UPDATED 4/23/2017 @ 12:30pm EST
People: Monkees Star Mike Nesmith Reveals All on Drugs, a Near-Crippling Illness, and Jack Nicholson 'Bromance' in New Memoir
The Inquisitr: Mike Nesmith And Jack Nicholson: Inside The Monkees Star's Ill-Fated Friendship And How It Came To A 'Head'
In a message posted today on Facebook, Michael talked about the audio version of Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff:
The book is indeed available to download at Penguin Random House and Audible. Listen to a sample below:
Michael Nesmith's book, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff, is now officially available! There are a variety of options when purchasing, including hardback and Kindle editions, at iTunes, and an audio download via Penguin Random House and Audible. Michael has previously published two novels: The Long Sandy Hair of Neftoon Zamora (1998) and The America Gene (2009).
Advance praise for Infinite Tuesday has poured in, with both the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post delivering positive reviews. This past weekend, NPR aired an exclusive interview with Nez, and on April 27, he will appear in Santa Monica, California to discuss the book.
Stay tuned for further announcements and other engagements related to Michael's new work, and click on the image below to browse the archives of the Live Almanac for all things Infinite Tuesday!
Craig Smith wrote "Salesman," the opening track on The Monkees' fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. Smith was a friend of Michael Nesmith's and a member of The Penny Arkade, a group Nesmith produced in the recording studio. Nez talked about the Arkade and "Salesman" with Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval: "I really liked the way they sang," he said in the liner notes of Rhino's 1995 compact disc release of the LP. "I was drawn to record 'Salesman' because it reminded me of Sir Douglas and the Tex-Mex oompah."
The song was later used to great effect in the second season episode "The Devil and Peter Tork," but not before stirring controversy at NBC. The January 1968 issue of Hit Parader reported that the episode had been rejected by the network because of the inclusion of "Salesman," which was thought to have been about drug use. "NBC said we're not putting that song out," Peter Tork recalled in Sandoval's book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation. "They said, 'Because "Salesman's" got drug references in it.' In fact, it sort of does, but it's not direct and it's not approving by any stretch of the imagination. What it really says is, 'Salesmen are so sleazy, they'll sell anything.'"
By the time the episode aired on February 5, 1968, the song remained in the final cut of the show. Ultimately, Bert Schneider, one half of Raybert Productions that created The Monkees series, was convinced that the network's real problem was the use of the word 'hell' throughout the episode. Peter agreed with this assessment. "Bert felt that they didn't want to put the show on because they were pissed off directly and personally at having their idea of what's right and wrong challenged. They said it was centered on 'Salesman,' but he thought it was a red herring."
Shortly after experiencing success with "Salesman," Craig Smith fell on hard times by the 1970s. Abusing drugs and dropping out of society, Smith's life spiraled alarmingly. He's been the subject of writers previously, and now author Mike Stax has delved into his life in a new book, which was released last fall.
“The Monkees were the beginning for me, the amazing thing is they were only the beginning for Mike Nesmith. This is the way a genius lives life right. Great stories of his buddies Hendrix, Timmy Leary, and Douglas Adams, adventures while inventing the music video and changing home video, yogis in California, VR, and why you should never complain about the air conditioning on a private jet. Nez inspired me when I was 13 and now with this book he continues to inspire me at 61."
— Penn Jillette of “Penn & Teller”
“You know it’s a good book when you quote lines and anecdotes from it, and claim them as your own. Infinite Tuesday is fascinating and funny! In a word, Nezmerizing.”
— Jack Handey, author of Deep Thoughts and The Stench of Honolulu
“Mike Nesmith is a pop-culture spirit guide. Every creative person should take this revealing, hilarious, semi-hallucinogenic trip back in time through all the biggest cultural revolutions of the late 20th century. Nesmith himself was a driving force in many of them. This book is honest, moving, and inspirational.”
— Jay Roach, director of Austin Powers and Meet the Parents
“Infinite Tuesday is a picnic in forward motion. The table is full of gems, big and small, and studded throughout with a full cast of characters. I am already looking for volume two and, please, let there be one.”
— Ed Ruscha
“Nesmith is an artist, adventurer and thinker whose nimble creativity soared far above the appellation he was given: “The smart Monkee.” In Infinite Tuesday, he details the inner forces, from personal to spiritual, that kept him forging ahead –and that created stumbling blocks as well. Unsparing and revealing, this book is an unusual, unforgettable read.”
— Ben Fong-Torres
“Nesmith is witty and ironic and has a fund of amazing and often absurd stories. Infinite Tuesday is unlike any other music or movie autobiography.”
— Alex Cox, director of Repo Man
For more details and how to order: INFINITE TUESDAY An Autobiographical Riff By Michael Nesmith
Peter Mills is a longtime Monkees fan and author of The Monkees, Head, and the 60s. Back in September, Peter and his publisher, Jawbone Press, were kind enough to share an exclusive excerpt from the book with the Live Almanac. It's both a scholarly and entertaining work that fans of The Monkees are certain to enjoy. If you haven't checked it out, it's available in paperback and as a Kindle download. I've had the pleasure of exchanging several emails with Peter and I'm happy to give his book an enthusiastic endorsement!
Click on the image below to listen to Peter's interview with Ken Mills from the Zilch podcast:
"Nesmith may be most remembered for his role as the stoic guitarist in the Monkees, but his brilliant, candid, and humorous new autobiographical musings give readers a much clearer picture of his originality and inventiveness."
Long Title: Good Clean Fun; Examining the Monkees Songs, One By One by Michael A. Ventrella and Mark Arnold, is scheduled to be published (digital and paperback) in early 2018 by BearManor Media and will provide commentary and analysis of The Monkees' recorded work. The authors are encouraging fans to visit their website and provide input on various Monkees songs for potential use in the book.
You can visit the book's site by clicking on the image below, and don't forget to follow their Facebook page. A big thanks to co-author Michael A. Ventrella for providing the Live Almanac with a heads-up about this great project!
Thursday, April 27, 2017, 8pm
Michael Nesmith in conversation with D.A. Wallach
Ann and Jerry Moss Theater, Santa Monica, California
Discussing his upcoming memoir, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff
Here is a description of the event, courtesy of Live Talks Los Angeles on Facebook:
Michael Nesmith's career in music and television took him from starring in The Monkees to a celebrated run of albums as a solo artist and in the First National Band. He created the TV show Popclips, a forerunner of what would become MTV, and produced the films Repo Man and Tapeheads. He is the author of two novels and the founder of the Pacific Arts Corporation, which produces projects in the worlds of audio, video, and virtual reality, including Videoranch 3D.
The long, strange journey of Michael Nesmith is as fascinating as it as was fraught--from fleeing Dallas as a young man with his pregnant girlfriend, to gaining international fame as a member of the Monkees, to falling deep into the grips of what he calls Celebrity Psychosis, to finally achieving inner peace and finding a creative wellspring in the teachings of Christian Science. Influenced in equal parts by the consciousness-expanding ambitions of Timothy Leary and the cerebral humor of Douglas Adams, in Infinite Tuesday, Nesmith spins a spellbinding tale of an unexpected life, in which stories about meeting John Lennon, or recording with Nashville greats, or inventing the music video trace an arc from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, illuminating a remarkable mind along the way.
D.A. Wallach is a recording artist, songwriter, investor, and essayist who Kanye West and Pharrell Williams discovered while he was an undergraduate at Harvard College. He has been featured in GQ, Rolling Stone, Vogue, and numerous other publications, and has toured with N*E*R*D, Lady Gaga, and Weezer. D.A. has also performed on TV shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
As one half of Chester French, D.A. has released three full-length albums, and has written and performed on records with Janelle Monae, Rick Ross, Diddy, and many others. His solo debut for Capitol Records is Time Machine.
Beyond music, D.A. invests in and advises several start-up technology companies, including SpaceX, Doctor On Demand, Ripple Labs, DAQRI, and Spotify, where he was the official Artist in Residence. Forbes selected D.A. as one of its 30 Under 30 and Fast Company named him one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. In 2015, he launched Inevitable Ventures, an investment partnership with multibillionaire Ron Burkle that supports radical entrepreneurs in areas ranging from health care to labor.
In 2016, D.A. made his feature film debut in La La Land, which won a record number of Golden Globe Awards and received 14 Academy Award nominations, making it one of the 3 most nominated films in history. He frequently publishes essays on media, technology, and philosophy on his website and Medium.
The Monkees, Head, and the 60s by Peter Mills will be available in print and electronic editions from Jawbone Press on October 25 in the United States. You can read an exclusive excerpt here on the Live Almanac's blog, and for those in the United Kingdom, the book is already on the shelves!
The Monkees, Head, and the 60s by author Peter Mills will be available in print and electronic editions from Jawbone Press on October 25 in the United States. (It is already for sale in the UK.) You can pre-order at both Amazon US and Amazon UK.
The Monkees Live Almanac would like to thank both Mr. Mills and Tom Seabrook of Jawbone Press for allowing fans to have an early glimpse at the book!
The following is an advance look at The Monkees, Head, and the 60s by author Peter Mills. It will be available in print and electronic editions from Jawbone Press on September 13 in the United Kingdom and October 25 in the United States. The Monkees Live Almanac would like to thank both Mr. Mills and Tom Seabrook of Jawbone Press for allowing fans to have an early glimpse at the book! You can pre-order at both Amazon US and Amazon UK.
CHIMES OF FREEDOM, OR EVERY LAST STINKIN’ LITTLE NOTE: HEADQUARTERS (1967)
The Beverly Hills Hotel opened in 1912, just as the cogs of the cinema industry began turning, and it is partly responsible for turning the surrounding area into the fabulous adjunct to the Hollywood Life it became, with its elegance, exclusivity, and rows of bungalows later used by legendary writers or actors or lovers or all three. Reclining in lush, water-sprinkled languor just off Sunset Boulevard, its walls are rightly famous for their easiness on the eye: flamingo pink on the outside, wedding cake iced-white within. I got to visit it one hot August evening at sunset and it was like passing through a portal to paradise; life could be a dream, sweetheart. So closely is it associated with the idea of California and Hollywood in the popular imagination that it became symbolic of that life long before it appeared, looking mysterious and not a little Hispanic, on the sleeve of the 1976 Eagles album Hotel California. Yet that image isn’t the hotel’s only claim to pop music fame; as the taproot of the very idea of Hollywood, it is somehow appropriate that it was at the Beverly Hills Hotel on January 25 1967, at a meeting to decide who controlled the music of The Monkees, Michael Nesmith put his fist through a wall in one of those exclusive bungalows (‘$150 a day’, according to TV Guide’s report of the incident later that year) and began the ‘palace revolution’ in such palatial surroundings.
Later Mike told his ‘angel of peace’, the ever-conciliatory [Bert] Schneider, ‘I blew it. I shouldn’t have lost my temper. But it’s horrible to be the number one group in the country and not be allowed to play on your own records.’ Schneider said, ‘Well it’s rewarding to see you guys act as a group rather than four egotists who don’t pull together.’ To which Mike replied, ‘It’s the first time we’ve had a wagon to pull.’
His mixed feelings are laudable, his advocacy of the strength of the group remarkable. Once that $150 a day wall was broken through, a special kind of freedom lay on the other side. For The Monkees, in the short term, that meant shutting down the TV show and prioritising the music. So even though they had started to work on their own material in advance of Kirshner’s formal dismissal later in the year, that declaration of independence in a cool and moneyed room unlocked a huge store of energy and ideas – to whit, Headquarters. It was recorded in a flash of white-hot activity between Micky returning from London on February 23 and the band’s next live gig in Winnipeg, Canada, on April Fool’s Day.
It was a little rough at first because we had never worked together. As things developed and Headquarters evolved there came a kind of camaraderie, and we were all pulling together to make this album that was supposed to be only them playing on it. In fact maybe my best contribution to The Monkees was that I wanted to see them doing everything on their records, with nobody in the background who wasn’t a Monkee. So if you hear a vocal part, you’re gonna hear Micky or Davy or Peter or Mike, and nobody else.
The album is the sound of liberty itself. The count-in at the opening of the first track, ‘You Told Me’, is a playful nod to the squonky equivalent on Revolver’s opener, ‘Taxman’, but also a gleeful little shout of autonomy, followed by those opening chimes of freedom on a 12-string guitar. Likewise, the reclamation of Nesmith’s second number on side one, ‘You Just May Be The One’, from the ‘TV version’ is complete, as the track does indeed feature just them – the four Monkees. Chip Douglas handled the bass on some of the tracks to allow Peter to add extra colours on keyboard and guitar but on this tune, already played in on a dozen gigs between New Year and February, it was the quartet alone:
Peter did play bass on a couple of songs – in fact he played on ‘You Just May Be The One’, and he really did a great bass part on that too. He played in a little different style to me, playing with a flat pick and I don’t. Maybe you can hear that on the record, I don’t know.
The album showcases Nesmith’s flourishing songwriting styles – pop-folk (‘You Just May Be The One’), country-pop (‘You Told Me’), a sound greatly assisted by Tork’s banjo, and pure ’67 pop with a gloss of psychedelia (‘Sunny Girlfriend’, complete with backward cymbals). It also allowed Peter Tork to expand his musical contributions many fold – playing guitar, banjo, and keyboards, arranging for cello and French horn (‘Shades Of Gray’) and writing ‘For Pete’s Sake’ (with his flatmate Joey Richards) which became the end-title theme for the second series, signalling the changes in the TV show as well as in the studio. It is a freedom song for the group as well as a claim on the rights of a whole generation. As Tork’s lyric declares, ‘We gotta be free!’, echoing sentiments of the first album’s ‘I Wanna Be Free’ while remaking and expanding it, exchanging the individual wish for the collective assertion. In spring ’67, youth culture was on the threshold of the Summer of Love, and this song, with its bluesy guitar picking, washes of organ, and effortlessly soulful vocal from Dolenz, chimes perfectly with that. The Monkees’ apparent escape from their gilded cage is a fine metaphor for a cultural transformation and a flight into freedom.
© 2016 Peter Mills / Jawbone Press