The day I learned of Davy Jones' death, I picked up the phone and called good friends and writing colleagues, Kathie DeNosky and Roxann Delaney. The sad news set off a round of reminiscing about our pasts once populated by those 'cute guys' that caused our prepubescent hearts to pitter patter, Davy being among them. We talked about magazines like Tiger Beat that included tear-out photos suitable for framing, or displaying as wall decoration, depending on your preferences. I chose the wall option, thanks to my big sister who introduced me to the world of pop culture and pin-up posters. Our entire shared bedroom soon became graced with pictures of the Monkees, Paul Revere and the Raiders and of course, The Beatles. In a very short span of time, very little of our four walls remained uncovered. Probably not even an inch. Funny, our mother never really complained. She simply allowed us to express our love of music—and the musicians—through glossy pictures that chronicled our adolescent crushes. Then again, she was a Davy fan, too, and absolutely loved Daydream Believer, I suspect because her name was Jean.
I've always found the power of music truly amazing and how certain songs prompt clear recollections from my youth. Just Walk Away, Renee by The Left Banke immediately sends me back to one morning while I was having breakfast—cinnamon toast and hot chocolate, to be exact. A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procal Harum brings me back to a summer night where I sat on a swing, barefoot, listening to the radio with a warm breeze blowing across my face. Other tunes remind me of those all-important milestones—a first kiss, a first love, the birth of my first child—all tied to deeply-ingrained memories.
Music continues to be an integral part of my life to this day, and not only as a catalyst for memory-making. Before I sit down to write a book, I populate a playlist with songs that fit the mood of the story through the melody and/or even the lyrics. Those playlists are an eclectic mix of genres, from country to classical, that aid in sparking my imagination, stoking the creative fires and evoking those emotions so important to writing a solid love story.
Even though the posters have now been replaced by grown-up artwork, and my taste in music has somewhat matured, I will forever be grateful for those artists, past and present--the cute guys, country crooners and delightful divas--who've formed my personal history through their songs.
So Davy J., heartthrob extraordinaire, thanks for all the memories. This daydream believer will never forget you.