Michael Nesmith Life & Times/ Open Lines

Hosted byDave Schrader

Michael Nesmith Life & Times/ Open Lines

About the show

The Monkees TV show debuted over 50 years ago. The guy in the band who always wore a winter hat, Michael Nesmith, joined guest host Dave Schrader (email) to discuss his new memoir, Infinite Tuesday, which chronicles his eclectic life, his invention of the music video, his contributions to movies, comedy, and virtual reality, as well as his time in The Monkees. "[The memoir] started to come together in a way that I realized this is not a tell-all... it's critical path that it be perfectly and meticulously honest in every turn, so you can't hide anything," he said.

About 400 people tried out for a role on The Monkees TV show, Nesmith recalled, noting how the script had named each of the four lead characters but after he, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Davy Jones were cast the producers chose to use their real names. At the time of the show, television was a relatively new medium, and Nesmith suggested the originality of the show idea, and the individuals involved in the production created something that could not be repeated (even though there have been attempts). "There's something embedded in the early shows that made it eternal, made it persist," he said.

Nesmith recounted his disappointment in finding out the show runners had no plans to use his songs in the show or on the albums. According to Nesmith, music supervisor Don Kirshner had prohibited The Monkees from recording their own albums but the show's producers went to bat for them, imploring they be allowed to play if they could. The group went on to learn the songs and play them live to massive crowds, and Nesmith got to write a few songs too. Regarding the craziness that ensued when The Monkees took the stage, Nesmith admitted: "Mickey and I couldn't hear each other at all... he watched the heel of my boot to see what time I was keeping."

Open Lines followed in the latter half of the program.

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