In 1970, Michael Nesmith made it clear that he was exiting the Monkees to strike out on a solo career. John Ware of the band the Corvettes approached him to start a new band but Nesmith was reluctant, saying he would only do so if they could convince pedal steel player Red Rhodes to join the group.
Rhodes, indeed, did join and the First National Band was born, one of the earliest examples of country rock. Nesmith and that band recorded three classics of the genre, Magnetic South (1970), Loose Salute (1970) and Nevada Fighter (1971) which were filled with such classic songs as the hit “Joanne”, “Silver Moon” and “Propinquity (I’ve Just Begun to Care)” along with covers of such songs as “Beyond the Blue Horizon”, “I Fall to Pieces” and “Tumbling Tumbleweeds”.
On January 23 and 25, Nesmith will resurrect the First National Band name at The Coach House and The Troubadour in southern California. While he hasn’t announced the members of the band (Rhodes died in 1995), the announcement below promises music from those three albums plus a couple of other Nesmith classics from that time.
Coming to Southern California….
In January 2018, Michael Nesmith will bring the music of The First National Band back to the live arena with a series of shows focused on his RCA recordings, including a show on January 25th at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, where he debuted the First National Band in March 1970. Songs like “Different Drum” (a Top 20 hit for Linda Ronstadt & The Stone Poneys), “Listen to the Band”, “Some of Shelly’s Blues” (covered by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), and “Silver Moon” will join lesser-known but equally transcendent album sides in a rebirth of what was labeled by critics as “the greatest music that you never heard.”
01/23 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – The Coach House
01/25 – West Hollywood, CA – The Troubadour