A Tale of Two Daves

I was listening to the new Van Halen album yesterday when I just happened to click on the MSNBC site for a quick glance at college basketball scores and saw that Davy Jones had died earlier in the day. I was a child of the 70s and early 80s, graduating from high school in the glorious year of 1985, and I had been one of the millions of kids who used to run home from the bus stop in order to catch “The Monkees” on TV. We all knew that they were repeats but the episodes were new to us and we took them very seriously, even identifying our “favorite Monkee” and defending that choice with fisticuffs at said bus stop. I can honestly say that I got my ass kicked for Peter Tork. (I was taking bass guitar lessons at the time and he was the bass player)

Strange, nobody ever chose Michael Nesmith.

There were always many Mickey Dolenz fans ’cause he was the “funny” one and sang lead on several of the songs, but it was Davy Jones who had the most followers. And this was before Twitter. Not only did Davy have the best voice in the group he actually appeared to be a star. He had “it.” Think about the other three; you could sit next to them on a subway and not know who they were, but everybody recognized Davy and the powerful charisma that filled his tiny frame. They used to call it star power.

When I learned that Davy was dead, I came close to tears. I spent the evening wondering why I was so sad. Then it hit me: the death of Davy Jones was the death of that magical time in my life just before high school when everything made sense and friends were friends, rules were simple and I was still allowed to just be a kid. Now, I know that this perception is nothing new. Three words, “The Wonder Years.” But it was ┬ánew to me, like those old TV episodes.

I spent most of last night sipping on a decent bottle of wine and contemplating life, the universe and everything while the new Van Halen blared through my stereo and I found the resurrection of David Lee Roth to be uplifting. He’s the singer for Van Halen if you’re not a fan. Diamond Dave, they used to call him, and he was as much a part of my high school years as Davy Jones was of the preceding times. 1984 was the year that I faced the prospect of adulthood and the entry into the so-called “real” world and “1984″ was the Van Halen album that became the soundtrack for my senior year. It was also the last album that featured Diamond Dave on vocals.

Now he’s back with the group and it seems fitting to mourn the passing of Davy Jones by enjoying the rebirth of Davy Roth. Both Davys are a powerful symbol of my youth and if I have to let go of the innocence produced by Mr. Jones, at least I can find solace in the new, mature nature of Mr. Roth.

How did the death of Davy Jones affect you?

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Landon Cocks

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4 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Daves

  1. Justin Bogdanovitch

    In a very similar way without the fisticuffs or the bass playing though (not that there’s anything wrong with bass players). He was one of the few stars to appeal to all ages, not just teens either. Sort of in that same Elvis realm of stars, and even though tons of women and girls swooned over Davy’s looks, it was safe for men to like The Monkees and their music too. Davy will be missed for a long time.

    1. Landon Post author

      Howdy, Justin!

      Maybe it was his name, maybe the TV show, who knows? I agree, he appealed to both genders and all ages in a way that the other Monkees never did. Pop icon. Thanks for the comment, oh father of Eartha.

  2. Scott Countiss

    LI met Davy Jones at the Food Lion in Providence Forge . He was visiting Colonial Downs Racetrack and was out getting some supplies. I recognized him and just walked up and asked him if he was Davy Jones. He shook my hand and said ” Yeah man” . I told him I watched his show when I was a kid and contributed to my interest in playing drums. His was response was just “cool man cool”. We all go sometime, Make the best of
    It why were here.

    1. Landon Post author

      Hey, buddy!

      What a great story, must have been cool to meet him. And right here in Virginny, too. I remember you and I rushing back to your house to watch The Monkees. Ah, old age…


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