Of all the estimated 80 million people who saw The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964 to catch a first glimpse of The Beatles, maybe 10,000 of them formed groups. Maybe 1,000 of them made charting singles. Only one of them was a performer on the Sullivan stage that night. Davy Jones performed that night as the Artful Dodger, a role he held down in the Broadway production of the London musical Oliver for the past year. Soon Jones would be cast as an ersatz Beatle, in that infamous Screen Gems series that would redirect screaming girls his way and make the Monkees as much of a household name as the Beatles. It is said that in the year 1967 , the total number of Monkees' records sold surpassed that of the Beatles and Stones combined.
Sadly, today we lost Davy. Davy the heartthrob, Davy the teen idol, Davy the Monkee.
Jones seemed bitter the day I interviewed him for the Mesa Tribune in 1997, but he lit up at the idea of a big screen adaptation of The Monkees television show, a madcap follow up to Head, the band's previous 1968 psychedelic comedy, and a Monkees reunion TV special that ran in '97.
"I would like to see the Monkees save the world," Jones said. "I'd like to see a Monkees Ghostbuster. I would like to see the Monkees in Lost Paradise or the Three Musketeers or whatever. The Monkees shouldn't have to be explained at this point. They should be entertaining, just four guys running around."
Jones won't ever get to see the imaginary movie, but he'll live on forever in re-runs, accompanied by madcap visuals and bright, sunshiney pop. One only hopes his eyes dazzled over like he was falling in love when the final moments came.
"We need to get involved in some fun fantasy and drama," Jones said of his idea for a new Monkees film. "We know they live in a Malibu Beach house and do gigs. I've written a script to which is a play on the TV show. We go to the jungle and go through all kinds of adventures. Otherwise we'll look like four grumpy old men going on about what might have been. But the fans don't feel that way. "
If the Jones knew one thing, it was his fans. And they certainly knew him.