Michael Nesmith at Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ

Published April 13, 2013 by Maryanne

SAM_0562Famous Union County Arts Center, Rahway, New Jersey

(“School of Rock” was filmed here!)

SAM_0555Legendary Michael Nesmith (Photo by Dennis Mistretta)

Last night my husband and I enjoyed the most extraordinary evening — a performance by music legend, Michael Nesmith. We had fifth row!

Nesmith is mostly known for being in The Monkees. But what most people don’t realize is how many amazing songs he’s written for other artists and in his solo career. Two of my favorites are “Different Drum” and “Some of Shelley’s Blues,” which were recorded, beautifully, by Linda Ronstadt. And then hearing these gorgeous songs live, by the man who wrote them, was just off the hook. I got so choked up as I held back tears, I was totally moved.

He opened up with one of my other favorite Mike Nesmith songs, “Papa Gene’s Blues.” (Side note, my cat Billy likes this song. When we play it downstairs, he comes running down! So cute!) I also love “Joanne” which shows off the diversity in Nesmith’s voice, as he does some Slim Whitman type style vocals.

Also want to mention how NICE the Mike Nesmith fans were!! Everyone was talking to us. It was like one big party. People of all ages were there. Some so old, they probably saw the original Monkees back in the day! Definitely a diverse crowd and Nesmith got one standing ovation after another!

Prior to each song, Nesmith told a story about the song, painting a visual with his spoken words, which was equally as enticing as the music itself. I could have sat and listened to him tell stories all night and enjoyed it just as much!

So, I’ll shut up and let the concert speak for itself, as I found a You Tube video of the entire show, filmed a few weeks ago in Santa Cruz. The guy who filmed wasn’t as close as we were but you will get the gist.

Enjoy: Michael Nesmith in Santa Cruz, 2013

I want everyone to enjoy the original version of Joanne: Joanne

And cutie pie Michael Nesmith, when he was a young Monkee, doing “Different Drum”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDgF-A_kGVg

And here is Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys doing the song that made her famous, written by Nesmith:

Different Drum

Michael Nesmith, recording of “Some of Shelly’s Blues”: Some of Shelly’s Blues

The Monkees doing “Papa Gene’s Blues” (my cat Billy’s song): Papa Gene’s Blues

Note: Guitarist on “Papa Gene’s Blues” is James Burton — he played with Elvis!

SAM_0561Me (center) with Lauren Presley (left) and Suzi Colucci  (right) 

At the end of the show I ran into my friends Lauren and Susie from the punk rock band, “Candy Apple.” When I was a teenager I crashed a party they played at so I could meet them. Then a few years ago I met Suzi and Lauren on Face Book and  I was OFFICIALLY invited to their parties ever since! (Is that the coolest fun story or what?)

I’ll give a little shout out to them because they’re so awesome. Here’s one of their songs from Max’s Kansas reunion in 2010 at Otto’s Shrunken Head in NYC, playing their single “Stargazer” which I had a on 45 rpm record.

Stargazer – Candy Apple


My husband and our kitty, Billy

And when Dennis and I got home, we ended the evening listening to “Papa Gene’s Blues” for Billy, ’cause I love you and I know you love me!

(And as some of you know, my other cat Derick loves The Turtles). When it comes to music, my cats have GOOD TASTE!

11 comments on “Michael Nesmith at Union County Performing Arts Center, Rahway, NJ

  • Maryanne, You write the best reviews of concerts. It is almost like being there for your readers. Great story about your cats and their musical tastes. They probably don’t like Three Dog Night music, but probably like Stray Cat Strut by the Stray Cats.

    I can see why you enjoyed hearing the history of the songs given by Mike Nesmith. You are very fortunate to live close enough to see so many concerts. There is nothing like a live concert.

    • Ha-ha, I don’t know about the “best” but definitely the silliest (when I’m not writing professionally, that’s why I love this blog, I can be very silly!)

      Too funny — yeah, they might be jealous of Three Dog Night, that would mean having to share the bed with us and three dogs (that’s why I’m waiting for them to live out their lives before I get my Italian greyhound; or chihuahua!)

      Mike Nesmith just might be the coolest Monkee! I’ve seen all of them now. In the 1980s reunion, Nesmith wasn’t there. I saw Mickey Dolenz solo a few years ago. Peter Tork plays often (one of our friends performs with him sometimes), but this will probably be the last chance for fans to see Nesmith.

      I can’t wait for all the outdoor summer concerts! The next two we have planned are Oldies Doo Wop show; and Fab Faux (indoors) … but there will be at least a dozen more this summer!

  • PhAntAzztik!!. You bring thE experience to all the fAns who koulDnt be there !!◉✄♥☞♬✏✱❋❣

    Sent from my iPhone !!!~(*v*)~>^:^<!!! ƸӜƷ*~* ☾~✼* ✼~☀✼♩ ♫_❤*★

    • Aw, thanks! I wish we could have put our videos since we were so close, but we both need to learn how to make vertical into horizontal, otherwise everyone will be looking at a sideways Monkee! 🙂


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