Tiffany DeFini, 19, drove from Ohio with her mother and other Monkees fans to tiny Beavertown, Pa to celebrate the life of Davy Jones.
“I became a Monkees fan at around 7,” DeFini recalls. “I was a diehard Jones girl right from the beginning. I looked at Davy and right away I was in love.”
DeFini not only participated with friends from Facebook in the bed race but she also worked the crowd at a Davy Jones memorial rally earlier in the day with a petition to present to the United States Post Office to create a stamp in honor of Jones. “I have about 100 signatures so far,” she said.
Though younger than many of the fans present, DeFini was typical in her intense enthusiasm for Jones and the Monkees. The couple hundred fans gathered to remember Jones who died last year were conversant in all forms of Monkees trivia from knowing that Jimi Hendrix once opened for the band to recalling the set lists of old tours.
A cover band, The Blue Meanies, played Monkees hits and obscurities, which the crowd sang along to with glee. Daughter Jessica Jones addressed fans on behalf of the family. She drew huge applause from those present by giving a shout out to two groups. “You have the first generation fans from the 1960s and then you have the second generation fans from the 1980s,” Jones said.
Sculptor Chuck LaMark debuted a prototype of the statute of Jones he is currently working on. He explained that for financial reasons and artistic reasons the version on display at this event would likely wind up in a scrap heap. “The statue is a test piece. I was able to test the clothing and position and the structure underneath,” LaMark explained.
But that was not the original plan. LaMark sunk hundreds of dollars into the project before he learned he had to use different material. “I found out from the foundry that they couldn’t do it with this type of clay. It was too late to change it. But at least it shows everyone what we are getting into.”
LaMark is not yet sure how he will construct the final statue as that will depend on how much money is raised. “If we go to cast it will cost $21,000. But I have another method of making the statue now that will only go about $2000.”
Still the fans present seemed thrilled with even a test statue as they lined up to take photographs and pose with it.
Mayor Cloyd Wagner, 82, a friend of Jones, addressed the audience expressing his gratitude to all who attended the rally. He also announced that the police would close the roads to allow the procession of fans to head to Beaver Springs Dragway to witness the first in what it is hoped will be an annual bed race in honor of Jones. Of the six beds enrolled one was pushed by Jones’ four daughters with a contest winner onboard. The idea came from the opening of the television show where the other Monkees pushed Jones on a bed. Davy’s Dangerous Daughters came in second in the race.
Jessica Jones says the entire experience has reminded her just how much her dad meant to people.
“I think dad really put a lot of time into a lot of people. To him entertainment was about giving. He was there to make people smile to make people laugh to make people happy. That is what he lived by. He interacted with people in a very personal way. And what this is about today is community and love.”