Teenage Monkees follower Jan Swanton arrived early one day at Kensington Park where fans were camped out next to the hotel, and was among those who shared a magical morning with Micky Dolenz.
“Micky came walking from the hotel, and just walked up and said; "You’re not going to chase me, I’m just going to walk and I’m gonna go sit on the bandstand.” And he sat up there and he just started singing to us.“ - Jan
"I started singing Monkees songs, and then I said; "You sing to me.” And all these hundreds of little girls started singing their school songs.“ - Micky
"He divided us up into groups and he got us singing ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’, and we were all singing that and I was sitting there thinking; "This is what it’s about, this is what life is about. This is what I want to be about”.“ - Jan
"We all start crying, the girls are crying and I’m crying and I’m singing Monkees songs and they’re singing back, and it becomes this like, you know, beautiful, "why can’t we all live together and be happy?”“ - Micky
"And then he just walked back to the hotel. And it was the most perfect moment ever, it really was wonderful. For years afterwards we used to come up on the anniversary and put flowers on the bandstand and stand and sing 'Row Row Row Your Boat’.” -Jan
It’s been four years since Davy left us, and it’s hard to know what to say on a day like today. But instead of being sad, I’m going to focus on the things I love about Davy Jones.
His face. Has there ever been a cuter face? No. No there hasn’t.
His glossy hair.
HIS DANCING. LOOK AT HIM GO.
He was a fab little actor
He was a proud Manchester lad!!!
The fact he was in Coronation Street and KEN BARLOW had this to say about him:
He may have been small in height but he had a bangin’ bod.
The love he had for his daughters <3
His passion for horses
His face in this scene:
His facial expressions in general
The fact that he was so willing to endulge Micky during this ‘80s performance:
“YOU MUST BE JOKING!”
The fact that it was totally believeable that a different girl would fall in love with him every week on The Monkees
THIS. ICONIC. SCENE. aka the GREATEST SCENE IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION
His fashion sense!!!
“We were, you know, all wacked out on California Gold, or whatever you called it at the time.”
HIS FACE. I know I already said this but it needs a second mention.
Davy was a special something and I wish he could be here for the Monkees 50th anniversay. More than that, I wish he could be here for his daughters, his family, his friends, and everyone that loved him. But I know he’ll be having a groovy time up there looking down on us all!
60’s music to listen to while you lay down, staring at the ceiling; groovy, mellow songs
Guinnevere - Crosby, Stills, & Nash // Wear Your Love Like Heaven - Donovan // As We Go Along - The Monkees // He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother - The Hollies // Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks // A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum // My Back Pages - The Byrds // Ruby Tuesday - The Rolling Stones
Here is a sort of masterpost type thing of the Monkees’ time in London in June/July 1967. This was the only significant time all four Monkees spent in the UK during their heyday, and obviously being from the UK and spending a lot of time seeing bands in London this stuff interests me.
The boys arrived in London on the 28th of June, coming just across the water from Paris. The very next day they held their first ever group press conference at the Royal Garden Hotel, which is overlooking Kensington Gardens (which is basically attached to Hyde Park).
The Royal Garden Hotel/Press Conference:
By coincidence, last summer I was in Kensington on the anniversary of the Monkees stay there. Here’s a post I made at the time, showing the hotel as it was in 1967 compared to how it is today.
The Monkees played five shows at Wembley Arena (known until the late 70s as ‘Empire Pool’) over the next three days: one on Friday 30th, and two shows each on the Saturday and Sunday, to crowds of 10,000 at each show. Lulu was the support act, and the poor girl apparently copped some flack from the audience as she was rumoured to be involved with Davy at the time.
Here is what Lulu thought of each of the boys, transcribed by me from Flip magazine, February 1968:
“To be quite honest I had a pre-conceived notion that Davy might be a bit big-time and sure of himself because of his professional attitude. I was wrong. When I got talking to him at Wembley I soon realized that he is overwhelmed by it all and just a little bewildered and before he went out to face the audience on the second night with all his relations down from Manchester to see him, he was as nervous as a kitten. He introduced me to his sister on that evening and we spent some time talking together about him. The family is immensely proud of him and the way he helps his father. He obviously has a very deep attachment to his family.”
“Peter can get incredibly wound up about a subject, and suddenly right in the middle of our shopping spree [with Micky Dolenz and Samantha Juste] he got involved in an argument with Micky about fate and whether our lives are all mapped out for us. Fortunately, it was not too serious and a clash of opinions like this is soon over.”
“Peter is one of those people who have a natural gift for helping keep the conversation going–Mike, for example, does not and if he is in an untalkative mood you won’t shift him. Mike is a lot more deep than you realise–there’s a little piece of himself which he is keeping to himself and no one is going to get a look at. He was always polite and very much the Southern gentleman and he has a wicked dry sense of humour, but you don’t very often get past the door marked 'Private’ in his mind.”
“Micky is really lovely. He’s a marvellous ham at times and just clowns around the whole day. To watch him handle the press is a treat–he turns an embarrassing question with a good humoured crack and immediately gets the reporters on his side.”
A few fun facts about the shows:
Mike and Micky wore black armbands in support of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger who’d recently been busted for drugs.
Mick Jagger’s face was also shown on the big screen while Davy performed “I Wanna Be Free”
According to a review by NME of the final show, Keith Moon was in attendance and, before the show started, stood up and shouted “we want The Who!”
Party with the Beatles / Micky in Hyde Park:
On the 3rd of July, the day after the Monkees completed their Wembley shows, Brian Epstien threw a huge party for the Monkees at the Speakeasy Club in London. This was also the party that Micky and Peter introduced the Beatles and Eric Clapton to STP.
Peter remembers: “Micky and I are meeting the Beatles at a London club called the Speakeasy. And in come George and John singing to the tune of “Hare Krishna” “Micky Dolenz, Micky Dolenz, Dolenz, Dolenz, Micky, Micky.” And Paul is with Jane Asher, and the other guys didn’t bring anybody, and I had just done some STP which was an LSD-type psychedelic drug. I mentioned it to John and he said, “We heard that’s no good. Mama Cass told us not to take it.” But he said, “Okay”. So I went back to the hotel and I got some. Popped one down his throat. I guess he was alright because he seemed to survive. I don’t think I’m responsible for “Strawberry Fields” though.“
Here’s who attended: The Monkees (minus Davy, who was out of town to visit his family) and the Beatles (but not Ringo because Maureen was having a baby), Pattie Harrison, Jane Asher, Cynthia Lennon, Samantha Juste, Phyllis Nesmith, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, Eric Clapton, The Who, Procul Harum, Mickie Most, Frank Allen of The Searchers, Manfred Mann, Barry Miles, Jeff Beck and others.
Around 3:30am, George Harrison started a jam session with his ukulele, with Peter Tork playing banjo and Keith Moon playing drums on a table. Not too shabby! The party ended around 6am.
The following morning, after the party, Micky went wandering through Hyde Park and ended up singing to a bunch of fans.
“Who is the most incredible, the most unpredictable pop star of
‘em all? Well at the risk of offending supporters of other members of
the Monkees, it’s Micky Dolenz who currently holds the title. And it’s
all because he put on the most incredible, most unpredictable pop
performance of all time when the boys were in London.”
The Emmy Awards, 1967. Footage
of The Monkees scooping two awards. The boys themselves don’t collect
the awards, but worth watching for their lovely reactions!
Happening '69, 1969 The
Monkees appear now and then throughout the whole show, but mainly from
20 minutes in. Listen out for what’s said about Piscean men and keep an
eye on Micky’s reaction…
Laugh In, 1969 Clips from when the Monkees appeared on the show in October '69.
'Junkyard Movie’, 1969 (?) Silent
footage of Micky messing around a junkyard which includes him having a
wee. The description says it’s from 1967 but I think it’s from later
than that, maybe 1969 or even 1970.
We love every single thing about this picture of Mike; the way the sun is shining, the way he’s standing, the way he’s slightly squinting his eyes, and of course getting to see that wonderful side-profile of his (not to mention the fact he looks seriously good in that white t-shirt!). There’s something very real and natural about this photo, and that is why we love it so much.
With the anniversary of Davy Jones’ death next week, sometimes I think I don’t have as much right to grieve for Davy as many others, for the simple reason that when Davy passed away, I didn’t regard myself as a fan of the Monkees. Yeah, I liked the songs that I knew - the songs that everybody knows - but I wasn’t a fan. What little I knew about them was from my mum briefly telling me about their show and showing me the back of her Monkees records.
Davy had a face that I knew and a name that I recognised. My biggest exposure to him (that I can recall) came just a day or two before he died. BBC2 aired a documentary called I’m In A Boyband!. It’s basically my favourite documentary ever and you should check it out because if you love boybands as much as I do then it’ll be right up your street!! But ANYWAY. This documentary featured chats with boybanders of past and present, from One Direction to Boyzone to Five to the Jackson Five etc. etc., and it also featured Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz. I remember thinking Davy was funny and sassy and I really liked him. I remember being confused - and also surprised - that he was British, because “I thought the Monkees were American??”. But I liked him a lot and thought he was a joker. I remember after that show aired, my sister said she wanted to get The Monkees show on DVD.
So Davy passed away just a couple of days after this. I remember reading it online and was like “no way!”. I remember telling my mum (or my sister might’ve actually?) and my mum was actually really upset. Even my dad was like “oh no, really?”. My mum was only 5 (almost 6) when The Monkees first aired here but I believe she watched re-runs when she was a little older. She had often spoken about how much she loved them (Peter had always been her favourite) when she was a child/young teen, so she was naturally crushed when she learnt that one of them had passed away.
I was sad to hear that Davy had died (especially when I heard about him leaving behind four daughters, one of which is only a year older than me), but I didn’t feel a personal sense of loss because at that point he didn’t play a significant role in my life. I had no idea that less than six months later I would be obsessed with the Monkees. I had no clue at all!
Davy’s death certainly piqued my interest in the band - but only a little. My sister did try to find the show on DVD, but it was always way too expensive on Amazon. I don’t know if the price went up after Davy died or what. But it was July or August when ITV aired a programme called We Love The Monkees that really started my journey into Monkeedom. This documenary was made part in memory of Davy, and I remember watching it with my family. I really liked it and was really intrigued by a band that was also a TV show. After this, my mum had a gander on ebay and found both seasons of The Monkees for a reasonable price. We sat down to watch the first few episodes together and the rest, as they say, WAS HISTORY.
While my mum brought these DVDs as a piece of nostalgia and to show me and my sister what she was into when she was a kidda, she had no idea that we would both fall in love just as hard - maybe even harder! - than she did like 40-odd years before. In the end it was me and my sister who sat up late watching episode after episode *every single night*. And the episodes we loved most we’d watch again before we moved onto the next one because we’re massive nerds, OBVS.
That’s my story of how I got into the Monkees. Everything else sort of followed on from there. But going back to Davy… Everything I learnt about the band, I learnt after Davy had gone. Watching all the documentaries, reading all the books, trawling through hundreds of pages of #the monkees tag picking up any piece of information I could find, listening to all the music I could get my hands on - I didn’t have to deal with the pain of knowing him and loving him and losing him. I have no idea if this is a good thing or not. On the one hand, it would’ve been nice to have been a hardcore fan while all the guys were still with us. It would’ve been nice to dream that some day I’d get to see them all live together (as unlikely as they may have been!). But on the otherhand, I’m glad I didn’t have to hear that he’d gone being the fan that I am today. I’m one of these people that do feel the deaths of ‘celebrities’ quite deeply. Some people find that stupid, but fuck you. I have a heart, SOZ.
So that brings me back to the start of this post; do I have a right to grieve for Davy when I hardly “knew” him when he was alive? I can’t go back and relive my despair and heartache of learning of his loss. I remember it, but it wasn’t that kick in the stomach that it would’ve been had it happened now. I learnt about and grew to love Davy when he was already gone. Does that mean I don’t have as much right to be sad as the people who were fans before he died that he isn’t here anymore?
I’ll always be able to relate to Davy on a different level than I can relate to the other Monkees because A) BRITISH, and B) bitchy (lmao). I always somehow managed to find his bitchiness and bitterness about the other guys more funny than upsetting, but that’s not to say I didn’t find some of the comments he made about the guys to be totally uncalled for and unecessary. Sometimes he crossed the line. There was a definite bitterness within Davy, a cattiness, and sometimes I wonder why that was. I try not to think about it too much because it makes me sad. But you could tell that underneath that was a really nice, good-hearted bloke. And lets be honest, everyone can be - and is - a bitch, it’s just Davy sometimes didn’t filter it. In a way you have to admire his honesty..!
I wish there could’ve been one last hurrah. I wish there could’ve been a final tour with all four of them getting along and having fun. Even if I wasn’t there to see it, or a fan at the time to see it, to know that it had happened would’ve been more than enough for me. Micky spoke about how they were planning to tour - all of them - before Davy died. I’d like to believe this was true, but I’m honestly not so sure. I hope it’s true. The fact that Mike came back so soon after Davy passed suggests maybe it really *was* true. To think that they were at least all talking, communicating, making plans…that’s a really nice thought. It’s heartbreaking that those potential plans didn’t come to light, but to know that they were there in the first place is really comforting. I’ve always been someone who just wants people to get along. When bands I’ve loved have broken up in the past, to me it’s been more of “I hope they’re still best friends/haven’t fallen out.” as opposed to “OH NO I won’t get to see them live again!”. I really hope that when Davy passed away, some of that bitterness from before (especially his bitterness towards Mike) had lifted.
I know things have been said about Davy’s young wife, but I really don’t know a great deal about that - and to be honest, from the little bits and pieces I have heard - I don’t think I want to. What I do know is that he had four daughters who adored him, and he adored them too, and that’s something that can never, ever go away.
Davy was short. Davy didn’t have the best singing voice in the world. Davy didn’t really play any instruments in the Monkees (not consistantly, anyway). Davy was bitchy. But Davy had so much more than all of those things. He had charm. He had charisma. He had the cutest face the world of pop has ever seen. He was the orginal boyband heart-throb. He had a heart of gold. He was generous and kind. He was a great actor. He was funny as hell, both as the character of Davy and the real Davy. He had grade-A dance moves that I’m jealous of. He was a performer. An entertainer. He was the voice of Daydream Believer, one of the most joyful and feel-good pop jams of all time. He was a wonderful father. He loved his horses. You can tell that he was a top bloke. And you can also tell that, despite everything, he loved the Monkees. The Monkees as a whole, and the Monkees as individuals - Micky, Peter and Mike.
I still have no idea if I have much right to grieve for Davy Jones. But what I do know is that I wish he was still here.
Here are some random Monkees videos, from documentaries to interviews to performances and other bits and pieces. If you’re new to the fandom, or don’t spend a lot of time watching Monkees-related stuff, then this post is for you!
There are probably more I am missing, but this is all for now. People feel free to reblog and add your own Monkee must-sees!
The Emmy Awards, 1967. Footage of The Monkees scooping two awards. The boys themselves don’t collect the awards, but worth watching for their lovely reactions!
Happening '69, 1969 The Monkees appear now and then throughout the whole show, but mainly from 20 minutes in. Listen out for what’s said about Piscean men and keep an eye on Micky’s reaction…
'Junkyard Movie’, 1969 (?) Silent footage of Micky messing around a junkyard which includes him having a wee. The description says it’s from 1967 but I think it’s from later than that, maybe 1969 or even 1970.
She sat in front of the TV that Monday night, not expecting anything special. The house was quiet, the sort of empty that was meant to keep one safe but was just a reminder of being alone. Turning the knob only brought one dull grown-up program after the next.
Then it happened. She saw them, and her eyes lit up.
Here we come…walkin’ down the street…we get the funniest looks from…everyone we meet…
He sat in front of the radio, a recipient of his older brother’s kind indulgence. Everything was too loud, frightening, and too full of places he didn’t belong. The DJ’s voice was almost garbled as he talked, but the music that followed sounded loud and clear.
They sang. The boy smiled.
Take the last train to Clarksville…and I’ll meet you at the station…you can be here by 4:30…’cause I’ve made your reservation, don’t be slow…
The Monkees came in the Fall of 1966. Others like that young girl and boy would find the Monkees again, in the Falls and Summers of every decade that came after. Preteens, teenagers, girls and boys alike, have watched the TV show, listened to the band, thumbed through the glossy pages of magazines, and fallen in love with these four boys for as long as the Monkees have existed.
These four boys.
Davy Jones. Micky Dolenz. Michael Nesmith. Peter Tork.
On some level, they must have known. Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, in their infinite, hazy, chemically-fueled wisdom, must have known what they were doing when they decided to create The Monkees. They felt it; that tiny, almost imperceptible moment when Monkee magic was born, the cat went tearing out of the bag, and the worlds of both television and music were changed forever.
What they couldn’t have known was that it would last this long.
In those days, sets in Hollywood were torn down almost right after they were used. Film was carelessly regarded, reused and recorded over, countless treasures were lost in the seas of time. Fame was and is ephemeral, a visitor arriving early in the morning and disappearing by night’s end.
But the Monkees are timeless.
It is we, the fans, who keep the Monkees alive. We who as children loved the Monkees unconditionally, unquestioningly, from the deepest, most devoted place in our hearts. As adults, we watch and listen to the Monkees to remind ourselves of that innocence, to again feel that comfort and happiness that the Monkees brought us when we needed it most.
Their kindness and their love saved us. Even when they didn’t know it.
To every single person involved with the production, creation, and continuation of the Monkees, from the heady days of 1966 to the present: Thank you.
Thank you for all of the concerts, the episodes, the music, the laughter, the tablecloth ponchos, the holes punched in walls, the records made and broken, the friendships formed, the memories shared.
Thank you, Davy, Micky, Mike, and Peter, for making daydream believers out of all of us.
So, the screencap seen here is of a tweet that was recently brought to NP’s attention, written by Annabel Jones (who also happens to be Davy’s youngest daughter). This tweet manages to achieve that rare combination of hilarious and depressing, and we’re going to go ahead and address both of these.
Now, one thing we’ve said many times before is that Davy and the Monkees overall have very specific implications for some people. That is, many fans watched the TV show and became Monkees fans as children, or young teenagers, and as a result, an emotional attachment to Davy/the Monkees was formed at that delicate time in people’s lives. When Davy passed, a lot of people remembered and clung to the feelings they had when they first watched The Monkees as a means of coping with the loss and their grief. That, in and of itself, is not a bad thing–but when it goes too far, it becomes a problem.
When a fan’s view of Davy or the Monkees is something they start forcing onto others, that’s a problem. And when it’s something that influences and directs how they see/interact with the Monkees’ own family members…that’s a BIG damn problem.
No woman is required to act a certain way in accordance with someone else’s idea of what is correct, and no Monkee family member–be it one of their children, a current or former spouse, whoever–is required to behave a certain way because of their being related to a Monkee. This is to say nothing of the fact that the Monkees themselves were/are not saints, and if one is going to be tolerant of the Monkees’ own considerable foibles, it seems a tad hypocritical not to extend the same courtesy to their kids.
What do we mean by that? Well… 1) Claiming that one is a huge fan of the Monkees, or a specific Monkee, and then having no problem turning around and bashing said Monkee’s family members–or somehow thinking that this will endear a person to said favorite Monkee–really does not make much sense. We’ve seen this with a certain user on Youtube who claims to be a huge Nez fan, and yet leaves comments on videos bashing Christian Nesmith’s appearance. Another example is people who’ve claimed to be huge Micky fans and yet made numerous comments trashing his former wife Samantha Juste–with whom he remained friendly and on excellent terms right up until her passing last year.
And 2) While believing Davy Jones to be a saint is not the wisest idea by itself, to shame or attack Annabel because of that belief is downright uncalled for and nasty. The thing is, deifying and indemnifying Davy from any wrongdoing not only erases his humanity…it’s also akin to telling Annabel that her perception and memory of her own father is not valid. Annabel is not a Monkees fan–she is a young woman who had a relationship with her father that is not the relationship that millions of Davy’s fans the world over had with him. Unfortunately, far too many people don’t realize the difference.
As for the other part of the tweet…well, we at NP have NO trouble believing that Davy Jones loved sluts. But Davy Jones being a lover of sluts and being a good person are not things that are mutually exclusive. Very much in the same way that Micky Dolenz *being* a slut in the ‘60s and being a good person are also not mutually exclusive. So if we as Monkees fans are going to love and adore the guys despite their own less-than-innocent actions–and let’s face it, in the '60s, Micky made the Marquis de Sade look Amish–the same should apply to their offspring.
At the very least, it’s about respect…and if you attack or shame someone related to the Monkees in the name of loving a particular Monkee, you are absolutely not respecting that Monkee, no matter how good your intentions might have been.
Thank you for reading, folks, and we now return to your regularly scheduled Naked Persimmon-ing!
I have watched every Monkees documentary I’ve come across, but I will always have a soft spot for this one. It was shown here in the UK on ITV in the summer of 2012. At the time, I was only a very casual Monkees fan, but I sat down and watched this with my parents (my mum was a childhood fan) and this is what inspired me, my mum and my sister to track down The Monkees on DVD (at the time, the DVDs on Amazon were like £50 or something, but my mum managed to find them on ebay, brand new, for a lot less!) This was effectively the start of my obsession. It has been repeated since, and we still have it on our Sky+ planner. I’ve watched it several times on youtube also!
But apart from my personal soft spot for this documentary, it is a quality programme. It features interviews with Micky and Peter, and also slightly older footage from before Davy passed. Toni Basil, Bob Rafelson, Jim Frawley, and Chip Douglas also contribute.
Another great thing about this documentary is the fans. Lifelong Monkees fans talking about their love of the band. One of the women was actually one of the young girls who “shared a magical morning with Micky Dolenz” - she talks so fondly of that morning with Micky in Hyde Park, and how she and a bunch of other girls would go back to the spot and lay flowers on the bandstand on the anniversary for years after that.
MONKEE YOU’D MOST LIKE TO BE STUCK IN AN ELEVATOR WITH (60s or present day - please specify)
This is a tricky one. For present day, it’s a toss-up between Micky and Davy, for me. Peter makes me feel uncomfortable when I watch him in interviews, and I can imagine Mike being really quiet and not saying a word (I could be wrong, obviously!) so maybe I’ll rule them out. Micky might be annoying, because he’s Micky, but he also might help kill the time. Davy (if he was still here) would possibly be the best option.
For the 60s, it’d have to be Micky, because he was hot as hell and so funny and cute. If it was just the two of us maybe we could do something to kill the time, YOU DIG? (I’m female and have a pulse, that automatically means I’m 60s Micky’s type). So I’m going for 60s Micky.