I got the news in a text from my daughter.
“OMG! What?!” I texted back.
It’s a hoax, I reasoned. A cruel internet hoax, I told myself as I ran upstairs to Google his I clicked on one of the links detailing the unexpected death of Davy Jones. My eyes filled with tears as I read about the heart attack he suffered.
My reaction surprised me. Never before had I been so moved by the death of a celebrity. Certainly far more stellar entertainers have gone before – Lennon, Morrison, Hendrix. I remember sitting cross-legged on the living room carpet watching The Beatles’ debut performance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. But at eleven years old, I was too young to embrace the mania that surrounded the band. Lennon’s brutal death, sixteen years later, though shocking and tragic, did not move me in the same way as Davy’s.
In 1966, when the first Monkees episodes aired, I was a budding adolescent. It was a time of discovery, of change – garter belts and sanitary belts, mascara and mini skirts, blue eye shadow and pale lipstick, go-go boots and Jean Naté.
Davy’s rakish grin and Carnaby Street style captivated me. And what was it about that adorable British accent that turned my heart to figgy pudding? I never missed an episode. And even though the show only ran for two seasons, sharing in my teen idol’s scripted TV adventures brought an intimacy to our relationship that I never felt with other performers of the era.
Over the years, I all but forgot about the object of my first celebrity crush until 2000 when I saw a small article in the local newspaper announcing his appearance that day in San Ramon to promote his latest memoir, Daydream Believer. A youthful giddiness engulfed me at the thought of seeing Davy in person. Before leaving for work, I instructed my husband to meet me with our camera at the appointed hour. I wasn’t about to let this chance of a lifetime slip by unrecorded.
I stood in line with the bevy of aging teeny boppers queued up in the sweltering afternoon sun, waiting to breathe the same oxygen as their former heart throb. Gracious, friendly and patient, Davy took time out between autographing copies of his book to pose for photos with his long time fans.
My heart still aches when I think about his passing. But the timeless melodies and lyrics of his songs will forever transport me to that tender place in my memory when The Monkees mischief aired weekly, and daydream believers walked the halls of my junior high.
Read more from Camille DeFer Thompson on her blog
24/7 in France
Monday 31st of March 2014
Wonderful that you got to see your teen idol and relive great memories!