thought The Monkees were just a made for TV gag. Each of the guys tried really hard to prove that they were all talented in their own ways and it makes me happy to see that people do appreciate that. I will continue to honor Davy and the rest of the guys by introducing Charley to their music and to the TV show. I will forever cherish those memories of dancing to Davy's voice and watching all the guys on TV and on stage. So join me and break out those old records and bask in the memories of some FUN music.
I'll leave you with the classic "Daydream Believer" because that is the most popular choice. I love the beginning when he's playing the piano next to Peter: