March 1, 2012 at 8:26 AM ET
Just as fans were left reeling from the news of the sudden death of actor-singer Davy Jones on Wednesday, so too was his longtime friend and bandmate Micky Dolenz.
On Thursday morning, the fellow member of The Monkees visited TODAY to discuss the loss and to look back at Jones' life.
"It came as a pretty big shocker – right out of the blue," Dolenz told host Ann Curry. "You know, he was the last one that I thought would (go first)… the youngest one of (The Monkees). … I suspect a little bit might have been genetics. I think both of his parents passed pretty early on."
But despite those early losses, Dolenz always thought of Jones as a happy guy that looked on the bright side of life.
"He was always the go-to guy for fun and a laugh," the singer explained. "He was a jokester and always was. We hung out a lot together. I remember very clearly. We had similar backgrounds…. Even in the earlier auditions I remember we kind of connected because I'd been in show business as a kid. He'd been on stage doing 'Oliver!' So we had that kind of connection in common, so immediately we just kind of hit it off and stayed very good friends."
It all started with The Monkees, a show and a band that Dolenz considers a bit of magic.
"It was that serendipitous sort of thing – catching lightning in a bottle," he said. "I don't think … there's no formula. But you get lucky and certain people get together and that chemistry happens. It's like a little bit of magic. And it did certainly happen with us."
But oddly enough, now that Jones is gone, the memories of the man that have surfaced most for Dolenz have nothing to do with the show or the music. They're just random, happy images of his friend.
"I keep going back to just watching him play soccer -- kicking around a soccer ball," he recalled. "We used to have a private plane on tour, and we would land at a private airport where we were going to go play a gig. For some reason images come back to me of him and a bunch of other guys running around the grass around the plane, kicking a soccer ball. That's one (memory) that comes to mind, or hanging out swimming in the pool or something like that."
Most of all, he just remembers Jones as a great guy, great father and true friend.
"Ultimately, we all became pretty good friends, and he and I probably the best of friends.," he said.
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