A Whole Day with Davy Jones (Chapter Two)

Jeff Neal, Davy Jones
Info Jeff and Davy.

A 13-year-old actor, Jeff is Davy’s best friend in New York City. They met while both were performing in the Broadway musical Oliver! and developed a deep attachment for each other. In this series of articles, Jeff shares with you his fabulous experiences with Davy.

If you remember (and I hope you do), when I left you in the June issue of 16 Davy had just come to live at our house after having had his appendix removed. Since there is so very much to tell you about what it’s like to live with David, and since I don’t know where to begin—I think my best bet is to tell you what it’s like to live a complete, typical day with Davy… what it’s like to share in his moods, his habits and his “games”. So come along with me for a wild experience—a wacked-out, wonderful day with Davy Jones!

When he gets up in the morning, David is not like other people. Most of us are slow and drowsy, or else grouchy. Davy is the opposite. The minute he lifts his brown-eyed head from his rumpled pillow, he is imitating King Kong—or some other wild animal or fantastic creature! And I might add that at that particular time of the morning, he looks like one. His hair is not to be believed—it is completely messed up, spread all over his face and hanging down into his eyes. You’d have to see it to believe it.

After his first morning growls, Davy usually quips something like, “Why’dya’ wake me up? Take a walk, ducks.” The best response to this line of chatter is to stick a glass of fresh orange juice under his slightly turned-up nose. This trick always works like magic. His growl turns into a yell; he grabs the glass, leaps out of the bed, darts into the bathroom and slams the door. Each morning of his life Davy hibernates in the bathroom for at least half an hour, but not quietly. He shrieks while he brushes his teeth, screams while he washes his face and sings while he shaves. Let me tell you, it’s a regular symphony and it really ought to be recorded! When David emerges from this “ordeal,” there’s a noticeable differences in his appearance. His hair is well combed and his face is gleaming.

Now David is ready for breakfast a la TV. Davy is not a breakfast fan (unless you make him fresh French fries—and that’s the truth!), but he is a real television fan. So the best way to get him to eat his breakfast is to turn on the TV. He especially goes for Westerns or anything to do with horses. If Davy has nothing else to do, he’ll munch his breakfast and watch TV until as late as 2 o’clock in the afternoon. From then on, the day varies. He might go to the movies or he might decide to have people over. The latter is another aspect of David’s “sunshine personality”—he is super sociable. He loves having people over to his house and his hospitality is overwhelming.

I remember one bitterly cold winter day when David said to me, “Let’s go to the movies.” I looked at him as if he were crazy.

“It’s five degress [sic] below zero outside,” I said.

“So what, we’ll run,” he replied, and grabbed his coat.

And, boy, did we run! We ran all five blocks. It was so darn cold that our hands, feet, ears, noses and even eyeballs were frozen when we got to the Midway movie house. The film was Thunderball and, as I had expected, there was a line outside. I thought this would make Davy change his mind. No such luck. We stood there and waited—and waited—and waited. And then we waited some more. Finally, two ice-cold, stiff young movie-lovers made it into the magic world of James Bond.

Davy Jones watching a movie is like watching a movie of Davy Jones. He becomes totally absorbed in what’s going on on the screen. He catches on to everything. His eyes dart all over the place. He doesn’t miss a joke or a nuance—and you oughta see his eyes light up when a cute chick flashes across the screen.

Dinner is the high point of any day with Davy. He adores home-cooked foods (so, if you see a Davy Jones in your future, you’d better learn to cook—starting right now). Davy isn’t fussy how the table is set. In fact, he is in heaven if you put his dinner on a tray and sit it on his lap, then face him in the direction of the TV set and turn it on. However, Davy is particular about the food on that tray. For an appetizer, he likes a small bowl of homemade chicken soup (he loves chicken necks, of all things!). For his main course, his first choice is broiled lamb chops. His other favorite meat dish is fried chicken. He is a fiend for the aforementioned French fries and is stark raving mad over Brussel sprouts. Davy is also a salad nut (his favorite is fresh crisp lettuce with French dressing). For dessert, he prefers vanilla ice cream with canned peaches on top. And no meal is complete for Davy unless he has his cup of tea—English style, with milk.

During dinner Davy makes small talk, but mostly his eyes are glued to the TV set. That may sound dull, but being with Davy is never boring. There is something about him that makes you always acutely aware of his presence. He’ll eat away and stare at the TV, but somehow you feel that he is very close to you. He makes sure in little ways that you know he is with you all the time. Somehow, you feel happy and warm inside, just being there beside him and sharing everything with David Jones.

I’m out of space again—and I was just getting to the interesting part! Guess you’ll have to meet me back here next month if you want to find out what Davy likes to do after dinner. It’s a gas—I promise you. But don’t forget to bring your boxing gloves (explanation next month!). The August issue of 16 goes on sale June 22.

Magazine: 16
Editor: Gloria Stavers
Volume: 9
Issue: 2
Publisher: 16 Magazine, Inc.
Page: 42