Monkees Singer Davy Jones Dies At 66

Davy Jones, the British lead singer of America’s pre-fab-four The Monkees has died this morning of a heart attack in Florida at the age of 66.One of the icons of many of our childhoods, David Thomas Jones, began his acting career at age 11, appearing on the British soap opera Coronation Street and the BBC police drama Z-Cars.  He’d decided to quit acting and become a jockey after the death of his mother at age 14, but then landed a role as “the artful dodger” in the musical Oliver, which started in London then moved to Broadway in NYC.  It was February 9th of 1964 when the cast of Oliver appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show along with the first appearance of The Beatles.  Davy said of that night, “I watched the Beatles from the side of the stage, I saw the girls going crazy, and I said to myself ‘this is it, I want a piece of that.'”  Two years later, Jones was short-listed by producers hoping to cash in on the success of Beatlemania into a made for TV group inspired by “A Hard Days Night” The Monkees as the lead singer, with Americans  Michael Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz, and Peter Tork. The show ran from 1966-68, but the Monkees continued to make music through 1970, and later reunions. Another famous rocker named David Jones changed his last name to Bowie so as not to be confused with the Monkees singer. Often derided as “the pre-fab-four”, The Beatles hosted a party for the Monkees when they visited England. Michael Nesmith reportedly asked John Lennon if he thought they were a cheap imitation of them, to which Lennon replied “I think you’re the greatest comic talent since the Marx brothers.  I’ve never missed one of your programmes.” George Harrison later said “It’s obvious what’s happening, there’s talent there.  They’re doing a TV show, it’s a difficult chore, and I wouldn’t be in their shoes for the world.  When they get it all sorted out, they might turn out to be the best.” (Peter Tork played on Harrison’s Wonderwall Music).  Paul McCartney was seen singing “Hey Hey We’re The Monkees”…as so many of us did back in the day…in the 2002 concert film Back In The U.S. Jones continued acting after the Monkees disbanded, often appearing as himself on TV shows like The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, and in fake-Seattle on Here come the Brides with fellow heartthrob Bobby Sherman. He’d done several reunions with Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz, and there was talk of a full-on reunion including Michael Nesmith.

Davy’s last performance was in Oklahoma on Feb. 19th, the night before he did “Daydream Believer” and “It’s Nice To Be With You” at the BB King Blues Club in New York. He appeared to be in good health. More from CBS.

Marcia, Marcia, Marica!

Davy Jones screen-tests for The Monkees (caution…contains some foul language):

One of Davy’s last appearances:

The Monkees rocking out:

The greatest comic talent since the Marx brothers:

Where Axl Rose copped all his moves:

The Monkees inspired generations:

  • Stan E. Delo

    Hi Scott-
    Great job on the history of Davy Jones. I remember watching them on TV when I was about 12 or something. Didn’t know he was British, as I don’t recall hearing him ever having an accent. Thanks!


    • scottvanderpool

      Thanks Stan…I think somehow because of The Monkees I grew up thinking that when you grew up you were supposed to live in a house with your friends and start a rock band…which I did, but we never seemed to have enough money for a blower-equipped GTO ragtop station-wagon Monkeemobile.

      • Stan E. Delo

        I sorta had the same experience myself, as of course I was going to be a fabulously Rock Star when I was only 24 years old or so! Then came Jimi who was about 10 years older, and then folks like Robin Trower and Ian Anderson and Martin Barre came along… I was lucky enough to see all of them twice back when concerts used to cost about six or ten bucks? Robin was really magical, as he was very young and passionate, and his performance was flawless as nearly as I can recall. Never got the Red Ferrari Boxer somehow though.


      • Chris

        LOL! That’s funny Scott. Guess only a tight 4some like The Monkees could do that, which they technically did throughout their years. To this day, as far as a made for TV rock band who were just hired to play the parts, and actually becoming a rock band and carrying it throughout the years, and not to mention the music, I really don’t think they get enough credit.

  • Stan E. Delo

    Another really amazing concert up here was when the brand new Eagles band opened up for Grand Funk Railroad?!? After their set was over, where they broached the then new Witchy Woman and a few others like Hotel California maybe? (can’t recall exactly) about two thirds of the audience just got up and left! Concerts all done…. Another pretty interesting factiod I think I heard many years ago was that once Jimi Hendrix was scheduled as the opening act for the Monkees. I think that was very shortly after Jimi had returned from England, where he was ostensibly *discovered* circa 1967 or so? Just a guess… I Do know that Eric, Paul, and Pete Townsend had seen Jimi at the Hotel Wa or something, and had been totally blown away. I think it was Eric who said something like (Well, you didn’t tell me he was so *ucking good!)

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