Bay Area reaction to Davy Jones' death

Davy Jones
February 28, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The lead singer of The Monkees has died. Davy Jones suffered a massive heart attack. He was 66. ABC7 spoke with a Bay Area man who was his best friend and a music industry icon for their reaction.

We knew him as Davy Jones, lead singer of The Monkees, but to Rich Anea he was David Jones, a good friend since 1973.

"He was a very fun guy. Same on stage as off," said Anea.

Anea spoke to Jones on Tuesday. Last month he took a picture of his buddy during a Caribbean cruise. Jones became part of rock and roll history in the 1960s with three band mates who were billed as the American version of the Beatles. But former Rolling Stones editor Ben Fong Torres says The Monkees were not respected in the music industry.

"The Monkees were a manufactured group that came to be known as 'the pre-fab four' because they were created as a TV version of the Beatles," said Fong Torres.

Still, with their network show, The Monkees became a phenomenon and Davy Jones, a teen heartthrob. He sang lead vocals on their hits including "Daydream Believer" and the "Last Train To Clarksville."

Long after breaking up, the group received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in 1989, and performed at the Bay Area's now defunct Circle Star Theater that same year.

"He loved the notoriety, loved being Davy Jones, and he was good at it," said Anea.

Jones appeared on ABC7's 7Live where he demonstrated what it might look like if the now Baby Boomer Monkees got together for a reunion tour.

"Even as a solo artist he would still get up there and sing those songs with pride. He was a Monkees' Monkee," said Fong Torres.

He was also Anea's best friend.

"We were close that way, we were like family. It still hasn't struck me what happened," said Anea.

His publicist, Helen Kensick, confirmed that he died in Indiantown, where he lived.

Jones was born Dec. 30, 1945, in Manchester, England. His long hair and British accent helped Jones achieve heartthrob status in the United States.

According to The Monkees website, Monkees.com, he left the band in late 1970. In the summer of 1971, he recorded a solo hit "Rainy Jane" and made a series of appearances on American variety and television shows, including "Love American Style" and "The Brady Bunch."

Jones played himself in a widely popular Brady Bunch episode, which aired in late 1971. In the episode, Marcia Brady, president of her school's Davy Jones fan club, promised she could get him to sing at a school dance.

By the mid-1980s, Jones teamed up with former Monkee Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and promoter David Fishof for a reunion tour. Their popularity prompted MTV to re-air The Monkees series, introducing the group to a new audience.

In 1987, Jones, Tork and Dolenz recorded a new album, "Pool It." Two years later, the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In the late 1990s, the group filmed a special called "Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees."

He is survived by his wife, Jessica.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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