Thursday, March 1, 2012

Godspeed, Davy Jones

Davy Jones in his later years. (AP photo)
Today I was going to write about how February 29th is one of those days out of time because of it's unique position on the calendar...But that changed when I fired up Facebook this afternoon and saw  that Davy Jones of the Monkees had passed away suddenly.

It is still a day out of time because it feels otherworldly. In fact, it feels like a world away...and it is.

A piece of my childhood died today. It's becoming the catch phrase of my Baby Boomer generation, and I'm not sure I'm all that comfortable with it. Another of my pop/rock heroes has crossed The Veil - not from a drug overdose or an accident, mind you, but from natural causes.

 Holy bat guano Batman: Davy died because it was his time. I'll admit that it took a few beats for that bit of reality to soak into my consciousnesses. Jeez, just yesterday (literally) I was watching a vintage video of  him singing Cuddly Toy on Peter Tork's Facebook fan page and wondering how the hell they ever got the double entendre in the song past the NBC censors in the 1960s ...

Aren't your childhood heroes supposed to live forever?

Evidently I'm not the only one suffering pangs of  largess over this matter; rocker Richard Marx wrote about his feelings on his blog at His feelings of loss are eerily similar.

A side from my days of pre-teen, hormone infused adulation, I have good memories of Davy Jones from seeing him perform as a solo act post-Monkees at the Marine Ballroom on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City when I was 20 years old ( and he was already a 'has been' at the age of 30 according to the fickle entertainment industry) and reunited with Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz (sans Mike Nesmith) as a later incarnation of the Monkees just a few years ago.

But that's not why I'm writing this.

About 20 years ago, when I was a young paramedic, I worked part time at night for a private ambulance company (on those rare occasions I wasn't working for the Philadelphia Fire Department as an EMT-P, which was my day job). Our jurisdiction stretched all the way to Devon, PA, and we made the run a couple times a week to pick up a dialysis patient and one particularly cold evening I was in dire need of a cup of something hot to warm up, so we pulled into a little roadside store. I was mumbling to myself as I looked over the selection of tea bags on the counter, and a lovely, lilting English voice said, " I'm fond of this one...try it". Turning around, I came face to face with Davy Jones' famous boyish smile...and I melted. All of a sudden I was a smitten 12 year old again who desperately wanted to be Davy's Girl. I had already done a stint as a production assistant in the music industry and was beyond being starstruck...But come on, this was Davy Jones, the guy who had basically fronted the band that was American's answer to the British invasion. It was playing in my mind like one of those quirky dream sequences from the Monkees' TV show, only it was a generation later in front of the coffee carafes at WaWa. What actually took place was a short-lived conversation about tea and horses ( He lived not far outside of Devon and bred horses, one of his many passions). It was one of several brief encounters I had with this gracious, gentle man over the years.

A fond recollection of a chance meeting that lead to bittersweet memories of  this lovely man I shared a cup of tea with in the middle of a busy convenience store who as of today is no longer with us. I am sad that a part of the goodness of my childhood has passed away with him and sad that yet another of the icons of my youth is forever gone.

Gone, but not forgotten... ever cherished...Godspeed, Davy Jones.


  1. Such sad news, he seemed a lovely man. I used to watch repeats of that zany tv show they did, when I was about 8. He was one of my first crushes.

  2. What a touching post! You so have to write your memoirs, honey. You have lived a most adventurous and wonderful life!

  3. It's always nice to meet one of your icons and they turn out to be a good sad for your well as our loss of Davy Jones...


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