Davy Jones: Loneliness is a friend of mine these days


INDIANTOWN, FL (2006) – Davy Jones embraces the past and cherishes the present, but his future doesn’t include any more Monkees reunions.

This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the pre-fab four, and Jones, at 60, says he’s had enough.

“I would not work with those guys again if my life depended on it,” says the diminutive Englishman, who’s owned a home here for 20 years. “I can’t be responsible for their attitudes, and the way they treat people.”

The British-born Jones is the subject of tonight’s episode of Living in TV Land. Most of the 30-minute show was filmed in and around Indiantown.

The last reunion of all four Monkees, a 1997 British tour, ended with bitterness and angry words. According to Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork — and, to a lesser extent, Micky Dolenz — think of themselves as rock stars, and not veterans of a 1960s sitcom about rock stars. The four rarely agree on anything.

“Get over it, OK?” Jones laughs. “The Monkees is gonna be the Monkees forever and ever. It’s going to be like the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges and the Bowery Boys.”

billdeyoungcom MonkeesJones does about 100 solo shows every year (he’ll play Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival May 12-15), and his set is chock-full of Monkees hits and Monkee-esque stage patter. “I’ve got friends that I’ve known for 40 years, and a lot of people that I don’t know that talk to me as if they do know me,” he explains. “Which makes me feel good. I’ve touched a lot of people’s lives.

“The Monkees touched a lot of people’s lives, and I can’t destroy that by going out with those guys and having bad attitudes around me.”

He wouldn’t do it, he says, “for $10 million a night.”

Jones’ extended family includes millions of fans all over the world, but his inner circle is small. Twice divorced, he has four grown daughters and two grandsons — and a stable full of the best pals a longtime horseman could ask for.

Every morning at 6, Jones drives the 30 minutes from his home to a rural Martin County stable to exercise his 12 horses, groom them and clean out their stalls. As a young lad in Manchester, he aspired to be a jockey — these days, several of his horses race at Florida tracks, with someone younger in the saddle.

The animals, Jones says, are his best friends; they don’t need to hear him sing “Daydream Believer.” They just want his attention and affection.

He spends the summers at a ranch house in Pennsylvania (he also owns an estate in England and an apartment in Los Angeles).

“Money doesn’t change a man,” he muses. “I’d rather people wonder why I live in Indiantown, amongst the migrant workers and retirees, rather than alone in a gated community feeling lonely.”

Although his daughters visit often, Jones lives alone. “I get lonely all the time, but I like it,” he says. “Loneliness is like a friend of mine these days.”

The area’s rapid growth, however, is a bone of contention.

“I thought of America as being cowboys and Indians and cattle rustling, and now they’re rustling our land,” Jones says. “All these people are coming from West Palm and all around; they’re building 600 new homes in Indiantown. And 600 homes means 2,000 more people.”

What he craves is stability. Something normal. “I don’t want to be Peter Pan all my life,” he muses. “I’d love to have a restaurant with a stage in downtown Stuart. I wish I’d have bought the Lyric Theatre five years ago. I just want to be part of a community.”

He loves the fact the locals have gotten used to him turning up in restaurants and grocery stores.

So he’s applying for American citizenship — something he says he should’ve done years ago.

“I want to be part of the team. I want to be American. I’ve been here since 1962, and everything was given to me. So I want to die an American, 30 years from now. I want to be an American, because I think this is the new world.”

@2006 Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers