Mike Nesmith of The Monkees have given an exclusive interview to Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips about his career that spans more than 50 years.
Mike Nesmith told Greg Phillips about why his songs weren’t recorded by The Monkees. “A band member of the Greenboro Boys named John Harold had come out to visit and I befriended him,” he told Australian Musician magazine. “He said ‘what are you writing these days’ and I said ‘I am trying to write pop songs but I’m not having any luck’.”
“Pop songwriters all lived back on the East Coast,” he said. “They were the ones writing the songs like ‘hey baby lets dance like the train’s in Penn Station’. I didn’t have any traction for it or what they were doing so I just did what I did and submitted to the powers that be and they all said ‘no, its too twangy. You are too much of a country guy and its not going to work for a pop TV show’. So I just rode on the bus to see what happens and that’s how the Monkees songs came to be. I didn’t really write anything. I was just singing harmony and playing the guitar.
Mike says that although The Monkees were a manufactured band for TV he doesn’t see similarities with today’s reality TV pop stars. “I don’t think of them as similar because the times have changed,” he said. “There was a grid of executive power between these days and the 70s. There was nothing that you wanted to mess with. I shut up and sat down for the most part. But I really enjoyed being in the show. I really enjoyed working with David and Mickey and Peter. The writers had a quirk and I enjoyed the songs and music. For a kid that was 20 years old it felt like I fallen into a tub of butter. I loved doing it but I knew it had a short life”.
Watch the full interview here:
PHOTO GALLERY: THE MONKEES IN MELBOURNE BY ROS O’GORMAN
The Monkees Australian and New Zealand dates
Saturday June 8, Christchurch, Isaac Theatre
Sunday June 9, Auckland, Great Hall
Monday, June 10, Wellington, Michael Fowler Centre
Wednesday June 12 Brisbane QPAC
Saturday June 15 Melbourne Palais Theatre
Sunday June 16 Perth Astor Theatre
Tuesday June 18 Sydney Opera House
Tickets on sale: http://davidroywilliams.com/tours/themonkees/