Since the announcement of his autobiography several months back, anticipation has been high from Michael Nesmith fans. In terms of his prose, Nesmith’s intelligence and warmth have always shined through his words, and the idea of a entire volume containing his life story, from his own perspective, is a true gift — one that goes deep into his incredible history as a musician, video innovator, philanthropist, and the guy who made Repo Man a possibility.

A fascinating read, the book is paced in a way that matches his mellow Texas drawl, and covers the familiar Monkees era with priceless recollections from his days growing up with a brilliant single mother who divided her time as an office worker and artist (rising out of poverty into fortune as the inventor of Liquid Paper) and a constant a guiding light of spirituality. His mother also headed two foundations; one of which was centered around helping women in business – the other, art. Upon inheriting his mother’s estate, Nez sold the art pieces in the collection that were paired by male artists, purchased a collection of works by female artists, and set up a traveling exhibition of the pieces that were displayed in common areas such as shopping malls. The intent was to exhibit art in spaces where it rarely seen, in hopes of inspiring others creativity. There are several other humbly presented acts of philanthropy discussed in the book that are downright heroic as well.

Yes, Nesmith is one of the true innovators in the annals of country rock, but the influence of r&b and beyond pushed his songwriting into areas free of any type of genre limitation. As an artist Nez has explored psychedelia, pop, tinges of jazz and world music into his body of work. Thankfully, recordings from his groundbreaking 1968 Nashville sessions (most of which were unissued for many years) have been released on various Monkees anthologies and show the depth of his innovation as a both a songwriter and visionary (see “Listen zoo The Band’, ‘St Matthew’, ‘Hollywood’, “Propinquity’ in the below playlist). words / d see

Michael Nesmith – A History – Curated By Aquarium Drunkard

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