Davy Jones

I’ve never really gone public with this. But I am a tremendous Monkees geek. It must have started early because that’s me at age six or seven with a genuine Monkees guitar — which would be worth a fortune now if I still had it. Alas I do not.

But I do have all of The Monkees’ albums, most of them in the Super Deluxe versions Rhino Records has been issuing for the past few years. The Monkees were a huge influence on me when I was making the Dimentia 13 records.

Long before it was available on home video, I went and saw a screening of The Monkees movie HEAD up in Cleveland. I was dumbstruck by the film’s theme song, “The Porpoise Song” and annoyed that the record was, in those days, utterly impossible to find. So I went home and attempted to rewrite the song for myself from memory just so I’d have it to listen to.

About a year later I finally managed to track down a record with “The Porpoise Song” on it. I discovered that my song, “I Am a Whale” was similar in style to The Monkees but was different enough that I used it as the last track on the first Dimentia 13 record. A video I made of the song is at the bottom of this page. You can click on the words “The Porpoise Song” in the paragraph above if you want to compare it to The Monkees’ tune.

So I was pretty sad to hear yesterday that Davy Jones had died. Davy wasn’t my favorite Monkee. He always seemed to sing crummy syrupy ballads like The Day We Fall in Love or Dream World. But he also sang lead on some of their best songs, like Valerie and Cuddly Toy. He also had the good taste to feature Neil Young as the lead guitarist on his tune You And I from The Monkees’ late period album Instant Replay.

It’s odd the way celebrity deaths affect you. I never met Davy Jones, though I saw The Monkees in concert a few times in the eighties. But he was important in my life nonetheless.

Just a day before Davy died there was a horrendous shooting at Chardon High School, just a few miles north of where I live. A maniac with a gun killed three of his fellow students and wounded two others. It’s a tragic story that happens far too often. It makes me sad and angry. I was one of those kids who hated everybody in my school too. But I never shot anyone. These things make no sense. Nor does the number of handguns in America. But don’t get me started on that one.

I feel like it’s probably more worthy to write a tribute to those kids in Chardon. But I didn’t know them. And in some ways I kinda sorta knew Davy Jones even if he didn’t know me. Besides that, the news outlets here in NE Ohio seem to be doing tributes to those kids 24/7. Some of which are incredibly awful.

At times like these people who are supposed to be spiritual teachers like to put some sort of spin on the news that ties it in with their beliefs. I hate it when people do that. So I’m not gonna launch into a sermon about impermanence or any such schlock.

I’m just sad that Davy Jones is dead. And those kids. And even that conservative blogger dude I never heard of until he died.

96 Responses

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  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 10:49 am |


  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 11:01 am |

    Couldn't agree more on ALL of the above, Brad….Nice tribute!

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 11:18 am |

    "And in some ways I kinda sorta knew Davy Jones even if he didn't know me."

    Don’t you mean you kinda sorta knew the image/idea you had in your head of Davy Jones? You’ve been stressing the point many times enough in your writings that people don’t really know you just from reading your books or blogs.

  4. Mumon
    Mumon March 2, 2012 at 11:35 am |

    PLUS "Head" had Victor Mature in it!

    It was clearly an overlooked cinematic masterpiece…like "Blowup," except that the latter wasn't really overlooked.

    More like a spaghetti western…

  5. proulx michel
    proulx michel March 2, 2012 at 11:47 am |

    Brad wrote:

    Just a day before Davy died there was a horrendous shooting at Chardon High School, just a few miles north of where I live. A maniac with a gun killed three of his fellow students and wounded two others.(…)

    It's something that struck me the other day. In the list of the 10 Commandments, after the ones about one god, and not taking its name in vain an being respectful to one's parents, there is the "Thou shalt not kill". Not "Thou shalt not fuck", but "thou shalt not kill".

    So why is it that, to Xtians, killing is so much better than fucking?

  6. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 11:47 am |

    watch the entire HEAD movie online here.

  7. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

    I understand. I didn't know any of the Monkees, but I have strong memories of enjoying their show (or reruns?) in the early 1970s, singing their songs, and wanting to play guitar like them too. As a girl, I must have had a crush on one of them…but I don't think it was Davey Jones. Of course I'm into Michael Nesmeth's work more now…

    Understood, though. Memories of a Dairy Queen, suburban, Monkees, Bicentennial swag filled Rust Belt childhood, circa 1970-something…

  8. john e mumbles
    john e mumbles March 2, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

    "Sleepy Gene" was my fave Davy Jones Monkee's tune.

    Their show was okay, pretty dumb really… and I LOVED "dumb" when I was a kid (The Munsters ruled), but it was off the dumbchart.

    The Saturday morning cartoon version of the show was even worse.

    Boyce and Hart, who wrote most of their tunes if I remember rightly, had some great pop hits themselves, like "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight."

    Pure Pop For Now People.

    R.I.P. Davy (and those kids, and everyone else who died recently)

  9. Merciless
    Merciless March 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

    I hate bad art made by corporate fucks who just want to get into my pocket. So I never liked the Monkees much. It was obvious they were put together to be the American Beatles. They embarrassed me. They represented everything that was fake and crappy in American culture.

  10. merciless
    merciless March 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm |

    I guess they represented American culture perfectly..

  11. Mr. Fish
    Mr. Fish March 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

    Does Zen work with chakras at all? Body energy or anything of the sort. Just wondering. I see the tibetans get into it quite a bit. Just wondering if zen ever had any body practice, besides zazen. I've been making a half ass attempt at working with chakras from all the crap I can find on the web and I do find it helps balancing my body and breath when sitting. I'm not sure how it works , if anyone has any good links to info on chakra work,Tsa Lung stuff it would be much appreciated.

  12. Seagal Rinpoche
    Seagal Rinpoche March 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

    Do not assume form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, or form as in the self, or the self as in form.

  13. tattoozen
    tattoozen March 2, 2012 at 3:17 pm |


    Go do your yoga down dogs and get the fuck outta here.


  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm |

    Peter Tork and Hendrix were tight.

  15. Ron R.
    Ron R. March 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

    Not so sure they were tight, but Peter Tork at least has SOME chops. Nesmith supposedly did too. Davy Jones and Dolenz not so much.

    RIP Davy.

  16. Ron R.
    Ron R. March 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm |

    From Rolling Stone:

    Davy Jones of the Monkees has died of an apparent heart attack at age 66. The singer, who had been on a solo tour this month, complained of chest pains last evening and was admitted to a hospital this morning in Stuart, Florida.

    Jones was born in Manchester, England and started acting as a child. In 1964 he had the misfortune of appearing in the cast of Oliver! on the same episode of The Ed Sullivan Show where the Beatles made their debut. The next year he was cast in The Monkees, a comedy show/band inspired by the success of the Beatles. They were an instant hit in the ratings and the record shops, scoring massive singles with "Last Train to Clarksville," "I'm a Believer," "Stepping Stone" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday." Jones – who played tambourine in the band – was the lead vocalist on the classics "Daydream Believer" and "I Wanna Be Free." At the peak of their popularity in 1967 the group sold more albums than the Beatles."

  17. Ron R.
    Ron R. March 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    Fun facts, courtesy of USA Today:

    •David Bowie was born David Jones but changed his name in 1965 because of Davy Jones' pre-Monkees success playing the Artful Dodger in Oliver!

    •Stephen Stills auditioned for The Monkees but couldn't come to an agreement with the show's producers, so he recommended that his buddy Peter Tork try out. Others who auditioned included songwriters Harry Nilsson and Paul Williams.

    •According to Billboard, The Monkees sold more albums in 1967 than The Beatles and the Rolling Stones put together.

    •Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees' 1967 tour after Micky Dolenz met the guitarist at the Monterey International Pop Festival. "I suggested him because he was so theatrical," Dolenz says in A Perfect Haze: The Illustrated History of the Monterey International Pop Festival. "Um … It didn't work out." Hendrix played seven dates with the group.

    •Frank Zappa made a cameo in The Monkees' 1968 movie Head and also appeared on the TV show, dressed up as Michael Nesmith.

    •In 1973, Dolenz auditioned for the role of Fonzie on Happy Days. (The part eventually went to Henry Winkler.)

    •Michael Nesmith won the 1981 video of the year Grammy Award— the first given — for an hour-long collection called Elephant Parts.

    •Nesmith's mother, Bette, invented Liquid Paper, a paint used to mask typing errors, while working as a secretary in 1951.

  18. Cidercat
    Cidercat March 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm |

    Re: chakras – I think a lot of things are implicit in Zen, certainly from a historical perspective, and also from the point of view of practice. It's just that little importance is attached to their 'attainment' or explicit formulation.

    It's easy to scoff and present ourselves as 'rational', but we all have myriad delusions and improper assumptions laying around – typically involving such things as we consider infallible. They can fall away over time, but this would not result in cynicism, which is just another blind spot. Zen practice should breed tolerance and goodwill, or it is a sham, in my opinion.

  19. john e mumbles
    john e mumbles March 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm |

    Oh hell, I'm losing it. I meant "Daydream Believer" not "Sleepy Gene" although whoever "Sleepy Gene" is, he figures prominently in "Daydream Believer."

  20. Mysterion
    Mysterion March 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm |

    "It makes me sad and angry."

    I hate to be blunt, but "get over it."

    as they say in the Mafia, "What's done is done."

    It's over… move on.

    A couple of years ago, when I was teaching continuation high school (as a substitute teacher), one of the lads in one of my classes got his dad's riot gun and used it in a drive-by shooting against a rival gang member. The fellow on the receiving end of the shotgun pellets, like Dick Cheney's friend, did not die.

    Now, in the wake of this, we discussed the consequences. First, the Hayward Police Department was going to be on the receiving end of litigation as was the policeman that let is gang-banger son have access to the riot gun.

    Indeed, to date, it looks like the City of Hayward may cop for a settlement. "Dad" has almost certainly lost the family home and will likely be forced into an untimely early retirement – with severe consequences. His retirement pay will be attached and 1/3 of the proceeds will be split between the 'victim' and his attorney. I could go on, but suffice to say, ALL these people just have to accept the outcome and move on.

    The shooter was not Dick Cheney so he gets to finish high school in prison – where he will be in residence for the next 60 to 72 months. When he gets out, mom and dad may not be there to greet him with open arms.

    But, the story has an ending.

    What's done is done.

  21. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm |

    Sleey Gene.. Heh

  22. Jinzang
    Jinzang March 2, 2012 at 5:34 pm |

    Shonen Knife's cover of Daydream Believer is just too cute.

  23. Jinzang
    Jinzang March 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

    The closest Zen gets to chakra practice is the advice of some Zen teachers to concentrate on your hara. Hakuin also describes in his autobiography a meditation he was taught by a hermit for his poor health that could be considered a chakra practice.

    I'd advise anyone who wants to do chakra practice to find a qi gong teacher.

  24. Bozo
    Bozo March 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm |

    The Clown Scientists have found that all our problems can be placed under one heading: Seriousness. Seriousness is the leading cause of everything from cancer to reincarnation. Scientists from the Clown Academy have already discovered a new source of healing. It is a psychic energy point located between the heart chakra and the throat chakra. It is called the Clown Chakra. If people are feeling miserable, if they have financial problems, if their relationship situation is in the pits, if they are in ill health, if they have a need to sue people, if they find fault with their brother, then obviously, their Clown Chakra is closed. When this happens, the scientists have observed under a high-powered microscope that the cells of every organ display a sad face, and when the Clown Chakra is open and functioning normally, the cells display a happy face. The scientists realized that if a person is ill, it is because his mind has projected guilt onto the cells of his body and has forced out the love that is normally found within each cell of the body. The cells are therefore saying, “I lack love,” or “ILL” for short. The scientists also discovered that all disease is due to the fact that the cells are out of ease or dis-eased. When the Clown Chakra is opened and working, or rather playing, properly, the psychic mechanism sucks up misery, pain, anger, resentment, grievances, unhappiness, etc., and converts the energy into tiny red heart-shaped balloons. The red heart-shaped balloons contain God’s love and joy. These balloons are directed to the dis-eased cell or situation, and a happy face appears instantly. When the light enters the darkness, the darkness is gone. Sometimes these red heart-shaped balloons are called endorphins, due to the fact that when anyone experiences them, the feeling of separation ends. They experience being back home with God and hence are no longer an orphan. This is the well-known end-orphan (endorphin) effect. So, if you think someone is attacking you, Clown Scientists recommend that you visualize sending that person red heart-shaped balloons filled with God’s love and joy. Remember to keep your Clown Chakra open and remember to laugh. Seriousness causes reincarnation.

  25. Mysterion
    Mysterion March 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm |

    Here's the PILOT

    Refined for the First Season.

    It was a Hollywood sequel to Hard Day's Night.

    The Monkeys was the only TV show we all agreed to watch on the one TV in the lobby of the dorm in 1967-68! And that one TV was for both the North Wing (girls) and East Wing (boys) dorm!

  26. Mysterion
    Mysterion March 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm |

    He was 66! Ouch!
    back when:

    and, almost now:

    "Daydream Believer" was composed by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio.

    The usual precipitating event for a Myocardial infarction is a rapid formation of a blood clot in an already narrowed coronary artery where plaque has ruptured. A clot may obstruct the artery where it forms, or it may be carried downstream until it obstructs a smaller artery. In either case, the portion of heart muscle supplied by the blocked artery is deprived of blood flow and undergoes infarction. The infarction may involve the full thickness of the heart muscle (transmural).

    Davy Jones cause of death: transmural myocardial infarction a.k.a. the big one. (He was overweight).

  27. Mysterion
    Mysterion March 2, 2012 at 8:38 pm |

    Hey Brad:
    Check out this Davy Jones interview:


    He says a lot – even if he says it too quickly. (do detect his 'distress'?)

  28. Mysterion
    Mysterion March 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm |

    Cassandra Wilson?

    Salena Jones has talent!

    ANTONIO'S SONG was written by a part-time English Teacher (who can almost sing)! English T.A. at UCLA.

    Life goes on… for the living.

  29. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 2, 2012 at 10:09 pm |

    "Davy Jones cause of death: transmural myocardial infarction a.k.a. the big one. (He was overweight)."

    There doesn't always have to be a reason m. It's not about logic. Davy's time was up is all.

  30. Uncle Willie
    Uncle Willie March 3, 2012 at 3:39 am |

    The "sleepy gene" has only recently been identified by geneticists working on the human genome project. It is found in approximately one out of every seven dwarfs.

  31. john e mumbles
    john e mumbles March 3, 2012 at 6:03 am |

    "Sleepy Gene" was one of the seven miners in love with Snow White in the famous fable. In the Monkee's song he was combined, for art's sake, with Grumpy Pete from the same tale, hence the pleading refrain to "cheer up."

    Also see:
    Walter de la Mare’s "Memoirs of a Midget"

  32. Jamal
    Jamal March 3, 2012 at 6:09 am |

    One out of every seven dwarfs has the sleepy gene?

    Wille, as a member of the dwarf community I find that comment offensive.

  33. The Man
    The Man March 3, 2012 at 6:31 am |

    Oh thank you for not doing a Chardon tribute. I live in Elyria and so I'm getting the 24/7 coverage as well. Nothing I hate more than when someone leeches onto a news story just so they can make themselves part of it. My own church is bringing in a couple of Chardon High School kids on Sunday to "testify", and the fact that they are using this tragedy to increase church attendance makes me sick.

  34. Mumon
    Mumon March 3, 2012 at 7:26 am |

    BTW, as long as you're on the subject of popular music, have you ever heard of the Japanese guy Miyavi?

    Though I'm sure he owes a lot to the forefathers of funk, it's amazing what the kid can do with an acoustic.

  35. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 3, 2012 at 7:43 am |

    that Miyavi fellow does have some chops.

  36. john e mumbles
    john e mumbles March 3, 2012 at 7:44 am |

    Further analysis of the song reveals that "Sleepy Gene" (as Grumpy Pete)apparently often daydreamed of being the homecoming queen. Jealous of Snow White, he collaborated with the witch on getting the odious coma-inducing fruit to SW. While handling the apple, he became sleepy himself, switching identities.

  37. Mysterion
    Mysterion March 3, 2012 at 7:51 am |

    Anonymous said…
    "There doesn't always have to be a reason…"

    No. But there usually is a reason – often preventable by lifestyle (e.g. diet) or intervention (heart catheter procedure).

    I'll consult my VooDoo Feng Shui MoJo 'OuiJa' board and pick-up sticks for the spiritual answer (Edgar Cay See being a croppie as is Wilfred Custer Kellogg).

    My pick-up sticks told me:
    "Davy Jones cause of death was transmural myocardial infarction."

  38. Korey
    Korey March 3, 2012 at 7:57 am |

    Mysterion, you really like to seek attention don't you? lol

  39. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 3, 2012 at 8:20 am |

    goofy mysterion said, "Davy Jones cause of death: transmural myocardial infarction a.k.a. the big one. (He was overweight)."

    The truth is he was a vegetarian and there was not an ounce of fat on the guy. He lived on the beach in Florida and ran miles every morning. He couldn't have been in better shape for an old guy. It was just his time.

  40. Uncle Willie
    Uncle Willie March 3, 2012 at 9:19 am |

    I sincerely apologize if my previous comment offended you. I knew that you were a troll but I didn't realize that you were also a dwarf.

  41. Anonymous
    Anonymous March 3, 2012 at 9:23 am |


  42. dont spank the monkey
    dont spank the monkey March 3, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    aRe ChAkRaS ReAl?

  43. Anon y mous
    Anon y mous March 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

    Chakra Khan, Chakra Khan

  44. Jamal
    Jamal March 3, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

    Willie, Your spin on reality needs therapy. Seek help. Take your meds. Ignore the voices.

  45. boubi
    boubi March 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm |

    proulx michel said…

    In the list of the 10 Commandments, after the ones about one god, and not taking its name in vain an being respectful to one's parents, there is the "Thou shalt not kill". Not "Thou shalt not fuck", but "thou shalt not kill".

    So why is it that, to Xtians, killing is so much better than fucking?

    1 – it's not just the xstians who like to kill, it's plain everybody, watch our cousins the chimps, they kill and they like it (i know the bonobo like to fuck, we must thus be more chimp than bonobo)

    2 – now prefer to kill than to fuck, i think it's a very small percentage, hope so, still have to meet such a person

    3 – there are some who kill in order to fuck the 72 virgins, since they are completely repressed in this life and they must be fucking just virgins unless their manhood is diminished

  46. Korey
    Korey March 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

    k here';s a question Brad:

    I'm really not the best at explaining things, but I'm gonna do my best to and see if I can sort of get my thoughts across.

    When we do Zen long enough and that mental chatter quiets down, our mind settles and begins to notice things that we hadn';t previously noticed. As a result of this, I have been noticing more and more that certain things I used to expose myself to – just to name a few hypothetical examples: certain friends, certain behaviours, certain types of music or other media, certain habits, ways of treating people, etc – now sometimes cause very very slight feelings of anxiety. It's as if my psyche is finally realizing that many things I have involved myself with for a while now may not be the most practical ways to enjoy a positive life and that it may be wise to begin weeding them out.

    And of course, none of these are necessarily evil or sinful or anything even close to that extreme, and I guess that's why I never noticed that they were bad for me in the first place.

    Does this sound right? Do you understand this?

  47. suicide bomber
    suicide bomber March 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm |

    your mom is diminished

  48. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm |

    I think the immune system is a part of why the plaque ruptures; watched a KQED special that included that (the local PBS station for Mysterion and me). The immune system is awesome, and fierce when things are out of whack.

    On the chakras, I like Todd Murphy's take in "Sacred Body"- that the chakras are referred limbic system activity. I'm realizing that the feeling that counts in my sitting is connected with the exits of nerves from the spine, so a kind of referred sensation or ability to feel laid over the volitive feeling. Maybe that's what Jesus meant in the Gospel of Thomas by:

    "when you make eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in the place of a hand, and a foot in the place of a foot, (and) an image in the place of an image, then shall you enter [the Kingdom].

    (The Gospel According to Thomas, coptic text established and translated by A. Guillaumont, H.-CH. Puech, G. Quispel, W. Till and Yassah ‘Abd Al Masih, pg 18-19 log. 22, ©1959 E. J. Brill)

  49. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote March 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm |

    I liked the Monkees, I was not altogether surprised to read that they used studio musicians on the recordings, though. Hendrix toured with the Monkees?!?

    Heard a Steve Stills interview where he said that he learned that Hendrix wanted him in the band, years after the fact- the message never got to Stills. I wish it had, oh well!

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