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Trivia / Michael Nesmith

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  • Breakup Breakout: The only Monkee to arguably achieve anything close to solo commercial success after the group's demise.
  • Creator Recovery: The mid 70s weren't a great time for Michael. RCA dropped him from their roster, his first marriage collapsed, Countryside (his record label/recording studio) failed due to music industry politics, and his multimedia project The Prison (the notorious "book with a soundtrack", and later a stage show) bombed. In Infinite Tuesday he discusses going through a spiritual re-awakening after this, studying with both an Indian guru and a Christian Science practitioner. This, plus a new marriage, gave him renewed confidence as an artist, which led to "Rio" and From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing.
  • He Also Did:
    • His production company Pacific Arts was a major player in the early home video market, acquiring a huge catalog of documentaries and art films that other distributors had ignored.
    • He dabbled in feature film in the 80s, co-writing and scoring Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, as well as co-producing Repo Man and Tapeheads.
    • After his mother died he administered two trust funds she'd set up, which were aimed at helping women succeed in business and the arts. He also masterminded the Council on Ideas, a prestigious gathering of notable thinkers that existed for most of The '90s.
    • For his work on his Videoranch website, he was a awarded a patent for "Embedding a real time video into a virtual environment."
  • Missing Episode: Although some of them weren't available at the time, all of the songs on the instrumental Wichita Train Whistle Sings album eventually had various vocal versions released either by The Monkees or by Nesmith as a solo artist...except "Don't Cry Now". It's not even certain if lyrics were ever written for it. note 
  • Old Shame: Appears to be how he viewed his Monkees fame for a number of years, often refusing to even acknowledge it. When TFNB was touring, they insisted on playing the United Kingdom where The Monkees were not as well known. He was a bit hesitant to rejoin his old bandmates for their various reunions but mellowed out around the mid-'90s, even writing and directing their comeback TV special. These days, he seems to truly appreciate being a Monkee, and what the group meant (and still means) to old generations and new, moreso than he did back in the day!
    • He's admitted to being embarrassed by some of the Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness of his lyrics, specifically citing "how the phoenix of our love first flapped its silken wings" from "Carlisle Wheeling"/"Conversations".
  • Screwed by the Network: Michael Nesmith in Television Parts was originally intended as a 90-minute summer replacement for Saturday Night Live, but NBC decided they could recoup the production costs easier by turning it into a half-hour prime time show. Unfortunately, they elected to put it in the Friday Night Death Slot. It languished at the bottom of the weekly ratings for a few weeks before getting canceled.
  • What Could Have Been: He held the film rights to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for a while, and ultimately assisted Douglas Adams in making his final deal for them.


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