Davy Jones passed away today from a heart attack at the age of 66. I’m not gonna lie. I watched this video and I wept. Well, maybe not wept. But, as I was showing G. the video, I had quite a few tears running down my cheeks. I think G. was watching me and smiling more about my sensitivity than he was smiling at the shenanigans going on in the video, and that’s okay. I love how innocent The Monkees all seem in this video. They all seem so child-like compared to what pop musicians are doing these days. They all seemed genuinely excited and happy to be singing this song and they were each playing an instrument, even down to a tambourine. Everything about it just seems like it was a happier time.
This song means a lot to me, because it reminds me of a happier time. I was eight years old and it was the very last time my family took a trip together. My Mom and Dad were still married–and we were on the way to the airport to go to Washington, D.C., and Daydream Believer came on the “oldies” station in my Dad’s (even then) rickety 1989 Volvo, which he still has, I might add, with over 500,000 miles on it, thank you very much! (As my Dad always says when he brags about it).
My Mom squealed, “Tee-uumm! I love this song,” and as he turned up the volume, my Dad jokingly said, “TIM. Tim. One syllable,” as he always did when my Mom said his name like that. My Dad is a “Yankee” from Baltimore and my Mom, a Southern Belle, and he always loved the fact that her accent added a few more syllables to every word.
We all started singing the song together. We all knew every word–even me, at eight years old. My Dad turned around during the first round of the chorus and said, “Wait, YOU know the words to this song?!” “Of course!” I said. “It’s The Monkees! I know what bands are awesome because of you guys. That’s why I love The Beatles, the Stones and Joan Baez. I’m your kid, right?”
My Dad got choked up (as he is a very sensitive man, which is one of the many reasons I love him so much) and said, “Yeah! That’s MY kid!,” turned up the volume even more and rolled down the windows as we were passing the now destroyed Ford plant on Interstate 75 North. We belted the chorus out as loud as we could over the wind rushing through the open windows and my Dad’s tailpipe backfiring as we accelerated to a speed over 55MPH.
I honestly remember looking at the clock–a weird tick that I had when I was a kid (and still do), during situations when I’m elated and feel like something significant is happening in my life. I know it’s weird, but for some reason, I always want to remember the exact time and how I felt, where I was, what I was thinking.
It was 7:55 a.m.
I remember the air was crisp with cold because I was on Christmas break from school (and we still actually had winter weather) and the air smelled like rubber from the Ford plant. I could smell my Dad’s exhaust pipe. I remember how my Dad reached across the seat and grabbed my Mom’s hand and they smiled at each other. My Mom leaned over and kissed him on the cheek with a big smack. I remember thinking to myself that I always wanted to remember that moment when we were all happy and singing together in the car, on the way to something exciting, and my parents looked at each other like that. And I had made them proud.
Now, after all that has happened since then, a divorce, new relationships, me growing up, etc., sometimes it feels like that entire experience was a daydream of mine–but I still do believe it.