He attained TV and pop stardom as a member of The Monkees and became a prophetic figure on the Los Angeles country-rock scene and then a multimedia entrepreneur, died Friday of natural causes. He was 78.
Nesmith’s final show was less than a month ago, when he and the cohort who is now the Monkees’ only surviving member, Micky Dolenz, capped a farewell tour at L.A.’s Greek Theatre Nov. 14. The duo were booked for a cruise in early 2022 that was to have served as a truly final gig together. They were also scheduled to perform in Savannah but according to the Civic Center the concert was postponed until Spring 2021.
The group’s and Nesmith’s manager, Andrew Sandoval, confirmed the death on social media.
“It is with deep sadness that I mark the passing of Michael Nesmith. We shared many travels and projects together over the course of 30 years, which culminated in a Monkees farewell tour that wrapped up only a few weeks ago,” said Sandoval. “That tour was a true blessing for so many. And in the end I know that Michael was at peace with his legacy which included songwriting, producing, acting, direction and so many innovative ideas and concepts. I am positive the brilliance he captured will resonate and offer the love and light towards which he always moved.”
A big break for him was giving one of his songs, "Different Drum," to Linda Ronstadt which became her first major hit.
Nesmith found working within the constraints of The Monkees difficult and voice his displeasure often. He moved on to his own record company and performing with The First National Band which led to a couple of minor hits, "Silver Moon" and "Joanne". (see below)
After his parents’ divorce when he was four, he moved with his mother to Dallas. Her secretarial work ultimately led to her development of a new product, the typewriter correction fluid Liquid Paper. (Following Bette Nesmith Graham’s death in 1980, Nesmith inherited half of her estate, estimated at more than $50 million.)
Nesmith issued a memoir, “Infinite Tuesday,” in 2017.
Divorced three times, he is survived by three sons and a daughter.
Here are the last four songs Mike and Mickey performed at what was their last performance together in Los Angeles weeks ago...