Monkees comment on Michael Nesmith death

Image copyright Michael Nesmith Image caption Michael Nesmith recently announced he had performed a concert just three weeks before he died The Monkees, the 1960s rock band fronted by singer Davy Jones, have paid…

Monkees comment on Michael Nesmith death

Image copyright Michael Nesmith Image caption Michael Nesmith recently announced he had performed a concert just three weeks before he died

The Monkees, the 1960s rock band fronted by singer Davy Jones, have paid tribute to the man who lead the group into the modern era.

In a statement, Monkees’ CEO Jamie Mulgrew said Michael Nesmith’s passing was “an unspeakable tragedy.”

He was 65.

The statement on the group’s website read: “Michael was not only a brilliant musician and brilliant songwriter, he was a truly magnificent entertainer.

The Monkees are signed with Universal Music Group

“What he offered the world with his music was the pure, unadulterated joy of life. It was infectious.

“Davy is gone but the smiles will continue to be on your face.”

The four band members are: Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Nesmith.

In 1982, the Monkees were absorbed into the Universal Music Group, where Nesmith and Jones had formed The Mavericks, with Gregg Rolie.

In 2010, Nesmith helped form The Larrythes and played around in various support groups.

Nesmith, who was born on 2 December 1944, formed the band with Jones and drummer Peter Tork in 1965 after Jones appeared on his first television series, The Monkees.

The group’s debut album went on to become the soundtrack for a generation and produced hits including I’m a Believer and Last Train to Clarksville.

In 1972, Nesmith replaced Tork as singer, and he in turn stepped back from his band and created The Larrythes, releasing his most recent album last year.

Last month, the Monkees announced they were returning to the road in 2020 for their first major tour in decades.

Michael Nesmith

The Monkees go ahead with European dates on January 11 – 14, 2019 but some venues were forced to postpone shows

Image copyright Universal Music Group Image caption Peter Tork played with The Mavericks in 1982

Micky Dolenz has followed up as Monkees manager and is scheduled to play a set at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio in April

Image copyright Universal Music Group Image caption Micky Dolenz is currently Monkees manager

No mention was made about whether Jones’ late frontman son Robbie would appear at the shows in his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.

Robbie Jones passed away in February 2015, aged 25.

His sister, Chelsea Jones, said “losing two brothers at the same time was hard to deal with and we have a huge hole in our hearts because of it”.

Please enable Javascript to watch this video

‘No hero’

The Monkees did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the BBC.

Nesmith made clear in his final interview with the New York Times that he did not feel like a martyr.

“It’s just sad that the music is treated in such a skewed way,” he said.

“I would consider myself a musician who is aware of how difficult the music can be to play, which is true of rock ‘n’ roll as a format.

“The fact that it can sound music hallish should not stop people from enjoying it.

“I was not a hero in my own mind. I did my job with the band and I hope that I did it with humour, devotion and respect.”

Leave a Comment