Monkees singer and guitarist, Michael Nesmith, passed away on Friday, December 10, 2021, at the age of 78. Michael Nesmith’s cause of death has been announced as natural causes, but he was battling health problems during the last years of his life.
He was forced to cancel the last four dates of his 2018 tour with Micky Dolenz over a “minor health scare”. However, he had experienced quadruple bypass heart surgery and had been hospitalized for over a month, he said during an interview.
Nesmith was well-known as the Monkee in the green wool hat with the thick Texas drawl, and the writer of songs like
- Mary, Mary,
- Circle Sky,
- Listen to the Band,
- and The Girl I Knew Somewhere.
The great musician explained why he was so adamant that the Monkees write and record their own work despite the huge success they were enjoying at the time in 2012. “We were kids with our own taste in music and were happier performing songs we liked, and/or wrote, than songs that were handed to us. It made for better performance. It was more fun. That this became a bone of contention seemed strange to me, and I think to some extent to each of us, sort of “what’s the big deal, why won’t you let us play the songs we are singing?”,” he said.
Nesmith formed the First National Band when the Monkees dissolved in the late 60s. And despite recording three classic country-rock albums, running from the shadow of the Monkees was nearly impossible. The band broke up shortly before the Eagles hit big with “Take It Easy.”
Nesmith spent the rest of the 70s recording under-the-radar solo albums. But in 1980 his mother, Liquid Paper inventor Bette Nesmith Graham, died. He sponsored the money in many business ventures, along with movies like Tapeheads and Repo Man.
However, music remained close to his heart, and he returned to the Monkees in 2012 for a series of reunion tours and the 2016 LP Good Times! They went on a farewell tour this year, in 2021, and played their last show on November 14 at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.
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Reactions to Michael Nesmith’s Death
Several fans, friends, and supporters reacted and stated their condolences on social media websites following this tragic news.
An online user wrote: “Sad. Three out of four Monkees have now gone to heaven…” Another added: “The best musician of the Monkees. Also, a pioneer of music videos and was the brains behind PBS’ online video catalog.”
The Austin Rhodes Show wrote on Facebook: “Thanks for the music and the memories… such an amazing talent! Michael Nesmith… God rest his soul.”
One of his fans tweeted: “I was today years old when I learned Michael Nesmith’s mom invented ‘white out’ for typing. R.I.P. Michael Nesmith.”
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