Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Deceased--Davy Jones

Davy Jones
December 20th, 1945 to February 29th, 2012

"Davy Jones dies at 66; Monkees' romantic heartthrob"

The British-born performer sang the leads on several of the Monkees' hits, including 'Daydream Believer' and 'A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You.' The band, created for a TV show, charted numerous hits between 1966 and 1970.

by

Randy Lewis

February 29th, 2012

Los Angeles Times

Davy Jones was a promising 18-year-old actor from England when he found himself among the guest performers on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Feb. 9, 1964 — the same night about 75 million people tuned in to catch the American debut of the Beatles. Like so many others who watched the show from near and far, Jones considered it a life-changing experience.

Looking on from the wings as hundreds of teenagers, mostly girls, were screaming ecstatically while listening to the four musicians who came from a town only 20 miles away from his own hometown of Manchester, Jones knew then he wanted a career in pop music rather than theater.

A little more than a year later he auditioned for and was accepted as a member of the Monkees, a pop band created for a television show developed in the wake of the success of the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" film.

The new group's fame quickly came to rival that of the Fab Four after NBC-TV executives put Jones and bandmates Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork into the living rooms of millions of viewers every Monday night. The show ran from 1966 to 1968.

Jones, who died Wednesday at 66 of a heart attack in Martin County, Fla., was the group's counterpart to Beatle Paul McCartney as the Monkees' romantic heartthrob, and his British accent lent the band a dash of international intrigue in songs on which he was the lead singer, including a couple of their biggest hits, "Daydream Believer" and "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You."

"That David has stepped beyond my view causes me the sadness that it does many of you," Nesmith wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday. "I will miss him, but I won't abandon him to mortality.… David's spirit and soul live well in my heart."

Although initially dismissed in music circles as a television fantasy more than a musical reality, the Monkees charted nearly two dozen singles during a heyday from 1966 to 1970 and became the first, and only, act to score four No. 1 albums on the Billboard chart in the same calendar year.

"It's a sad day for me," said filmmaker Bob Rafelson, co-creator of "The Monkees" with Bert Schneider who also produced their avant-garde 1968 film "Head." "Of all the films I've made that have received attention from the Academy Awards, or Cannes [Film Festival] or the New York Film Critics Awards, nothing ever pleased me more than hearing a [radio] announcer say 'Here's Davy Jones singing "Daydream Believer." ' "

Although never inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Monkees have long been lauded for the boost they gave many songwriters by recording their compositions, including Neil Diamond, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, and John Stewart.

It was Jones who strongly lobbied for the group to record "Cuddly Toy," a song written by Nilsson, who was then supporting himself as a computer programmer for a bank in the San Fernando Valley. Later known as the composer of the Three Dog Night hit "One" and the singer on hits of his own such as "Without You" and "Everybody's Talking," Nilsson's big break came from the Monkees.

"Back in 1967 it meant something for them to record one of your songs," said John Scheinfeld, writer and producer of the 2010 documentary "Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him)?"

"In our film, Micky told the story of how Harry and Davy and Harry's publisher Lester Sill were walking out of the studio after the recording session, and Lester turned to Harry and said, 'Well, you can quit your job at the bank now.' It drew a lot of attention to Harry."

David Thomas Jones was born Dec. 30, 1945, and gained success in his native country as a child actor with roles in different series shown on the BBC. At 11, he had an important role in the long-running soap opera "Coronation Street." After a successful run on London's West End as the Artful Dodger in a production of the musical "Oliver!" in his teens, Jones re-created the part on Broadway, landing a Tony Award nomination. It was that production that was highlighted by Sullivan in the same show on which the Beatles appeared for the first time.

He also trained to be a jockey — he stood 5 feet 3 — and his passion for horses stayed with him through his life.

Rafelson said he and Schneider auditioned 437 actors and musicians, including Stephen Stills, David Crosby, the Lovin' Spoonful and future members of Three Dog Night, before zeroing in on the four who became the Monkees.

Some of the band members' desire to be taken seriously musically led to notorious power struggles with TV and music publishing executives. But that wasn't a big concern for Jones.

"Eventually Peter and Mike, especially, wanted to write, play and record … or be behind the camera," Jones told a Springfield, Mass., newspaper earlier this year while on a solo tour. "But I just wanted to be in the show, fall in love twice in each episode and kiss the girls. I had no ambition to be Steven Spielberg or Cecil B. DeMille."

Still, Rafelson credited Jones for taking a vocal role in the group's efforts to take more control over their music and their careers.

Tork quit the band in 1968 and the Monkees continued briefly as a trio, then disbanded in 1970. Jones promptly resurfaced the following year with a guest appearance as himself in "Getting Davy Jones," one of the most celebrated episodes of "The Brady Bunch," in which Marcia Brady launched a campaign to persuade the teen idol to visit her school.

In the '80s the group had a resurgence sparked by a CD box set issued by the archival label Rhino Records, and that led to then-new MTV showing episodes of the original series that revived interest in the band. They have since done several reunion tours, usually without Nesmith, including a 45th anniversary round of shows last year that was cut short because of differences that cropped up among Jones, Dolenz and Tork.

Although he was comfortable with his highest-profile job, Jones sometimes worried that the Monkees' legacy would follow him for the rest of his life, which he spent acting in numerous TV shows, theatrical productions, and doing voiceover work for cartoons and animated features.

"My biggest fear, years ago, when I played Jesus in 'Godspell,' " he told a New Jersey newspaper last year, "was that I'd be dying on the cross one night and someone would yell out, 'Hey Davy! — Do 'Daydream Believer'!"

Jones also toured as a solo act, blending Monkees hits and his favorite musical theater songs, and he had performed most recently Feb. 19 in Oklahoma. He had a Southland date scheduled for March 31 at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

"I try to be positive today in my life," Jones said earlier this year. "There is no way to happiness; happiness is the way."

He is survived by his third wife, Jessica Pacheco, four children from previous marriages and several grandchildren.

"Davy Jones, Monkees’ Heartthrob, Dies at 66"

by

James C. McKinley Jr.

February 29th, 2012

The New York Times

Davy Jones, the pint-size singer for the Monkees perhaps best known for singing “Daydream Believer,” died of a heart attack on Wednesday in at his home in Indiantown, Fla., according to the local medical examiner’s officer there and a spokeswoman for the singer. He was 66 years old.

Mr. Jones, a former jockey and stage actor, was a key member of the first and arguably the best of the pop groups created for television to capitalize on the success of the Beatles. Though they were not taken seriously at first, the Monkees made some exceptionally good pop records, thanks in large part to the songwriting of professional songwriters like Neil Diamond and Tommy Boyce.

Mr. Jones was born on Dec. 20, 1945, in Manchester, England, the son of a railway fitter and a homemaker. He dropped out of school after his mother’s death from emphysema in 1960 and began a career as a jockey, but later quit to pursue acting, appearing in television shows like “Coronation Street” and “June Evening.” He landed a contract with Colpix Records after he appeared in the musical “Oliver!” and performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” He was 20 when his first album, “David Jones,” came out.

In 1965, he auditioned for the TV comedy series dreamed up by Columbia Pictures executives who were inspired by the Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night” and landed the part, along with Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. Though they didn’t play instruments at first, the group’s debut album the following year yielded three hit singles, among them “I’m a Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville” and “Steppin’ Stone.” The show was broadcast until 1968.

After the Monkees disbanded in the late 1960s, Mr. Jones pursued a solo career as a singer, recording the hit “Rainy Jane.” He also made a series of appearances on American television shows, among them “Love American Style.” He played himself in a widely popular Brady Bunch episode, which was shown in late 1971. In the episode, Marcia Brady, president of her school’s Davy Jones fan club, promises she could get him to sing at a school dance.

By the mid-1980s, Mr. Jones teamed up with Mr. Tork, Mr. Dolenz and the promoter David Fishof for a reunion tour. Their popularity prompted MTV to rebroadcast The Monkees series, introducing the group to a new audience. In 1987, three of the Monkees (excluding Michael Nesmith) recorded a new album, “Pool It.” Two years later, the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In the late 1990s, the group filmed a special called “Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees.”

He is survived by his wife, Jessica.


The Monkees [Wikipedia]


The Monkees' "Head"

Last Train To Clarksville

by

Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart

The Monkees

1967

video

Take the last train to Clarksville

And I'll meet you at the station,
You can be here by four-thirty,
'Cause I've made your reservation, don't be slow,
Oh, no, no, no,
Oh, no, no, no.
'Cause I'm leaving in the morning
And I must see you again,
We'll have one more night together
'Til the morning brings my train and I must go,
Oh, no, no, no,
Oh, no, no, no,
And I don't know if I'm ever coming home.
Take the last train to Clarksville,
I'll be waiting at the station,
We'll have time for coffee-flavored kisses,
And a bit of conversation, oh,
Oh, no, no, no,
Oh, no, no, no.
Da-da-da-da-da-da, etc...
Take the last train to Clarksville,
Now I must hang up the phone,
I can't hear you in this noisy railroad station,
All alone, I'm feeling low.
Oh, no, no, no,
Oh, no, no, no,
And I don't know if I'm ever coming home.
Oh...
Take the last train to Clarksville,
And I'll meet you at the station,
You can be here by four-thirty,
'Cause I've made your reservation, don't be slow,
Oh, no, no, no,
Oh, no, no, no,
And I don't know if I'm ever coming home.
Take the last train to Clarksville,
Take the last train to Clarksville,
Take the last train to Clarksville,
Take the last train to Clarksville.
fade out...

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