The Monkees would like to believe that as members of one of the most popular bands of the late 1960s, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork were close friends. However, that appears not to be the absolute truth. Nesmith told a reporter back in 1967 that his most intimate friendships were not with members of The Monkees.
Mike Nesmith and his fellow Monkees bandmates often clashed
It has long been part of The Monkees lore that the foursome wasn’t as close as they appeared to be on stage and on the set of their television series.
Rolling Stone asked Nesmith if the rumors he couldn’t get along with Jones were true. He replied, “Well, some people would say that one or both of us were fractious and couldn’t get along with anybody. I’ll leave that somewhere on the doorstep or the threshold of the Davy and Mike friendship, but I don’t know. We were all friends on some level, very casual work-space partners. We enjoyed, to a degree, playing music.”
In a separate Rolling Stone interview, Nesmith said this about bandmate Tork.
“We didn’t have too many civil words to say to each other, but we also didn’t fight all the time. We didn’t say much,” Nesmith admitted. “There wasn’t a lot to say. Peter would play me the songs that he thought were good and I didn’t. And I would play him the songs I thought were good, and he wouldn’t. Then we just left it at that. Partners in silence.”
Nesmith remained friendly with Micky Dolenz. The former bandmates reunited in 2018 for “The Monkees Present: The Mike and Micky Show.” This tour was followed by “The Monkees Farewell Tour Featuring Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz.”
Nesmith said in 1967 that his closest friends were not members of The Monkees
In an interview for 16 Magazine, as republished by Cool Cherry Cream, Nesmith admitted that his closest friends were not members of The Monkees.
Nesmith cited the following pals as those he connected with most. “John London (everybody seems to misspell his name—this is the right way) is one. We used to work together as Mike and John. He is a side-man when we tour now, playing bass guitar. Steve Blauner of Screen Gems, and Bert Schneider of The Monkees, are two other close friends.”
Bert Schneider and Bob Schneider were the producers of The Monkees‘ television series.
Nesmith cited one very challenging aspect of life in the public eye circa 1967
In the same interview, Nesmith spoke of one very challenging aspect of life in the public eye circa 1967.
What were some of the things he disliked the most about fame?
“Hangers-on (there are plenty of those crawling around) and phonies. I also hate people who bug me. Nag—nag!” he quipped.
Nesmith found fame challenging in other ways as well.
The songwriter and singer said he enjoyed spending time alone, which conflicted with always being “on” in the public eye.
“I have a ‘loner’ streak in me, and I like to ‘disappear’ once in a while, go driving off and turn up hours later. I also write songs when I can find a little time to myself,” Nesmith admitted.