Newport News youngster recalls meeting late Monkee Davy Jones

Nine-year-old Devan Layne of Newport News said he'll never forget meeting Monkees singer Davy Jones.

He was thrilled to talk to Jones, who died Wednesday in Florida, but not because of his musical contributions to pop culture.

It was his connection to a certain cartoon dog.

"It was one of the most coolest moments of my life," said Devan, who met him in October when he attended Jones' concert at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News. "I was just standing there and stunned. I was two feet away from one of the most famous men in the world -- from 'Scooby-Doo.'"

When Layne attended the Ferguson Center concert with his mother and some friends, he had little or no knowledge of the Monkees' music. He and his mom, Lisa Layne, only went to the show because friends offered them tickets at the last minute.

They walked into the lobby and saw a merchandise table with Jones standing behind a velvet rope. Fans -- many of them middle-aged women -- were lined up to meet the former Monkee and get his autograph.

"Devan recognizes him and runs toward him and ducks under the rope," his mother recalled. "He said, 'I know you, you’re from 'Scooby-Doo!' He loved that."

Even though Jones appeared on the television show in cartoon form, Devan made the connection. "It would have probably been the same thing if it was the Harlem Globetrotters," the mother said. "But he recognized him enough to run across the room like we would if we saw the Rolling Stones. It was that true, pure reaction. I think that’s why Davy Jones was so taken."

The singer chatted with young Devan and gave him a personally autographed color photo for free. Other fans bought them for $5 a pop, Layne said.

How did the youngster feel about Jones' death? "It's shocking and really sad," said Devan, a third grader at Warwick River Christian School. "But I was pretty lucky to get his autograph a couple months before he passed away."

Devan's mom said she'll always remember how Jones was kind to her son. "He was very nice to spend a few minutes with him," she said.

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