As long as I can remember, I have been a huge fan of the Monkees. I loved them, despite the fact that the shows originally played a couple of years before I was born. Of course syndication meant that the wonderfully silly shows were played for years afterwards.
I grew up with a younger sister and brother. We used to have 'days'. On your day, you got to choose what was on TV after school, you got to sit next to Dad at the dinner table, you got to sit in the front seat of the car if Mom was taking us somewhere. You also had to put all the dishes into the dishwasher after dinner, but it was worth it for all the awesome stuff that came with 'your day'. Every single 'my day', I'd choose to watch the Monkees, which was on TV right when we got home from school. On my sister and brother's days, what do you think they chose? They were younger than me and I was a very dramatic, emotional kid, so they'd take great pleasure in choosing anything BUT the Monkees. Many, MANY tearful and dramatic scenes were a result of this torture at the hands of my younger siblings.
But when the Monkees were on... it was Heaven. I wanted to be there! I wanted to be part of the life they had, that to an elementary school kid, HAD to be what REAL life was like when you grew up.
My love of the band, of the shows, never faded. And it's been 40 (plus) years.
I started battling depression and anxiety as a preteen. At some point in my 20's, I learned that the best way to get out of a depression was to sing to happy music and most of the time, it would be the Monkees that would get me out of that funk. The songs were fun, they were easy to sing to and they brought me back to younger, simpler times. I dread to think how many times people thought I was crazy, singing Monkees songs like a loud maniac in my car.
I never got to see them live. I don't know that I ever wanted to. I liked my fantasy that the characters were real and that world was real. I didn't want to see the real people. I didn't want to ruin who and what they were / are in my imagination.
Last week, I listened to several of their albums, repeated over and over on my iTouch, at work. I'm pretty sure I broke into song more times than my boss is happy about.
Today Davy Jones passed away from a heart attack at the age of 66 in Florida. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing, for his family and friends, and for his fans. I'd be lying if I said I haven't shed a tear or two (or ten). RIP Davy Jones. You were the epitome of cute little English men. You were my first crush. And somehow the world seems a little less brighter without you in it. Thanks for the infectious smile and the laughs. Thanks for helping me become who I am. Thank you.