Here's the Scoop: March 7, 2012

Out of tune with the music scene
The world lost some major musical talents with the recent deaths of Whitney Houston and Davy Jones.

As far as I know, Whitney was never in a rock band or anything. I recall that she had fantastic vocal range and wasn’t shy about showing off her talents.

Davy Jones, on the other hand, was the standout star of the hit-making group The Monkees. Many of
the stories I read labeled Davy as a “heartthrob.” The New York Times called Davy “The handsomest Monkee.” I do remember him making the girls go ape, I guess. Sorry.

The thing that always leaves me shaking my head when a famous musician dies is how their old albums race up the sales charts about 10 minutes after their death is announced. You see, when I enjoy a singer or a band, I usually buy their music close to the time it’s released. I find it hard to just sit around and wait for artists to die before I buy their tunes. I’m funny that way.
I’m simply not the type who suddenly decides to like a musician just because they have climbed the “Stairway to Heaven.” My apologies to Led Zeppelin.

Not buying it
While I can certainly appreciate Whitney Houston’s talents, her singing was not music to my ears. I wouldn’t buy her tunes — alive or dead. Not being a fan, I was sorry to hear of her passing, but didn’t give it much thought. But, I must point out, those were some pretty gruesome tabloid photos of her that I checked out while in line at the supermarket. Ouch.

On the other hand, the news of Davy Jones’ death did bring me down a bit. I vividly recall tuning into “The Monkees” each week and thinking the whole deal of these musicians having this goofy TV show was pretty neat. Wait, now that I think about it, I’m not nearly old enough to have watched the originals — I must be remembering the reruns. Nevertheless, I liked the show.
For some reason, I have always favored underdogs. I guess that’s why Peter Tork was always my favorite Monkee. Same with George Harrison when it came to The Beatles. And Ron Swoboda with the ’69 Mets. But, Davy Jones was cool, too, for a star.

First on the block
During my childhood, we rented a portion of our garage to the folks who serviced and supplied juke boxes (think very large iPods) that provided music in area restaurants and bars.

In addition to the huge packing crates that we had access to for uses as forts, we also were able to get all the popular music pretty much as soon as it was available. The Beatles and The Monkees dominated our stacks of 45-rpm records.

I quickly discovered that I had no musical talents, but was very good at listening! So, my love of music started at an early age. Was I caught up in the blatantly commercial “band” that was packaged as The Monkees? Absolutely. Today, I prefer musical substance over groovy hairstyles and mod bellbottoms.

No matter that I’m not a big Monkees fan these days, the death of Davy Jones brought a wave of nostalgia and sadness. Maybe I’ll buy a Monkees album for old-time’s sake. In my book, it’s OK to do this — if you owned an original.
— Brian Sweeney