Most know him as a member of the Monkees but Mike Nesmith’s contributions to the world of music go well beyond the 60’s group.
After leaving the group, he became one of the early pioneers of country rock, recording with his First National Band. He began producing other artists and, in the late 70’s, became one of the early adapters to music videos with his track Rio, the long form video Elephant Parts, for which he won the very first Grammy for video, and the TV series PopClips. During the 80’s, he produced such landmark videos as Lionel Richie’s All Night Long and Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel.
That’s quite a legacy.
On April 18, Nesmith is going to tell the whole story in his new autobiography Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff which he says is “non-fiction and non-what you think”.
It’s not a memoir but is sort of chronological. It follows my life as different bands come together and break up – all kinds of bands. Groups of extraordinary people who sweep into our lives, we play along with them for a while, then we all move on. This bandology, as I call it, has always impressed me, whether I am listening or playing.
Four days earlier, on April 14, Nesmith will release a companion compilation of music, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff: The Music.
The album starts in 1965 with Nesmith’s first recording, pre-Monkees, as Michael Blessing, The New Recruit. While Nesmith’s voice was not used on the Monkees hits, a couple of cuts from his time with the band are included, Papa Gene’s Blues from their debut LP, The Girl I Knew Somewhere which was the b-side of A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You and Listen to the Band which was the first single to include Nesmith on lead.
His solo career makes up the majority of the album with early-70’s hit Joanne, along with Silver Moon, Some of Shelly’s Blues, Rio and Cruisin’ along with music from later in his career.
The track list:
The New Recruit (single by Michael Blessing, 1965)
Papa Gene’s Blues (from The Monkees’ The Monkees, 1966)
Different Drum (from And the Hits Just Keep on Comin’, 1972)
The Girl I Knew Somewhere (b-side of The Monkees’ single A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You, 1967 – First Recorded Version/Stereo Remix)
Listen To The Band (The Monkees single, 1969)
Joanne (from Magnetic South, 1970)
Silver Moon (from Loose Salute, 1970)
Some Of Shelly’s Blues (from Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash, 1973)
Opening Theme: Life, The Unsuspecting Captive (from The Prison: A Book With a Soundtrack, 1974)
Rio (from From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing, 1977)
Cruisin’ (from Infinite Rider on the Big Dogma, 1979)
Light (from The Newer Stuff, 1989)
Laugh Kills Lonesome (from Tropical Campfires, 1992)
Rays (from Rays, 2006)