Outside of their 1965-1970 heyday, Michael Nesmith had rarely returned to the Monkees — beyond the odd concert appearance here and there. That is, until bandmate Davy Jones’ death in 2012.
Suddenly, the thought of losing this musical bond thrust the remaining threesome back together. Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork have been touring together ever since, making several tandem tours even as Nesmith continues a solo career that began almost immediately after the end of the Monkees’ TV show with the First National Band.
“I went out with the guys two or three times,” Nesmith recently told a group of fans, “because they had a very active career performing as the Monkees. But I was busy too. I was making movies, and doing stuff — we constantly had schedule conflicts. Then, towards the end just before Davy died, we started talking again. Then, of course, we lost Davy, so Micky, Peter and I thought: ‘Well, you know, we should probably do this now — and really get out there. You know, who knows where this is going?'”
Before their tours in 2012-13, Nesmith had been mostly absent from the Monkees, appearing only during an LA encore when the other three reunited for a 20th anniversary tour in 1986. He contributed to their 1996 studio effort Justus, and took part in a brief UK tour that followed. Otherwise, the world mostly saw the Monkees as a trio without Nesmith.
Still, Nesmith argues: “Never did my love for the Monkees, and my love for Micky and Peter and Davy, diminish. It was fun, it was great. I had it as part of my life.”