I think she was trying to gauge whether I was the right age to know who he was. And, by extension, if most of our readers would.
I said “Yes!”
Even though I was just born when Jones’ show “The Monkees” first aired, and only about 2 when it went off the air, he was a pop star well into my elementary years, and we definitely watched reruns of the shows. It made me think of all times I’d heard his songs, and all the babysitters who’d played them for me, and watching “The Monkees” at a beach house with my cousins Mark and Robert (and we all tried to act out the arm-in-arm beach-walking of “Here we come … walking down the street …”), and listening to Davy Jones on 45s in the bedrooms of my friends’ older sisters. All the older girls and babysitters in my life at that time thought Davy Jones, with his swoon-worthy British accent and fun-loving nature, was the epitome of marry-able. Everyone fancied herself to be a possible Mrs. Davy Jones.
Yet, even though I and at least a decade worth of girls knew him as an idol, I was still shocked at the huge reaction I got from my company’s Facebook fans – they came out in droves to comment on how much they’d adored him. And I was shocked even further when I went a local sandwich shop for lunch and heard women there talking about him, too.
Davy Jones was really a heartthrob.
It made me think about teen idols in general, and how they really do unite women in generations.
For me, I crossed over two generations of teen idols. There was the David Cassidy/ Bobby Sherman/ Davy Jones group of my friends’ older sisters. Ann Marie and Courtney and I would sneak into their older sisters’ bedrooms and play all their 45s, twirling around to the smooth voices of these teen pop stars in a way that smacked of “forbidden” on so many levels.
After them – in the late 1970s – when Ann Marie and Courtney and I were getting to be junior-high teens ourselves, we had our own teen pop idols. Ours were David Cassidy’s younger brother Shaun Cassidy, who sang. Andy Gibb. Peter Frampton. … Another set of doe-eyed, long-haired boys who had sweet smiles and not-very-deep voices.
For the next set of girls came Michael Jackson.
And later still came Justin Beiber, who has that exact-same look that appeals to that exact-same age group.
I wonder if girls of that age (12-13) crush on almost-girlish-looking, decidedly nonthreatening boys? All the teen pop idols really had the same look. (Well, except Elvis – he’s a complete exception to everything I’m saying here!) But all the others, including Davy Jones, had that same demeanor: a nonsexual, nonthreatening delivery (complete with silky, almost high-pitched lyrics), offering the concept of romance and love without any dangerousness. And maybe that’s just perfect for a 12- to 13-year-old girl.
Davy Jones sure united a whole generation of women yesterday.
Who were your favorite teen idols?