Monkees singer Davy Jones has died, but his music will live on with fans.
So will his creation of one of rock’s most chilling legends: The one about Charles Manson once auditioning for the cast of “The Monkees.”
It’s a legend still being repeated in the various Jones tribute pieces and obituaries, but it is untrue: Manson was behind bars during the show’s tryouts and, pushing 30, would have been too old to be cast.
What is less known about the legend is its creator. According to Snopes.com, the alleged audition never occurred, but the website reported that the rumor’s creator is unknown.
In 1999, Jones confessed to FlashNews.com that he was the culprit.
Sometime after the Tate-LaBianca Murders made Manson infamous, Jones jokingly told a reporter Manson was a “Monkees” candidate. Apparently the story caught fire because it is up there with rock folklore like the notion that Jim Morrison is still alive, that Mama Cass choked on a ham sandwich and that there is a “27 club,” whose members include Kurt Cobain, Amy Wineshouse and Janis Joplin.
Jones told reporter Baird Jones that he had been reluctant to tell the truth for years because he feared it would just reinforce the false rumor.
Like many, Peter Tork, 70, was feeling the loss of his former Monkees bandmate Davy Jones, who died of a sudden heart attack at age 66 on Wednesday.
But Tork was focusing on the positives of his longtime friend, bandmate and co-star from the 1960 series The Monkees.
“I know Davy was very happy to be a part of all of this,” he says of the one-time teen idol. “He wanted nothing more than to be an entertainer. And to help people enjoy time.”
Jones was wickedly funny from the moment the boy band came together.
When asked to name his favorite memory of Jones, Tork immediately went back to the early days of The Monkees television show. The group members — including Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith — were just getting to know each other in the early days of the television show. Taking a break from filming a commercial, they pulled into a diner for food.
“We ordered lunch. Micky (Dolenz) and I got our salads first. We just stuck our forks in the salad bowls and stuck it in our face,” says Tork. “Davy Jones was appalled. He said, ‘You pigs. Anyone would think that you were raised in a barn. ‘ We were shame faced.
“Davy’s salad came and all on eyes were on him. He didn’t even look up. He cut his salad into one inch strips, turned his bowl 90 degrees and cut the strips into one inch squares. He poured the creamy dressing all over it until each and every one-inch square was covered.
“Then he reached into the bowl with his hands, grabbed a fistful of his salad and shoved it into his face,” Tork says. “I exploded in laughter and was laughing for about a half hour after that. ” …
RIP Davy Jones. Thanks for the laughs and the music.