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Thread: Michael Nesmith RIP

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    Default Michael Nesmith RIP

    Papa Nez as he was known made some wonderful music- too much to detail in a short post. He wrote song great songs and was a pioneer in so many ways-his country rock albums were highly regarded and his creativity led to MTV. I suppose his album "And the Hits Keep On Coming" exemplifies his approach to making music that was beautiful to hear- just him and Red Rhodes on pedal steel. RIP- you travelled to the beat of a different drum.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    We know him over here in the US as "Wool Hat" of the Monkees. I believe he was one of the few in that bad who was actually a musician and a song writer. The rest were actors who played the role of a Beatle-like band in the TV show. He wrote "Dfferent Drum" but gave it to Linda Ronstadt to make a hit of it. The recordings they made were played by studio musicians but they had a few hit songs. Michael Nesmith's mom was Bette Nesmith Graham who invented Liquid Paper. RIP Michael. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/m...-dead-1270079/
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    I hope he got to Rio sometime - title of his wonderful UK hit, the lyrics of which consist of a person considering whether to 'fly down to Rio' on a complete whim.

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    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    RIP Michael Nesmith - he took the last train... but many of us have a warped perspective of his musicianship because of our biases caused by watching too many of the Monks TV shows.

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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    Part of my early youth, very sad news.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    While The Monkees were assembled via trade ads to play the roles of members of a fictitious band (the "Pre-Fab Four," as some wags put it), Michael Nesmith turned out to have some real musical talent. From the start, he pushed to have his songs recorded, but the producers pretty much limited him to one song per album, and only one was a hit - "Mary, Mary." I believe "Different Drum" was rejected as being too much of a downer, being a break-up song, so he gave it to The Stone Ponies. Most of their material was written by professional songwriters of the Brill Building variety - Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, mostly, also Goffin/King, Mann/Weil, and Neil Diamond. The other band members rebelled as well, so their third album, "Headquarters," marked a change in their development. Even so, I'm pretty sure only "Mary, Mary" was an anomaly, the only Nesmith composition released as the A-side of a single, and "Randy Scouse Git" the only such Dolenz-written song. The latter was a hit in the UK only, having been written following a party thrown by The Beatles with The Monkees as guests of honor. But I digress ...

    Michael Nesmith's legacy may be more profound in his post-Monkees work. With his First National Band he was an early proponent of country-rock (as was another TV-star-turned-musician, Rick Nelson). My favorite song of his, "Joanne," is from this period. He also was an innovator in the music video field. His "Rio" has been cited as the first music video, even though The Beatles did their thing, and others before them, but it appeared on the cusp of the MTV era. Timing is everything. Like the dancer's delivery of the line, "Not Reno - Rio. Rio Degenero." Love it. And love him, which I can't say about any other Monkee. RIP, sir. Thanks for the music.



    From 1970. Just lovely.



    I'll close with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band's version of "Mary, Mary" just slamming. They heard something in the song that probably escaped everyone else. It was the lead track on Side 2 of their classic album, "East-West."

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    Got hooked on his music with Monkees reruns, which then lead to me getting the First National Band albums and "And the Hits Just Keep Comin'", which is one of the best albums of the 1970's in my book. Mostly just he and OJ "Red" Rhodes.

    Besides getting the first video Grammy (for Elephant Parts) he also was the executive producer of the cult classic movie Repo Man.

    Had just been listening to a couple of his newer CDs recently. Will miss him.
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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    I was a Beatles fan at the age of eleven, so by the time The Monkees came around in 1966, when I was fourteen, I was too old and sophisticated for them. However, as an adult, I discovered that they were quite a good pop group, with many entertaining songs (likely played by the Wrecking Crew), Nesmith's among them. The Monkees' humour was sometimes a mite sophisticated for kids. In their movie, "Head," for example, a jaded waitress says to Davey Jones, something along the line of: "If it isn't God's gift to 13-year olds". The whole movie is a trip (wink, wink) around a Hollywood studio lot, with Frank Zappa leading a cow through one scene. And let's not forget that many of us were introduced to Mickey Dolenz, years before, as "Circus Boy." Here's to Mike Nesmith and the Monkees. Sad to see him go. And I feel old.
    Last edited by Ranald; Dec-10-2021 at 9:02pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    I watched the Monkees on TV and have a couple of hits compilation albums. I believe Nesmith and Peter Tork were the only ones that actually played instruments. Nonetheless they had a number of fun pop hits. I have never listened to his post Monkees solo music so maybe now is the time to check it out

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    Y'all shouldn't be forgetting the weird unique genius.
    We were young punks on dope on the Texas Gulf Coast thinking all into Sun Ra and George Jones and Pedro Infante.
    And then this type of stuff appeared in and out of nowhere.
    I hope his passing finds all of us digging deeper.
    My Lone Star State is on the skids right now but Nez could have only come from one place and only hit fertile soil in only one other.
    He caught it, heard it, made it better.
    Great ear, great voice.
    Drop some of your favorites here.
    RIP
    Mick

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    For me: George Jones then Sun Ra and then Grisman.

    How can you even try to cover the Possum?

    MN's version crushes it.

    Or in my humble opinion.

    Mick

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    Kelley Mandolins Skip Kelley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    RIP Michael. I loved listening to the Monkees and watching their show when I was young.

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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    Sad news, condolences to his family. "Some of Shelly's Blues" and so many more greats. He touched many with his art.

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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP


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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    Mick

    There are some real gems- that you have posted up from "Tantamount To Treason" as well as that recipe for home brew beer! Nez had that off-beat humour which he showed in his work. Here he is with Micky and Davy on the Johnny Cash Show doing a song that he recorded on Magnetic South.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpTENCWWQ74

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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    I've been playing "Some of Shelly's Blues" quite a bit recently. Sorry to see him go.

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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    Mike and Zappa:



    Davey Jones and Frank from "Head"(written and produced by Jack Nicholson and Bob Rafelson):

    Last edited by Ranald; Dec-11-2021 at 11:50am.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    Great memories of watching Mike and the boys on tv as a kid. Hard to imagine today an era with no internet, mtv, you tube. Back then, we had Ed Sullivan and a couple after school shows featuring music -- and that was pretty much it. I guess records and fan magazines when I could afford them on my allowance. Most of the musical "counterculture" back then consisted mostly of my own imagination guessing what the lives of the Beatles and Rolling Stones must be like while listening to the records and studying the album cover art. I say album -- I had a few, but mostly I bought singles. One store in particular back home had 45's for 77 cents, which got a lot of my business. Amazing to think of all the millions of dollars generated by a 77 cent product, IMHO. Back to the Monkees.....imagine the delight to a 60's pre-teen to see a weekly show featuring (actors playing) musicians with long hair, cool clothes, and guitars! Wow! Little did I know back then that the show was a Hollywood manufactured response to the Beatles, Stones, etc. It didn't matter, it was cool stuff! Mike had the knit cap, Davy had the accent, Mickey was the crazy one, and Peter always wore his belt buckle to the side (presumably to not scratch the back of his bass?) Anyway, I wore my belt that way to elementary school hoping someone would notice so I could tell them, "oh, I wear it that way because I play electric guitar......."

    RIP Mike

    How about those double-breasted shirts and the Monkeemobile?!!!

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    I'm gonna guess that his passing has affected people of "a certain age" more than other demographic groups - OK, I'll say it, baby boomers, people who were at the right age at the right time. As Ranald implied, there was a critical age point in the audience. Like him, I was a bit too old and hip for The Monkees, even though I liked a couple of their songs. "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" was "heavier" than most, and "Last Train To Clarksville" had a kind of Byrds-like vibe here and there. But my younger brother liked them a lot, which made for a good bit of teasing by my older brother and me. Even so, over the years I've come to regard some of their music more warmly. For instance, their "Shades Of Grey" pops into my head now and then, even just when I hear the phrase. It's a fair assessment of reality, even if it is rather glib, a somewhat immature view of maturity. It's still pleasant enough, and darned catchy - sort of an encapsulated description of their music.

    But mostly I kept noticing Mike Nesmith, whose post-Monkees work featured flashes of brilliance, which seemed surprising at the time, whenever he appeared intermittently over the years. Funny to see him with Zappa - I didn't know he could be that weird, or Zappa could be that funny. That was a hoot!

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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    From Elephant Parts, a great compilation of music videos and comedy sketches: Mike Nesmith, Private Eye:


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    Registered User Bruce Clausen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    Lots of good information and ideas posted here. I'll just add a memory of my own.

    In August of 1966, I attended the Beatles concert in Candlestick Park. (A very great concert, by the way.) It turned out to be their last stage show, though no one knew that at the time. As we were all pouring out of the stadium, we were confronted by a number of people handing out flyers advertising a new TV show that would be starting soon, featuring a new band, the Monkees. In retrospect it seems like the end of one era and the beginning of another.

    I never really enjoyed the Monkees, though I knew a few fans. But I was always aware that Michael Nesmith was a real musician/singer/player. From what I've been reading here, it sounds like he managed to rise above the cheesy TV-show background and have an interesting and varied career. Glad to hear it!

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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    I missed the news when he passed, and didn't see this thread until today. I am quite fond of the "Different Drum" song, so here are a couple versions with mandolin content.

    First, what the internet seems to think is the first recording of the song, by the Greenbriar Boys in 1965, with Frank Wakefield on mandolin:



    I quite like the way Sara Watkins performs the song on ukulele. Here's a version of her doing it with a band that includes a mandolin player. Not sure who it is but some sort of festival pickup band:


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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Michael Nesmith RIP

    Thanks for that. Never heard it before. The collective consciousness of the café is often quite considerable.

    PS: The internet also thinks it was 1966. So saith the wiki; so it must be.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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