Michael Nesmith Has Quadruple Bypass Heart Surgery

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Ticket-holders for the New York concert received this email on June 21

Michael Nesmith of The Monkees has revealed that he underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery recently. The revelation to Rolling Stone followed the news that the musician was hospitalized on June 21, 2018, with four dates remaining of his and Micky Dolenz’s “The Mike and Micky Show.” The tour had been scheduled to hit New York City on June 22.

Initial reports stated that the 75-year-old Nesmith had collapsed during a soundcheck but that information was later clarified. At the time, Nesmith’s condition was described as a “minor health issue.” Ticket-holders for the New York concert received an email this afternoon stating that the following night’s performance is being postponed “due to illness.”

Just before the final performance on June 20, Nesmith revealed “I couldn’t breathe. So I sat down until I got my breath and then I realized the breath wasn’t gettable. That marked the end. People knew I couldn’t keep on like this. It was a road to hell.”

Related: Nesmith died from heart-related issues in 2021

In a June 27 interview with Billboard, Micky Dolenz had stated he didn’t know exactly what caused his tour-mate Mike Nesmith to fall ill, causing the duo to cancel the four remaining dates on their trek. “Frankly, I don’t know,” Dolenz told the publication when asked what was wrong with Nesmith. “But I talked to him the day he left. He sounded a little bit under the weather, a little weak. He was obviously apologizing profusely. And I said, ‘Hey, buddy. Don’t worry about it. We’ll adjust.’”

Dolenz added that Nesmith is very private when it comes to his personal life. He did say that there is the possibility of a live album coming out of their tour. Dolenz told Billboard, “We recorded a bunch of shows. I think every show. And these days, you know, that’s pretty easy to do on your frigging laptop. So I do know that it’s in hand. I was thrilled with the reviews and the reaction that we got. And the music sounded wonderful. And Nez was actually in very good voice. I was too, frankly, if I do say so myself. So hopefully it’s going to sound pretty cool.”

Watch Nesmith and Dolenz perform “I’m a Believer” in San Diego on June 3

The makeup dates have not yet been announced, although the band’s tour manager, Andrew Sandoval, later posted on Facebook that they would take place in January. “Michael Nesmith has not been feeling well and will be recuperating in the meantime. We will return to the good clean fun as soon as possible.”

Dolenz said that he and Nesmith might add new shows to their tour when it resumes in January.

Ticket-holders for the NYC show were asked to hold on to their tickets which can be used for the rescheduled date. The original dates were as follows:

June 21 – Philadelphia, PA @ Keswick Theatre
June 22 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
June 23 – Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
June 25 – Red Bank, NJ @ Count Basie Theatre

Until the illness news, fans had been raving about the concerts by the two Monkees. In addition to the expected hits, Nesmith and Dolenz had been reaching deep into the Monkees’ catalog to perform songs spanning the group’s 1966 eponymous debut to 2016’s Good Times. The performances featured highlighted many of Nesmith’s compositions, including some that have never been performed live.

Watch the duo perform “Pleasant Valley Sunday” on the tour

Nesmith also included songs from his solo career.

Watch Nesmith sing his 1965 song, “Different Drum”

Related: Our 2016 interview with Nesmith

“I love being on stage with Micky,” said Nesmith in a press release prior to the launch of the tour. “We’ve been collaborating for over 50 years, so it’s hard to believe it’s never been just the two of us. I’m excited to dust off some tunes that I haven’t played for a long time too. These are going to be some fun shows.”

Related: Nesmith dropped in on his old bandmates in 2016

“Right from the get-go, I admired Mike’s songs. When we used to get together around the campfire to sing in the early days, we were always doing his songs,” said Dolenz in the same announcement. “We always had such a great a vocal blend; he was the one who encouraged me to write songs of my own. I’ve always been a big fan and now we finally get to do the Mike & Micky show that we riffed on back when we were shooting the Monkees.”

Original Monkee Peter Tork did not take part in the tour. Instead, he’s focusing on Relax Your Mind, a new album by Peter Tork and Shoe Suede Blues that honors the music of Lead Belly. The album is available now via CD Baby and Bandcamp.

Nesmith and Dolenz performed only one song that featured a lead vocal by the late Davy Jones with the Monkees, “Daydream Believer.”

Watch Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz sing “Me and Magdalena” in 2017

Best Classic Bands Staff

1 Comment so far

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  1. Guy Smiley
    #1 Guy Smiley 21 June, 2018, 23:56

    Get well, Papa Nez!

    It’s of secondary importance to Mike’s health, but if he’s well enough to make up the posponed shows in January I hope they’ll consider adding more shows. Would love to see this one.

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