Thank you, thank you for all the emails and concern.
No – I’m fine – health is good – and I am happy and working away on things. I didn’t realize I had disappeared until I started getting emails and postings wondering what happened. So thanks for the interest and the outreach and be assured — all is well.
I knew things were a bit out of hand when I got the email today from our Guild master in WoW that I hadn’t been ingame for a week and she was worried. I’ll try to get in soon.
I have been working on some things that have my full attention. One thing I just did was gather all my postings on FB and put them in a book form. So many have asked over the years for me to do this, so I did it, just to see what it looked like.
I was fascinated by it, although it was a bit like looking at my own navel. I went all the way back to my first signing-on to FB – the first posting was “hiya” — up until just a few weeks ago, when I started slowing down on the postings.
The postings have so many changes and things going on them, life events, like my separation from Victoria (devastating for me), and the death of Davy, the wedding of Carolyn Wonderland and Whitney Brown, and other fascinating bits and turns: Dale the dog, and Roy the dog, and Monkees tour and my UK tour; all there in snippets of the strange literature of online communication. Strange because it is oddly terse, and usually assumes the readers have the back story.
I just sent it off to an agent, John Brockman, to see what he could do with it as far as getting it published. He is a long time friend, and a remarkable character (he did the ad campaign for “Head”. That is his pictures on the poster!).
I enjoy his company and like him a lot. I know he will shoot straight with me. I also know it is hard to get things printed these days in the world of no print presses, so we shall see.
You can help by sending him an email and telling him why you think they should be printed – or why you think they should not, if that is what you think.
It’s hard to know just which summer beach books might work and which wont. If you comment here you can just cut and paste an email to John — firstname.lastname@example.org — with “Michael Nesmith updated his status” in the subject line – that’s the name of the book — so he can get a look at some of the comments the idea of this book has received over the years.
You could also give him a boost by sending him an email without any FB comment – and tell him what you think of the idea of these posts as a book — even if you think it is awful. It will be helpful. Frankly, none of us know what to do with this – or if we should do anything, or even what it really is. Non-fiction? alt.fiction? So give him a ping and fill up his email box.
To the question of “what are you doing?” — I am working on turning Rays into a symphony that I can perform with an orchestra. Yes, pretension lurks at every turn but I am giving it a try.
I hatched the idea at the Stagecoach Festival this Spring, of all places. I watched Jason Aldean and Blake Shelton play to 90K people in cowboy hats and cut-offs and no shirts, and they were splendid. Just what the afternoon ordered. The crowd went wild. The crowd was wild, in fact.
I, on the other hand, was way off in the margins, playing ballads and riffing on Movies of the Mind, and was completely out of place. I learned my lesson. The mating ritual of a 90K person festival is no place for Papa Nez. Fun as they are – and I enjoyed the one’s in my time – I have moved on, and my presence at one of those Festivals is like Dad showing up at a basement dope and grope and turning on the lights.
Still, I do love the performing, so I thought it might be good to try to arrange my songs and music into something that a different type of event could contain, but was more sedate — like an orchestra performance.
I am now putting together a package for that – but have to admit it’s like I fell in another crack. Neither classical or pops, the music I have written makes a slipper, no doubt, but I am still searching for Princess to try it on. That part is not so easy. Very hard in fact.
It is fun, but slow going, and I have to learn a lot. Once it is together I will send it out to some concert agents who specialize in these orchestra hybrids and see if I can get any takers to let me come play it.
I’ll let you know when it is ready – if it ever is – and maybe you will write another email for me to another agent.
In any case – all is well here, happy and content, and life is good below the radar. Thanks for asking.
John Brockman is known in the Monkees world as the 'head' used in the initial promotional campaign for The Monkees' 1968 feature film, Head. You can read a detailed analysis of the Brockman campaign at SOTCAA.
Peter Tork and Davy Jones held up a poster of Brockman during a late 1968 appearance on the Hy Lit Show in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
Here's a roadside billboard advertising Head and featuring Brockman, located in Hollywood on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights (presumably photographed in late 1968):
Today Brockman works as a literary agent and author, and is employed by Michael Nesmith. In 1996 Brockman launched Edge, a website "devoted to discussions of cutting edge science by many of the world's brilliant thinkers." The following biography of Brockman can be found on the site:
John Brockman is a cultural impresario whose career has encompassed the avant-garde art world, science, books, software, and the Internet. In the 1960s he coined the word "intermedia" and pioneered "intermedia kinetic environments" in art, theatre, and commerce, while also consulting for clients such as General Electric, Columbia Pictures, Scott Paper, The Pentagon, and the White House.
In 1973, he formed Brockman, Inc., the international literary and software agency specializing in serious nonfiction. He is the founder of the nonprofit Edge Foundation, Inc. and editor of Edge, the highly acclaimed website devoted to discussions of cutting edge science by many of the world's brilliant thinkers, the leaders of what he has termed "the third culture."
In 1997, Brockman made a cameo appearance in The Monkees' ABC television special that year:
Brockman plays a lawyer and can be seen 25 seconds into the show:
The November/December 2010 issue of Shindig! featured an updated take of Brockman's Head promotional imagery:
An Evening With The Monkees 2020