I spent most of Thursday in a bit of a melancholy mood, as so many of my generation did, contemplating the death of Monkees' lead singer Davy Jones.
As it is when someone we idolized in our youth dies, we not only mourn their passing but we grieve the passing of our youth, as well. Our own mortality stares us square in the face.
I spent most of Wednesday night watching old Monkees' videos on the internet, listening to their songs, watching their goofy physical gags on clips of their shows...remembering how "in love" with Davy Jones I was at the ripe ol' age of 10...
And for the life of me, I could not get their song, "Daydream Believer" out of my head.
Ironically, one of the first songs to pop on the radio at work Thursday morning was Daydream Believer. Stopped me in my typing tracks. Gave me goosebumps.
Made me sad. And yet, at the same time, I somehow felt comforted.
Then one of my younger co-workers -- she's oh, probably 25 -- asked me, "Is that that guy who died? Who was he again?"
I suddenly felt very old.
"Yes, that is Davy Jones. He was the lead singer of The Monkees," I replied, smiling.
Still drew a bit of a blank for her.
"They were like The Backstreet Boys of my generation," I added, hoping to give my co-worker a meaningful reference point.
But truly, Davy Jones and The Monkees represent more to my generation than just a once-popular-now-passed music fad. One can't watch a Monkees video and not be struck by how our culture, our society, has changed since our comparatively more innocent and carefree childhood days. And as such, Davy's death, I think, makes us long to go back to a seemingly simpler time, a kinder, and in many ways, gentler world.
Admittedly, to someone my co-worker's age, The Monkees' theme song might seem a tad hokey today.
Here we come
Walking down the street
Gettin' the funniest looks from
Everyone we meet
Hey, Hey! We're The Monkees!
People say we monkey around
But we're too busy singin'
To put anybody down
We're just trying to be friendly
Come watch us sing and play
We're the young generation
We've got somethin' to say
Kinda refreshing really.
Just four friendly guys who were too busy singing (or offered the illusion of singing, as it were) to put anybody down.
In effect, The Monkees were too busy singing to be mean.
Just think what a better, friendlier, safer, more positive and loving world we would live in today if everyone -- including politicians, conservative talk radio announcers and bullies (often all one in the same) -- followed suit.