The Monkees' Michael Nesmith passes away at 78

Published December 11, 2021, 10:59 AM

by Punch Liwanag

Michael Nesmith, singer-songwriter and guitarist of Sixties-era pop group the Monkees, died Friday from natural causes. He was 78.

In a statement, Nesmith’s family said, “With Infinite Love we announce that Michael Nesmith has passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes. We ask that you respect our privacy at this time and we thank you for the love and light that all of you have shown him and us.”

Rolling Stone wrote, “Nesmith was known as the Monkee in the green wool hat with the thick Texas drawl.”

The Monkees are known for songs such as “I’m A Believer,” “Daydream Believer,” “Me & Magdalena,” and “Last Train To Clarksville” among others.

The Monkees fame originated from the TV comedy show of the same title.

Nesmith, along with Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davy Jones completed the Monkees band and were teen idols during the run of the TV show from 1966 to 1968.

As part of the band, Nesmith contributed songs such as “The Girl I Knew from Somewhere,” “Circle Sky,” “Mary Mary,” and “Listen To The Band.”

According to Rolling Stone, Nesmith “raged behind the scenes that the group didn’t have creative control of their albums, and in 1967 led the successful rebellion against record producer Don Kirshner.”

After the Monkees, Nesmith formed his own group and continued to write music for the country rock band First National Band. He also wrote the Linda Ronstadt song “Different Drum” which was originally intended to be a song for the Monkees.

In 1980, Nesmith inherited a fortune from her mother Bette Nesmith Graham, the inventor of Liquid Paper. Nesmith used the money to produce films such as “Repo Man” and “Tapeheads.”

Nesmith reunited with the Monkees in 1996 to record an album and subsequently joined the reunion tours when the band released another album in 2016.

 
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