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There he goes ...remembering my favorite Monkee

February 29, 2012 - Erin O'Neill
Most people remember their first crush - the cute little blonde girl with dimples who let us hold hands, the freckle-faced awkward boy who was pretty good at basketball.

But for me, and millions of women ranging in age from early 30s to mid-60s, Davy Jones was IT. For many who were approaching adolescence, he was their first taste of love, or at least very very strong like.

The cutest Monkee, the one with the love beads and oh-so-dreamy British accent who crooned, "I Wanna Be Free," was the sole heartthrob plastered on my wall, until I discovered River Phoenix and Michael J. Fox.

Sure I was only 12 or 13 when the Monkees had a resurgence on MTV in the mid-1980s and sure my parents made fun of my love of the "pre-fab" four, especially since I was also becoming a serious Beatles fan. The Monkees were "a joke," a "made-up, silly TV show." But what the Monkees were to become was probably one of the most underrated bands in history.

To me, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith were the end-all, be-all of my young existence. I dreamed of the day when I would become Mrs. Jones (the thought that he was actually a middle-aged, married man with daughters my age didn't occur to me at the time). I cursed my parents for not naming me Valleri. I forced my younger sister to like Mike since Davy was all mine.

I remember being given the LPs that were picked up at a yard sale, though one curiously had my mom's maiden name on it. Hmmm. I religiously recorded each and every episode and had a book that helped me to check off each title. I still own the VHS tapes, though I'm afraid to play them for fear that they will fall apart.

Of course I've grown, my collection has been transferred to CD and later to my iPod. But my love of Davy and the Monkees has never waned. I still know most of the lines of dialogue from each episode and to their psychedelic movie "Head," co-written by Jack Nicholson. I know every lyric of every song, even the obscure Nesmith ones (who, by the way is the most talented and whose songs are actually my favorites - don't tell my sister!)

Still, Davy was always the cutest, even into his 50s and 60s. He was the most charming, the most animated. I had the pleasure of seeing the Monkees (sans Nesmith) in Columbus in 2001. It's like they walked down the street of life and kept on walking, never missing a step.

But perhaps the greatest Monkee moment for me came when Davy appeared at Ohio University as part of the cast of the "Real Live Brady Bunch" to reprise his role in one memorable episode where he agrees to go to prom with Marcia. (Swoon!) I waited in line to get his autograph and was so nervous I almost forgot to ask for a peck on the cheek, what I was really after. Of course he obliged and made a young college girl's lifelong dream come true.

It's hard to describe what it means to be a die-hard Monkees fan and it seems to be something only other die-hard fans can understand. But it is obvious I'm not the only former pre-pubescent girl whose heart is breaking today. Davy Jones will forever be my first love.

"Anytime, anyplace, anywhere - I'll never forget what we shared"


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