Vale: Mike Nesmith
Musician and filmmaker Mike Nesmith, best known for The Monkees, has died.
Musician and composer Mike Nesmith, best known for The Monkees, has died aged 78.
“With Infinite Love we announce that Michael Nesmith has passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes,” Nesmith’s family said in a statement. “We ask that you respect our privacy at this time and we thank you for the love and light that all of you have shown him and us.”
Nesmith was 25 years old when The Monkees premiered in 1966. Although it ran for only two seasons, it became an instant smash, with 35 million in record sales, and earning the group five top 10 albums and six top 10 hits.
Nesmith’s songwriting credits included Linda Ronstadt “Different Drum,” and he was The Monkees’ most prolific songwriter, penning classics like “Mary, Mary,” “Papa Gene’s Blues,” “You Told Me,” “You Just May Be the One,” “Listen to the Band,” “Sweet Young Thing,” and “The Girl I Knew Somewhere.” In 1979 he had a hit with “Rio.”
In the ‘80s, he once again made music television history, when a program he created for Nickelodeon, PopClips, was sold to the Time Warner and developed into MTV. His collection of video shorts, Elephant Parts, won the first-ever Grammy in the Music Video category in 1981, and in 1984 he served as an executive producer of the punk/cult film Repo Man. His mother also founded Liquid Paper, sold to Gillette for $48m.
The news comes less than a month after he and his bandmate Micky Dolenz wrapped The Monkees’ farewell tour with an emotional performance at Los Angeles’s Greek Theatre, during which Nesmith broke into tears several times.
Dolenz, the last living Monkee, paid tribute on social media saying, “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, Mick.”