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'Daydream Believers' will miss Davy Jones

February 29, 2012 |  1:43 pm

If it's true, as a Times editorial recently stated, that during this month's Grammy Awards telecast someone tweeted "Wait, who is Paul McCartney?" and someone else replied "To be honest, I have no idea," then news of the death of Davy Jones on Wednesday will be greeted by plenty of blank looks.

But, hey, hey, he was a Monkee!

And for those of us of a certain age -- "Daydream Believers" you might say -- well, the passing of the Monkees' lead singer at age 66 was sad, and a painful reminder that none of us are getting any younger.

The Monkees, of course, weren't even a real rock band, at least not at first. They were a television creation -- four guys thrown together in 1966 to play a rock group on a TV show. Heck, they couldn't even play very well at first. In fact, they weren't allowed to play.

But the show was a hit, the guys were likable, the name worked -- like the Beatles, the intentional misspelling was spot-on -- and so, for a time, the Monkees were as big as the British mop tops.

Jones was the pretty boy frontman, banging his tambourine and singing lead vocals on such hits as "Daydream Believer," "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)" and "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You."

How big were they? Well, I can still remember the "Battle of the Bands" nights in my little Midwestern town when fans could vote for their favorites -- and the Monkees would consistently outpoll the Beatles.

Of course, like most rock banks, the Monkees didn't last. The show ran three seasons, from 1966 to 1968. 

Jones, whose background included playing the Artful Dodger in “Oliver!” on the London stage, carved out something of a solo career. In fact, according to The Times' story, he was scheduled to perform Monkees songs at a March 31 concert at La Mirada Theatre in La Mirada.

And he never lost his boyish handsomeness.

No, he wasn't Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison, whose stars still shine bright years after their too-young deaths. Nor was he McCartney or Mick Jagger, still famous -- and rockin' -- into their late 60s.

But listen to Jones' sweet voice on "Daydream Believer" in the video above.

Maybe you'll become one too.

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-- Paul Whitefield

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