Davy Jones & The Monkees at the Seattle Coliseum in 1967: A Fan Remembers"/>
Yesterday I was out to lunch when a visitor stopped by our office to hand deliver a letter to me. Susan Gemson is a longtime Monkees fans; when she heard of Davy Jones' death last week, she was inspired to write a personal eulogy of sorts, recounting her experience seeing the Monkees live in concert at the Seattle Coliseum in 1967, and wanted to share it with me. With her permission I'm sharing it here on Reverb:
He was the Best; Davy Jones is laid to Rest
Many people have heroes for different reasons. Davy Jones of The Monkees was and is one of mine. Yesterday, February 29, 2012, Davy Jones passed into a certain "Rock and Roll Heaven." He died of a heart attack at his home in sunny yet sad Florida.
I grew up with The Monkees. At the tender age of 12, I announced to my family band that I wanted to go see them perform at the Seattle Coliseum. My father drove me to Bell, Book, and Candle, a place in Bellevue where the Monkee tickets could be bought. When I got there, I held my 7th grade breath and found out that yes, there were tickets left to be lassoed! I paid the clerk my money, and, I kissed the tickets, lovingly, while my father smiled.At the Concert
Dressed in my best Carnaby Street dress with pointed collar and navy blue pinstripes, I arrived at the Monkee concert with my two girlfriends. One of them was camping out in a tent dress. The other was dressed in a mini skirt. When the concert began, the whole Seattle Coliseum full of girls and a few mod boys gave a collective scream. I remember most that Davy Jones sang a jazzy version of "I Wanna Be Free" while all the other Monkees joined in. There was a rumor that The Monkees didn't play their own instruments. Yes, this much was true--their early music was played by backup studio musicians. A friend of mine once contended that Michael Nesmith, the Monkees' lead guitarist was playing his chords upside down! Meanwhile back at the Monkee concert, my Swedish girlfriend started to sob and call out Peter Tork's name over and over again. Another song I remember the Monkees doing was "Randy Scouse Git." Mickey Dolenz was soloing on the kettle drum on that one. I went home that starry night with the satisfaction that I had just seen a musical group that had outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to the tune of 65 million records in 1968.
Meeting Davy Jones
In the 90's, I had the great fortune to meet Davy Jones when he was in town to act in a local production of "Oliver." He was going to reprise his Broadway role of the Artful Dodger. A Bellevue Square book store was set up for Davy Jones' personal appearance. We, his fans, were let into the book store ten at a time. I don't remember much about this appearance of Davy Jones. It is something to relate to any and all Monkees fans and have them exclaim to me, "You did what?!!!!"
Epilogue to a Singer Grand
I will miss you Davy Jones for a number of reasons. Your soft English accent, comedic acting, and groovy smile will light up my memories with this boss song, "Hey, hey we're the Monkees and people say we monkey around..."