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Monkee Business With Davy Jones | Smithsonian Channel

January 13, 2009 by  
Filed under news

Monkee Business With Davy

January 7th was probably one of the most exciting days of my journalistic career , because I was lucky enough to have a chat on the phone with Davy Jones of The Monkees! …You remember, “Hey Hey We’re The Monkees!”

This past weekend Smithsonian Channel premiered a new program called Making The Monkees, an in-depth look at the rise and fall of one of America’s most loved, but short-lived boy bands. Click below to listen to my interview with the British band mate, download the file or keep reading for a transcript of our chat.

Highlights From My Conversation with Davy Jones

AM: Did you have any plans after The Monkees? What were you going to do after The Monkees if the gig didn’t work out?

DJ: I wish you would have asked me that straight after The Monkees. A few years back my daughters said to me, “Dad, why don’t you just do what you’ve always wanted to do and go to the racetrack.” So I did. I went back to England and got my jockey’s license and I got on a horse. After a few months of ‘rehearsing’ as they say, I raced and they couldn’t catch this little Monkee, I’ll tell you that!

I should have thought about that sooner. I had ridden all over the world, but just as an exercise jockey. I should have gone back to get certified earlier. Instead, right after the show I did a couple of shows with Tom Jones and I appeared at a few parks and fairs around the country and in fact I’m still doing it right now! On Saturday in Las Vegas, I’m doing a charity event.

AM: I know you must get asked this all the time, but what was the best part about being a Monkee or becoming a celebrity?

DJ: Well you know Sonny, not to be pretentious, I always felt different – being shorter than most, always trying a little harder-The Monkees was a great thing, a great vehicle. It followed my appearance on Broadway in Oliver!, I had to look at it as if it was no different than doing the school play. Something I have enjoyed doing all my life. I loved getting up onto whatever stage and sharing time with the audience. It’s my most relaxing and happy time.

AM: Was there anything you got to do in your career that you never thought you would be able to do? Any people you met along the way?

DJ: You know I’ve met so many people in the business, whether it be Stallone, or others I’ve met like, Billy Bob…Elvis Costello– they all have come to our concerts and are Monkees fans!

AM: Everyone is a Monkees fan!

DJ: Yea, you know, I have never been the kind of guy who goes crazy over celebrities. You gotta become the person you really are. That whole show business thing is just an act. If you look at it that way, the longevity of your career will come forth and you can enjoy a happy personal as well as a professional life. I think that’s the secret to the way I’ve been doing it and hopefully I’ll continue to do it this way.

AM: What do you think of the music and television business today?

DJ: Well when we were doing the show the prop guy was dressing up and playing a part and everyone was helping out and now it has become so unionized that you know, the spontaneity is gone. You do a comedy and then on Wednesday or Thursday the hob-knobs from the office come down and they give their opinions on what has been done Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and then on Thursday they present you with a whole new script!

AM: And music?

DJ: Well I’m hoping that one day soon rap will run away and hide forever! I like classical music and all the people that influenced me like Neil Diamond and Carol King. I’d like to see if ten years from now if P. Diddy is still around.

AM: Smithsonian Channel prides itself on being America’s Storyteller. How do you think The Monkees phenomenon fits into this?

DJ: Well I was telling my friends that I was going to be featured in a special on Smithsonian Channel and they thought “You mean at the Smithsonian Institute? Like antiques and dinosaurs?”  I think it was a great idea though. It’s all in the name. We had The Monkees, The Turtles, The Birds and we had The Beatles. We had all these names that were catchy in the 60’s and the Smithsonian has something that has been revered for probably a lot longer than the NBC’s, the ABC’s and the CBS’s.

Now taking that name and making quality productions is a very important thing. These producers are artists but they also having something to live up to with the name “Smithsonian.” It has been around for generations. If we can set the precedents with this show, Making The Monkees, maybe this can add to the legacy we tend to look towards when we think of that name. It’s almost like the Encyclopedia Britannica or the Eiffel Tower!

AM: Well it will definitely add to the legend that is The Monkees, I’m sure.

DJ: Ah, well remember us the way you always thought we would be.

AM: Thanks so much for taking time to talk with us.

DJ: Well, there you go another contribution! Thanks very much to Smithsonian Channel and to the filmmakers that put this on and everyone that made this possible. Hopefully it will be enjoyed!

via Interview: Monkee Business With Davy Jones | Smithsonian Channel.

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