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Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Heart Is A Little Broken

In my life time I have heard of the passing of many entertainers. Often it was people that I really didn't know. People from my parents', or even grandparents' generation. People like Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart or Cary Grant. People that I'd heard of, but at the time of their passing, had very little knowledge about their talent. As I have grown and found the Turner Classic Movie Channel have  learned to greatly admire and enjoy their work. I have found myself watching movies like The Philadelphia  Story, or Harvey, or Arsenic and Old Lace over and over again. Thank goodness for DVD, to keep these wonderful talents at our beckon call.

Sometimes it was people I did know but had no real connection to in anyway. People like Bob Hope, Harry Morgan, Maurice Gibb, or Elizabeth Taylor. People who's work I had  greatly enjoyed, and upon hearing of their death thought "how sad," but then went on with my life. Kind of like losing a distant relative. One you never really knew, but you knew it made your mom or dad sad and you were sad for them.

Once in a while it was someone like, John Lennon, Michael Jackson, or Whitney Houston. People who were  a little more from my generation. People who's work had touched me in someway. Maybe it was as simple as dancing to their music at a school dance or a party with friends. Maybe it was growing up with them in my life for so long. When they passed away it sent a little shock through my system, it made me think about mortality, and the loss of great talent. I might have paused to think about their lives and what I knew about them. It was a little more personal. I had watched them rise to fame, and now saw their demise. It was weird, and a little unsettling, but not personal. I was still fairly young in 1980 when John Lennon passed away. Though I grew up listening to the Beatles, via my sister, It wasn't the same for me as I'm sure it was for her.

That more personal feeling of loss came for me yesterday. Wednesday  February 29th, leap day. A day that has a certain whimsy to it. A day that only comes around every four years. It makes it a little special and fun. Not fun in a party it up way, but fun in getting to write 2-29-12, silly little things like that. I have a forty-four year-old cousin who celebrated her eleventh birthday yesterday. What an odd thing it must be to have been born on such an unique day.

When I went to lunch yesterday at about three-thirty I turned on my iPhone and opened up Facebook. That's when I saw it. If I hadn't been at work I'm sure I would have started to cry. I felt the pit of my stomach trying to rise into my throat. I had to swallow hard to keep my composure. I had never had that kind of a reaction to the death of a celebrity. Not even Michael Jackson, but maybe that was because he had gotten so strange and unrecognizable. No, this one hit me, it hit me hard.

Davy Jones and the Monkees have been one of my very favorite groups, my entire life. The Monkees have actually, been the subject of this blog twice now. When I had heard they were on tour last spring I wanted to go see them again, so bad, it hurt. Putting it in blog helped me to deal with the fact that I was going to miss this tour. Listen to The Band put my hopes in writing. Monkee Brain helped me get to sleep one night while my thoughts swirled about how to get the money to get a ticket to their concert in Indy. When I knew all hope was lost, I looked forward, I might get to see them later in the tour. Maybe they'd add Des Moines. Then abruptly, the tour ended. There would be no Des Moines concert added. "Maybe, just maybe, they would resolve whatever happened and get back on the road at some point," I allowed myself to think.

Davy Jones will be missed. Not just by me, but by millions of people. He brought us happiness, and giggles. He made some swoon to the point of fainting. He made others dance and sing along. OK, maybe the Monkees weren't the Beatles. A comparison that had been made over and over again. The Monkees were a fabricated band, who weren't even allowed to play their own instruments, at first. "They don't write their own music!" Was written in many music magazines. "They don't play their own instruments!" They were called the prefab four.

Then again, the Beatles weren't the Monkees. Though modeled after the Beatles and A Hard Days Night, The Monkees, as a TV show brought music, and zaniness and laughter into American households week after week. The Monkees as a group grew out of the show. Magic happened, magic that still sparks to this day. Rolling Stone Magazine, where once the worst of the Monkee bashing had begun, even gave a great review to their last tour.

Their. Last. Tour. Such final words now.  Even if Peter, Micky and maybe Mike toured again, it wouldn't be the same. There would be a definite hole. It would be the same if it had been Micky or Peter. The three of them together, that made the Monkees. Mike left himself out for so long that his hole was filled well by the other three. Davy though, I know that Peter and Micky know that he cannot be replaced in anyway. Two without the third, it can't be done.

To Davy's family and friends I'd like to say how sorry I am. To lose someone you love so young. To his children and grand children, especially, I'd also like to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your dad and grandpa with the rest of the world. Thank you for loving him so long and so well that while he missed you dearly out on the road, he knew, you knew how much he loved you. Please, know that his fans loved him greatly, and we will miss him. The hole in our hearts, while much, much smaller than the hole in yours, will never be filled.

We will miss you, Monkee Man.


  1. Know the feeling! They were my "go to" show after school and I loved their music! Wanted to play their songs yesterday when I got home from work but my daughter has our CD at college! Arg.

  2. I've got a bunch of songs on my iPhone, love them all!