This is how I will remember Mike, another hopeful young performer who came to Hollywood, hit the heights so many others only dream of, and became the ‘father’ figure on a show that eschewed authority figures. RIP Mike Nesmith.
But there is more to say (heck, I discovered there was a whole book’s worth). In Monkees fan circles I call myself a Mickey girl as Dolenz was my major childhood crush from the show. What I recognized in the character of Mike (all the actors used their real names on the show which proved to make their career lives post the show a bit more difficult) was the strength and balance he brought to the show. Part of that came from being among the older (and taller) of the 4 actors and part from his having been in the military for a short time – and he was the only then-married member of the band.
Just as Davy Jones brought his bit of vaudevillian Broadway to the show, Peter Tork brought a bit of peace-loving hippie and Mickey Dolenz brought his Marx Brothers madcap-ed-ness, Mike brought what one producer defined as a “Will Rogers kind of country and western figure” to the show – and to their concerts through his songwriting. I wonder what would have happened if back then actors also contributed writing to their TV shows as some do today… What sort of adventures would Mike have added to the story of those 4 fictional boys who dreamed of being famous when he lived that dream…?