My Evening With Mike NesmithPosted: April 14, 2013
I was so excited to spend an evening with Mike Nesmith! If you don’t remember, you can click here.
I knew that I should not expect this:
This was not about one single Monkee. Or about any Monkees songs. No-sir-e-bob. If you came to hear two hours of Monkees songs, you were probably disappointed. Michael Nesmith has a very long song list (see it here) and he can easily fill a two hour concert window (with no intermission) without doing any Monkees music.
This was about Michael Nesmith, the musician, the singer, the composer, the technical wizard. And, I still say, he loves, loves, loves being on stage. You can see it in his smile when the audience erupts into a thunderous applause and standing ovation as he comes to the microphone.
This evening was about this:
Everything was very modern. Even the sheet music – he played from an I-Pad! See it hooked to the microphone? I guess it makes sense since in 1974, he formed The Pacific Arts Corporation – a company that manages and develops media projects!
So, his idea was to tell the audience what he was thinking about as he wrote his songs. He said they were like mini-plays in his head, and he told us about each story before he played the song he wrote about the story. His opening song was PERFECT! Just perfect! Papa Gene’s Blues. Click here to hear it. (warning: it may be stuck in your head after you listen)! Every time he got to the part “for I love you and I know you love me”, the audience joined in and cheered and you could tell he loved every minute of it.
You could tell by the twang in his songs that his roots are as a folk singer. He plays a jumbo 12-string guitar, and his back-up band was wonderful. By the way, one of the members of his band is Chris Scruggs, grandson of 3-finger, banjo-picking great Earl Scruggs.
In 1969, Nesmith formed the group The First National Band. Nesmith wrote most of the songs for the band, including a single entitled “Joanne” that received some airplay during 1970, rising to number 21 on the Billboard Top 40. The First National Band has been credited with being among the pioneers of country-rock music. Click here to hear him sing “Joanne”.
Mike’s song list dates back to the early 1960’s, and includes major hits such as “Different Drum” – sung by Linda Ronstadt. I would have loved to have heard him sing “Listen to the Band”, but it wasn’t on the set list Friday night.
If you want to learn more about Mike Nesmith, you can visit his website by clicking here.
I had a wonderful time with Mike Nesmith, and I wish him well on his current tour and am looking forward to seeing him again later this year when he goes back out on tour as a Monkee with Micky and Peter.