Legendary singer and guitarist of the Monkees, Mike Nesmith, has tragically died of heart failure at age 78.
Up until only last month, Mike Nesmith, the wool hat wearing, guitar playing, dreamy singer of the Monkees, was still touring with Micky Dolenz, the now sole surviving member of the four-piece ’60s rock-pop band.
Nesmith passed away over the weekend, suffering from heart failure, at the age of 78. In a tear-jerking tweet, Dolenz expressed his pain over his bandmate’s death; “I’m heartbroken. I’ve lost a dear friend and partner.”
You might mistake the Monkees for some sort of Beatles wannabe rip-off band, and wildly, that was kind of the original point. Mike Nesmith, along with Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Briton Davy Jones, were recruited in the mid-1960s to star in a TV series revolving around a band of four dreamy brits seeking their big break.
They were a made-for-TV pop outfit constructed to parallel the Beatles, that eventually morphed into a real-life, chart-topping band that rivalled the Fab Four for the hearts of the teenage girl masses.
The Monkees were short-lived -–they desperately abhorred the overly manufactured and controlled conditions forced on them at the height of their pop stardom, and they split in 1970 once the TV show was cancelled.
Mike Nesmith was the original pop star rebelling against the tight constraints of the evil label guys; a re-appearing character in the music industry’s lore.
RIP Michael Nesmith, the wool cap wearing member of the Monkees…here he is with Frank Zappa in 1968 impersonating each other and talking about the proliferation of 3 chord songs in Rock & Roll pic.twitter.com/Xlk8El9TvV
— Wu-Tang Is For The Children (@WUTangKids) December 10, 2021
Nesmith went on to have a long and diverse career filled with country rock solo albums, TV show creation and appearances, and music video productions the likes of Lionel Richie’s All Night Long.
The Monkees reunited several times throughout the decades. 2016 saw the release of a final album featuring all four OG members. Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz continued touring as the band up until last month.