With the surviving Monkees about to begin a new tour leg this Monday in Port Chester, New York, Michael Nesmith is shedding some light on his reasons for rejoining the group as well as why he kick-started his career as a solo performer. In a new Rolling Stone interview, the singer/guitarist talks candidly about how he feels about the reunion, his relationship with his fellow Monkees and his reignited passion for music.
Nesmith, who until last year hadn't toured with the group for more than 15 years, explains that "the reason I hadn't done it before is because I was busy with other things. But I'm not so busy now." He adds that he also doesn't "have the same distractions that I once did."
Regarding why he's heading out on a second series of Monkees concerts, his answer is simple enough: He "had a great time" on the previous one.
Nesmith also discussed the perception by some that during The Monkees' heyday and beyond, he felt some resentment about his connection to the pop-rock band and TV phenomenon.
He insists that wasn't the case at all, noting, "It was a nice part of the resume. It was a fun for me, and a great time of my life. I mean, where do you want be in the '60s except the middle of rock & roll, hanging out with the scene?"
As for his personal relationship with Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, Nesmith says, "We're lifelong friends," while pointing out that when they're not touring he speaks with them infrequently "but regularly."
Asked about reports that he and late Monkee Davy Jones didn't get along, Michael responds, "In terms of what I can tell you, David and I didn't have any problems. We worked together just fine." Characterizing The Monkees as a whole, he says, "We were not brothers or especially close, but we were good, solid, professional workers and companions."
Regarding the possibility of recording new music with The Monkees, something Dolenz has said he'd like to see happen, Nesmith says he's open to it. However, he points out that "it's a weird time for the music business, and particularly a weird time for us," while questioning how the group would go about producing and promoting new material.
As for his concrete plans for the immediate future, the singer declares, "I'm looking forward to the Monkees summer tour. I'm doing a [solo] fall tour. I'm just loading my calendar up and having a great time."
The Monkees' U.S. outing runs through an August 18 show in Portland, Oregon.
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