Did you know that The Monkees were one of the biggest acts on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart in the late 1960s? Davey Jones was the front man for the group. He played tambourine and was the primary lead singer. Mickey Dolenz also sang lead on several songs and played drums. Michael Nesmith was the lead guitar player and Peter Tork played keyboard. Take a fun trip down memory lane with this YouTube video…
More Monkees Trivia:
Mike Nesmith preferred playing 12-string guitars, but also liked the “bluesy twangy sound of a Gretsch”. So, he bought himself a Gretsch Tennessean and had Fred Gretsch convert it into a 12-string guitar! Nesmith apparently used this (now “famous”) blond 12-string electric guitar during his entire career with The Monkees, whether he was on the set, in the recording studio, or in concert.
Nostalgia has led some to believe that The Monkees were a musical phenomenon that existed in much “simpler” times. Not so. Let me remind the reader that the 60’s was an era traumatized by violence associated with the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam war. Protest marches were taking place on a regular basis across the US and the nation seemed to be on the verge of a major revolution. It was in this context that The Monkees entered the scene. Their humor and music were in stark contrast to reality and brought welcome relief to millions of TV viewers.
As you may know, Davy Jones, the youngest member of The Monkees, died of a heart attack on March 1, 2012 at the age 66. He was admitted to a hospital the night before after complaining of chest pains. His fellow band-mates were shocked by his sudden death.
Peter Tork told the media during an interview that his favorite memory of Davey happened in the early days of the band when they were filming a commercial. According to the story, the band took a break and went to a local restaurant for lunch…
“We ordered lunch. Micky [Dolenz] and I got our salads first… We just stuck our forks in the salad bowls and stuck it in our face. Davy Jones was appalled. He said, ‘You pigs. Anyone would think that you were raised in a barn.’
Davey’s salad came, and all on eyes were on him. He didn’t even look up. He cut his salad into 1-inch strips, turned his bowl 90 degrees and cut the strips into 1-inch squares. He poured the creamy dressing all over it until each and every 1-inch square was covered. Then he reached into the bowl with his hands, grabbed a fistful of his salad and shoved it into his face.” ~ Daily News
A poll taken on Yahoo in 2008 voted Davey Jones as the number 1 teen idol of all time.
Davey Jones will be missed, but his memory will live on in the films and in the songs which he gave us all to enjoy for years to come.