Wendy (of Peter Pan) : He has no unhappy thoughts.
Ok – I admit it. I guess I sort of kind of thought I might make it off this planet alive. Not really – but there seemed a glimmer of hope, at least, that children of the sixties were somehow ageless. We really weren’t getting old. But Davy Jones died. He was 66.
Maybe it’s because Davy didn’t become overexposed in later life. He popped up every once in a while on a show or special – usually in some sort of spoof of himself. And Mickey Dolenz was always my favorite Monkee so I’m not sure why the death of Davy is of such impact. I had a thing for drummers as Ringo is and was my heart-throb Beatle. And Mickey was Circus Boy. Circus Boy. How I loved that tyke when I was a tyke.
We didn’t watch Davy become a canyon-wrinkled Jagger, a Sinatra-Rod Stewart, a face-lifted-beyond-description Wayne Newton. And sadly, even those born a little later, like Jon Bon Jovi, we see him advertise a pain reliever as if we are to believe, we will rock on forever with the help of a pill.
Davy was out of view of late. Davy wasn’t a great talent – in acting or in singing. He was just plain cute. God, how we loved cute in the sixties! In our coming of age, cute always caught our attention.
But one minute we were slow dancing under crepe-paper streamers in a gym and the next we were dying in Vietnam. We wanted to make love all day in the sunshine as we watched Mission Impossible and Ed Sullivan at night. We had records of the Kingston Trio beside the Stones next to The Supremes and hated Dylan for losing his roots but wrapped his words around us like a flag no matter the cause. We fought for equal pay and handicap accessibility. We owned Underdog – would fight to the death for him. We protested and became anti-materialistic. We burned things like bras and draft cards. We were taught every value and tried to live by the golden rule.
And somewhere along the way we rejected almost every value and almost every rule – so many values, so many traditions, so many rules. And as someone says - we became more aware of the cost of everything and less aware of what was truly valuable. We were smart and we knew it. Nothing was impossible.
And during this time, we aged. There’s been a gradual dying down of us. This, my generation that would not take no for an answer – we who conquered everything put in its path — we started to fall away.
And somehow, with the passing of one of the seemingly most innocent from those days – those youthful days that are cherished in our collective memory as “way back when” – somehow in the passing of Davy Jones–with the death of this one person – there’s a sense of a tolling of the bells – a sort of death knell for our time.
I am suddenly aware, acutely aware, that I’m in my sixties. This child of the sixties is fully aware of these sixties., and these sixties are not those sixties! And I think Peter Pan IS dead.
Davy Jones was 66. I ask you – How is that possible?
And I tell you – These sixties suck!