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Nesmith Story

March 27, 2011 by  
Filed under monkees alert

From: “Steven Bradley”

There is a picture and article of interest, in The (London) Times today
(Saturday 9 December, page 22). “Hey, hey we’re the Thinkees” is about the
Council on Ideas run by Mike Nesmith, funded by the inheritance from his
Mother’s liquid paper fortune.

There is a colour picture of the Monkees on the set of the ‘Monkees Race
Again’ episode, where they are all drinking tea, and a small pic of Mike
from the band’s visit to London in early ’97, to promote the upcoming tour.
transcript follows…

“Hey, hey we’re the Thinkees” by James Bone, in America.

It must say something profound about our civilisation that the task of
saving humanity falls to a former Monkee. Michael Nesmith, a member of the
mop-topped Sixties pop group sometimes described as the American Beatles,
has grown into an intellectual and philanthropist whose favourite pastime is
to summon leading thinkers to address the big issues facing mankind.
Once best known for his side-burns and knitted cap, Mr Nesmith was regarded
as the ‘smart Monkee’. Now 57, he devotes himself to running his own brains
trust known as the Council on Ideas. The venture is funded by the fortune
that his mother, a former Dallas secretary, made by inventing the
now-ubiquitous typing-correction fluid known as Liquid Paper.

“It’s an important thing to do because there is a need for the fine thinkers
that we have to spend a little bit of time thinking about humanity and us as
a civilisation” he says. “The way the council is set up, you can have a
clergyman next to a business person next to an artist next to a scientist”
Mr Nesmith got his big break when, as a 22 year old aspiring guitarist in
1965, he was chosen at an audition for a television show modelled after the
Beatles’ film, “A Hard Day’s Night”. As one of the zany Monkees, he sang and
lip-synched his way to television stardom, which continues in reruns to this
day. At the height of their success, the Monkees sold 16 million albums.
When the television show ended after three years in 1968 and the group broke
up, Mr Nesmith went solo for a time, helped to found MTV music video
television, produced such cult films as “Repo Man” and even wrote a novel,
titled “The Long Sandy Hair of Neftoon Zamora”. He is now the vice-chairman
of American Film Institute.

These days, he refuses to talk about his Monkees past and is on difficult
terms with some of his former band-mates after backing out of a 1996 reunion
tour after the initial Births leg. Instead, a Christian Scientist like his
mother, he likes to focus on affairs of the mind.
Every two years for the past decade, he has invited “thought leaders” to
brainstorm at his mother’s workshop in New Mexico on the Big Picture.
The first encounter in 1990 collapsed when the assembled intellectuals –
Georgie Anne Geyer , the newspaper columnist, Lawrence Grossman, the
television executive, and Wendy Wasserstein, the playwright – fell out over
Fidel Castro and could not agree a final statement. This year’s
intellectuals comprised Cherif Bassiouni, the Egyptian-born war crimes
investigator; Anna Roosevelt, the American anthropologist and
great-granddaughter of FDR, the US President; Murray Gell-Mann, the Nobel
prize-winning ‘quark’ theorist; Nikki Giovanni, a poet; and Stanley Karnow,
the Pulitzer prize-winning Vietnam war correspondent (standing in for Carlos
Fuentes, the Mexican novelist).

(transcript ends)

Good to see that after the joke headline, a serious article has been written
in a famous and reputable newspaper, about one of the Monkees. Let’s hope
this sort of journalism helps to overcome the prejudices against the
‘manufactured’ Monkees, and helps to improve their long-term position and
standing in music and TV history.

from Steve Bradley in Wilmslow, Cheshire, ENGLAND

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