Daily Dirt: And then there was one — Monkee, that is. R.I. P., Mike Nesmith

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Daily Dirt for Dec. 14, 2021

Welcome to the three thoughts that make up Vol. 157 of the Daily Dirt.

1. The baby boomer generation lost another of its familiar faces the other day with the passing of Mike Nesmith, one of the original Monkees.

The death of Nesmith — following the previous losses of Davy Jones and Peter Tork — leaves us with only Micky Dolenz from the original four moptops.

At one point in the mid-to-late 1960s, the Monkees were more popular than the Beatles, thanks in part to their Monday night TV show on NBC. Remarkably, Monkees records outsold the Beatles AND Rolling Stones combined in 1967. 

Jones was the first Monkee to die, passing away in 2012 at age 66 due to a heart attack. Tork died in 2019 at age 77, due to a rare form cancer in the neck and head. Nesmith was 78 when he died last week of natural causes. Ironically, Nesmith and Dolenz had concluded what was billed as the final Monkees tour in in mid-November.
Dolenz is 76.

2. Continuing with today’s Monkees theme, here are the group’s top singles on the U.S. Billboard charts. Each sold more than one million copies:

  • “Last Train to Clarksville” (1966), No. 1
  • “I’m A Believer” (1966), No. 1
  • “Daydream Believer” (1967), No. 1
  • “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” (1967), No. 2
  • “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (1967), No. 3
  • “Valleri” (1968), No. 3

Here are the top albums, each also selling more than one million copies:

  • “The Monkees” (1966), No. 1
  • “More of the Monkees” (1967), No. 1
  • “Headquarters” (1967), No. 1
  • “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd.” (1967), No. 1
  • “The Birds, the Bees and the Monkees” (1968), No. 3

3. Here are three items tied to Monkees history I was not aware of:

  • Jimi Hendrix was the opening act for a Monkees tour in 1967, but the famed left-handed guitarist’s “heavy psychedlic guitar and sexual overtones” did not go over well with the teenage girls in the audiences. Hendrix was eventually removed from the tour.
  • The Monkees inspired Star Trek producer Gene Roddenberry to introduce the character of Chekhov in his “Star Trek” TV series in response to the popularity of Davy Jones, complete with hairstyle and appearance that mimicked that of Jones.
  • The Monkees were inducted into America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame in 2014.


Steve Fact O’ The Day
Steve has often been compared to a daydream believer.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. He still giggles when he says “Peter Tork”.

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