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:
This article, as told by Marcia Strassman, was originally published in the December 1967 of Fave.
Thanks to David Cox for the heads up about this rare footage! The details of the video on YouTube are as follows:
Judy Garland and a very young Davy Jones with various other celebs at a party at the Tower Suites at the opening night party of "Oliver" on January 6, 1963. (Silent)
You're invited! Reservations are now being taken for a fabulous day of celebrating the life of Davy Jones!
The festivities will begin on June 21st at noon at the world famous Sardi's Restaurant in New York City, and will run until approximately 4:00 pm. This will be followed by a visit to Central Park to see the tree that is being dedicated in Davy's memory. This is the very same tree that was Davy's favorite to relax under during his years portraying the Artful Dodger on Broadway in the hit musical Oliver!
Admission to the event is $62 per person. This includes a wonderful gourmet buffet luncheon, gratuities, handling fees for your ticket(s), and plenty of great music and speakers.
We will mail your ticket(s) to you, so be certain that your PayPal shipping information is correct.
We hope to see you there, but act now as seating is limited. Reservations will close on April 15 or as soon as all of the 170 available tickets have been sold.
This is a 1963 souvenir program for the Broadway production of Oliver!, which of course, starred Davy Jones.
In the photo below, actress Vivienne Martin helps Davy with his makeup backstage at the New Theatre in London, England. They played the roles of Nancy and the Artful Dodger in the original London production of Lionel Bart's musical Oliver! in 1962.
The answer: our own Davy Jones, of course, appearing in his Tony-nominated role as the Artful Dodger with the Broadway cast of Oliver!
The following interview with Davy was part of a special Monkees edition of Creem magazine in early 1987. The interview was conducted in November 1986 as the 20th Anniversary Tour was coming to a conclusion. Davy discusses the revival of The Monkees; Oliver!; the Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart era; reuniting with Mike Nesmith at the Greek Theatre; the "Rainy Jane" single and more.
Note: For easier reading, click on each image and then click on the image again.
Check out this video with some classic Davy Jones footage. The description on YouTube reads:
Rare vintage film footage and photos of actor-singer Davy Jones as a young boy and teen, including a 1961 clip from the British TV series "Coronation Street" at age 14, his very first performance on U.S. television in 1963 on Merv Griffin's Talent Scouts show, his 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show as the Artful Dodger in the Broadway musical "Oliver!" and his 1965 screen test for The Monkees TV series on NBC.