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BY LORI SOLOMON

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David's appearance with The Seminar Center in Manhattan on August 25th, 1998 was so immensely appealing, so funny and unguarded and positive, that I only wish everyone could have seen it. This format is a perfect showcase for his charismatic personality.

The audience filled the ballroom of the Empire Hotel, a beautiful, elegant old hotel that caters to the musicians who play Lincoln Center.

David brought Jerry, Wayne, and Dave along as a surprise to play “Girl” and a few of his own songs. I truly never heard his voice sound better; it was so strong and expressive. I think he really shines in these acoustic sets. He also brought two of those beautiful daughters (all girls): Jessie, who was about to leave for London to seek her own fame and fortune in show biz, and Annabel, who helped out by collecting the question cards from the audience.

A friend asked me recently why we love David so much; well, one of the reasons for me is his unusual devotion to his family. The love among those three just filled the room. I was a bit surprised that he told some of his bawdiest jokes in front of them, but they certainly seemed unfazed and smiled the whole time, obviously proud of Dad.

David looked spectacular-- tanned and rested and full of energy.

He complained about his hair, though--that it was too short to do anything with. (I suspect he was just playing with us, showing off that glorious head of hair.) His talk was completely spontaneous. At one point he mentioned how much he admired Jackie Mason's Broadway shows, noting that Jackie actually went so far as to PLAN what he was going to say. Not our Davy! He began with a brief update on his life since the last Monkees reunion, then spent the rest of the time singing and taking questions. He seemed to be in excellent spirits.

I believe he was deeply (and justifiably) hurt by the way things turned out with the Monkees, but I thought his jokes about them were fairly innocuous: Mike should White himself Out, Peter had a one-man band that broke up over creative differences, etc.

Of course, some people misunderstand his rough brand of humor, but I think he does that with everyone he's close to, and gets pretty much the same back.

 

 

I would guess that he is simply modeling his own beloved father's affectionate teasing. ("Cut it to the wood" indeed.)
But David also emphasized that "those guys are lovely men"

and expressed his hope that the Monkees continue to delight people for years to come.


I was very impressed with David's patience and kindness in handling the crowd. One woman I talked to was clearly head-over-heels for him, but she couldn't quite forgive him for not being twenty anymore. She complained about the ABC special, asking why they looked like old men. He listened to her insulting remarks, then said only "But we ARE old men!"

Another individual, perhaps a bit over-excited, rambled on about his birthday, and David saved an embarrassing situation with a hearty "Well, it's nice to meet you!" He cooed at a three-year old who wanted to be his drummer, but explained that Annabel already had the job.

Another reason we love this guy, I think, is his rare degree of honesty and emotionality. He revealed that he has his share of regrets, as would any reasonable person. Guilt and sadness over his divorces clearly haunt him, a fact that does him credit when you consider how casual performers often are about such matters. He acknowledged that the best thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother, and he indicated that he's working on that.

He confessed that he has had his disappointments. The day before, in fact, he had found himself in tears for twenty-five minutes. (This just killed me.) He explained that he shook it off, though, realizing that he had his daughters with him, and that now he was just fine.

Laughter, though, not tears, was the order of the evening. David's jokes went over beautifully. ("I used to manage the Spice Girls before they were famous. Now I can only manage two of them." "You didn't do 'Miss Saigon?' "But I did her sister!") We heard about the fun times in the past, during his days in Hell's Kitchen, and the fun he's having now, discovering gems such as Mexico's Playa del Carmen.

The overriding impression that I came away with was my admiration for his strength, integrity, and optimism. He is determined to make a new start in life, to stop just letting things happen to him and start taking positive action. No more sitcom cameos for him.

He spoke of his plans to return to the theatre, and his hopes for a Tony (which he obviously deserved the first time!) I was fascinated when he told us that he'd been offered the part of the Engineer in "Miss Saigon", but turned it down because of the furor over a Caucasian actor originating a Eurasian role. That show is one of this theatre buff's favorites, and I would have given anything to see him in it. Still, I'm pleased that he was even considering such a plum role.

He also expressed his desire to do a version of "Oliver!" that respects the piece's darkness better than recent productions. (A great idea, I believe. I was horrified to see what the latest London revival did to that moving show. Fagin seemed a buffoon, and the starving workhouse orphans kept dancing frenetically, looking like they hadn't skipped a dessert in their lives. What a galling spectacle for the man who created the role of The Artful Dodger for the Broadway stage.)

"Mary Poppins" and "Cabaret" made his list of other musicals that would suit him. (May I add Noel Coward's "Present Laughter" and "Me and My Girl" and maybe some of Shakespeare's comedies or fantasies?) A particularly promising plan involves an original musical of his own adapted from the classic "Mr. God, This is Anna."

I was excited to hear that there are plans for a Teen Idols video: they’ve already filmed six shows of the "Lock Up Your Grandmothers Tour." David assumed blame for the long wait we’ve been having for the new edition of his autobiography, now re-titled "Still Daydream Believing. He was very excited that his horse Digpast ("Diggy" to his friends, apparently) had just been flown in from England. He also announced Sarah's upcoming marriage, and discussed with the audience the suitability of his singing at the wedding.

David's sister Hazel with his daughters

The seminar closed on a touching note, as David read a poem given to him by Annabel, about a daughter wondering if she were her father's favorite.

He looked down at his two youngest girls, and assured them "You're ALL my favorites."

David signed autographs (as many as ten items for one man) and took pictures with everyone who asked, and he was more than gracious about it. I saw one woman vowing to never again wash the cheek he'd kissed, and I spoke to a little girl who was hugging herself and literally jumping for joy that he'd remembered her name. ("I'll have such sweet dreams tonight!")

From my perspective, everyone seemed extremely happy with the experience, David included. I know that I was both thrilled and inspired. Just when you think you couldn't possibly care about him more than you already do.....


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I don't know how you feel, but I would have given anything to be at that seminar!
The picture of David in the grey suit is by the courtesy of Carolyn Sheild,
who requests that it not be copied without permission.

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I have had many wonderful experiences with Mr. Jones myself,
and I wouldn't trade them for the world.
This next story is an account of a "Meet & Greet" in Greensboro, North Carolina,
and why I will worship this man for the rest of my life.

CONTINUE THE TOUR!

DAVY JONES - HOME

ABOUT THE FANS!

THE NEW YORK SEMINAR!

ANOTHER DREAM COME TRUE--THE HUG!

A TEENAGER'S IDOL, TARA'S STORY!

THE DAVY JONES LEGACY!

HOW WE FEEL-A LETTER TO DAVID!

A PSYCHOLOGIST'S VIEWS!

LOVE POETRY TO DAVID!

THE DUEL WITH PETER NOONE!

DAVID'S CHINESE HOROSCOPE!

ST PETERSBURG TIMES INTERVIEW!

SEND A DAVY POSTCARD!!

DAVID"S HOMETOWN PAPER INTERVIEW!

A REVIEW OF THE JAPAN TOUR!!

New! 5/99--A FAN'S ORIGINAL POEM TO DAVID! YOVA'S PAGE!

GUESTBOOK & LINKS!