Getting to Know Davy

Davy Jones

by Dino Danelli of the Rascals

In the world of entertainment, friendship genuine friendship is a rare commodity. Often “friends” are made because someone wants something from someone else. Pop personalities are so often “used” and befriended merely because of their enviable position. When a true friend is found, it’s usually a lasting thing.

Even getting to know a person—really know them—is difficult. You meet and the next day you’re off for a foreign country. Two very popular pop personalities are a good example of the struggle to find real friends—Dino Danelli and Davy Jones. What’s groovy here is that they’re winning the battle.

Dino had met Jeff Neal and his family through a mutual friend in New York. Because Jeff and Davy are very close, Jeff was sure Dino and Davy would hit it off. For a start, Jeff took Dino to see the Monkees’ concert at Forest Hills Stadium in Long Island, New York last summer.

Dino remembers the night well. “It was very groovy. Like I told Davy later, I always had thought of the Monkees as just a TV show. I liked the show very much, but that was it. I guess I thought like everyone else that for their performances they didn’t really play.

“It was great to find that Davy is a fantastic entertainer! Like he was all over that stage and he put on a very good show. The rest of the guys are not the greatest musicians, but they’re capable of doing a show and giving a great performance. After seeing the show I thought they had been very under-rated.”

After the show they went back to the Warwick Hotel where the Monkees were staying. Jeff introduced Dino to Davy and something happened right away.

“When you meet someone, you get a series of vibrations,” Dino believes. “When the person isn’t phony you can tell—at least I can. Right away I can tell if someone’s going to be put on or if they’re going to be honest and open. With Davy it was ‘Hi! I’m Davy.’ He was down-to-earth and groovy and right away I knew there didn’t have to be any lines or games being played or anything.”

That night they could only talk briefly and it wasn’t until several months later that Dino was in Hollywood for some TV work and to put the finishing touches on their “Once Upon A Dream” album. Davy made sure that Dino was a special guest one day at the Monkee set, along with Gene Cornish.

“When I went down to the set, the guys were just breaking for lunch, so we went to lunch and when we came back Davy had to shoot a little sequence where he was in a bedroom.

Dino Danelli

“Right in the middle of everything Davy interrupted the scene and said he wanted to do an interview with Gene and I. He copped the whole thing and it was very groovy. That really struck me because he didn’t have to do that.

“I had our new album cover with me because I was on my way to get it framed. He saw it lying there and he said, ‘What’s that?’ I said, ‘That’s the cover to our new album.’ He said, ‘Give it to me.’ So I gave it to him and he said, ‘We’re going to talk about the album.’

“It was so groovy. We did about a five minute interview, with the cameras rolling, about the album. Davy asked me all about why I had done the sculptures for the cover and what they meant. Later we had the film cleared through the unions and everything and I think it will be at the end of one of the Monkee shows.”

After that brief time together, Dino and Davy didn’t see each other for another couple of months. Then when the Rascals returned to Hollywood to do a concert here, Dino made sure Davy was invited.

“Davy called me the night of our show and said he was disappointed, but he couldn’t come because he was recording that night. I understood because the Monkees really have a tight schedule.”

As this interview was being recorded in the lounge at the Joey Bishop Show, which the Rascals were taping that night, the group’s road manager came in with a message for Dino. He said, “Davy just called and said he couldn’t make it to the taping because he’s got a business dinner. But he’ll be up at his house later and he said he wouldn’t let you out of the state of California if you don’t come up to the house tonight!”

Even though the Rascals were leaving for Hawaii early the next morning, you could tell by Dino’s broad smile that he would be up at Davy’s right after the taping.

Dino was concerned throughout the interview that we didn’t write up this story as “Great Friends—Dino and Davy.” He said, “Don’t say we’re really good friends, because it’s like I know Davy and Davy knows me. We’re friendly and he’s down-to-earth and he knows I’m that way too, so it’s nice, but we don’t really know each other yet.”

Dino and Davy will continue to meet at chance times when their schedules allow. They will talk and be open and they will no doubt become very close friends. What else can happen between two people so genuine and so sincere? Each is a perfect example of what a true friend can be.

[Scans by This Lovin’ Time]

Magazine: Monkee Spectacular
Editor: Ralph Benner
Volume: 1
Issue: 14
Publisher: Laufer Publishing Co.
Pages: 30–31