Davy Jones: Book Release Signing
MONKEE WALKS TALL AT THE NITTANY MALL – DAVY JONES WRITES BIOGRAPHY
by Charles Patterino, Collegian Arts Writer
Penn State Campus Newsletter, Tuesday, April 19, 1988
Hey, hey, he’s a Monkee, still, after 20 years of TV, tours,
reruns and reunions. Now that their career is back in business,
Davy Jones, singer and tambourine player for “the prefab four,” is
looking to set the record straight about the old days with his new
autobiography, They Made a Monkee Out Of Me.
“I knew that there were a lot of accounts of the Monkees going
around, so I started putting the stories down,” Jones said in a
recent phone interview. “If I waited any longer, it would have been
War and Peace.”
The book is a whimsical monologue about Jones’ life and career
stuffed with photos and memorabilia. Starting with his
working-class childhood in Manchester, England, Jones traces his
career through his years as a child actor on Broadway through the
rise, fall and subsequent return of the Monkees. Jones supplies the
funny stories while Alan Green, a backup musician for Jones, fills
in the gaps.
Jones and Green put together the whole book themselves on a
MacIntosh computer. They started Dome Press to publish the book,
which Jones is now running as a full-time enterprise.
Jones is particularly proud of the way the book was put together.
“I would like to send my book to every college and library in the
United States. It’s no different from putting together a thesis for
college. I’d like to show that it can be done.”
Their next project is a book about The Evolution of the Monkees.
“In that book, I touch on Judy Garland, Sammy Davis, Jr., and other
people who crossed my path in those early years,” Jones said.
Jones has other projects planned for the coming year. He will be
performing in productions of Oliver! and Cabaret, and he plans
on attending a Monkees convention in August. He has also completed
a new solo album. And, of course, there’s the Monkees movie. “It’s
called The Monkees Save the World – a nice, modest title,” Jones
The movie will probably have little in common with the Monkees’
first cinematic adventure, the infamous Head. Jones doesn’t think
much of that Jack Nicholson-produced psychedelic classic, but he
called it “a good idea.” The new movie will have more of a Marx
Brothers kind of comedy to it, Jones explained. “We could have done
something like Ghostbusters,” he said.
Jones also said that the Monkees are planning to record a Christmas
album, covering some of the “less obvious Christmas tunes” such as
John Lennon’s “War Is Over.” When asked what he thought of Pool
It, the Monkees reunion album from last year, Jones said, “Not
much. Not much at all,” and laughed.
“I was disappointed. (Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz) took the
bait,” he said. “What we should have done was go out and get some
great tunes. The album was overproduced.”
Fans think of Jones as the cute Monkee, or as he calls it, his
sugar-sweet, stars-in-my-eyes” image, and he still manages to
maintain that image both in his book and in person. “That’s the
part I play,” he said, “I don’t come home and turn into a gorilla.”
Jones regards the original TV shows with bemusement now. “I have
my reservations (about the shows). I think some of them are pretty
lame.” On the whole, however, he still enjoys watching them.
Jones is characteristically honest in his opinions of his fellow
Monkees. He described Micky Dolenz as “tricky” and Peter Tork as
“confused.” Of Michael Nesmith, Jones said, “If you watch the early
shows, even then, Nesmith acted as though he were bigger than the
Monkees. He doesn’t even appear in some of them.”
The autobiography discusses some of the Monkees’ encounters with
drugs back in the 1960′s. Jones doesn’t apologize for smoking
marijuana back then, but he says now, “I’m against anything in
“In California in the ’60′s, no one thought anything of it. I don’t
want to endorse it, though.”
Jones is content with his life these days. He and his wife Anita
are expecting a child, and he is looking forward to bringing some
of his horses to Pennsylvania and Maryland.
JONES SIGNS FANS’ BOOKS
Nearly 4000 people from all over Pennsylvania descended onto the
Nittany Mall last Saturday to meet Davy Jones, singer for the
recently reformed Monkees. Jones was there to sign copies of his
new autobiography, They Made a Monkee Out Of Me.
The book signing, scheduled for 1 p.m., began at 1:15. As a large
bodyguard cleared a path through the crowd for Jones to pass
through, parents hoisted their children onto their shoulders, while
others shouted his name.
Jones was signing autographs only for people who brought up a copy
of the new book with them. Representitives from Dome Press, the
publishers of the autobiography, had several crates of the book and
sold copies to fans before they entered the signing area. The book
retails for $14.95.
Fans came from as far as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia for this
event. Around the line for the autographs was a crowd of curiosity
seekers gazing at and snapping pictures of the smiling Monkee.
Jones stayed at the Mall until 6:15 p.m. Laurie Raessler, marketing
director for the Nittany Mall, said that Jones signed approximately
55 copies of the book every 15 minutes. She estimated that Dome
Press sold over 1000 copies in total. “I was pleased with the
turnout,” Raessler said.