George Wendt will always be “Norm,” Richard Thomas will always be “John Boy,” and Michael Nesmith will always be a Monkee. But that doesn’t mean that the 70 year-old Nesmith has rested on his laurels or has been willing to be defined by the past. Since his days as a member of the megastar music & TV-show quartet, the singer/songwriter’s career path has taken him into acting, writing, producing and philanthropy. On Friday, November 1, Nesmith and his band will bring their 2013 “Movies of The Mind” tour to the Workplay Soundstage for an 8 p.m. seated show. Recently, we caught up with Nesmith.
Brent Thompson: MIchael, thanks for your time today. We are looking forward to having you in Birmingham. At this point in your career, how do songs stay fresh for you that you have literally performed hundreds of times by now?
Michael Nesmith: The same way children do to parents. There is a predictability and some frustrations due to a history together, but mostly it’s familial and loving. I listen to the songs I sing and they teach me a little something every time because they are always growing.
BT: How do you feel about the current musical climate and the give-and-take that technology brings to the industry these days?
MN: I think it is a very promising time for artists now. The transitional states are confusing but I see a great expanse of the arts and culture coming as a result of the new technologies. This is the beginning of something new and – I think – wonderful. Progress.
BT: How you decide the set lists for the current tour given your large catalog of material at this point?
MN: I think about how the band will most enjoy playing and then how the audience will most enjoy hearing it. This is a great show band with very deep skills and they bring the songs into a whole new light. I try to create the set list to maximize that potential.
BT: Other than the current tour, what ongoing and upcoming projects can we look forward to from you?
MN: There is a lot of high-tech work going on in the Internet and I continue to write prose and novels. Nothing is quite ready for public consumption. I imagine the touring will stay on the front burner for a while yet. An international tour is in the works. The idea of going global with this music is exciting to me.
Tickets to the 18+ seated show are $35 – $40 day of the show – and can be purchased at www.workplay.com.