Aquarius & Jones: Cuddly Toy
This is the third post in my series, Aquarius & Jones. Feel free to go HERE and start from the beginning or click on the Monkees’ guitar.
My autographed monkey
He signed, “♥ David Jones”
My friend Mark responded with an enthusiastic, “YES!” He was in. We were going to see the Monkees – er, at least Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz – at the Celebrity Theater.
I bought our tickets and here is a helpful hint: Sometimes you can get better seats by buying tickets in odd numbers, like 3 for example. The reason is because venues like to set aside some seating for odd-numbered groups to have a chance to sit close. Of course, this isn’t always true so check with the venue first. In our case it worked and we sat in row 5 instead of row 16.
The day of the concert Madison and I got ready like it was the Prom. I even let her put on a bit of glitter make-up that she’d previously worn for a dance recital. She sparkled like an angel.
On the way inside the Celebrity Theater I bought concert shirts and I also got Madison a cute little stuffed monkey wearing a Monkees t-shirt. When we found our seats I was thrilled at how close we were. There really are no bad seats there since the stage is revolving and it’s a small venue.
The show opened with a stand up comic I’d never heard of before but he was kinda funny so it was all good. When Davy and Micky walked out on stage Madison asked, “Who are they?” I just looked at her. “It’s Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz, of course.” She wasn’t convinced. “It doesn’t look like them.” Oh yeah. She was expecting the 1960s version of themselves but once they started singing she didn’t give it another thought.
Everyone was enjoying the concert, standing up through much of it. I let Madison stand on her seat so she could still have a good view of the stage. I was so proud that she could clap and sing along to the oldies.
Davy and Micky performed a few encores and I was absolutely dreading the end of the show. First, because I simply didn’t want it to be over. Second, because time was running out. We had to come up with a plan quick if we were really going to get to meet Davy. In retrospect, I should have at least contacted the oldies radio station that was promoting the concert to see if there was even a chance of winning backstage passes. I cursed myself for overlooking something so obvious.
When they finished their encores and it was clear they weren’t coming back onstage everyone started to make their way to the exits. No reason for them to stick around, right? Well, I wasn’t ready to give up yet. I figured we didn’t have long before security was going to wonder why we were lollygagging around and just kick us out. So, when Mark suggested we go talk to the sound guy, the only “important person” hanging around, I was all for that idea.
I walked right up to the sound guy, carrying Madison on my hip. I just asked him, “How can we get backstage?”
“Hmmn, I don’t know,” he demurred.
Then, as if on cue, Madison looked right up at him with tears welling in her eyes, her bottom lip turning down in a pitiful pout, and she cooed, “I want to see Davy Jones.” Brilliant! I could see that her charm – and sincere desperation at wanting to meet her and her mother’s idol – was already winning him over.
“You do?” he said in an ‘aww, isn’t that sweet?’ kind of way. “Hang on a sec,” and he disappeared behind a door. My heart thundered in my chest. The three of us dared to get our hopes up. Were we really about to meet Davy Jones? Was it really going to be as simple as just asking?! And, oh yeah, add to that knowing that the cutest little girl in the world will have her heart broken if you don’t help her. What was the guy to do?
About a minute later he reappeared with a man in a suit. That looked promising. Then the sound guy disappeared – without me being able to extend my gratitude – and the man in the suit said to Madison, “I hear you want to meet Davy?”
“YES!” we all three chimed in, nodding anxiously like bobble heads.
He smiled at Mark and I but it was really Madison that was stealing this show. He said, “Aww, you’re so cute. Can I pick you up?” Madison said yes. She was prepared to leave the safety of her mother for the chance to see Davy. Strangely, I totally understood that. The guy asked me if it was okay and I told him, “Sure.” Like it mattered. She was already struggling to be free from my arms.
I handed her to him and this guy – my new best friend , who I later heard was the Monkees’ tour manager or something – said, “Follow me.” He led us behind a door, down a stairway, and into a room with a few small groups of people standing around. Nobody seemed to be too excited so I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen. He asked me my daughter’s name and I told him. Then he said, “Wait right here. Davy will be coming soon.” He handed Madison back to me.
The man left but it wasn’t long before he returned… with Davy Jones in tow. I couldn’t believe it. He was right there in the flesh. After more than 10 years my dream was becoming a reality. I could cross it off my bucket list. I thought of my childhood best friend, Megan, and those long ago days of plotting to work as janitors at the Coliseum just for a chance to meet the Monkees. Facebook had yet to reunite us and I wondered if it would even have still mattered to her.
The man introduced Davy to a few people who calmly shook hands with him, like it was no big deal. I didn’t take my eyes off him as I stood there, bouncing Madison on my hip in excitement. Incredulously, I nearly gave in to a strange compulsion to run – it was a whole lot of emotion to absorb and almost too much to deal with. Then the man walked Davy Jones over to us. He said, “Davy, I’d like you to meet Madison.” How cute is it that he introduced her first? I wasn’t even jealous that he kissed her cheek first.
Now let me stop and say a few things. First, I don’t have any pictures. The Celebrity Theater didn’t allow flash photography so neither Mark or I had thought to bring a camera. Cell phones – if I even had one at the time – didn’t have cameras in them. So take it from me: have a camera or cell phone ready just in case. Secondly, you really should plan ahead what you are going to say when you meet your idol. In all the years I’d been dreaming of that moment I’d never given a thought to what I’d say. I’d like to tell you I was smooth but it actually went down a bit like Kramer meeting Fred Savage. (Seriously, you have to watch the video. It’s a scream.)
When it was my turn to be introduced to Davy Jones, I was just noticing it had gotten loud in the room as more people had wandered in. I wanted to be sure I was heard. So, I quite literally screamed in his face, “I LOVE YOU, DAVY JONES!” I think I scared him for a second. He recovered quickly and then said, “I love you too,” before leaning in and kissing my cheek. Before he pulled away I kissed his cheek too. I had a small impulse to say, “How ’bout the flipside?” You know, from the whole Brady Bunch thing. But I didn’t.
Then Madison and I just stared at him. “Do you want me to sign the monkey?” Davy asked. Oh, of course! Duh! Thank God somebody had a pen handy. He signed, <3 David Jones and handed it to Madison. She kept trying to give it back to him. He said tenderly, “No, no, sweetheart. That’s for you to keep.”
Honestly, I don’t know if we exchanged any other words. I was too overstimulated. I know when Davy walked away he had a brief conversation with Mark, who was kind enough to give us some space for our big moment – at least, as much as he could in the increasingly crowded room. Then Davy moved on to everyone else waiting for him. So we left, even though Micky Dolenz hadn’t made it to the room yet, if he was even coming. Maybe he came after we left. I was a little disappointed but you can’t have everything.
In the car on the way home Mark said, “Man, don’t you wish we’d had a camera?!” Sure I did. But I said, “Yeah, but it’s okay. I’ll have the memory in my heart.”
Back at home, it was really hard to relax after all that excitement and go to sleep. Luckily I’d had the foresight to prearrange going to work later the following day so Madison and I slept in the next morning. When I dropped her off at preschool she told everyone she had met Davy Jones from the Monkees. But she clarified, “He’s not really a monkey. He’s a real person.” Priceless.
We might have been disappointed that night but we would get to meet Micky Dolenz (and kiss Davy Jones again!) in California just months later.
My next post, I’m a Believer, is coming soon! You won’t want to miss this. I’ll tell you how we ended up staying in the same hotel as Micky and Davy…
By the way, Madison has been thanked a million times over for her role in making that night happen.