I just heard the news that Davy Jones from the Monkees passed away earlier today from an apparent heart attack. I actually had “I’m a Believer” stuck in my head yesterday. The Monkees had one of their many big come backs when I was in high school when my friends and I discovered them. We watched the reruns. We listened to their music. I think one of my friends even got a lunchbox with them on it. Let me tell you a little story about why they hold a special place in my heart.
Like so many other 13 year olds it was time to get braces. And just like those other 13 year olds I was worried about how I would look and what the kids at school would say about it. It seemed to take hours to get fitted with them, and I was feeling pretty low when I got home. What I didn’t know was that my older brother had a surprise waiting for me. That may not seem all that unusual to most people, but my brother is…quiet…reserved…keeps to himself most of the time…and I was one of the few people allowed, not only into his room, but into his the things he spent hours working on his room. Some times he’d invite me in to talk about something he wrote, sometimes to show me the things he built, sometimes just to watch Star Treck: Next Generation so that he wasn’t the only sci-fi fan in the house.
When I got home that afternoon with a mouth full of metal he called me into his room and proudly played a cassette (really dating myself now). He had somehow recorded “I’m a Believer” from somewhere and played it for me. I remember just looking at him in confusion. He told me to listen to the words…”Then I saw her face/Now I’m a believer…” Then he said something about the braces didn’t change me that much. I was still pretty and he still believed in me. For whatever reason, that memory floated through my head on the way home from work yesterday. For me, “I’m a Believer” is one of those songs that floods me with feeling and memories. I guess they were still fresh in my mind when I heard about Mr. Jones’ passing because I felt myself tear up.
Thank you Davy Jones, and your fellow Monkees, for making possible a memory I will cherish all my life.
Do you have a favorite Monkee memory? Please share!