Rhino Records celebrated the release of Michael Nesmith's book, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff, with a compact disc that highlights Michael's musical career. Videoranch also issued a vinyl LP in conjunction with the book. A big thanks to Ben Belmares who provided scans of his copy of the vinyl album!
On April 28, Michael Nesmith appeared with D.A. Wallach in Santa Monica, California at an event sponsored by Live Talks Los Angeles to promote his new book, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff. Here's the official video footage of their discussion:
"War Games" was composed by Davy Jones and Steve Pitts and was originally considered for inclusion on the soundtrack of The Monkees' 1968 feature film, Head. Pitts was a friend of Michael Nesmith's from Texas, and Nez introduced the pair to each other in late 1966. They eventually entered into a songwriting partnership, composing such tracks as "Dream World," "The Poster," "Smile," "Party," "I'm Gonna Try," and "Changes" (another song that was floated for Head, and at the time of its recording, the name of the film).
Two versions of "War Games" exist. The first was recorded in January 1968 under the supervision of Nesmith. Present at the initial sessions were Michael, Davy, Steve, and Bob Rafelson, who offered the visual image he was getting while hearing the track being produced. "It sounds to me like four spade chicks all dressed in American flags and all wigglin' their asses at the same time, goin' down the street," reported Andrew Sandoval in his book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation, after listening to the session tapes. "You dig what I mean? If you just start thinkin' on that, it sounds awful good." Nez replied with some hesitation. "Thanks Bob. That's very groovy. That's what we are playin', right?"
Sandoval discussed the first version of "War Games" in the liner notes of Rhino's 2010 deluxe edition release of The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees:
(Sandoval notes in his book that Michael most likely overdubbed the Hammond organ part at a future recording session.)
In February 1968, Davy went back into the studio with Lester Sill and Shorty Rogers and remade "War Games" in a slower arrangement with horns and strings:
"War Games" wouldn't be heard until version 2 appeared on 1987's Missing Links. Version 1 would make its debut on the 2010 deluxe edition of The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees.
Go ahead and take a moment to vote in the poll below to show your preference between the two versions of the song:
Last evening, Michael Nesmith appeared in Santa Monica, California at an event sponsored by Live Talks Los Angeles to promote his new book, Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff. The session was hosted by D.A. Wallach, and Michael also signed books for attendees. A big thanks to Jeff Gehringer who submitted this report to the Live Almanac:
"What a wonderful evening at the Moss Center. Great to hear intelligent conversation with no mention of Liquid Paper! The extended Monkees family were on hand: Andrew Sandoval, Gary Strobl, Henry Diltz, Christian Nesmith, Circe Link, Rodney Bingenheimer, and John Hughes. I got a laugh from John when I asked him to sign the new Nez CD (he produced the set). Once the evening began, the session was funny and interesting. We loved his candid responses. The stories about getting high in Ojai [while writing the script for Head], asking Hendrix how to play 'Purple Haze,' and John Lennon soliciting Mike's thoughts about an unfinished recording of 'Sgt. Pepper,' were hilarious. The audience of 700 loved it. The book signing went quickly, too. Thanks Mike, for sharing your evening with us. I can't wait to see your next step."
Here's another photo taken while Michael was discussing The Monkees and Jimi Hendrix:
Live Talks Los Angeles has posted a gallery of photos from the event on their Facebook page (click the image below to visit):
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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:
Interview with Wayne Avers