Though several people may claim to have done Davy Jones' last interview before his death, Edd Raineri, host of “The Beatledd Fab Four Hour,” which airs out of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., says his really was the final interview.
“We did our interview with Davy on Friday, Feb. 24. He died on Wednesday morning, Feb. 29th. Bill Wellock, a reporter from The Citizens’ Voice in Wilkes-Barre, in an article dated March 1, said that Davy’s publicist confirmed that Davy’s last interview was on 'The Beatledd Fab Four Hour.'”
Raineri says he remembers the interview took some time to set up.
“I’d been trying to arrange for Davy Jones to be a guest on “The Beatledd Fab Four Hour” for about a year. It’s 'hit and miss' with a lot of celebrity guests and you just have to wait till things fall in place. Finally, I heard back from Davy’s publicist, Helen Kensick, and it looked like we had a date set up. But I believe we had at least one false start and had to reschedule. Eventually, we agreed to Friday night, February 24.”
Finally, the big night came.
“Helen (his publicist) gave me a phone number to call that night and we phoned up Davy just after 7 p.m. It’s the only interview we ever did on the show (and we’ve done close to 100 interviews) where the actual dialing of the number was a part of the show. While Moondog, my producer, was placing the call, I was live on the air describing the action. I remember kiddingly saying that Moondog had studied at The Monkees Academy for years in preparation for placing this call and had graduated 53rd in his class but was proud of it! It was funny pre-interview giggles!
“Davy answered the phone with a little bit of a disguised voice. Once Moondog acknowledged that he was calling from 'The Beatledd Show,' Davy switched to his normal voice and Moondog handed the phone over to me. I spoke live on the air with him from his home in Florida for the next 11 minutes. It would be the last interview he would ever do.”
The interview covered a lot of topics.
“Among the topics we spoke about in Davy’s last interview was his (other) home in NE Pennsylvania (close to where we’re located); a new song he was working on, “Written In My Heart”; a new musical that he had written; The Monkees’ legacy and the great songwriters who contributed to their success; racing his horses at the racetrack here in Wilkes-Barre; and his appearance on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' ('Oliver') the same night the Beatles debuted in America in February 1964. I was a bit surprised when he said he was not a fan of The Beatles…or a fan of anybody.
“About three minutes into the interview, his family seemed to be rushing him as they were apparently going out to dinner soon. As an interviewer, that’s never what you want to hear as you try to set the pace of the interview. From that point, it seemed like Davy was riding one of his racehorses to get to the finish line! Don’t get me wrong, we covered a lot of topics in the remaining 8 minutes of the interview, but as an interviewer, you absolutely know when your guest is keeping one eye on the clock. They must have been really hungry!”
Raineri says Friday nights aren't the best nights for interviews and he says he's grateful Davy took the time to do the interview.
“Though we never felt the interview landed on our top 10 list of outstanding interviews, I will always be grateful that on a Friday night in February, just after 7 p.m., Davy honored his commitment to come on the show. Let me tell you, getting any guest to come on the show live on a Friday night is no small task. People have a lot better things to do on a Friday evening than hang around by the phone waiting for a call from 'The Beatledd Fab Four Hour!' So for that, I will always be grateful."
He says he held back on posting excerpts from the interview online until just recently.
“While other postings on YouTube claimed to be Davy’s last interview, I purposely sat on posting any excerpts from our Feb. 24 interview for nearly a year, as I did not want to exploit Davy’s death,” Raineri says.
“Just days ago, I released the last 3½ minutes of that final interview to commemorate the one year anniversary of Davy’s passing. (You can hear the excerpt in the video spot on this page.) The other eight minutes remain in the vault. But those last 3½ minutes now give fans of Davy Jones and The Monkees something special to embrace as we approach the one year anniversary of his death.”
“The Beatledd Fab Four Hour,” hosted by Edd Raineri, airs live on WRKC-FM in Wilkes-Barre, PA (USA) on Friday nights, 7-8 p.m. ET. The program will celebrate three years on the air in May. You can listen live online at: http://wrkc.kings.edu and connect with the program on Facebook at www.facebook.com/beatleddfabfourhour.
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