The Monkees’ Mike Nesmith Squashed the Idea He Was a ‘Pioneer’ of Country Rock Music

The Monkees guitarist Mike Nesmith has lengthy been applauded for his fusion of rock and nation music way back to the late Nineteen Sixties. Nevertheless, Nesmith squashed the concept he was a “pioneer” of nation rock music, claiming he simply adopted what felt pure to him as a musician.

Mike Nesmith | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photographs

Upon presenting his nation/rock mix of music to ‘The Monkees’ producers, he was met with a ‘negative’ response

Mike shared with Uncut Magazine that when presenting his music to the producers of The Monkees tv present, they met him with a “uniformly negative” response. This response was maybe as a result of the undeniable fact that the present centered round a pop band and Nesmith wrote songs with a nation music aptitude.

“There was no reception within The Monkees’ power structure for my music. The response was uniformly negative,” he defined. “My songs, the way I sang, were perceived as liabilities that would marginalize the effort to create pop records,” he continued.

“Anything of mine that did show up was there only after massive struggles and some very difficult times. But, you know, that was just part of the drill. There was a TV show, a movie, and a whole nexus of talent. It was just a whirlwind.”

Nevertheless, Mike Nesmith squashed the concept he was a ‘pioneer’ of nation rock music

Mike Nesmith wears a Nudie cowboy suit at a red carpet event.
Mike Nesmith | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photographs

In an interview with Damien Love, Nesmith squashed the concept he was a “pioneer” of nation rock music. Nevertheless, he was fusing the two types of music from the earliest days of The Monkess with songs like “Sweet Young Thing” and “Papa Gene’s Blues.” Each tunes have been featured on the band’s first album, and coincided with the debut of their 1966 tv collection.

Nevertheless, Nesmith didn’t consider he had that a lot affect in a style that featured acts comparable to The Eagles, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Buffalo Springfield, The Eagles, The Byrds, The Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and The Nitty Gritty Filth Band. His First Nationwide Band additionally was a member of that elite group of recording artists.

“It only may be so that I was a ‘pioneer.’ But it wasn’t conscious,” he defined. “I guess I understand what people are getting at by trying to separate out Country Rock from regular country.”

Nesmith continued, “I’d say the defining element of Country Rock is attitude. Rock and Roll itself is an attitude, more than anything else. Being situated as I was, growing up among the Rock and Rollers and embracing them, while listening to traditional country music.”

“It was natural for me to bring a rock and roll attitude to the country blues form. Whether this qualifies as pioneering I don’t know. That seems more a function of the time that it happened, rather than the fact that it happened,” Nesmith concluded.

Mike Nesmith was a songwriter earlier than The Monkees

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Nesmith began writing and performing music after a stint in the Air Power, recording underneath the identify Michael Blessing. It was there that he discovered some small success as a songwriter.

Throughout that interval, Nesmith wrote a tune recorded by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys (“Different Drum”), and the Greenbriar Boys. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band recorded “Mary Mary” earlier than it was a hit for The Monkees.

In late 1965, Nesmith learn a journal advert in search of “four insane boys” to play in a Beatles-inspired band on a new TV present. This job swap set Nesmith on the path of a tv profession, however he at all times knew how necessary and profitable songwriting could possibly be. Subsequently, he rallied in opposition to the powers who ran the behind-the-scenes machinations of The Monkees.

The truth is, throughout his final tour with Monkees, bandmate Mickey Dolenz mentioned Nesmith’s songwriting throughout the live performance. Dolenz informed the crowd that Nesmith as soon as inspired him to write down songs, saying, “that’s where the money is.” “Boy, I wished I had listened,” Dolenz mentioned.

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