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Should The Monkees Be In the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame?

By Gary Wien

Ok, so I'm a child of the eighties and a Monkees fan. I'll admit it. I still remember watching every one of their episodes that MTV re-ran for what seemed like several years and fell in love with their music. I even saw them live in the mid-80s at the Garden State Arts Center. It's not called that anymore, but this was before corporate sponsorships. About a month ago, I heard a DJ ask why The Monkees weren't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and it got me thinking. Why aren't they? Since Davy Jones of The Monkees is coming to New Jersey for a pair of shows (the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove on July 7th and BergenPAC on October 26th) I decided to ask him directly.

Why do you think the Monkees aren't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
I don't know. I was on the Bill O'Reilly show the other night. (there's a clip on of the segment where Bill talks about this issue and the rumor that Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone is trying to keep The Monkees out of the Hall of Fame) I have thought about it and are we talking about entertainment? Are we talking about the number of records one sells? He was saying we sold 68 million records and The Monkees are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I think maybe the title of the occasion might be something. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame... The Monkees were never looked at as rock and roll and everyone has this thing about us not being musicians but now they're putting rap singers in there.

Maybe if it was called the Music Hall of Fame or the Video Music Hall of Fame then the Monkees would have to be in there. I think it's the title and that we're not viewed as rock and rollers. But what is rock and roll? I passed a joint with Jimi Hendrix, I slept with a lot of female singers, and I partied until I dropped.

The recognition of having an induction into the Hall of Fame would be wonderful, but I ain't going to lose any sleep over it. I'm proud of all of the people who are in it. I think it's quite a thing when people acknowledge your talent. I've got no bad feelings towards the guy who owns the joint. He owns it. If I don't want to invite someone to my party, I don't invite them.

It's well known that you were the first Davy Jones so the other David Jones became David Bowie. But if he had been there first, did you ever think what you would have named yourself?
I probably would have called myself David Bowie! The reason I'm saying that is because I know why he called himself David Bowie. When we were growing up in England - and David and I are around the same age - what we were watching and what was very high profile in England was Davy Crockett. We had those squirrel hats with a tail on the back. It was a big thing in England for a number of years and Jim Bowie was a guy that was with Davy Crockett. I'm only assuming this because I don't think I've ever said anything to anybody about this - In fact, I don't think anyone's ever asked me that before - but that was the time we were growing up and you're influenced by the things around you. Davy Crockett was big and Jim Bowie was with him. I'm not sure about David Bowie, you'd want to ask him that.

Before The Monkees, you were nominated for a Tony Award on Broadway and you later went back to the theatre. Was it ever hard to shake that character? I know television actors and theatre didn't mix as well back then as they do now.
Barbra Streisand was the first person to break through record wise from the Broadway stage. A lot of theatre people couldn't make it on television because they just didn't have the technique. The only occasion I've ever had where I felt somewhat challenged was when I was playing Jesus in "Godspell" in London some years ago. Well, stillness on stage is the most eye-catching thing so while the cast would be prancing around on stage the director had me be very calm and still and wait a few seconds before I spoke. So it would be very quiet and when I spoke it meant something. But the first thing that I thought of when I was dying on the cross at the end singing "Oh God, I'm dying..." was that I was just hoping nobody would scream "give us Daydream Believer before you die!"

On another occasion, I was singing "I'm dying" and then I went "I'm dead" and it was a very moving experience but we did it in Ireland during a matinee and when I said "I'm dead" I heard giggles from the audience. I'm going, what did I do? Why are they laughing? And then it kept happening during the other matinees, so I checked it out. In Ireland when you come home from work and you take off your shoes and sit down in your favorite chair you say to yourself, "God, what a day... I'm dead!" It means I'm tired, I'm exhausted... So, they were laughing because Jesus had cracked a joke!

One final question, I read somewhere that you were actually drafted by the US Army. I thought you weren't a citizen back in the sixties, did you really get drafted?
Yeah, I was a Green Card holder and they were drafting everybody at the time. It was during the late 60s, maybe 1968 - right in the height of The Monkees fame. It was kind of scary. I went down to the draft board a couple of times. In fact, I lost weight -- I got down to 99 pounds and when I was walking around naked in a circle with a bunch of guys standing on the scales this big guy said to me, "you're a 99-pound weakling boy!" And I looked at him and I said, "right!" Because if you were 5 foot 4, you had to weigh over 104 pounds and I weighed 99!

So you were really close to going, huh?
Oh yeah. The last time I went the lieutenant said "bring your toothbrush when you come next time."

Catch Davy Jones appearing with The Turtles at the Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove on July 7th and at the Bergen PAC on October 26th.

For more by this author, click here

NJSO presents 2019 Winter Festival, 'Music Speaks'
(NEWARK, NJ) -- A trio of renowned guest artists with distinct musical voices—pianists Emanuel Ax and Daniil Trifonov and soprano Dawn Upshaw—headline the NJSO’s Winter Festival, “Music Speaks,” in January 2019. The Orchestra’s signature artistic event takes place across three weekends, January 10–27, in six New Jersey venues.
RVCC Chorale to Perform Annual Holiday Concert on December 8th
(BRANCHBURG, NJ) --The RVCC Chorale will give its annual holiday concert on Saturday, December 8 at 8:00pm in the Welpe Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College’s Branchburg campus. The program will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantata, Das Neugeborne Kindelein, as well as a cappella pieces from by Sergei Rachmaninov, Zoltan Kodaly and Giuseppe Verdi. The program also will include an audience singalong of traditional carols.
Classic Stones Live! The Complete Rolling Stones Tribute Show Comes To SOPAC
(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- The Rolling Stones, the greatest Blues band of all time, couldn’t make it to SOPAC on their 2018 tour. Instead, the acclaimed tribute band Classic Stones Live! makes an appearance on the SOPAC stage December 15 at 8:00pm for those who like to hear their Rolling Stones hits live.
Tony Trischka Presents "Of a Winter's Night" at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Of a Winter’s Night is Tony Trischka's acoustic celebration of the holiday season. Based on his CD release of the same name, this concert features Trischka’s considerable melodic inventiveness on a wide variety of seasonal tunes. He turns his inventiveness loose on bluegrass and Americana music for the holidays. This one of a kind concert will take place at the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship on Saturday, December 8 at 7:30pm.
Idle Wave To Hold Record Release Party At Asbury Park Brewery
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Pop-punks Idle Wave will celebrate the release of their self-titled EP on Saturday, December 1st at Asbury Park Brewery.  The record release show also includes performances by Skyeline, Roderick, and Pollyanna.

"An Amazing Musical Genius!" Brian Wilson LIVE! at the State Theatre
In the music room in the back of our house, there’s an electric bass and amp, two acoustic guitars, a microphone and PA speakers, several pieces of music recording equipment, and a bookcase filled with books on music, not to mention a slew of assorted music memorabilia. But, perhaps, one of the most highly prized items in the room is hanging directly above the piano next to the college music diplomas.
Jazz Saxophonist Don Braden LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
It’s a breezy day for a new installment of the Jazz On a Sunday Afternoon concert series at Toms River, NJ’s Grunin Center of the Arts this Sunday Oct. 27, 2018 afternoon. Today’s special 3pm performance is entitled Earth, Wind and Wonder and is presented by jazz saxophonist Don Braden.
Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge LIVE! at The Strand, Lakewood
The stars are out this Saturday Oct. 26, 2018 evening in Lakewood, NJ for a “Golden Oldies” concert featuring Charlie Thomas’ Drifters, The Classics IV, and The Brooklyn Bridge!
PODCAST: Grammy Winner Terri Lyne Carrington At TD James Moody Jazz Festival
Drummer, leader, and composer Terri Lyne Carrington made history as the first woman to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz for her album “Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.” Now, she brings her interpretation of Duke Ellington’s “Money Jungle” to the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at NJPAC on November 11, 2018, as part of a program called “Jazz Vinyl Revisited.” Producer Susan Wallner talks to Carrington about her connections to the jazz greats Clark Terry and Max Roach; her newest project, the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice; and why she thinks drummers make natural leaders.
Sha Na Na LIVE! at the Newton Theatre
The audience is streaming into the Newton Theatre auditorium in Newton, NJ this Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 for a live concert starring Sha Na Na!

Event calendar
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018


New Politics @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

THE REPUTATIONS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

TOTO @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 8:00pm


An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

ANNIE, The Musical @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Apples In Winter @ Centenary Stage Company - Kutz Theater of the Lackland Center, Hackettstown - 7:30pm

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 7:30pm

Spring Awakening: The Rock Musical @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm


PARSONS DANCE @ State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick - 8:00pm


Crybaby Matinee: March of the Penguins @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 11:00am

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