News World Monkees singer and guitarist Mike Nesmith dies aged 78
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Monkees singer and guitarist Mike Nesmith dies aged 78

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Mike Nesmith, singer and guitarist with The Monkees, has died at the age of 78, his spokesman has announced.

Nesmith was best known as a member of the American pop quartet who achieved international fame in the 1960s, but was also a successful novelist and businessman.

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

“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.”

Along with vocalist Davy Jones, drummer Micky Dolenz and bassist Peter Tork, Nesmith recorded some of the decade’s most enduring songs, including I’m A Believer, Daydream Believer and Last Train To Clarksville.

The Monkees had a TV series as well as being a popular band. Photo: Getty

He also appeared in the group’s successful self-titled television series which first aired between 1966 and 1968.

His spokesman confirmed that Nesmith died from natural causes on Friday morning, age 78.

Bandmate Micky Dolenz, at 76 the last surviving Monkee, said: “I’m heartbroken. I’ve lost a dear friend and partner.

“I’m so grateful that we could spend the last couple of months together doing what we loved best – singing, laughing, and doing shtick.

“I’ll miss it all so much. Especially the shtick. Rest in peace, Nez. All my love, Mick.”

Mike Nesmith in London 1967. Photo: Getty

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys paid tribute on Twitter, saying, “I’m sorry to hear about Mike Nesmith. The Monkees had some great songs, those were fun days. Love & Mercy to Mike’s family and friends, Brian.”

Paul Stanley of Kiss said: “WOW! Sometimes it’s hard to know why someone’s passing hits you a certain way but this is another one that hit me. I watch my world change as people that I thought to be timeless pass on, and that is sobering. Lives end and life goes on. RIP Mike Nesmith.”

Musician Gary Numan wrote: “This is sad news. When I was about 9 or 10 my friends and I formed a ‘band’ called The Monkee Juniors. We mimed to The Monkees records in people houses in our street for sweet money. I was the Mike Nesmith in the line-up. He was far more talented than given credit for.”

Magician Penn Jillette said: “My first big artistic hero, Mike Nesmith. He’s a big part of who I am. It’s love you bring, no that I can’t deny. With your wings, you helped me learn to fly. Sweet Young Mike Nesmith.”
Nesmith was hailed as an “underrated, talented musician, songwriter and video artist” by musician Midge Ure on Twitter.

“Very sad to hear this.”

Mike Nesmith performs during the final show of ‘The Monkees’ Farewell Tour’ in November. Photo: Getty

After the band’s break-up, Nesmith continued his music career as a member of country rock group First National Band and as a solo artist.

He later worked as a filmmaker and won the first ever Grammy Award awarded for video of the year in 1981 for hour-long television show Elephant Parts.

Nesmith was also the executive producer of the cult sci-fi comedy film Repo Man, which starred Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton in 1984.

His death comes almost three years after bandmate Peter Tork, best known as the keyboardist and bassist in the quartet, “passed peacefully” at the age of 77.

The Monkees’ British-born member Davy Jones died in 2012 at the age of 66.