Editor's Note: Jim Caroompas is the editor for Martinez Patch. Wednesday's column was so touching, I couldn't help but share it with my La Cañada folks!
Davy Jones of the Monkees died today. That news is very sad for me. Even though the band represented everything that was and is reprehensible about the music industry, they were an important and cherished part of my life.
In 1966, I was living with my mom in Concord. I was 12 and really hating the bullies in my school, who seemed to seek me out on a daily basis for verbal and physical reminders of how thin and dorky I was. My mom was, unknown to me, recovering emotionally from the birth of her daughter, whom she gave up immediately for adoption two years before. This made her kind of distraught, and prone to bursts of sadness, rage and depression.
In short, my life sucked on a daily basis.
But one night a week, my friends came on TV and showed me a great time. I was by now a budding guitarist, but I really couldn't play. But my friends were in a band, and they all lived in a really cool house, and they played some great tunes. Most of all, they were really nice people.
My friends were the Monkees, and I never missed their show in the two years it aired. Even when I grew too cool to admit it, I watched.
I was never a Davy Jones guy. My favorite Monkee has always been Mickey, the drummer. The goofy one. I always thought he got the best songs to sing. But the heart throb was definitely Davy, even though he was short. He had that British accent and a sweet face, and girls all seemed to be crazy about him.
Davy died today. A heart attack at 66 years old. The news came out of nowhere. Well, it came out of Florida, actually, where he lived, but it was unexpected, and it hit me very hard. I immediately called my wife. You might say it was Davy who brought us together.
We were, five years ago, still a couple trying each other's company on for size. We really didn't know each other very well. We were on a trip out of town, our first. My iPod was on "shuffle." We were driving along and chatting, not really paying attention to the music. Suddenly, "Daydream Believer" came on. I was faced with a choice. I could reach down and hit "forward" for the next song to come on, or I could sing along and let her see that yes, I knew the words to this song. I took a breath, and sang a lyric, expecting her to look at me as though I had landed from another planet, and ask me to turn the car around and drive her home.
Instead, she beamed brightly and also starting singing! She knew every word, and the harmony part.
Turned out that the first album she ever owned (she was 8) was "The Monkees," and she knew all the words to all the songs, just like I did. I knew then and there that I had to marry the girl. And, of course, I did.
I called her today at work, gave her the news, and we both cried. She, like so many other girls, was crazy about Davy. He had that innocence, dreamy eyes, a wispy voice, an English accent, and he was far too short to be a threat to anyone. He was perfect for a teenybopper band, a perfect pop singing heart throb.
But more importantly, he was a friend of mine. A very dear friend, one I remember fondly, and to whom I will always be grateful. I never met the man, and I have no idea what he was like in person. But on a weekly basis in my living room from 1966 to 1968, he and his friends Mickey, Mike and Peter, were reasons for me to keep believing.
So long, Davy. Thanks for all the good times.
What are your memories of Davy Jones? Tell us in the comments.