Movies of the Mind

In addition to actually playing reunion tours with the Monkees for the first time in many years, Mike Nesmith has also been doing solo tours. He had one in the spring, and Beth went to a few of the shows, but the only one I attended was in Arlington in April. Last night, we saw him in Annapolis, which strikes me as a bit far to travel from the New York City area when all the shows on the tour are pretty much the same anyway, but Beth really wanted to go and taking her places makes me feel useful. I could never be one of those people who follows a band across the country. I’m too much of a home body and I think I’d get bored after a few concerts. Anyway, this show was quite similar to the April one, but I apparently never wrote about that one, so I suppose some description is in order here. Basically, Mike and his band played songs he wrote throughout his career, from the Monkees era to much more recent times. He explained that he tended to see his songs as being set in mini-movies, so he introduced most of them with the scene he imagined going on during them. There were some cases where he combined a few songs into the same scene, as when he opened this time with the triptych of “Calico Girlfriend,” “Nine Times Blue,” and “Little Red Rider” (and yes, he used the term “triptych”). Other songs in the set included “Some of Shelly’s Blues,” “Joanne,” “Silver Moon,” “Rio,” “Casablanca Moonlight,” “Cruisin’,” “Rays,” and “Different Drum.” The last of those is best known from Linda Ronstadt’s take, but Mike wrote it, and his version includes a verse that isn’t in Ronstadt’s. On the April tour, he opened with a slow version of “Papa Gene’s Blues,” but that wasn’t in the set this time. On the other hand, “Listen to the Band” was, as the closer. Something that was consistent was that he made a joke about the Nigerian Prince e-mail scam both times, as well as at some of his recent Monkees appearances. When returning to the stage at last night’s show, he made a comment about feeling like Jennifer Lawrence trying to get to the stage at the Academy Awards, and mentioned that she reminded him of one of his first girlfriends, to which an audience member said he was lucky. Beth is going to a few other shows on this tour, but that’s it for me.

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