Hi everyone –
The last couple of days has been a mixture of highs and lows – so hopefully my Fort Wilderness to Wilderness Lodge Photo Walk will be up tomorrow. The updated Photo Walks have been incredibly popular, thank you for that!
We had a great day yesterday with two viral videos from the Daytona 500 that were covered on Fox News Atlanta last night as well as on ESPN today.
On the flip side, the news of the passing of Davy Jones broke early this afternoon. As someone who made time to see him nearly every year for the past decade at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, I thought I’d talk a little about what he meant to me. The photos added here are all from 2010. You can find some more of my photos here as well (from 2007).
Davy Jones was my first crush. I was 5, and started watching The Monkees not long after the first-run shows. He was adorable! Back then, there were only about 5 channels on TV – it was still light years away from cable, VHS, DVD, Blu-rays and streaming TV. I watched the show every day, as I did The Brady Bunch. And after Davy Jones sung to Marcia on the latter, I would scan TV Guide each week to see when the show would air again. “Girl” by Davy Jones is still my favorite song, and it took until YouTube got popular to get to hear and see so many of these songs on a regular basis again.
As a kid, I always wanted to see The Monkees in concert. I didn’t care if it was the full group or with Boyce and Hart (okay, I cared a little – but still any Monkees was better than none!). Unfortunately, that never happened. I owned every album I could get a hold of. I remember my parents ordering a Greatest Hits albums from a television commercial (K-Tel?) and I found out about it arriving when I was grounded. I was very happy they still let me listen to it anyway!
It took me a long time to finally see Davy Jones in concert, but that finally happened around 2000. He had gotten older, but was no less charismatic in concert than he had been on TV 30 years earlier. He sang his classic hits like “Daydream Believer”, and some that he didn’t originally do the vocals on, like “Last Train to Clarksville” (Mickey Dolenz first did the honors). Unfortunately, when the Pirates of the Caribbean movie craze began, a lot of people got confused between the Davy Jones in the film and the singer (really!) I once posted some photos of Davy on a message board, and one poster said that they saw the “Davy Jones” title and got excited until they found “an old man shaking his (rear)”. For me, Davy Jones never was old, it’s hard to believe he was 66 – he still had such a boyish energy and charm.
There are just a couple of regrets I have. One, that we missed him last year due to too many other commitments. And two, that I didn’t rush to the stage when others did during an Epcot show in the early 2000’s. It wasn’t allowed, and that isn’t my style, but it’d be nice to have that story (and a hug from Davy Jones!) He always walked the crowd during each show, and was always generous with the hugs and photos. I just never sat in the right spot!
I don’t cry much over celebrity deaths. I think I last broke down a bit when Princess Diana died (possibly one or two others since). But losing Davy Jones is sort of like losing family – he was part of my life for 40 years, and I had a yearly concert “date” with him each year to watch him perform. He was talented, and personable, and I will miss him this year at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. He was due to sing in May, and I expect some of the other performers this year to honor him (especially Peter Noone, another of my favorites).
Thank you to Davy Jones for 40 years of music, and to Disney for allowing me to indulge in my childhood memories each year – and to make new ones in the process.
We added some videos to our YouTube playlist today – now we have 8 videos from the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival of Davy Jones. It's hard to pick a favorite, but "Girl" and "Daydream Believer" are probably tops with me from these. Oh, and "Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow". That is another one I always loved him on!
Feel free to post your comments below, or on our "Daydream Believer" video, which has garnered nearly 20 comments so far.