Davy Jones of The Monkees dies aged 66

 

Lizo Mzimba looks back at the career of Davy Jones

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Davy Jones, Manchester-born lead singer with 60s band The Monkees, has died aged 66, his publicist has confirmed.

He died in his sleep at his home in Florida. His publicist, Deborah Robicheau, said he had had a massive heart attack.

Brought together for a US TV series in 1966, Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork hits included Daydream Believer and I'm a Believer.

Jones was married three times and had four daughters.

The Monkees' TV show was popular in both the US and the UK, and the band had four number one albums in a 13-month period.

They were famous for their clean-cut image and were marketed as the American answer to The Beatles, notching up nine top 40 hits.

Acting career

Three of the band's original members - Jones, Dolenz and Tork - reunited last year to play a series of gigs.

The son of a railway fitter, David Thomas Jones was born in 1945 in Manchester.

He appeared as a teenager on soap opera Coronation Street, playing Ena Sharples's grandson.

He also had a role in the television series Z Cars, but when his mother died of emphysema, he left showbusiness to train as a jockey.

Davy Jones Davy Jones was the only British member of The Monkees

Basil Foster, the jockey who acted as his mentor, noticed Jones's skill as a performer and encouraged him to pursue his acting career.

He returned to acting with a role in a West End production of Oliver! After it transferred to Broadway, he built up a career as an actor and singer before auditioning for The Monkees.

Music journalist Paul Gambaccini described Jones as having "phenomenal" charisma and said that in 2008, he was voted the top teen idol of all time by Yahoo! Music.

"The pop world at that time loved The Beatles and that north-western English sound was something that America wanted, when they put together the so-called Pre-Fab Four," he said, referring to the nickname given to The Monkees.

Developing talent

Gambaccini said The Monkees had been put together by the music industry, something which was unheard of at that time.

"There had been individual teen idols who had been literally picked up off the street and groomed to be popstar, but there had never been a band that was put together, and they were assembled because the two producers had liked A Hard Day's Night, the Beatles' movie."

Radio presenter Dave Lee Travis said: "One of the things that people will probably be thinking about Davy Jones is, the fact that he was 66. He always looked like a little kid. I think even in his latter years he looked very, very young."

DJ Dave Lee Travis pays tribute to Davy Jones

He described The Monkees as "a lot of fun" and as a band which overcame its critics.

Ricky Wilson, of the Kaiser Chiefs, speaking at the NME awards, said Jones would be missed.

He said about Jones and The Monkees: "It was just some guys having fun. Not in the sort of forced, manufactured way, although many would say they were the first manufactured band.

"I think there's something infectious about guys looking like that and having fun: The tunes, you can't argue with them."

A former apprentice jockey in Newmarket, Jones remained a keen horseman all his life, winning his first race in England as a jockey in 1996. He also trained horses.

Jones also wrote short stories, poetry, and was interested in photography.

 

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  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 399.

    What a horrible shock. The very first pin-up I ever had was Davy Jones - in common with so many others, I'm sure. I had him pinned on the inside of the door of my bedside cabinet so that my older brother and sister wouldn't tease me. Davy came across a as such a pleasant and genuine person and wore his 66 years well. So sad - condolences to his family and friends.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 398.

    Goodbye, Davy Jones! You were a great first crush for me and a million other girls. I had the pleasure of meeting Davy in Hollywood a few years later, and he was the nicest person.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 397.

    Very sad, just shows how time marches on... remember The Monkees singing "we're the young generation". But even so, 66 is too young for a man who looked young for his age. Whatever history might say about The Monkees they were part of music and television history, and people loved them. Rest in peace and be forever young Davy.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 396.

    Very sad to hear of this loss, I was only watching Davy on a documentary about boy bands at the weekend.
    It's a shame, but he leaves behind a great back catalogue of great songs. Sleepy Jean will take some cheering up tonight, RIP Davy, God bless and thanks for the memories.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 395.

    I am 55 years old and am sitting with tears pouring down my face. I loved the Monkeys. My teenage years have come flooding back. Thanks for the lovely memories. Good times.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 394.

    I was shocked when I heard it on the radio. I have fond memories of the Monkees and especially Davy Jones who was the cute Monkee, at least in my eyes. I was reminiscent when I saw they were touring last year. I send prayers out to his wife and four daughters.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 393.

    I loved Davy, watched all the TV shows, I love horses just like Davy, I managed to Shake hands with him at a reunion in 1997 at Birmingham NEC. Wow, that has lasted me a lifetime, Gone Be will NEVER be forgotten, R.I.P. Davy xxx

  • rate this
    +10

    Comment number 392.

    In the mid '60s the girl in the flat above me knew him and so he came to one of her parties when he was in the UK. Nice guy, carried his fame lightly. He was 6 months younger than me which is a sobering thought. I still think Daydream Believer was one of the most memorable songs of that era - and when you think of the '60s songbook that is saying something.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 391.

    I adored him singing 'Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow'. xx

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 390.

    Great guy, witty. I loved watching 'The Monkee's' as a kid born in the 1960's.

    They weren't the same, but were just as much a part of the era as The Beatles & The Stones etc, but with a fun light hearted approach.

    They did also make some top songs, 'Day Dream Believer', 'Sleepy Jean etc, many still played regularly, and very uplifting!

    Good Luck Davy & Thank You.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 389.

    beegeeuk
    The only Monkee that couldn't play an instrument initially was Davy. Mike was already an accomplished musician/songwriter, Mickey had been a child star and played drums, Peter was an accomplished harpsichord player(amongst other instruments) They were put together for a tv programme true, but they were all talented one way or another. God bless Davy.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 388.

    Wow! Only 66. The Monkees were a huge part of my childhood Mum even knitted us Mike Nesmith bobble hats. Even when I was swept up by the punk movement (Stepping Stone covered albeit in demo form by The Pistols) I still had a soft spot for their music. Scouring the second hand record stores for Monkees Greatest Hits. Sleepy Jean will take a bit of cheering up tonight.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 387.

    Even though the Monkees were a manufactured act initially they managed to gain a place in the hearts of pop music lovers worldwide.
    They are an icon of the 60's and Davy was a huge part of that.
    Some fine songs too.

    R.I.P Davy.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 386.

    A sad day for my generation. For the first time in ages, I was listening to The Monkees today while driving to work... I sang along with gusto, still knew most of the words, and I still love them!

  • rate this
    -30

    Comment number 385.

    Never a fan!!! Poor imitation of The Beatles!!! The Monkees were a 2nd rate creation of American television's envy of The Beatles success but they couldn't even play their instruments, it was all dubbed! RIP though, Davy!!!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 384.

    Part of my childhood gone - great exponet of pap music [no disrespect]

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 383.

    This is a real shock. Only watching Davy and the boys on tv the other day. Perpetually youthful and great fun. Grew up with The Monkeys and their antics which were always in the best taste and so much fun. Heartfelt thanks for all you did. If only you could read my words. My I please pass on my condolences to all of his family. Goodbye.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 382.

    I guess this means Bowie can change his name back now. More seriously - I was born in 1960 and, to me, The Monkees (and Batman) were the essence of the 1960s. Thanks Davy.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 381.

    Such a shock! Davy was so full of life, watched him at a concert last year in Wales he was amazing and so full of energy this was for my 21st birthday! I used to watch all the tv episodes and the film with my father who grow up loving the monkees and passed it onto me although I'm a child from the 90s I love the monkees music!! Such sad news but may Davy RIP. Love to all his family xx

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 380.

    Love the music and loved the TV Series; innocent fun that didn't hurt anyone. Rest in peace and rise in glory.

 

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