Saturday, 3 March 2012

Shades of Gray

When the world and I were young just yesterday
Life was such a simple game a child could play

Sang Davy Jones at the beginning of The Monkees most melancholy song “Shades Of Gray”. The lyrics harked back to a simpler time oh so long ago…

Davy Jones was probably half the age I am now when he recorded it and when I first listened to it I was only five or six!

However did we relate to the haunting words back then? Now of course, with so much more life lived, they are far more poignant...

As are these lyrics from "Pleasant Valley Sunday"

Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand

They really strike a chord!

These songs by the Monkees were some of my childhood favourites. When I had my first record player aged 5, I owned a total of four LPs.

  • Too Young by Donny Osmond
  • The Partridge Family Greatest Hits
  • The Partridge Family Christmas Album
  • The Monkees – a compilation of their greatest hits.

So it was with some sadness this week that I discovered Davy Jones had died of a massive heart attack. Same as Andrew, those kinds of deaths will always stand out to me.

I have read several comments on line from fans who called him a heartthrob and a teen idol. Personally I preferred Micky Dolenz, who went on to create Metal Mickey or Peter Tork who was kind of shy and funny. I worked out at a very early age what appealed to me and I have never “fancied” the more obvious pinups. I never really liked the enigmatic one in the hat and I knew that I didn’t fancy Mr Jones.  

“It’s ‘cause I’m short, I know.”

The Monkees actually started going their separate ways in 1969 when I was only a year old but I remember watching repeats on TV as well as listening to their music so they always seem to be more of an early seventies phenomenon.

There was another death this week that shocked us all, that of PC David Rathbone. He was only 44, the same age as me, how had I never realised before? Anytime in your forties (or younger) is way too young to die.

It’s very sad to think that taking his own life was the only solution to the pain he was in. 

Losing your sight must be just as much of bereavement as losing a husband. Suddenly something is missing that you have taken for granted and depended on for so long.

I have so much to be thankful for; so many friends around me who I can turn to and depend on in my own personal battles.

For PC Rathbone in his blind new world maybe the lyrics of the Monkees really did ring too true. (apologies I have mixed up the verse deliberately and "gray", American spelling, is correct.)

I remember when the answers seemed so clear
We had never lived with doubt or tasted fear
It was easy then to tell right from wrong
Easy then to tell weak from strong
When a man should stand and fight
Or just go along

But today there is no day or night
Today there is no dark or light
Today there is no black or white
Only shades of gray.

I hope the families of both Davy Jones and David Rathbone have plenty of love and support at this time.  My sincere sympathies go to them all.

You can find out more about The Blue Lamp Foundation set up by PC Rathbone after receiving his tragic injuries here.

No comments:

Post a Comment