Jerry Blavat, "The Geator with The Heater" and "The Boss with the Hot Sauce," is a longtime disc jockey and Philadelphia icon who appeared in the second season episode, "Some Like It Lukewarm."
Davy Jones passed away five years ago on February 29, 2012. The Monkees Live Almanac salutes the memory of Davy, and, like everyone, is still saddened that he's gone.
Thanks, Davy, for all the memories, laughs, and good times.
After the passing of his mother, a young Davy Jones apprenticed with Newmarket, Suffolk, England horse trainer Basil Foster in the early 1960s as he pursued a career as a jockey. Foster mentored Davy, and by some twist of fate, eventually encouraged him to pursue the role of the Artful Dodger in a production of Oliver! in London's West End. "Basil insisted I went, and I just cried," Davy remembered many years later. "I wanted to be a jockey. But he said 'You’re going! Come back when you’re famous.'"
Davy called Basil 'The Guv’nor' and maintained a close relationship with him all the way up to Davy's death in 2012, even bringing Foster to the United States and caring for him in his later years. "He was like a second father to me," said Davy.
Basil Foster passed away in 2013.
UPDATE 3/20/2017: Basil Foster was remembered by the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Fund on their Facebook page:
Linda Jones and Talia Jones Roston were on hand at The Monkees' concert last night in Paso Robles, California to accept a special gift from Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork for the Davy Jones Equine Memorial Fund. Take a look at the signature on the check!
Written In Our Hearts is one of the premier Facebook communities dedicated to Davy Jones. Click the image below to visit!
On July 23, 2011, five years ago now, Davy Jones gave his last performance as a member of The Monkees. The concert, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at the Marcus Amphitheater, was the final stop on the group's successful 45th Anniversary World Tour. Sadly, Davy passed away on February 29, 2012.
Thank you very much to Sherri Hansen for sharing previously unseen video footage from that show, which can be viewed below. Sherri has a few other items related to this historic performance that she's going to submit to the Live Almanac a little later, but for now, enjoy:
The Monkees to appear on CBS Sunday Morning on May 29
UPDATE 5/22/16: Michael was visited by the CBS Sunday Morning crew in late April. On May 16, all three Monkees were interviewed in Nashville after taking part in a SiriusXM Town Hall event. Portions of that interview will also be featured on the CBS Sunday Morning segment on May 29, 2016.
Here is the full text of Michael's remarks:
The video with CBS Sunday Morning went as well as could be expected -- or so it seemed from my perspective.
Anthony Mason seems to be a true Monkees fan. He talked about how he had grown up with the show and how it had been a good memory and a good time for him.
I had the feeling that he, like many journalists I have talked to over the years, was struggling a little to get his head around just what the Monkees were and importantly what they are -- have become. It’s a mind twister for sure.
My standard answer is “I have no idea” -- which is a safe response since, 1 -- it’s true, and 2 -- I'm not in a position to know, given my relationship to the show. The question is a good one, though -- and it seemed to be framed for Mason, like it is for many others, around whether it is/was a “real band” or not.
For me the television show started it all so that is my foundation for understanding what the aesthetics are, and the music and the concerts all come from that. But we shall see what Anthony has to say on May 29 -- Memorial Day weekend -- that is when he told me the show would air.
We did not talk about the 1996 Monkees special in any depth, just a quick drive-by of the concept -- and I did not get to parse the Davy-in-Ethel-Merman-drag with Anthony at all -- so that will sit on the public sidelines for a little longer -- although it is one of the great joys in my mind.
During that shoot in 1996 Davy and I were sitting in the trailer and he was in full drag regalia -- makeup and hair -- getting ready to do the little bit where he was going to do an Ethel Merman riff. He looked a LOT like Ethel Merman in that get up -- just the right age and size -- dress and shoes -- perfect.
We had not gotten the rights to use the song “No business like show business” since the publisher and author had reportedly forbidden it to be licensed for such purposes. Davy was trying to get into “character” -- I’m not sure how much he know about EM -- but he was giving it a shot -- Broadway diva gestures and voice --when there was a knock at the door and an old friend of DJ’s poked his head in asked to come in and say hello for just a sec.
DJ was clearly surprised and happy --they embraced and laughed and DJ said he hadn’t seen his buddy for years -- I think the friendship may have gone back to his days in England -- and they did the small talk of reacquaintance and rememberings. After ten-fifteen minutes -- I excused myself, let them catch up.
I watched from distance as they said goodbye to each other and Davy walked toward the set when he stopped in his tracks and stared at me then at the mirror he was standing next to. He looked back at me, and then, in what seemed to be a blind panic -- ran over to me and said “Has he gone?! Did he leave?!” I nodded yes. “Oh no. I haven’t seen him in years” Davy said, “I only now realized I was in this Ethel Merman drag the whole time. I can’t imagine what he must have thought. I didn’t mention it -- and neither did he!!”
The two of us exploded in laughter -- long and loud. Davy got through the routine as the pro he was -- but not with breaking into laughter a few times and having to do a retake. We had some good laughs, DJ and I.
Wonder what he might have thought of the new album and the CBS interview? Wonder what DJ thought the Monkees were?
The wonder of show business -- like no business I know.
“We are all very, very saddened by his passing. So much about him that I miss to this day. He was a man of extraordinary gifts, many of which he was not able to share due to one thing or another. I have to say, I truly loved the man.” –Peter Tork
“I am in a state of shock…The time we worked together and had together is something I’ll never forget. He was the brother I never had and this leaves a gigantic hole in my heart. The memories have and will last a lifetime.” –Micky Dolenz
“David’s spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us. I have fond memories. I wish him safe travels.” –Michael Nesmith