Monkeeing Around

Davy Jones as Colin LomaxI have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of media coverage of the death of Davy Jones. Obviously I expected the sad news to be reported, but there has been wall-to-wall coverage, news programmes playing the many Monkees hits and even an hour long phone-in on Radio Five this morning.

Losing someone who brings back childhood memories always leaves you bereft (I still haven’t got over the death of Mr Pastry) but it is somehow more acute in Davy’s case because he was a contemporary, or pretty close to it.

The Monkees were the first pop group that really interested me, although I must confess that the music was almost incidental to the anarchic comedy of the tv series that probably influenced me more.

I went as far as collecting the Monkees fanzines and wish now that I’d kept them, not because they might be worth something, but just for nostalgia’s sake.

I related more to Mike Nesmith’s laid back character, but there were vague stirrings of patriotism that the lead singer was English. More than English, he was from Manchester and a Manchester United fan like me.

I do recall Davy playing Ena Sharples’ grandson in Coronation Street as pictured above. This was typecasting as he was born in Openshaw and went to school on Varna Street where earlier generations of my family had lived when they worked in the heavy industries in the area.

(Trivia: Varna Street is named after the Bulgarian seaport that was the main British military and naval base during the Crimean War.)

A sad day and I’ll leave it with one of my Monkees favourites:

6 comments… Add yours
  • Owl Wood 1st March 2012

    I loved yonder Monkees television thing bcause it was just fun, not educational, no hidden corrective messages, no nonsense, just – pure nonsense. Mr Jones was my favourite of the group. I wanted the car.

    Ah, the Monkees, the Goodies, Banana Splits, Panorama…

    Reply
  • Roger Green 1st March 2012

    It’s the – pardon the expression – synergy of TV PLUS fun music that captivated. And the boldness of the Monkees’ Pre-Fab Fourness, which yielded to, surprisingly, actual talent and charm.

    Reply
  • Trevor Rowley 2nd March 2012

    Sorry, Mr P, this lot just weren’t for me. I saw them very much as little boys who just refused to grow up (and with an appeal directed at twelve year old females). Their musical ability was neither here nor there yet they sold records by the bucketful (clearly making their management team and record company more than happy I would have thought).

    In a former life, I trod the boards and played rhythm (electric) guitar each Saturday night (£6 between four of us – a magnificent thirty shillings each. Seems laughable now looking back). On a number of these jaunts, I cringingly went through the motions of accompanying our frontman on “I’m a Believer” but never enjoyed the experience until it eventually (and thankfully) fell off our playlist.

    The nearest I got to Davy Jones (as far as I am aware) was being driven down Hyde Road from Denton and towards Reddish Bridge and then Belle Vue. My (then) paramour was pleased to be able to tell me that we were going past the avenue (on the right after Denton Golf Club) where Davy Jones’ grandmother lived. I can safely say I was not really bothered. Each to his own.

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  • Elizabeth 7th March 2012

    I was rehearsing with the musical director Stuart Morley over the weekend and he was telling of his new musical, ‘Monkee Business’, opening in Manchester in April. Obviously already planned, but Davy Jones’ death will make the timing very pertinent. I’ve also passed several charity shops changing their window displays to show Monkee paraphernalia, most of which has then gone by the next day. The group and news of Davy’s death obviously strikes a chord with many. x

    Reply
  • Francisca 27th June 2012

    Following your music tags… I was one of those 12-year-olds that the Monkeys were intended to appeal to. I never was a very good fan to anyone, at least not the screaming, fainting kind who give over their entire hearts (and bedroom walls). But I do recall at the time liking Davy better than the others and more than any of the Fab Four. And some of their songs definitely qualify as happy earworms, don’t you think?

    [Errr… the comment above mine is spam… and you’re giving him an SEO boost for leaving his link here.]

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  • Mr Parrot 28th June 2012

    Yes Francisca, the Monkees did appeal. And thanks for letting me know about the spam – Akismet is good, but not perfect!

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