Michael Nesmith, one of the four members that formed the iconic 60s Rock band The Monkees has died. The cause of death was heart failure, he was 78 years old.
Nesmith was well-known for his signature wool cap he wore while a member of the Monkees.
Nesmith had just wrapped up a tour with the other surviving member of The Monkees, Micky Dolenz in mid November. In a statement by the group’s manager, Andrew Sandoval, he commented 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.
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.
Nez expressed the highest part of his being through his voice. And you could get no closer to him than through knowing his work. May all those who loved him feel his comfort at this time – just listen and he will be there for you.
Dolenz, who now is the last surviving member of The Monkees following the deaths of Davy Jones (2012) and Peter Tork (2019), also took to social media:
I’m heartbroken. I’ve lost a dear friend and partner. I’m so grateful that we could spend the last couple of months together doing what we loved best – singing, laughing, and doing shtick. I’ll miss it all so much. Especially the shtick. Rest in peace, Nez. All my love, Micky.
The Monkees originally would perform songs that were written and selected for them to use on the television series. Eventually the band took control of their music and started writing and selected for them.
The band broke up in 1969. Nesmith would find success with the First National band scoring a couple of hits. In addition, he wrote Different Drum, a song that became a hit for Linda Ronstadt.
Eventually he moved into video production and is considered a pioneer in what would become music videos.
Nesmith had sporadic reunions with his bandmates. He did not participate on 1986’s 20th anniversary tour. In 1995, he did reunite with the Monkees to record a studio album Justus, released in 1996. He also wrote and directed a Monkees television special, Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees. To support the reunion, Nesmith did tour with Jones, Dolenz, and Tork for a brief time. He also participated on the album Good Times, which was released as a part of the band’s 50th anniversary in 2016. He filled in for Peter Tork at the end of the Tour where he announced his retirement. Three years later, he reunited with Dolenz to tour once again.