(“School of Rock” was filmed here!)
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.
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:
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!
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.
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!