Michael Nesmith's "Good Clean Fun" was The Monkees' 13th U.S. single and final as a trio, released in September 1969. The song peaked at #82 on the Billboard charts, and later appeared on The Monkees Present LP. As with many other Nesmith compositions (like "Papa Gene's Blues," "Tapioca Tundra," and "Daily Nightly"), the title of the track doesn't appear in the lyrics.
"That’s poetic license," Nesmith remarked to Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval in the liner notes of The Monkees Present deluxe edition. "That was a direct insult to a music publisher who told me that in order to have successful tunes I had to write music that was, 'Good clean fun,' and that had a recurring theme or hook line. Of course, I just rejected that out of hand. So what that was was just, 'Okay, I'll write a song called "Good Clean Fun." I just won't put it in there anywhere.'"
Michael has owned a few pedal steel guitars over the years and currently owns one. He had a custom model made by Sho-Bud in 1968 when he recorded in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Monkees recorded at RCA Nashville in the summer of 1967, and Michael later returned for his famed 'Nashville Sessions' in May and June of 1968. The musicians who supplied backup for Michael's sessions, which produced songs like "Listen to the Band," "Good Clean Fun," "Some of Shelly's Blues," and "St. Matthew," will be honored by the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Michael poses with Nashville musicians in 1968. Pictured are (back row, left to right): Mickey Newbury, Bobby Thompson, Jerry Carrigan, Roy Shockley, Michael, Felton Jarvis, David Briggs, Harold Bradley, Lloyd Green and Wayne Moss; (front row, left to right): Al Pachucki, Benjamin Pachucki, and Norbert Putnam
Here's a sampling of some of Michael's Nashville '68 work:
Area Code 615 supplied backup for Michael's 1968 Nashville recordings, which produced songs like "Listen to the Band," "Good Clean Fun," "Some of Shelly's Blues," and "St. Matthew."
The RCA building in Nashville has recently been the subject of a potential sale to a developer, and has caused a movement to preserve the site located on Music Row. The Monkees recorded at RCA Nashville in the summer of 1967, and Michael later returned for his famed 'Nashville Sessions' in May and June of 1968.
Musician Ben Folds wrote an impassioned letter (where he mentions The Monkees as having recorded there) urging the studio to be saved, and as of this weekend, plans are being reconsidered.
Here's an informative article that examines the history The Monkees have with the city of Nashville, where parts of their fourth album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., was recorded. Michael Nesmith's 1968 sessions in the city yielded "Listen to the Band," and Micky, Davy, and Michael taped an appearance on The Johnny Cash Show there in 1969:
In Memoriam: Michael Nesmith
Dolenz sings Nesmith - The EP