Davy Jones of The Monkees died last week. My Davy Jones. I was supposed to marry the man. Truly. Me and almost every young girl that watched the Beatles wannabes on TV every afternoon, duck walking their way into our click-clacking hearts.
I remember sitting in the back of my mother's Ford station wagon calculating how old he would be by the time I would be able to legally marry in the state of New Jersey. He would be somewhere in his late 30s which appalled me at the time, but if his voice held out he could still sing "Daydream Believer" and maybe even try his hand at "I'm a Believer." My nails speared the vinyl armrest at the thought.
Was it the accent and the sexy elfish quality of him, grooving with his tambourine and bangs and brows that mesmerized me? Davy was The Monkees' Paul of course. Perhaps vying for the title with Micky Dolenz -- who could also be a Ringo when he wanted to be. The playful sexy one. Way better than Keith Partridge who always had that strange affinity for his sister. Although there was no shortage of bromance in The Monkees.
Many songwriters of the time penned songs that The Monkees would make popular: Neil Diamond, Carole King notably. But there was something about seeing those songs performed on those vibrant striped sets, four men dressed in ponchos or their standard double-breasted shirts and bellbottoms that allowed young girls to experience sex in a "aren't they fun, I could never screw up my life running away with a rock star" kind of way. It was camp, it was gloriously goofy, and it was oh so strangely compelling.
Davy Jones was 66 when he died. As one ages, old becomes a relative a term. Death is old to me now, everything else seems just peachy. Still, I don't want to remember him in Florida on some endless reunion tour, but rather as the eternal Daydream Believer singing to me, my nose pressed to the screen of our Magnavox.