Story and Photos By Andy Argyrakis"I'm sorry I'm running a little late, but we had a little run in with the police on the way here," Davy Jones said upon taking the state at the intimate and beautifully restored Raue Center for the Performing Arts. "We ran through a stop sign as we were turning onto a one way road and he wound up following us all the way to the venue with his siren going." Whether the story was fictional or indeed the truth, it set a jovial tone to a special matinee performance with the former Monkee man, who was not only showcased the group's catalogue, but also his abilities as a stand up comic. Despite his one time teen idol status and continued fanfare from an audience mostly made up of enthusiastic, middle aged women, Jones was an all encompassing entertainer at the gathering, appearing genuine in his delivery and dialogue even after forty years in show business.
Though the Monkees were never critical royalty when first formed, the group's stock did rise in recent years with a barrage of retrospectives, a box set and the predictable stream of reunion tours. In any case, Jones' main element of success was the obvious fact that he doesn't take himself or the band's legacy too seriously but rather provides a platform for attendees to merely let their hair down, sing a long, laugh a little and have a great time. No, it may not be the formula of a rocket scientist or a true rock and roll innovator, but it was worked in this case courtesy of class, charm and comedy. "If you like the concert today, tell all your friends and have them come see us next time," he continued. "If you didn't like that concert, tell your friends you saw David Cassidy. At least I have all my own hair!"
Unlike Cassidy's unfortunate current state or the somewhat sappy evolution of fellow heart throb Donny Osmond, Jones maintained more legitimacy thanks to the properly performed list of well-aged hits and his undeniable sense of humor. "I'm a Believer" earned early shrieks of glee with lyrics coming courtesy of Neil Diamond, packed with summer time melodies and hooks galore. "Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow" (also penned by Diamond) came next, radiating with a joyful glow and the unity of a competent five person-backing band. "Valleri" also brought back plenty of memories, after which Jones hopped in the crowd and gave an autographed copy of his autobiography (appropriately titled Daydream Believin') to a fan that shared the tune's namesake.
Jones also pulled some unexpected tricks out of his hat, recounting some interesting facts about his well-rounded career. Besides doing the whole Monkees/solo route trade off, he also spoke of relatively recent theatre experience (performing material from Oliver! and cracking jokes about playing Jesus in Godspell). He also traced a timeline of his extracurricular television work, highlighting a hysterical antidote about when he was on The Brady Bunch. He cheekily teased "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha" before the ballad "Girl," which also recalled his reprisal of that cameo during 1995's The Brady Bunch Movie. It paved the way for the inevitable but equally enjoyable "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" and "Daydream Believer," which being key golden oldies started a riot of flower throwing and camera flashes. Even though Jones' star may not be burning as brightly as it did back in the day, he doesn't seem bothered a bit and caters to his crowd with exactly what they paid to see. And at the end of the day, his guilty pleasure nostalgia still conjures up feel good emotions while recalling pleasant pop in its purest form.
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