Remembering Davy Jones

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

February 29, 2012 1:35:54 PM PST
He was the lead singer for a group that was made up by a Hollywood studio at a time when rock music's creativity was taking off.

And so Davy Jones was at first a tad laughable, as were his bandmates in The Monkees. But it didn't last long. Turns out these guys were talented, musically speaking. And The Monkees were a huge hit on TV and in the record world.

The zany foursome had the last laughs.

And so it was a jolt when the bulletin crossed today that Davy Jones had died of a heart attack in Florida. He was just 66.

The sound of Monkees songs have been popping up on computers in the newsroom throughout the day. Not too deep especially given the tenor of the times they were written but a pleasant nostalgic trip nonetheless.

And sad.

I have one Monkees story and it involves Micky Dolenz, who once upon a time pre-Monkees was a TV star. He was "Circus Boy" a popular weekly show filmed at Jungleland in Thousand Oaks about an hour northwest of L.A. It was the place where the animals used in Hollywood movies were kept so it was an easy venue for a TV show.

Micky lived a couple of blocks from me in North Hollywood. He's 5 years older, so to kids our age he was a rock star, although truth be told that term had not yet been invented. I loved him on TV, but loathed him in person, because the 7-year-old girl I had a crush on had a crush on him ? although I always liked to say that he and I had a crush on the same girl. Gentleman rivals and all. But why would a 12-year-old boy have a crush on a 7-year-old girl? I didn't quite deal with that at the age of 7.

Anyway, I reminded Micky of this when I interviewed him a few years ago as he entered the cast of a Broadway play.

I don't think he remembered Christine Rush she was the girl.

Today, Dolenz told TMZ that he "had a feeling" something was wrong and was fitful all night last night.

One more little-known tidbit about the Monkees. The great rocker and guitar player Stephen Stills tried out to be a Monkee, but he was turned down! Go figure. But great for the music industry that he was.

So Davy Jones is on our minds as we prepare tonight 11 p.m. newscast. Daydream believers.

We've gotten lots of reaction from our interview last night of the mother of those 4 kids who died in a fast-moving house fire in New Jersey last week.

The woman, speaking out for the first time publicly to us last night, and her unbearable pain was more than evident. Her kids died, her mother died. Her interview was so emotional, but I think the main lesson from it is to make sure your smoke detectors are working. The part of the house where the people died did not have working smoke detectors. The other people who made it out were in a part of the home where there were smoke detectors.

We'll have any developments in the investigation tonight at 11.

Also at 11, we'll have the latest on the New York cop accused of driving drunk while on duty and in uniform and crashing his police cruiser. He was reportedly drinking before he went on duty and then after he started at a benefit for the family of a NYPD officer who was killed on duty, Peter Figoski.

The cops supervisors are also under investigation by internal affairs because they too were reportedly at the benefit and may have seen him drinking before duty and on duty.

And our Nina Pineda has the heartbreaking and infuriating story about a rescue dog, a German Shepherd, who was saved by cops and transformed into a police dog sniffing out drugs and bad guys. But then, after years of stellar service, he was retired after his owner discovered some tumors. Now, the police K-9 needs rescuing again, because his medical bills in the thousands went unpaid by the small town in New York.

That's when the owner called Nina and got 7 On Your Side.

It's quite a story.

And what a mess for some of those who wanted to be the next Mayor of New York. Last year Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned in a sexting scandal (he was a frontrunner in the not-yet-official race), and now Comptroller John Liu is having more troubles. One of his fundraisers got his checkbook in a ringer, and now his treasurer has been arrested. Hard to imagine Mr. Liu's dream of becoming Mayor will get off the ground, and in fact there's talk about pols tonight about whether he can weather this political storm and keep his job. We'll have the latest.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast after this wintry mix of a day, and Rob Powers at spring training in Florida, with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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