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The passing of innocence.


Wendy-Ann

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If you want to read a great article about "pop-stars," OUR kind of "pop-stars," I think this guy nailed it on the head when writing about the death of Davy Jones.

http://www.freep.com/article/20120304/CO...xt%7CFRONTPAGE]

Davy Jones died.

I didn't think that was possible.

If there was ever a forever-young pop idol, Davy was it. Boyish-faced, long-haired, short, thin, British accent, always goofing around with the other Monkees, singing bubble-gum music and making little girls scream.

He was Justin Bieber before there was a Justin Bieber, or Justin Timberlake, or Ricky Martin, or New Edition, or New Kids on the Block, or even Michael Jackson and Donny Osmond.

And although he wasn't the first singer to make girls swoon -- the Beatles, Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, the list goes way back -- he did personify a time when being a teen idol was a huge business, but still a relatively innocent one.

I looked up an old cover of Tiger Beat magazine from 1967. It was an entire edition devoted to Davy Jones. The cover boasted stories like: "Will He Marry?" "Are You His Type?" "What He's Like At Home ... On A Stage ... On A Date."

The stories themselves were equally gushing. There was no talk of drugs, arrests, DUIs or sex. Maybe they'd mention a first kiss -- in the same cooing tones reserved for a Prince Charming.

But stardom was different back then.

Snail mail vs. the Internet

For one thing, even a huge star like Davy Jones had limited exposure in your everyday life. There's a big difference between hanging a poster in your bedroom and tweeting, YouTubing and Googling your heartthrob's every minute. As massively popular as Jones was, you only saw him once a week on "The Monkees" TV show, or maybe an occasional interview somewhere.

Today, a Google search on "Justin Bieber" reveals 700 million results. That's one a day for the next 2 million years. You can hear Bieber talk, sing, tweet and opine, and view his photos, videos or nearly every article ever written about him with the simple tap of a computer button.

Doesn't that take the mystery out of it? I remember girls in our neighborhood writing letters to Davy Jones, then waiting for the mailman each afternoon. Sure enough, one day, an envelope would arrive with a signed photo inside, and the girls would rip it open and scream and then, if I recall correctly, pass out.

It was all sweet and innocent and over in its time, as pop infatuations should be.

'A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You'

Today, teens have a different relationship with fame. It envelops them. It is both entertainment and goal. Their stars are not just singers in pop bands, but reality show creations like the Kardashians and the "Jersey Shore" group. They make their own videos. They nurture their own legends on Facebook.

The most recent Teen Choice awards named "Bad Teacher" as favorite film (an R-rated movie, theoretically off-limits to many teens) and favorite TV comedy as "Glee" -- which, like "The Monkees," features a put-together group of singers, but, unlike "The Monkees," surrounds them with story lines of teenage pregnancies, teachers having romantic affairs and kids exploring all avenues of their sexuality.

In "The Monkees," Davy would get kidnapped in order to marry a princess.

But as I said, it was a different time, a time of tambourines and "Daydream Believer." Davy Jones didn't curse in his music, didn't get arrested, didn't beat up men or women, and -- in our minds, anyhow -- didn't grow old.

In real life, of course, he did. I saw a joke he told Britain's Daily Mail last year about his young wife, who apparently suggested to him one day that they run upstairs and make love. "I looked at her. 'At my age,' I said, 'it's going to have to be one or the other.' "

He died this past week, at 66, of a heart attack, which has its poignancy, given the palpitations he caused an entire generation of girls. I don't know why his passing saddens me as much as it does. I never mailed him a letter. Never waited for a signed photo. Maybe it's just that whole end of innocence thing. Or maybe that Jones, unlike so many big names today, seemed to really enjoy being a pop star while never acting as if it was a birthright.

I read that the first night he performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show," at age 18, he sang, "I'd Do Anything" from the Broadway hit, "Oliver!," in which he was appearing. That same night, another group gave its first Sullivan show performance: the Beatles.

Davy Jones watched in awe from backstage, seeing the girls go crazy. You wonder whether he knew he was seeing his future.

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Wendy,

Fantastic article. He really captures how far we as a society have degraded as far as our "teen idols.." That part made me really sad for my own kids's generation (my kids are 23 and 21). I feel so lucky to have grown up with the Monkees and the silliness of Tiger Beat..and that I couldn't "google" my favorite anything when I was a kid. Best yet...that I got to be a kid just a little while longer...

Jean

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I agree Jean , I miss those days of innocence and a song was just a song to brighten your day and just make you happy to sing along on a regular ol radio. No reality shows about musical competition. Just young muscians trying to get their music heard whether it be like Monkeys show or the Partridge Family , Sonny and Cher even the Lawrence Welk show that my mom use to make me watch with her. Also being able to read magazines that were safe and fun, and not worrying about who was watching you on the internet. I never cared for the internet and i probably never will. I think with the internet alot of lost innocence came along with it. But thats just my own opinion.

Monica

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Monica,

I agree with alot of what you said. My older brother used to always say that MTV was the beginning of the end...I think he was thinking about music; funny in a way, I think he was right there.

Also, we have talked on this website about instant gratification; kids don't have to wait to hear their favorite stuff anymore...with the internet we don't have to wait for anythng! That innocent sense of having to "wait" no longer exists with the internet, does it? So where is the excitement? We get kinda numb to even the coolest things now because we can have them anytime we want them.

Jean

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I liked the “wait.†WAITING to see your idol(s) on TV. WAITING for him/them outside of a concert hall or a hotel if one was lucky enough to find out where he/they were staying. WAITING for the day one could meet him/them. And WAITING for the day you’d actually “kiss†him/them if you had the chance.

Our pop stars were so unattainable it was exciting. We “worked†for the chance to get a glimpse of him/them and if we were lucky, to actually meet any of them.

I met most of all of my idols as an adult. But when I did, I was the 15 year old who lived deep within my soul.

It appears that girls nowadays have instance access to their heroes and dreaming about the tender moment of a kiss has been replaced by “doing†him. I for one, think it is so sad. Growing up too fast doesn’t behoove anyone. There's nothing like a kiss...even if it’s in one’s mind and hopefully then it eventually becomes reality. smile

I’m glad I was a teenager in the 70’s!

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Great posts, Wendy!!!

I don't know a lot about The Monkees and their TV series.

The Monkees TV series was also broadcasted in Japan 1967~1969.

But I haven't a chance to watch the show.

I just know their songs.

Your first post taught me how you(and all Americans) feel about Monkees and Davy Jones.

It is very Imressible and heatrfelt....

Thank you Wendy! heartpump

And I love your second post heartpump

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As many of you know...Mitch Albom the article's author is a GREAT sports writer and bestselling author.

He often appears on ESPN's Sports Reporters.

Some of these sports guys that have the same knowledgeable and analytical take on ALL the things they love...Rock And Roll...Comic Books...Life...Albom's that kinda guy.

Thanks Wendy for posting this great article.

For the record..."Daydream Believer" written by the GREAT John Stewart..is one of the handful of TRULY overplayed records from my youth that I NEVER get tired of.

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Great article, Wendy.

Bernie

PS: Nobody rocked a ruffled shirt better than Davy!

PPS: Pretty incredible that they were able to do this great effect without digital tricks and computers. It's a just a straight edit between two takes of the dance. Very cool!

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Great find, Wendy. I love Mitch Albom's writing — I can really relate to his Tuesdays With Morrie book, and I just picked up his Have a Little Faith book, but haven't read it yet. Anyway, I had a Davy thing I was trying to finish for posting here, and the sentiments are the mirror images of Mitch's! So I guess I don't have to finish it now. :-)

He really nailed it.

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Anyway, I had a Davy thing I was trying to finish for posting here, and the sentiments are the mirror images of Mitch's! So I guess I don't have to finish it now. :-) He really nailed it.

LC!

I for one would love to read it and I encourage you to finish it and post it. Who knows what you can expand on or give one of us the chance to add to your sentiments. smileheartpump

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