I was in a pub on 29 February 2012 and I cried. My friend, the photographer, Alan Olley, who had recently been to Florida to do a photo shoot with David Jones, called me to tell me that my friend had died of a heart attack. I should say that I never called my friend ‘Davy’; he was always David to me. He would have loved to know that I was in a pub when i heard the news. He and I spent many an hour in said hostelries.
I first met David on the first day of rehearsals for the wonderful Peter Nichol’s play ‘Forget Me Not Lane’ in 1972.. We were to do a thirteen week UK tour. The Monkees and everything to do with them disappeared as I shook this man’s hand. We were both the same height and I knew we were to be around together for a long time. Immediately we started making fun of each other and a bond was formed that was to last until the day he was taken from us.
The tour was great fun. My old mate Wendy Padbury was in the show and she, David and I hung out together a lot. I recall playing The Playhouse, Weston Super Mare, located on the coast in Somerset. Neither David, me or Wendy were adverse to the odd tipple, but none of us were used to the West Country ‘Scrumpy’. As we didn’t have a show until the evening, we decided to have a summer lunch in a local pub. At 4pm Jones, me and Wendy were lying on our backs, in a field, singing any song that came into our heads !. My memory is not that good, but somebody must have driven us back to the theatre (probably me), sobered us up, and shoved us on the stage.
When we were in or near Manchester David and I spent a lot of time with his sister Beryl and her husband Allan. Beryl used to feed us whenever we were there and when I saw her recently in Manchester she and I remembered those times and it brought smiles to our faces. She looked after us really well..
Following the tour, I spent many a while hanging out at David and his wife Linda’s house in the Hollywood Hills. We talked, , and we laughed. David and I always laughed.
In 1977, David and I were re-united when we were both cast in a TV series called ‘Horse in the House’. We just picked up where we left off! Poor Bobbi, David’s long suffering PA, had one helluva job keeping us both on the straight and narrow! At that particular time there was a big hit for a guy call Dean Friedman with a song called ‘Lucky Stars’, a catchy tune with the tag line throughout the song – ‘….do you still love me ? Yes, I still love you’. For some reason this particular riff stuck in the boy Jones’ head and mine. The cast and crew were totally bemused when, in the middle of a shot and for no reason, David would sing to me ‘Do you still love me ?’. I would reply in my highest treble voice – ‘Yes, I still love you’.
I spent a lot of time with David and his second wife, Anita, when he moved back to the UK and settled in Bedhampton, on the south coast. We used to disappear on the pretext of going to see one of David’s horses and then off for a quick pint. Six hours later we would stumble into the house, falling all over the place and laughing about absolutely nothing at all, much to the anger of his wife and mine. We didn’t care. We were just two blokes out on the town, all harmless fun..
David was Godfather to my son William and I know that Will is so proud of that, although they didn’t really spend a lot of time together. David was at the christening though and it was a very special day for us both. Good people never go although it hurts us all left behind so very much. I know my little friend is messing around up there, keeping a watchful eye on his family who he loved dearly and driving around in his mini with his Dad, Harry. I love him. I always will