It was a bittersweet sight for fans on Thursday night (November 8th) as the Monkees kicked off their latest reunion tour in Escondido, California without the late Davy Jones, who died of a heart attack on February 29th at age 66.
Joining Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork was Mike Nesmith, playing his first ever North American shows as full-fledged bandmember since 1969. Nesmith, who apart from an occasional walk on during the group’s reunion tour encores, last performed and recorded with the band in 1997, and according to those involved, left the group flat following their sole four-man UK reunion tour.
Davy Jones was represented several times during the show via video screens showing his classic ’60s performances of “I Wanna Be Free” from The Monkees TV show and “Daddy’s Song” from the band’s 1968 feature film, Head. The group explained that after trying to figure out who should sing Davy’s signature tune — and the Monkees’ final chart-topper — “Daydream Believer” they finally decided to perform he song as an instrumental and have the audience sing lead. Despite the tributes, several key Davy Jones songs were missing from the show, including “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” “She Hangs Out,” “Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow),” “Cuddly Toy,” and “Valleri.”