Mike Nesmith has hardly been a road warrior since leaving the Monkees in 1970, but he seems to be making up for lost time during the past six months.
The 70-year-old singer, songwriter, novelist and video pioneer rejoined former bandmates Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork for a dozen concerts last November and December in the U.S., his first full Monkees shows since 1969. And this spring, after some dates in the U.K., he's playing 17 dates on his first tour as a solo artist since 1992.
"I played a short solo tour in the UK that sold out in hours and even added an date -- which also sold out," Nesmith explains via e.mail. "U.S. promoters took note of this and the offers came in and the tour came together from that.
"I have found nothing like a live performance in any other expression of the arts," he says via e.mail. "When it is done right, it is a most joyful and happy event: like a good meal, a fine conversation or a lover's kiss. A word sung is worth a thousand pictures."
Nesmith's repertoire focuses on his "solo writings from over the last years...I picked the songs from a mix of favorites, the ones I have come to love over the years, and the ones that are most requested by fans of my solo work." Monkees fans, meanwhile, have to make due with one song, "Papa Gene's Blues," because, according to Nesmith, It was one of the first songs I wrote. There are elements in that song that have stayed in my writing over the years. I learned a lot from writing that song."
"I hope Monkees fans are not disappointed, but my solo recorded music is extensive and the songs that were part of the Monkees era comprise only a tiny part of it."
The Monkees crowd might be buoyed by Nesmith's promise that he, Dolenz and Tork "will tour again I am sure. It was great fun and the show was great. Micky and Peter are good guys, talented and fun to work with." Nesmith himself, meanwhile, has "several new songs but I won't include them in this show. They are still in the 'oven' and need time to mature."
Mike Nesmith performs Sunday, April 7, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are sold out. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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