Happy Birthday wishes to the Monkees' Mike Nesmith who celebrates his 71st birthday today (December 30th). Sadly, today also would've been the late Davy Jones' birthday as well. Jones died of a sudden heart attack on February 29th, 2012 at age 66.
Last July, the other surviving Monkees -- Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork -- kicked off their second tour with Nesmith back in the fold after shying away from most of the group's road treks since 1986. Prior to his initial December 2012 reunion gigs, Nesmith hadn't played with the Monkees since 1997, when he performed on handful of European gigs before calling it quits.
In addition to his recent live work as a Monkee, Nesmith has been wowing fans with a string of career-spanning solo shows, which showcases his deep catalogue since the end of his tenure with the Monkees in 1969.
Nesmith is currently a trustee and vice-chair of the American Film Institute. He's also a trustee and president of the Gihon Foundation, an entrepreneurial philanthropy group started by Nesmith's mother, Bette C. Graham, the inventor of Liquid Paper correction fluid. Nesmith was one of the major catalysts behind MTV, and won the 1981 Grammy Award for Video Of The Year -- the first-ever Grammy awarded in that field.
Nesmith was back on board for the Monkees' ill-fated 1997 reunion, which included their Justus album, the TV special Hey Hey We're The Monkees, and a brief UK tour.
In addition to his many Monkees classics, Nesmith is best known for writing Linda Ronstadt's breakthrough hit, "Different Drum" -- a 1967 Top 20 hit for her early group, the Stone Poneys.
Shortly before his death, Davy Jones spoke frankly about Nesmith's talents: "He's a friggin' genius, OK? And most geniuses are unpredictable and very difficult, and they're never satisfied with what they do."
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