Helen and I had the pleasure of attending the David T. Jones Memorial/Monkee Convention during the weekend of March 1st-3rd 2013 at the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Although there have been previous Monkees conventions sporadically over the years, this was the first one since the death of Davy Jones. Helen and I were quite fortunate to meet and greet Davy Jones in 2011 at the “Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Convention”. At this Davy Jones Memorial/Monkee Convention, Helen and I had a real treat meeting and greeting Monkee legends, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz. Peter and Micky even stepped on stage while the “Davy Jones Traveling Band” was on and together they performed three classic Monkees hits, “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone”, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, and “I’m a Believer”. Peter and Micky also had their own separate “Q and A” sessions where they answered questions and reflected on their friendship with Davy Jones.
The proceeds from the convention were donated to “The Davy Jones Equine Memorial Foundation” and Davy’s four daughters were in attendance talking about their father’s love of his horse farm, where rescued and retired racehorses with uncertain futures are given a home and are able to enjoy a peaceful quality of life for the remainder of their time. More information about this foundation can obtained at http://djemf.com/.
Also in attendance at this memorable event were many of the “Brady Kids” including Barry Williams (Greg), Christopher Knight (Peter), Mike Lookinland (Bobby), Susan Olsen (Cindy), and from the “Brady Bunch Variety Hour”, the very sweet, Geri Reischl (Jan). Oh, we cannot forget that Robbie Rist (Cousin Oliver) was also in attendance. The Brady’s were there for autographs, photos, and also had a Q and A session. During this session, Barry Williams jumped off stage and demonstrated alongside a huge group of Brady fans on how to perform the “Brady Dance” which was accompanied by their popular song………”It’s a Sunshine Day”. Other guests included Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster from “The Munsters”), actress Arlene Martel, and singing legend, Ron Dante (“The Archies” and “The Cuff Links”). Sunday we were treated by a visit from “Partridge Family” member, the legendary David Cassidy. David shared some touching stories about his friendship with Davy Jones and was joined on stage with Davy’s daughters and with Micky and Peter as well. There were other celebrities/performers that really added to this magical, wonderful convention.
As an extra bonus, the original “Monkeemobile” was outside the hotel for all to see and take photos of. This was the original “Monkeemobile” that was featured in the 1960’s Monkees TV Series!!!! Pretty cool indeed!!!!!!
I realize there has been a long debate on the “legitimacy” of “The Monkees”, but there is no doubt whatsoever that the group “The Monkees” (under the musical supervision of Don Kirshner) have produced some outstanding music that has certainly withstood the test of time, and certainly earns them the consideration of being enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. No, they are not the Beatles and that is not a fair comparison, but numerous hits and record selling albums do show that they deserve to be recognized. Some of the top writers have written songs for them including Neil Diamond, Carole King, and Neil Sedaka among others. And although it is true that Mr. Kirshner assembled some of the top musicians to accompany the vocals of “The Monkees”, they did write and provide their own instrumentation on their third album “Headquarters” which was a huge commercial success. So, as the debate continues, we’ll continue to enjoy the classic songs of “The Monkees”.
Helen and I had an absolute wonderful time at this memorable convention and our photos from this event can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jholmsey/sets/72157632947268181/ and more information about the “Monkees” can be found at http://www.monkees.net/. The early word is that there will be another similar convention next year on the west coast. So, keep checking on the web site in the event you want to be part of the fun next year and by all means keep……….”Monkee-ing Around”!!!!!!!