Michael Nesmith will always be remembered for his role in the breakout ’60s smash group the Monkees. But over the course of 30 years, Nesmith has quietly become a prolific songwriter, performer, author and director as well.
With his upcoming solo performance this weekend at City Winery, amNewYork had a chance to chat with Nesmith about his career.
After 30 years in the business, what inspired you to kick off this solo U.S. tour?
I started as a performer and have missed it over the years. Micky [Dolenz] and Peter [Tork] wanted me to go on tour with them and I had offers that had regularly come in over the years, so everything seemed to point to me going out again.
Looking back on the Monkees, is it something that in the end you’re happy to have been a part of?
Very happy with the Monkees as an early part of my career. It was fun and a great way to spend my 20s. I loved it.
Do you still talk with Mickey and Peter following your last concert with them in 2012?
We are in regular, but infrequent, communication. We are discussing a tour for the spring.
Your last solo record received high marks in Rolling Stone. Are you planning to record any new material in the future?
I keep writing and recording — in today’s media it is hard to know just what a record is and what to do with new stuff — but I plan on staying with it as best as I can.
You’re a successful songwriter, performer, author and director. What would you like to have people remember you most from that list?
I think of myself as a writer — but since I was never trained in any discipline, it is hard to think of myself in any profession, social role or with any title. In fact, I find it better if I don’t think of myself at all.