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Davy Jones – of Monkees fame – in his own words, before his death

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Session '60s Pop Rock, My Music - Davy Jones
Davy Jones at the TCA Summer 2011 Press Tour promoting "Session 60s Pop Rock, My Music" for PBS © 2011 PBS

TCAs, July 30, 2011

Davy Jones died yesterday at the young age of 66 from a heart attack. It happened while he was visiting his horses in Florida, where he lived. Even though he was best known as part of one of sixties most popular groups, The Monkees, along with Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith, he began his career on Broadway as the Artful Dodger in the musical Oliver.

Just last summer, Davy came to the TV Critics tour to promote his PBS special 60s Pop Rock: My Music. He was charming, with a self-deprecating sense of humor, as his opening remarks indicate:

Monkees - Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith
Monkees - Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith

Davy Jones: Actually, I’m Davy’s dad. Davy will be here in a minute (he laughs). I’m been on tour with Micky and Peter. They were all in the actors’ home In Hollywood. I went to visit them, and I said to Micky, ‘Do you know who I am?’ Peter said, ‘Ask the nurse, she’ll tell you.’

Actually, we’ve been on tour, last weekend we were at the Greek Theatre and it was sold out. There’s no accounting for people’s taste.’ (he laughs)

What do you think of the music that is being produced today?

I have four daughters, and I’m very cynical sometimes of the music that they are playing. I say things like, ‘Doubt they’ll be playing that 30 years from now.’

People say, ‘The ’80s is the new ’60s,’ but I’m not quite sure. George Harrison said about rap music, they missed a letter off the front and it was a ‘C’, but that’s another story! Little kids can still listen to [my songs].

I once interviewed Micky, and before I could ask a question he said, ‘Please don’t ask about the Monkees.’ Is that the way you feel too?

Session '60s Pop Rock, My Music - Host Davy Jones
Session '60s Pop Rock, My Music - Host Davy Jones of The Monkees © 2011 PBS

If someone stops me and wants to do the Monkees’ walk, I’ll say, ‘Okay.’ But my background has been in the theatre. I was on Broadway when I was 15 years old. I was nominated for a Tony Award when I was 16 years old.

My background is theatre, radio, the BBC in England, and some other television programs I was in over there.

Micky is a corporate entertainer. Peter is a musician that sings with Shoe Suede Blues. They are not living in the past.

Why didn’t Mike Nesmith join you when you did the Monkees reunion tour?

I’m 65. I’ll be 66 this year. Mike is close to 70, Peter is almost there too. The fatigue of the travel and everything else [is grueling]. Mike didn’t want to travel. It’s not that he doesn’t want to be part of the Monkees’ memories.

I’m sitting on a race horse or two every morning. So I’m physically fit, and I’m pretty mentally active with other things in my life that take up my time.

The Monkees always comes into play, but it’s also a very nice thing when people say, ‘I saw you on Broadway in 1963,’ not that one has any heavy weight over the other.’