These Sixties Aren’t Those Sixties

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!


7 thoughts on “These Sixties Aren’t Those Sixties

    • Thanks for commenting I only remember one classmate dying of meningitis in third grade. The main thing I recall is that they burned all her toys and things because of the germs. The vision of those toys becoming ashen floating away as burning embers embodied the sadness of her loss. I was too young to understand what death was, but I could relate to how sad she would have been to lose her toys to the fire.

  1. I’m only 42, but I loved (and still love) the Monkees. My dad is a year younger than Davy was, and yet I related more with the 60s generation a lot of times than I did with my own generation sometimes- gen x, if you will.

    I saw the Monkees live, twice, on their reunion tours, and met Davy Jones once. His death impacted me far more than that of Whitney Houston, just a few weeks earlier – who was more of “my generation.”

    As I get older and more and more of my family members, friends, colleagues and pieces of my childhood pass on, it reminds me of my own mortality, but I suppose as long as I live as though I’m young in my heart, maybe it won’t feel so bad… maybe…

    ps – Micky was my favorite, too.

    • Hi: I know how it is about those from another generation. Elvis I absolutely adore and he was more for those of the 50’s, early sixties but he was/always will be King. I think it was missing Davy age. It’s like he was still that little cute kid. Then – poof! I’m used to the dying down part – we’re all slipping away. That’s why I write it all down. People still read Samuel Pepys. Maybe they’ll read me. Mostly I speak of sex, love and rock and roll. To me, that’s just as durable as Pepys head lice. Lol. And glad you like Mickey. He’s adorable.

  2. I’m 22 and I loved this, it’s weirdly beautiful even if a bit sad. I just wrote a post about young people of my age being a ‘Peter Pan’ generation, and I looked at the tag page and found this – interesting to get a different perspective. The sixties must have been an amazing time to grow up in 🙂

    • Thanks for your kind comments. I just read your blog about Peter Pan and found it most interesting and subscribed so I can keep up. The sixties were an amazing time on many levels – historically, culturally, socially – you name it. As Dickens would say – it was the best of times; it was the worst of times. I’m planning several related posts about those times. You don’t need to re-invent the wheel as your generation is better poised to organize things and become politically active to make things change for the better than we ever were. Way too many of us felt drugs were the answer and didn’t trust anyone over 30. What we need you to know is that Wine is the better answer and don’t trust anyone over 30 that you didn’t elect to office.or who you know is just plain wrong – Well that may be over-simplifing it but you (that’s the collective you – especially women) must get politically involved. We need you to run things from school boards to the Presidency. And the men thing – I found a book that explains everything you’ll ever need to know. I’ll review it soon.

  3. I loved Davy Jones, and I think part of his appeal was that he absolutely loved entertaining people. Very different from the quest for fame we see today. When you love what you do, it shows.

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