Although the story about Stephen Stills auditioning for the Monkees is apparently at least somewhat apocryphal—Stills says that he only wanted to sell the group’s management some of his songs—he did play guitar on one Monkee’s song, the Head soundtrack’s “Long Title: Do I Have to Do This All Over Again?”
Stills longtime musical partner Neil Young, however, was a Monkee himself—well, so to speak—for four numbers.
Young plays guitar on Head‘s gorgeous “As We Go Along” and he also played on a few tracks recorded by Davy Jones in a session produced just days after he left The Buffalo Springfield: The lovely, but slight “Smile”; a backing track for the never completed “That’s What It’s Like Loving You” and the simply incredible “You And I,” which appeared on the underrated Instant Replay album in 1969.
This features some of the best, most blistering Neil Young guitar work like… ever. Such a great pop song. Why was this not a massive, massive hit?
In light of the unexpected passing of Monkee Davy Jones, here’s Carole King’s original demo for Head’s “Porpoise Song” (co-written by Gerry Goffin). The Gregorian chant thing she’s got going here (it’s the Mass of the Dead, remember this was the song playing during Micky Dolenz’s “suicidal” jump off the bridge in the beginning of the film) seems like a fitting thing to post in Jones’ honor.
Sound quality is what it is, but no matter, this is still pretty amazing. Listen LOUD!
Gathering up the reactions of remaining Monkees Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter to the passing of Davy Jones
All the lovely people. Where do they all come from?
So many lovely and heartfelt messages of condolence and sympathy, I don’t know what to say, except my sincere thank you to all. I share and appreciate your feelings.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
While it is jarring, and sometimes seems unjust, or strange, this transition we call dying and death is a constant in the mortal experience that we know almost nothing about. I am of the mind that it is a transition and I carry with me a certainty of the continuity of existence. While I don’t exactly know what happens in these times, there is an ongoing sense of life that reaches in my mind out far beyond the near horizons of mortality and into the reaches of infinity.
That David has stepped beyond my view causes me the sadness that it does many of you. I will miss him, but I won’t abandon him to mortality. I will think of him as existing within the animating life that insures existence. I will think of him and his family with that gentle regard in spite of all the contrary appearances on the mortal plane.
David’s spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us.
I have fond memories. I wish him safe travels.
Peter Tork posted the following on his Facebook fan page:
”It is with great sadness that I reflect on the sudden passing of my long-time friend and fellow-adventurer, David Jones. His talent will be much missed; his gifts will be with us always. My deepest sympathy to Jessica and the rest of his family. Adios, to the Manchester Cowboy.
Peace and love, Peter T.”
Micky Dolenz released a statement:
“I am in a state of shock; Davy and I grew up together and shared in the unique success of what became The Monkees phenomena. The time we worked together and had together is something I’ll never forget. He was the brother I never had and this leaves a gigantic hole in my heart. The memories have and will last a lifetime. My condolences go out to his family.”
Below a forever young Davy Jones makes a prom date with Marcia Brady.
A 15-year-old, Hugh Cornwell poses with his first band Emil and The Detectives in 1964. The band was formed by guitarist Richard Thompson (on the far right of picture). who went on to Fairport Convention, while Cornwell found fame as frontman with The Stranglers. Cornwell talked about this early snapshot in the Telegraph Magazine:
I remember getting the violin bass guitar I’m holding here, I was about 15 and had saved up £50 for it. Before then I’d been playing a homemade version with a neck the thickness of a plank of wood. Richard Thompson (on the far right) suggested I learn to play bass because he was forming Emil and the Detectives (the band in the picture) and he needed a bass player, so he taught me. We were good friends from school and we played each other music that we had discovered, like the Rolling Stones and the Who. Richard’s older sister, Perri, who was the social secretary at the Hornsey College of Art in north London, would book us to play parties and pay us £30 per gig. Our biggest claim to fame was supporting Helen Sahpiro at the Ionic cinema in Golders Green. But after we took our O-level [exams] we lost touch. The next I heard he was the lead guitarist in Fairport Convention…
...In August 2008 I was doing a festival outside Madrid and the promoter said, ‘If we hurry we can catch the end of Richard Thompson’s set.’ I couldn’t believe it. I hadn’t seen Richard in 30 years. We had a big huggy reunion and now we’re back in touch it’s really lovely. When I played in LA last year he came to watch and I suggested that we play a song together. I chose “Tobacco Road” by the Nashville Teens, which was a number one hit in the 1960s and was one of the first songs we learnt together.
Hugh Cornwell tours the UK April 6-17, details here.
More early pics and performances of pop stars, including Lemmy, Bowie and Davy Jones, after the jump…
2010 marks the 46th year since a young dandy named Davy Jones made the media scene. On June 6th 1964, at the age of 17, he’d released a typical mod-blues single with the King Bees called “Liza Jane.” Later that same year, he’d appeared on Cliff Michelmore’s BBC Tonight show as head of The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men.
Two years before this, he’d gotten into a scrap with his friend George Underwood, who punched Jones in the eye with a ring on his hand. Although imperceptible in the BBC Tonight clip, it would leave the young Jones with a permanently dilated pupil a different color in that injured eye, one of the many features of the future superstar that would later fascinate millions.