Michael Nesmith re-joined and toured with The Monkees last year across the United States. The Monkees performed 12 successful tour dates and were one of the Top 20 concert tours, as reported by Pollstar and The Monkees Live Almanac. Nesmith decided to go on a solo 'Nez Tour' for the Spring of 2013 after a successful British tour. Nez is going to perform an ambitious 17 shows in March and April. Nez fans are excited about it because this is technically his first U.S solo tour since 1992. Nesmith plans to perform songs from fifty years of writing and recording.
The tour starts on March 21 near Nashville and will take Nez to New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. In addition to the regular concert tickets there is rumored to be a limited number of tickets for after show receptions. At these VIP events, Nesmith will sign autographs, talk with fans and pose for pictures with them. Several tour dates on the Nez Tour are already sold out.
“The songs I’ll play are a touch chronological and a touch thematic. I picked my favorites to play, the ones I have come to love over the years, and the ones that are most requested by fans of my solo work,” Nesmith says. The focus of the show will be on his latter-day song writing and recordings. Nesmith selected one song he wrote for the Monkees, “Papa Gene’s Blues,” as the opener for the concert. “I hope Monkees fans are not disappointed, but my solo recorded music is extensive and the songs that were part of the Monkees era comprise only a tiny part of it.”
Fans of Nesmith’s First National Band will have much to look forward to, including “Joanne,” “Silver Moon,” “Propinquity,” “Grand Ennui” and “Thanks for the Ride.” This last song will include specially programmed software so the original pedal steel solo by Red Rhodes plays along with Nesmith and the band as they play the song live. Also look for songs from the albums 'And the Hits Just Keep On Coming', 'Photon Wing' and 'Infinite Rider', as well as 'Elephant Parts', 'Tropical Campfires', 'The Prison' and his latest, 'Rays.' Nez plans to perform for approximately 90 minutes onstage during each performance.
Examiner was excited to ask Michael a few questions about the upcoming tour.
Examiner: What is your favorite song that The Monkees performed on the 2012 Tour? Is there any song you wish The Monkees had performed on the tour?
Nez: "Circle Sky (from the soundtrack to 'Head'). We played my favorites."
E: Where are your favorite places to perform live?
N: "I love outdoor arenas -- great sound for the stage -- no echo --and nothing beats being outside in nature for me."
E: Before The Monkees toured last year, a video of you performing "Tapioca Tundra" at a Videoranch live rehearsal was posted by The Monkees' facebook account. It is up to almost 50,000 views and has an interesting array of comments left on the video.
What are your thoughts about videos of you performing live? Did this performance or the popularity of this video have anything to do with the song "Tapioca Tundra" being included in the 2012 set list?
N: "I didn't realize it had that many views! It is a regular request from Monkees fans which is the main reason it was included. I am happy to have live performance videos in circulation. I think it helps."
E: I know in the past your children have helped out with some of your live performances and Videoranch 3D recording sessions. Are any of your children making a visit to the Nez Tour? I know you are only performing one Monkees' song, "Papa Gene's Blues," on the spring tour. But if you were to include a second Monkees' song on this tour, which one would it be?
N: "Jessica Nesmith is going to be second in command Tour Manager for this tour. I would probably sing Tapioca Tundra -- but the show is too long as it is so I wont be performing it this time around."
E: What aspect of the meet and greet sessions is the most entertaining for you? Will there be Michael Nesmith merchandise available at the venues on this tour? Will there be any Videoranch 3D involvement, such as a webcast of one of the shows?
N: "I like seeing people eyes to eyes and getting a real sense of who they are. There will plenty of merch but only a few items -- a box set, a song book, and a few other things. No plans for VR3D in any of these shows but we might do something later in the year."
On the 'Nez Solo Spring Tour,' the songs will be presented with short introductions that include a cinematic setting. According to Nesmith, “The songs live in my mind like mini-movies; vignettes that associate themselves with the emotions of the song. I want the audience to share that.”
Michael Nesmith tours may be few and far between, but he greatly enjoys the onstage connection. “I have found nothing like a live performance in any other expression of the arts,” he says. “When it is done right, it is a most joyful and happy event: like a good meal, a fine conversation or a lover’s kiss. A word sung is worth a thousand pictures,” he concludes.
Michael Nesmith is a musician, songwriter, actor, producer, novelist, businessman and philanthropist, well known for his start as the singing, wool-capped, Gretsch guitar-slinging co-star of the Monkees television series (1966-68). His songs were recorded not only by the Monkees (“Papa Gene’s Blues,” “The Girl I Knew Somewhere,” “Mary, Mary,” and “Listen to the Band” among others) but also by Linda Ronstadt & the Stone Poneys (“Different Drum”), the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (“Some of Shelley’s Blues”) the Butterfield Blues Band and Run-DMC (“Mary Mary”).
Nesmith executive produced the movies Repo Man (1984), Timerider, and Tapeheads and founded Pacific Arts, a record, film and video production house and book publisher. He was the first and only winner of the Grammy Award for Video of the Year for his 1981 long-form video Elephant Parts. He is also the inventor and founder of Videoranch3D, for which he holds a patent.
Here is a complete list of the Michael Nesmith solo 2013 tour dates:
Thursday, March 21 in Franklin, TN at the Franklin Theater – SOLD OUT
Sunday, March 24 in Agoura Hills, CA at the Canyon Club
Tuesday, March 26 in Santa Cruz, CA at the Rio Theater
Wednesday, March 27 San Francisco, CA at the Palace of Fine Arts
Friday, March 29 at the Aladdin Theater in Portland, Oregon
Saturday, March 30 in Seattle, WA at the Neptune Theater
Wednesday, April 3 in Boulder, CO at the Boulder Theater
Friday, April 5 in St. Paul, MN at the Fitzgerald Theater
Saturday, April 6 in Chicago, IL at The Old Town School of Folk Music – SOLD OUT
Sunday, April 7 in Ferndale, MI at The Magic Bag - SOLD OUT
Tuesday, April 9 in Munhall, PA at the Carnegie Music Hall of Holmstead
Thursday, April 11 in Northampton, MA at the Iron Horse - SOLD OUT
Friday, April 12 in Rahway, NJ at the Union County Performing Arts Center
Saturday, April 13 in Somerville, MA at the Somerville Theater
Monday, April 15 in Philadelphia, PA at the World Café Live - SOLD OUT
Tuesday, April 16 in New York, NY at Town Hall
Wednesday, April 17 in Washington, DC at The Birchmere