Sad news: Davy Jones of the Monkees has passed away at age 66. He died of a heart attack this morning in Florida. Davy Jones was the sole British member of the Monkees, the band that was formed to star in a '60s NBC TV series and ended up putting out several huge hit records, including "Daydream Believer," which Jones sang. In fact, another young British singer named David Jones was motivated to change his last name to Bowie so that he wouldn't be confused with the famous Monkee.
As someone who was raised in the era of Monkees reruns on MTV and Nickelodeon, and as someone who subsequently became a big fan of the band's music, this comes very sad news. The Monkees toured last year, and I got to see them live for the first time; the show was, sadly, a big disappointment to me, feeling more like a Vegas revue than a concert. However, for a band that was labeled the "Pre-Fab Four," perhaps the slickness and hamminess was appropriate. Still, the end of that reunion tour was canceled prematurely, with acrimony among the remaining members of the Monkees.
Jones was more of an actor than a musician, although he did end up writing some material for the band. Perhaps his best song is "You and I," a song he co-wrote with Bill Chadwick and which appeared on the Monkees' 1969 album Instant Replay. (Check it out here; Neil Young played guitar on it.) However, Jones will likely be best remembered for "Daydream Believer," a song written by John Stewart which hit number 1 in 1967.
Rest in peace, Davy.