Michael Nesmith of The Monkees dies at 78--when death takes you back in time

CJ Coombs

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Michael Nesmith (b. Dec. 30, 1942, d. Dec. 10, 2021).Public domain, Wikipedia.

I was so young when we would flip the channel knob on our metal-framed television to watch The Monkees. When I heard Michael Nesmith died and that he was 78-years-old, my mind immediately went back to the song entitled, I'm a Believer.

Wilder still was learning that Nesmith and band member, Mickey Dolenz, were on stage last month in Los Angeles closing out a farewell tour. According to Rolling Stone, "he sat on a stool for much of the set, it was still an enormous shock when the news came today that Nesmith had died from heart failure." Dolenz indicated his awareness of Nesmith going to hospice care.

As written by Geoff Edgers in The Washington Post,

These days, there are debates over whether the Byrds, Gram Parsons or the Eagles invented country rock. To me, nobody married the two like Nesmith. The records he made with his First National Band between 1970 and 1973 were flawless, ranging from achy ballads to swaggering jams and all of it soaked in echo, pedal steel and the singer’s dry wit.

Nesmith was an only child born to parents, Warren and Bette Nesmith. When he was four, they divorced. After his mother remarried and divorced in 1975, they moved to Dallas to be near his mother's family.

Interestingly, Nesmith's mother invented Liquid Paper which a lot of women who ever worked in an office are familiar with from the past. In 1979, his mother sold the company for millions, dying a few mothers later.

In October 1965, Nesmith became the guitar player wearing the woolhat on The Monkees. When he left The Monkees, he continued to be a solo artist singer-songwriter. Nesmith was married three times and has four children. He died at home.

Variety online reported:

When he enthusiastically pushed to do a Monkees farewell tour this fall with his longtime compatriot Micky Dolenz, he probably had little idea that the end was so close at hand, but certainly he and others knew that the window was closing on how long he had to put himself out in front of fans for any extended trek.

Nesmith will always be remembered with the other band members in the beginning song on the old show from the 1960s, that started with, "Hey, hey, we're the Monkees...."

Sources: Rolling Stone; Washington Post; Variety

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO
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