Monkees singer-songwriter Mike Nesmith dies, aged 78

10 December 2021, 18:31 | Updated: 25 September 2023, 13:33

Mike Nesmith
Mike Nesmith. Picture: Alamy

By Tom Eames

Pop legend Michael Nesmith, member of The Monkees who wrote many of the group’s best-loved songs, has died at the age of 78.

“With Infinite Love we announce that Michael Nesmith has passed away this morning in his home, surrounded by family, peacefully and of natural causes,” his family said in a statement.

“We ask that you respect our privacy at this time and we thank you for the love and light that all of you have shown him and us.”

Nesmith was best known as the Monkees star who wore his green wool hat, and wrote songs like 'Mary, Mary', and 'The Girl I Knew Somewhere'.

Launched as part of a TV series as American rivals to The Beatles, The Monkees scored massive hits around the world, including 'Last Train to Clarksville', 'I’m a Believer' and 'Daydream Believer'.

The Monkees
The Monkees. Picture: Alamy

Alongside bandmates Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Peter Tork, the group soon found themselves frustrated at their record label for employing session musicians and other writers, limiting their own creativity.

Nesmith was the most prolific writer in the band, and following the dismissal of their music supervisor Don Kirshner, the Monkees went out on their own.

By the 1970s, the band had parted ways, and Nesmith took on country with his First National Band, finding new fans and admirers.

The Monkees - Daydream Believer (Official Music Video)

He also wrote for other artists including The Stone Poneys, Linda Ronstadt and the Nitty Gritty Dirty Band.

Following Jones and Tork's deaths, Micky Dolenz is now the lone surviving member of The Monkees. Nesmith and Dolenz had played their final show together last month.