Peter Tork On Davy Jones
March 4, 2012 by staff
Peter Tork On Davy Jones, Before there was MTV, before “American Idol” made overnight stars of people you never heard of, there was “The Monkees,” a band fronted by a diminutive singer named Davy Jones who was so boyishly good-looking that teenage girls swooned the first time they ever saw him.
That was at the end of the summer of 1966, when Jones and his three fellow Monkees —- Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz —- arrived on weekly television, portraying a carbon copy of another band called the Beatles.
Each Monday night for the next two years, people would tune into NBC to see the comical trials and tribulations of four young musicians who tooled around in a tricked-out car called the Monkeemobile. When they weren’t introducing two or three new songs per show, they would be busy rescuing damsels in distress or being chased by bumbling outlaws in a comical display of Marx-Brothers-style slapstick.
Although all four members handled the lead vocals during their music videos, it was Jones, a onetime child star of the British musical stage, who quickly became the group’s heartthrob. With his boyish good looks and endearing British accent augmented by a strong, Broadway-trained singing voice, it was a role he would play for the rest of his life.
Jones died Wednesday of a heart attack near his home in Indiantown, Fla., just months after he, Tork and Dolenz had completed a tour marking The Monkees’ 45th anniversary. He was 66.
The Monkees were created to cash in on the Beatles’ popularity, and although they never came close to achieving the critical stature of their counterparts, they did carve out a permanent niche in music as what Rolling Stone’s Encyclopedia of Rock ‘n’ Roll has called “the first and perhaps the best of the ’60s and ’70s prefabricated pop groups.”
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