Micky Dolenz talks family's wish to have low-key burial, but says "I can see us getting together to do a memorial concert"
The planned public memorials for the late Davy Jones may be where the surviving Monkees members give their goodbyes to their bandmate.
Jones' spokeswoman Helen Kensick has said that the family plans a private funeral in Florida, where he died on Feb. 29, and the Monkees' Micky Dolenz tells Billboard.com that for he, Peter Tork and/or Mike Nesmith to attend the ceremony might run counter to their wishes for a "low-key burial."
"My understanding is they want to avoid a media circus and... the family wants to keep it very, very low-key and very, very private," Dolenz says. "And you can imagine as soon as one or two or any of us were to show up, it would very quickly be degraded into something that I don't think his immediate family would want to deal with. So I'm kind of expecting their wishes, whatever their wishes may be."
Kensick also said there would be public memorials in New York and the U.K., which Dolenz hoped would bring the surviving Monkees together again. "He obviously had fans and family and associates on both (U.S.) coasts and two continents," Dolenz notes. "It's pretty early days, you know, to be making too many plans. I'm still in shock." No dates have yet been announced for the public events, and Jones' family is asking for donations to be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Jones, Dolenz and Tork toured in 2011 to commemorate the Monkees' 45 anniversary. The entire group last played together during 1997 in the U.K. to promote the "Justus" reunion album.
Dolenz, who was in New York doing a workshop for the musical "Garage Band" when Jones died, says he's gratified but not surprised by the outpouring for his bandmate -- and for the Monkees in the wake of Jones' passing. "I mean, he was a very well-known and well-loved character and person," explains Dolenz, who closed down the initial phase of the Monkees with Jones in 1971, recording the group's final album, 1970's "Changes," as a duo. The two also recorded and toured with Monkees producers Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart during the mid-70s. "There are a lot of people who are grieving pretty hard. The Monkees obviously had a following...and so did (Jones) on his own. So I'm not surprised, but I was flattered and honored to be considered one of his friends and a cohort in Monkee business. It's like losing a brother."
Dolenz says he, Tork and Nesmith have spoken since Jones died and are all "just, like, in shock. Peter went through a major cancer scare not long ago...and I was like, 'Oh no, I can't believe it.' He's a survivor now...and we all have our little infirmities, but Davy was the youngest and had a pretty healthy lifestyle and was...the last one I thought would be first." And, Dolenz adds, any future work by he, Tork and Nesmith under the Monkees name is "a huge If."
"We've had a sort of unspoken, I guess, agreement over the years that if it's just two of us getting together we never called it the Monkees," Dolenz explains. "And you have to remember that the four of us do not and did not and have never owned the rights to the Monkees; we cannot use the name the Monkees without permission from whoever happens to have the rights at any given time. A lot of people don't realize that. I can see us getting together to do a memorial concert, of course, but right now I can't imagine anything else happening without the Manchester Cowboy."