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Jones proud of Monkees’ place in music lore

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under davy, news feed

Davy Jones is a believer in The Monkees’ place in the evolution of pop music.

The band, assembled for a TV sitcom that debuted 45 years ago this fall, came along at a time when groups such as The Association, The Turtles and The Rolling Stones were writing their own material.

All of a sudden, musicians didn’t have as much use for the Brill Building songwriters such as Carole King, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Harry Nilsson – all of whom became recording stars themselves – and others.

The Monkees ended up recording songs by all of those and more.

“We had this completely crazy, amazing catalog of songwriters,” Jones recalled in a telephone interview last week. “We had this collection of tunes and we were lucky.

“These songwriters were writing concertos in the Brill Building in New York, where a lot of songwriters came from, sitting around with these songs,” he added while speaking from a friend’s beach house in Hollywood, Fla.

Jones will bring back the music and memories of The Monkees in a concert Saturday night at the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf. He will be joined on some songs by his third wife, a Hispanic TV presenter who also sings and is a flamenco dancer.

Jones, who turns 66 next month, was selected along with Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork for the sitcom, which was on TV for two seasons and still surfaces in reruns.

“The fortunate thing about The Monkees was that we all had careers before we came into it,” Jones recalled. “Micky had his own TV series, I was on Broadway, Mike was with the New Christy Minstrels and Peter was playing folk music in the Village and hanging out with Stephen Stills and Bob Dylan.

“We were able to go back to that” after the series concluded, he added.

Three of the Monkees – Nesmith has long distanced himself from the band – have reunited for tours, including as recently as this summer.

Jones recalls working with the likes of the late Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and a young Michael Jackson, and he turns his nose up at the mind-set of TV performers who felt pigeonholed after gaining fame.

“I find it more interesting that the older I get, the more aware I am of my needs and my responsibilities,” he said. “I don’t know if everybody feels that way. It’s not like I’m closing it down for the big one. … But the problem with a lot of people in the business is they don’t have the sidelines, they don’t have the horses.”

Horses are quite literally in place for Jones since the former jockey owns several racehorses and works at training them.

After attending the TV Land Awards a few years ago and seeing fellow sitcom stars from the 1960s and ‘70s in attendance – “I’ve got to pinch myself. It’s like you’re in this royalty of TV shows gone by” – Jones said he realized the importance that nostalgia plays.

And he remembers that with each live performance.

“When I perform, that’s my prize, my reward,” he said. “Remember me the way you hoped I’d be, that guy from The Monkees.”

via Jones proud of Monkees’ place in music lore.

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