Michael Nesmith to launch first US solo tour in 21 years

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LOS ANGELES — On the heels of last fall’s reunion tour with other surviving members of the Monkees, Michael Nesmith will embark on his first major U.S. solo tour in more than two decades.

The singer, songwriter and guitarist will open the run of shows March 21 in Franklin, Tenn., just outside Nashville, followed by a March 24 stop in Agoura Hills, Calif.

The tour will continue with more performances in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Minnesota and a half-dozen other states before wrapping up with final stops April 16 in New York and April 17 in Washington, D.C.

“The songs I’ll play are a touch chronological and a touch thematic,” the 70-year-old Texas-born musician, long based in Northern California, said in a statement. “I picked my favorites to play, the ones I have come to love over the years, and the ones that are most requested by fans of my solo work.”

The new tour, given the heavy use of songs he wrote for the Monkees during that recent tour following Davy Jones’ death last year, will focus almost exclusively on his solo material. The one exception will be “Papa Gene’s Blues,” which appeared on the Monkees’ 1966 debut album.

After leaving the Monkees in 1970, Nesmith recorded a string of critically acclaimed solo albums that enhanced and expanded his reputation established in the Monkees as one of the pioneers of country rock. He charted minor solo hits including “Joanne,” “Silver Moon” and “Nevada Fighter.”

He also broke ground on doing music videos in the late 1970s, creating something of a template for MTV with a syndicated show, “Pop Clips.” He was awarded the first video Grammy Award in 1982 for his long-form video “Elephant Parts.”

He wrote the 1998 novel “The Long Sandy Hair of Neftoon Zamora” and a subsequent e-book, “The America Gene,” as well as producing several movies including “Timerider,” “Repo Man” and “Tapeheads.”

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