Five years ago this week, Monkees singer Davy Jones died of a sudden heart attack while tending to his horses at a farm in Indiantown, Florida. (He had the misfortune of dying on leap year day making it hard to mark the exact anniversary.) He’d been extremely active right until his death, making it all the more shocking. “For me David was The Monkees,” Mike Nesmith told Rolling Stone shortly after Jones passed away. “They were his band. We were his side men. He was the focal point of the romance, the lovely boy, innocent and approachable.”
One year before Jones died the Monkees (minus Nesmith) put aside a decade of acrimony to hit the road in honor of their 45th anniversary. Their previous tour ended rather badly when Peter Tork walked away due to circumstances that were never quite explained. “We were getting along pretty well until I had a meltdown,” he told Rolling Stone in 2011. “I ticked the other guys off good and proper and it was a serious mistake on my part.”
Time seemed to have healed the wounds and in 2011 they put together an impressive multimedia show that managed to spotlight 37 songs, including deep cuts like “I Don’t Think You Know Me” and “Sometime In The Morning” alongside huge hits like “I’m a Believer” and “Daydream Believer.” “It’s hard to imagine anybody disappointed by this show unless they just plain hate life,” wrote Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield in a rave review of the show at New York’s Beacon Theater.
The tour ran from May to late July and was supposed to pick up in late August for another month of dates, but those were called off without explanation. “I’m not really at liberty to get into detail about what happened,” Tork told Rolling Stone shortly afterwards. “But there were some business affairs that couldn’t be coordinated correctly. We hit a glitch and there was just this weird dislocation at one point. I can’t say anything more without getting into the stuff that we have to keep down. We need to work on this stuff outside of the public eye.”
That final show before the “glitch” was held at Milwaukee’s Marcus Ampitheater on July 23rd, 2011. A fan near the front row managed to capture Davy’s performance of “Daddy’s Song” from the Head soundtrack, which you can watch right here. He continued to play solo shows until about a week before he died, but this was his last time performing with the Monkees.