The Essence of an Idol
I never watched The Monkees, not even one episode. Ever. But on the evening of February 29, a weird thing happened to me. I was driving when the radio announced the sudden death of Davy Jones. The Monkee, I knew that much. Huh, he died? Then NPR played a snippet of one of his songs, and this voice, so young, so adorable, wafted through my dark car. Suddenly, I was choked with tears. The man behind this fresh young voice, clear as bell, was gone?
That night, curious about my own largely unaccountable grief, I went to the computer and started looking some things up. First, the lyrics to "Daydream Believer," the tune of which I couldn't get out of my head.
It's about a couple.
Composer John Stewart (of Kingston Trio fame) weaves dreamy metaphor into achingly familiar concrete detail to tell a beautiful love story: after the initial surge of romance ebbs and the tedium of life sets in, what you have left, when you're with the right person, is everyday happiness.
Since the song got to me so much, I clicked on the Monkees video. And gosh I just fell head over heels in love with Davy Jones, the cute scamp singing about true love and core-deep contentment. His effortless exuberance makes me feel giddy and warm and fuzzy about the love in my life. He reminds me that bills to pay and other annoying obligations can hardly wear down daydream believers such as myself and my white knight. And I could see what his impish performance could do to a young woman: this adorable singer makes each girl listening believe that she could be The One in his life to bring him sweet joy despite anything, no matter what. He cracks open the possibility that such love is possible in anyone's life.
That's the essence of an idol: an idol lets you touch the magic - the magic within your own life, within your own soul. Kudos, Davy Jones.
Like moonbeams and the distant echo of a train whistle, idols possess the uncanny ability to make us go mmmruh. How do they do it? Not really sure. But I like the way it feels, this tapping of my deepest emotions.
The essence of an idol - if only we could package it, to take out and savor, again and again, whenever we wanted! But wait - it has been packaged, countless times. Just find that dog-eared copy of your favorite romance novel, and you'll know what I mean.
Lifelong believer in daydreams and idolizer of heartthrobs since 1977.