Michael Nesmith Interview- From Monkees to MIM
Fresh from reuniting with his former bandmates for a string of dates, Michael Nesmith of the Monkees is headed to Phoenix with John Jorgenson for a show at the Musical Instrument Museum.
He checked in by e-mail to talk about the show and his life as a Monkee.
Question: Could you tell us what to expect from your performance at the Musical Instrument Museum?
Answer: I’m coming at the invitation of John Jorgenson. with whom I have enjoyed working for many years. He knows most of my material, so I’ll follow him in and let him pick the songs to play for the show. Which is my way of saying — I have no idea. 🙂 I think it will be just JJ and me and perhaps another musician or two. I’m bringing my acoustic 12-string, so I think it will be mostly acoustic, which I would enjoy.
Q: How did you two meet and start working together?
A: John was introduced to me by our mutual friend John Hobbs — a keyboard player and wonderful musical spirit. I “auditioned” for John to see if he would come play on the record I was making, “Tropical Campfires,” and luckily I won the audition. John and I share many of the same sensibilities in music, and John’s formal training is a big plus for me as a writer because he can help me realize the ideas I have for the arrangements of my songs. What draws me to JJ is his virtuosity and his improvisational ideas. He plays wonderful solos and he has a great sense of backing up a song — letting the song speak.
Q: You reunited with Micky and Peter last year for a tour. What was that like?
A: It was a great joy. Monkees fans are very affectionate and love the Monkees and the show and the music — so it’s rewarding to play for them.
Q: Was it a bittersweet experience coming so soon after Davy (Jones’) death?
A: Not really — everyone kept David is a good place and his memory was well-served by the happy time.
Q: Had you been in touch at all with Davy in those final years?
A: Off and on.
Q: What do you think of the Monkees records looking back on them now?
A: They sound the same — very much of their time.
Q: Did having been in the Monkees make it easier or harder to establish your solo career?
A: It was a good start — but very far away from the path I was heading down.
Q: Does it seem as though the Monkees are more respected in 2013 than they were at the time you left? And if so, why do you suppose that is?
A: I think so. The Monkees have their place in time, and there was much good there for many people that remains and has come into view.
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