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#1
Old 08-18-2010, 08:29 AM
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Why does Michael Nesmith still have such a stick up his ass about the Monkees?

I was watching Biography last night and there was an episode on the Monkees, and it makes me wonder about something:

I get that he was the "serious" Monkee and he felt that his skills were underappreciated. I also get that he doesn't need the money. I even get that he might have been embarassed at his Monkeedom. But for chrissakes, he won't even do an interview or anything? Why is he such a douche about this? He should get over himself, IMHO.

Bonus: name some other folks who completely eschew their past like that, and why, if known.
#2
Old 08-18-2010, 08:42 AM
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I think he really strongly wanted to distance himself from the Monkees when he left the band, but I didn't realize that he still felt that way. I don't know how he feels now, but Wikipedia says that
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
In 1995, he reunited with the Monkees to record their last studio album (and first to feature all four since Head) titled Justus, released in 1996. He also wrote and directed a Monkees television special, and briefly toured the UK with the band in 1997.
Was there some indication in the Biography show that he refused to talk about his Monkee days?
#3
Old 08-18-2010, 08:44 AM
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...and I guess I should've delved a little deeper before posting this...

Apparently, he has posted to some newsgroups, etc, and doesn't seem to have THAT much of a stick up his about it, but still...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Nesmith
As for me, I had a great time. It was hard work but fun work. I look back
on those times like you might look back on your own early years. I liked
most of the music. Some of it quite a bit...some of it I disliked quite a
bit. It was not much of a creative forum for me as most of you know.
especially those who have follwed the work since then, but it was a good
forum as an actor. I really liked the shows and the whole idea of the
thing. And I really liked the other guys...still do. ( Micky was my
favorite). Yes I would like to go out and play in concert with them
(like I say I LIKED the music) but that may never happen because of many
things...not the least of which is my own schedule and agenda. Not only
were the Monkees not a hoax to ME, I thought it was first class landmark
Television and I have always been proud of it.
#4
Old 08-18-2010, 08:55 AM
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How long were the Monkees around, 3 years? I can't imagine being hounded to do interviews and reunion projects for the following 40, especially if I didn't need the money.
#5
Old 08-18-2010, 08:57 AM
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I was eleven when the TV show began and really liked the show and their music. When I used to sing and play guitar in bars during the 70s and 80s, I did a few of his songs (Different Drum, Joanne, Propinquity, Some of Shelley's Blues), and got a kick out of introducing them as being written by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees.

I'm glad to see that he has some good memories of the show and the band.
#6
Old 08-18-2010, 08:59 AM
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Maybe it is the whole white-out thing.
#7
Old 08-18-2010, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
Maybe it is the whole white-out thing.
Actually, his mother invented Liquid Paper.
#8
Old 08-18-2010, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crotalus View Post
I think he really strongly wanted to distance himself from the Monkees when he left the band, but I didn't realize that he still felt that way. I don't know how he feels now, but Wikipedia says that
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
In 1995, he reunited with the Monkees to record their last studio album (and first to feature all four since Head) titled Justus, released in 1996. He also wrote and directed a Monkees television special, and briefly toured the UK with the band in 1997.
Was there some indication in the Biography show that he refused to talk about his Monkee days?

He didn't appear on the show. I've seen plenty of shows about the Monkees and never once have I seen him chime in, just the other three.
#9
Old 08-18-2010, 09:16 AM
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I can't imagine what it'd be like for people to come up to me all the time, decades later, and ask about flaky experimental things I briefly did when I was in my early 20s. Mike Nesmith bears it with better grace than I would, I'm sure.
#10
Old 08-18-2010, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by An Arky View Post
...and I guess I should've delved a little deeper before posting this...

Apparently, he has posted to some newsgroups, etc, and doesn't seem to have THAT much of a stick up his about it, but still...
I don't see a stick at all.
#11
Old 08-18-2010, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Crotalus View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
Maybe it is the whole white-out thing.
Actually, his mother invented Liquid Paper.
Of course. I was referring to his bitterness over it. He came up with the formula, but used india ink pigment. He called it Black-out. His mother made a batch without the india ink. The rest is history.








#12
Old 08-18-2010, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Contrapuntal View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by An Arky View Post
...and I guess I should've delved a little deeper before posting this...

Apparently, he has posted to some newsgroups, etc, and doesn't seem to have THAT much of a stick up his about it, but still...
I don't see a stick at all.
Really? I think his level of non-participation, with the old saw of an excuse of being too busy "Yes I would like to go out and play in concert with them
(like I say I LIKED the music) but that may never happen because of many
things...not the least of which is my own schedule and agenda."

I wonder what some of those "many things" are. I don't necessarily see a stick, but he has given the appearance of having one, for the most part. I'm just wondering what it might really be.
#13
Old 08-18-2010, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by An Arky
He didn't appear on the show. I've seen plenty of shows about the Monkees and never once have I seen him chime in, just the other three.
I guess it's possible that he's busier than the others, but it does seem from your experience that he is avoiding taking part in such shows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koxinga View Post
I can't imagine what it'd be like for people to come up to me all the time, decades later, and ask about flaky experimental things I briefly did when I was in my early 20s. Mike Nesmith bears it with better grace than I would, I'm sure.
I have trouble putting myself in his place, too. I think he really wanted some recognition as a legitimate musician and writer, but he got that pretty quickly. Linda Ronstadt had her first hit with a song he wrote, Different Drum, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band used two of his songs on what was their best-selling album up to that time, and he had a middling hit with Joanne in 1970. Nothing he did after was as popular as the Monkees, but it's not like there's anything shameful in what he did on the show. I could understand avoiding taking part in retrospective shows for privacy reasons, but I can't imagine wanting to distance myself from it otherwise.
#14
Old 08-18-2010, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crotalus View Post
Actually, his mother invented Liquid Paper.
Of course. I was referring to his bitterness over it. He came up with the formula, but used india ink pigment. He called it Black-out. His mother made a batch without the india ink. The rest is history.








Ah, the rest of the story. Thanks.
#15
Old 08-18-2010, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by An Arky View Post
I wonder what some of those "many things" are. I don't necessarily see a stick, but he has given the appearance of having one, for the most part. I'm just wondering what it might really be.
I don't know if there is any answer that would please people other than "I'd love to be in a Monkees reunion!"
#16
Old 08-18-2010, 09:42 AM
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Look, maybe he just doesn't particualrly want to do it. He's just not interested, and it's not like he owes to you so you can somehow have a complete picture on the biography channel. Get over yourself.
#17
Old 08-18-2010, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
Look, maybe he just doesn't particualrly want to do it. He's just not interested, and it's not like he owes to you so you can somehow have a complete picture on the biography channel. Get over yourself.
Well, I get that part, and I'm not demanding to know what's up, just curious. I don't think that's anything that I need to get over.

Last edited by An Arky; 08-18-2010 at 09:46 AM.
#18
Old 08-18-2010, 09:50 AM
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Look, maybe he just doesn't particualrly want to do it. He's just not interested, and it's not like he owes to you so you can somehow have a complete picture on the biography channel. Get over yourself.
Wow, who would have thought a Monkees thread would take such a nasty turn so soon.

I have nothing to add about Nesmith but I worked at a hotel back in the early 90s and we had Davy Jones staying with us while he was in town to perform at an oldies festival. We weren't a big town but we'd get a lot of minor celebrities staying with us since we were the nicest place in the area.

Jones was by far the biggest jerk of any of the has-beens that stayed with us (and that includes Mark Furhman who stayed with us shortly after the OJ trial and who was actually a pretty nice guy.)

Jones had all kinds of demands and was outright mean to fans who would approach him in the lobby. He also refused to sign for his room because he thought we were going to sell his autograph.
#19
Old 08-18-2010, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by SmackFu View Post
I don't know if there is any answer that would please people other than "I'd love to be in a Monkees reunion!"
Right. He's not the only guy not to be playing with his former bandmates. Are they all stick inflicted?

ISTR that early on Nesmith distanced himself from the Monkees, probably because he was trying to establish a solo career, but that was years ago.
#20
Old 08-18-2010, 09:51 AM
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I can see his point. He regards himself as a serious musician, he has had a career post-simians, and to be constantly asked about a brief moment of your life would be very annoying.

"See that wall? I built it without mortar and it has stood for years. Do they call me Omar the Fence-builder? No. See that church? I paid for its construction. Do they call me Omar the Church-builder? No. But you fuck one goat......"
#21
Old 08-18-2010, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Contrapuntal View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmackFu View Post
I don't know if there is any answer that would please people other than "I'd love to be in a Monkees reunion!"
Right. He's not the only guy not to be playing with his former bandmates. Are they all stick inflicted?

ISTR that early on Nesmith distanced himself from the Monkees, probably because he was trying to establish a solo career, but that was years ago.
Yes! I would like to know about others who have done the same. Of course they're not all stick inflicted (love that term); maybe the guys they don't want to play with anymore are the stick inflicted ones.
#22
Old 08-18-2010, 10:29 AM
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He has a fairly legitimate claim as (an) inventor of the music video as we know it. Of course, since neither MTV nor VH-1 runs those anymore, he should have a little free time these days...
#23
Old 08-18-2010, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Crotalus View Post
I was eleven when the TV show began and really liked the show and their music. When I used to sing and play guitar in bars during the 70s and 80s, I did a few of his songs (Different Drum, Joanne, Propinquity, Some of Shelley's Blues), and got a kick out of introducing them as being written by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees.

I'm glad to see that he has some good memories of the show and the band.
I didn't know he wrote Different Drum! Very nice.
#24
Old 08-18-2010, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by An Arky View Post
Bonus: name some other folks who completely eschew their past like that, and why, if known.
David Trampier, apparently due to a bad contract dispute. (The talk page is, not surprisingly, more interesting than the article.)

Last edited by Tom Scud; 08-18-2010 at 10:51 AM.
#25
Old 08-18-2010, 11:04 AM
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I was in the studio audience of whatever talk show Greg Kinnear did in 1994, and Mike Nesmith was the guest. He talked freely about his Monkees days, and it was a fun, funny interview.
#26
Old 08-18-2010, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
I can see his point. He regards himself as a serious musician, he has had a career post-simians, and to be constantly asked about a brief moment of your life would be very annoying.

"See that wall? I built it without mortar and it has stood for years. Do they call me Omar the Fence-builder? No. See that church? I paid for its construction. Do they call me Omar the Church-builder? No. But you fuck one goat......"
I hear that a lot when these types of threads come up, but really now. Neil Armstrong is 80 but I doubt he is bothered about "all those questions about that moon thingy" even if it was only about a week out of his long life. Everybody talks about "President" Clinton, that was only 8 out of his 63 years, why do people harp on such a small part of the man's life?

The simple fact is, yes, people are going to often tend to focus on the most culturally and historically significant thing you did.
#27
Old 08-18-2010, 11:05 AM
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Really? I think his level of non-participation, with the old saw of an excuse of being too busy "Yes I would like to go out and play in concert with them
(like I say I LIKED the music) but that may never happen because of many
things...not the least of which is my own schedule and agenda."
I think you're making an assumption based on insufficient data. He has participated in some Monkees projects. He was on the special they did in the 1990s and he also did commentary on some of the episodes for the DVD release a couple of years ago. And his commentary is insightful, as well as gracious with respect to the other band members.

He has also participated in some of their reunion concerts. I specifically recall reading that he had planned to join them for their tour in conjunction with the release of the Justus album, but he quit after the London performance, because he decided that he didn't have the chops to play guitar. I can respect that as an artistic decision.

But how much do you want from him? It was a job he had for two years back in his early 20s, one that ended him up in heavy debt when he bought his contract back early. It was a job that left him feeling artistically unfulfilled and mistreated by the music industry. And with the press and public declaring all the participants frauds. He essentially failed in his ambition to become a successful musician, was tarred with the brush of being a fake, and yet every couple of years gets called back to relive the bad times.

The guy's rich. He inherited a ton of money from his mother, and he has built several businesses on his own -- he gave Warner Bros. the idea for MTV, he built a successful videotape distribution business for PBS. He's had three or four failed marriages and several children to deal with. He's got a life.

And yet every few years people call him all kinds of names if he declines to participate in yet another Monkees reunion project.

And, anyway, Davy Jones is an asshole. Even Peter Tork quit the last reunion tour early after finding him difficult to get along with.

Last edited by Acsenray; 08-18-2010 at 11:08 AM.
#28
Old 08-18-2010, 11:13 AM
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I think you're right about insufficient data; I probably should've titled the OP "Correct me if I'm wrong, but why does Michael Nesmith seem to have such a stick up his ass about the Monkees?". But I don't want anything from him, I'm just curious, and I've found out more just by starting this somewhat ill-conceived thread, FWIW.

...and I've heard about Davy Jones', um, personality...which might be worth a whole other thread in itself!
#29
Old 08-18-2010, 11:18 AM
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D'oh. I always thought (well, years after, as I wasn't born at the time) that Davy was so cute and sexy but not in that sexy asshole/Draco in leather pants way. Now I have to revise my world view!
#30
Old 08-18-2010, 11:33 AM
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Bonus: name some other folks who completely eschew their past like that, and why, if known.
David Trampier, apparently due to a bad contract dispute. (The talk page is, not surprisingly, more interesting than the article.)
Thanks for posting that. I hadn't followed up on Tramp in quite a while, and the recent additions to the notes pages to the wiki were rather enlightening, if true.
#31
Old 08-18-2010, 12:06 PM
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Davy and his third (?) wife, a "Telemundo presenter."

Damn if those Monkees haven't had about a hundred marriages altogether. I've always been a big fan of the show and the music, and also Nesmith's solo music, but being teen idols really screwed them up in their private lives, it looks like.

Michael's still the stud king for impregnating his wife Phyllis as well as guest star Nurit Wilde within six months of each other. (And I have a vague recollection that Wilde wasn't the only guest star that he slept with.)
#32
Old 08-18-2010, 12:09 PM
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Davy's latest public tirade against Michael and the others. He seems to do this once every two years or so.
#33
Old 08-18-2010, 01:02 PM
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I can see his point. He regards himself as a serious musician, he has had a career post-simians, and to be constantly asked about a brief moment of your life would be very annoying.

"See that wall? I built it without mortar and it has stood for years. Do they call me Omar the Fence-builder? No. See that church? I paid for its construction. Do they call me Omar the Church-builder? No. But you fuck one goat......"
I hear that a lot when these types of threads come up, but really now. Neil Armstrong is 80 but I doubt he is bothered about "all those questions about that moon thingy" even if it was only about a week out of his long life. Everybody talks about "President" Clinton, that was only 8 out of his 63 years, why do people harp on such a small part of the man's life?

The simple fact is, yes, people are going to often tend to focus on the most culturally and historically significant thing you did.
The Monkees was by no means the most culturally or historically significant thing Nesmith did. Not even close.

Davey Jones probably goes off on his tirades every time he realizes that he was the Monkee with no talent whatsoever.
#34
Old 08-18-2010, 03:21 PM
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Davy's latest public tirade against Michael and the others. He seems to do this once every two years or so.
There's a pretty good reason to have a stick up one's ass about the Monkees.
#35
Old 08-18-2010, 03:25 PM
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Davey Jones probably goes off on his tirades every time he realizes that he was the Monkee with no talent whatsoever.
He was a talented singer, though, wasn't he? He played Dodger in Oliver! both on Broadway and in the West End as a young teen and got a Tony nom.
#36
Old 08-18-2010, 03:27 PM
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Michael's still the stud king for impregnating his wife Phyllis as well as guest star Nurit Wilde within six months of each other.
And yet, judging by your link, Nurit still has her cherry.
#37
Old 08-18-2010, 03:37 PM
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Bonus: name some other folks who completely eschew their past like that, and why, if known.
Glenn Close was in Up With People and refuses to talk about it. I have heard that she will end any interview where it is brought up.
#38
Old 08-18-2010, 03:48 PM
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And yet, judging by your link, Nurit still has her cherry.
Well, it is a tiny thing. You can see how no one would have found it yet.
#39
Old 08-18-2010, 04:05 PM
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I believe David Ogden Stiers won't talk about MASH and has walked out on interviews when the topic is brought up.
#40
Old 08-18-2010, 04:51 PM
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I don't see a stick at all.
Indeed. He sounds way less bitter than Tina Louise.
#41
Old 08-18-2010, 05:03 PM
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I hear that a lot when these types of threads come up, but really now. Neil Armstrong is 80 but I doubt he is bothered about "all those questions about that moon thingy" even if it was only about a week out of his long life. Everybody talks about "President" Clinton, that was only 8 out of his 63 years, why do people harp on such a small part of the man's life?

The simple fact is, yes, people are going to often tend to focus on the most culturally and historically significant thing you did.
The Monkees was by no means the most culturally or historically significant thing Nesmith did. Not even close.

Davey Jones probably goes off on his tirades every time he realizes that he was the Monkee with no talent whatsoever.
(Bolding mine)
Than it must be for being the executive producer of Repo Man, the best movie made after Citizen Kane.

Really, I'm curious as to what his significance will be. I'll be willing to bet that for most people it will be for the Monkees. After reading his Wiki bio the best I could come up with is the MTV tie-in. I never knew that piece of historical contribution until after I read his bio and I was there for "Video Killed the Radio Star".
#42
Old 08-18-2010, 05:04 PM
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I was in the studio audience of whatever talk show Greg Kinnear did in 1994, and Mike Nesmith was the guest. He talked freely about his Monkees days, and it was a fun, funny interview.
I was at the taping of the "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" he was on, and I had exactly the same impression. it was in Asilomar, and he was actually on-stage for it.
#43
Old 08-18-2010, 05:05 PM
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Bonus: name some other folks who completely eschew their past like that, and why, if known.
It seems like Tim Curry doesn't speak much about Rocky Horror Picture Show but I don't know if he's drawn a hard line about it.
#44
Old 08-18-2010, 05:06 PM
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Bonus: name some other folks who completely eschew their past like that, and why, if known.
Glenn Close was in Up With People and refuses to talk about it. I have heard that she will end any interview where it is brought up.
Hmm. My wife was in a small college class with her after she had done Up The People, and my wife never mentioned any bitterness.
#45
Old 08-18-2010, 05:20 PM
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I recall an interview that made the rounds about a year ago where Billy Bob Thorton the musician refused in a really weird way to not discuss Billy Bob Thorton the actor.
#46
Old 08-18-2010, 05:24 PM
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Hmm. My wife was in a small college class with her after she had done Up The People, and my wife never mentioned any bitterness.
To be fair, Up The People was a bit of a different gig. Just sayin'.
#47
Old 08-18-2010, 05:26 PM
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Davy's latest public tirade against Michael and the others. He seems to do this once every two years or so.
There's a pretty good reason to have a stick up one's ass about the Monkees.
Gotta agree with that. Sheesh!
#48
Old 08-18-2010, 05:27 PM
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Glenn Close was in Up With People and refuses to talk about it. I have heard that she will end any interview where it is brought up.
Hmm. My wife was in a small college class with her after she had done Up The People, and my wife never mentioned any bitterness.
How often did Up With People come up in that class?
#49
Old 08-18-2010, 05:46 PM
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Glenn Close was in Up With People and refuses to talk about it. I have heard that she will end any interview where it is brought up.
Hmm. My wife was in a small college class with her after she had done Up The People, and my wife never mentioned any bitterness.
I read the Up With People thing in Spy Magazine in the late 80's. In the mid-90's, I found out that a co-worker of mine was in UWP with her back in the day. He knew about it was pissed. My take is she was more embarrassed than bitter.

Last edited by hajario; 08-18-2010 at 05:46 PM.
#50
Old 08-18-2010, 06:06 PM
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I agree with what others have said. Nesmith doesn't have any problem with having been a Monkee. He's been able to keep a reasonable sense of perspective on it. It's not him avoiding the subject as much as it is the other three bringing it up more often than necessary.
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