Happy birthday, Frederic of The Pirates of Penzance!
I was a huge Monkees fan as a kid. I couldn't get enough of their TV show, and would run home after school to watch it in syndication. At the time, I thought it was the bee's knees, standing shoulder to shoulder with other favorites like The Addams Family, Batman, and Get Smart. (I recently caught a Monkees rerun on cable, though, and was disappointed to discover it didn't live up to my memories. At all.) Later, in high school, I bought the Monkees' best-of LP and listened to a recording of it on my Walkman constantly. My favorite is probably still "Valerie," though "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone" remains a fist-pumpingly aggressive male anthem.
Davey Jones was never my favorite. I liked Mickey Dolenz because he was the funniest, and Peter Tork because he was the most innocent. Mike Nesmith always looked like he wanted out, which I guess he did, and Davey was too romantic for a kid my age who thought girls were weird. But when I heard that Davey Jones passed away today at the ridiculously young age of 66, from a heart attack, I couldn't help feeling the shock of losing part of my childhood. And that stinks.
So I'm raising a glass to Davey Jones tonight. Of all the things that conspired to turn me into a professional daydream believer, The Monkees stands proudly among them.