Yes, come to Manchester for a warm family reunion—and join Davy as he recaptures the delights of his childhood.
For weeks we all had been waiting and wondering when we would hear the phone ring and that unmistakable voice say, “Hullo, I’ve arrived!” It should have happened at the beginning of May, but the days and weeks passed without a sign of David. Like the rest of my family, I hadn’t seen David for five months, so the tension was really building up. I’m sure you understand that!
At last, on Friday, May 31, around 10 A.M., the phone rang, and my father’s excited voice told me, “Our Dave arrived at the London airport at 8:30 A.M.! He’s very tired, but he asked how you all are and said he’ll phone you when he’s caught up with some sleep.”
With my heart pounding, I kissed my son Mark and exclaimed, “Your Uncle David’s coming to see you soon!” Mark responded with a great big smile.
I kept myself busy for the next few hours and then, after what seemed an eternity, a very sleepy voice greeted me through the telephone, “Hi, Lyn! Guess who?”
I did—and we talked for ages! Davy wanted to know all about Mark’s latest escapades (he’s the Monkee’s number one fan and mimic, and my father has christened him “The Fifth Monkee!”), and I bombarded Davy with questions about himself, the movie, and Peter, Micky and Mike! (My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting them at their London concerts in June, 1967.) David said that Micky was already in England on holiday, and that they had adjacent apartments in the heart of London—so they could entertain their many English friends in a relaxed, homey way.
David also told me that he had flown into London with Sammy Davis, Jr. (whom I admire enormously), and that thrilled him a lot. One of David’s lifelong ambitions is to be an international, all-around entertainer—so he really looks up to Sammy.
David’s first two days in London were fantastically busy, but great fun too—as there were Monkee fans at every big hotel and apartment block on the lookout for him. Each time they found him, he had to move. (He moved three times in all!) Often, Davy and David Pearl ended up by running up and down stairs with suitcases—looking just like a scene from the Monkees’ TV show!
Saturday evening couldn’t come too quickly, as this brought David’s first live TV appearance in England for a long time. The show was the top-rated Dee Time emceed by Simon Dee, a tremendously popular London ex-disc jockey who each week interviews a number of stars and also introduces a few groups. When David was announced (with his adorable new haircut), the audience went wild screaming for him. When they finally ran out of breath, Simon managed to explain that he’d invited David to appear on the show because he’d had four million requests for him—that’s something like 10% of the population of England! David laughed, beamed his usual cheeky grin, said, “Hullo, all you smashing fans,” and the screaming started all over again!
All the Jones’ clan was completely knocked out when, right in the middle of the show, David managed to grin directly into the camera and tell his dad, “Hey, Dad—I’ll see you soon!” He never forgets Dad and would do anything to make him happy.
Simon asked David lots of questions about the Monkees and their movie, and David explained how much he admires the other three Monkees and how lost he felt without them there. I felt more than sisterly pride as I watched David, and I know there were millions of fans watching who felt just the way I did!
I knew that David would head for Manchester as soon as possible and, sure enough, he set off right that night—with David Pearl and Ray Washbourne (David’s London driver, and now a great family friend). They drove most of the night to arrive, very tired, at 7 A.M., but David reckoned it was worth it from the look of happiness on Dad’s face! Dad hadn’t expected to see David until later that week, so it was a complete surprise. They reminisced for hours and later, over afternoon tea, David said, “Hey, Dad, remmber [sic] long ago when we went to Woodley every Sunday by train? “Let’s go now!” Dad laughed and said O.K., so off they went together!
When the Jones family was younger, Dad worked for British Railways and we could all travel short distances free of charge. Woodley, a local beauty spot, was just 30 minutes up the line, so we went there often. It was an escape from the reality of our somewhat dreary surroundings, and left a host of happy memories of our childhood which David has never forgotten. Knowing this, Dad wasn’t surprised when David disappeared into the woods to re-emerge an hour later laden with bluebells he’d picked! We used to do that every Sunday, so that Mum could take home a little bit of the countryside to put in a vase for a week until we could go again.
As soon as Dad and David got back home, David fell sound asleep—in a chair. He was completely done in by his romp in the woods—just like old times!
Surprise from Micky
At this time, Micky was on a fishing trip in Scotland. Micky sprang a surprise on Dad by calling him on the phone. Dad was thrilled, because he had never met Micky. The next thing Dad knew, he had a visitor! A little car drew up in front of the house and in breezed Micky with Samantha Juste, his English girl friend. He was in great form and so pleased to meet David’s dad at last. They talked and laughed, and Micky played some lovely Indian music on the piano, which impressed Dad very much. My sister Beryl plays the piano and Micky taught her some of the music he’d played, so that Dad could be reminded of this wonderful visit.
As you know, Dad is a great Monkee fan and loves every Monkee record, so David brought him a (then) not yet released copy of D.W. Washburn. They played it nonstop for a while and it was great to see everyone join in, singing and clapping their hands—especially my son Mark, who did one of his famous Monkee impersonations!
Next, David and Micky went down to the gate to say hello to the ever-patient fans outside and soon they, too, were joining in the fun! After a couple of hours, Micky and Sammy had to return to her parents’ home (which is fairly close to Dad’s house). But as they left, Micky waved and promised to visit Dad again some day.
His trip to Woodley having brought back so much of our childhood, David decided to return to London by train (!) on Tuesday for the opening of Sammy Davis’ wonderful show Golden Boy. David was very sorry to leave Dad and the family, but he had lots of TV and radio shows to do in London. He promised to return the next weekend.
David said later that he loved the train journey to London, but I think he must have slept most of the way—as he was full of energy during the wonderful evening that followed… an evening he will remember for a long time to come!