Micky Dolenz ‘heartbroken’ over death of Michael Nesmith, his Monkees ‘partner’

Two older men appear together onstage at a concert
Michael Nesmith, right, performed with Micky Dolenz at a Monkees concert in Atlanta on Oct. 8.
(Robb Cohen / Invision/Associated Press)

Singer-songwriter Michael Nesmith, who gained fame in the 1960s as a member of the Monkees, gained wealth from his mother’s invention of Liquid Paper and gained respect with his later contributions to music and TV, died Friday at age 78 — leaving his many fans brokenhearted.

Nesmith’s bandmate Micky Dolenz, the last surviving original member of the Monkees, issued a statement.

“I’m heartbroken. I’ve lost a dear friend and partner,” Dolenz wrote on Instagram. “I’m so grateful that we could spend the last couple of months together doing what we loved best — singing, laughing, and doing shtick. I’ll miss it all so much. Especially the shtick. Rest in peace, Nez. ... All my love, Micky.”

Dolenz and Nesmith just completed what they had billed as the Monkees’ farewell tour with a final stop at L.A.’s Greek Theater on Nov. 14.


The wool-capped guitarist encouraged the Monkees to play their own instruments and went on to found a pioneering country-rock group in the early ‘70s.

Dec. 10, 2021

Messages on social media reflected the life of a man who left an impression on many famous fans — especially men of a certain age.

“I’m sorry to hear about Mike Nesmith. The Monkees had some great songs, those were fun days,” tweeted Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson. “Love & Mercy to Mike’s family and friends.”

“My first big artistic hero, Mike Nesmith,” magician Penn Jillette tweeted, along with a photo of himself and the musician. “He’s a big part of who I am. It’s love you bring, no that I can’t deny. With your wings, you helped me learn to fly. Sweet Young Mike Nesmith.”

As his tenure in the Monkees was drawing to a close in the late ’60s, singer, songwriter and guitarist Michael Nesmith had no clue just how much his music, and his life, would change when he walked in one night to the fabled Palomino country music club in North Hollywood.

Jan. 20, 2019

Paul Stanley of Kiss seemed shocked by the news. “WOW! Sometimes it’s hard to know why someone’s passing hits you a certain way but this is another one that hit me,” he tweeted. “I watch my world change as people that I thought to be timeless pass on, and that is sobering. Lives end and life goes on. RIP Mike Nesmith.”


“Along with Phil Ochs & Bob Dylan, no popular musical influence has had a greater effect on who I am, how I think about putting words together, or how I feel when I listen to pop music than that of Michael Nesmith. This one breaks my heart,” character actor Jim Beaver tweeted.

Michael Nesmith is ‘channeling Mike the Monkee’ for reunion tour

Nov. 8, 2012

Actor Michael Des Barres tweeted, “A rock ’n’ roll paradox. A brilliant musician & songwriter playing a popstar on television in a TV series. A dichotomy that is unparalleled in the history of R n R.His personal songs and the songs he wrote for @TheMonkees ⁦⁩are forever. RIP.”

“Peace & love, Mike Nesmith,” tweeted Susanna Hoffs, the singer-songwriter who co-founded the Bangles. She added a broken-heart emoji and a photo of the musician. The broken-heart message was echoed by “The Brady Bunch” actress Maureen McCormick.

“Arrested Development” and “Silicon Valley” producer John Levenstein shared a personal story, tweeting, “RIP Michael Nesmith. He was my first boss. I was young and insubordinate. He was bemused and patient. Later we became great friends. He had no fear of death.” (Levenstein was a writer on the 1985 TV movie “Television Parts,” directed by Dolenz and starring Nesmith, Jay Leno and Jerry Lee Lewis.)

The signs were there pretty early on, had anyone been paying attention, that the young Texas kid who eventually would be dubbed “the smart Monkee” was, well, traveling to the beat of his own drummer.

April 7, 2017

“Ach, sad,” sci-fi author John Scalzi tweeted, joining a number of authors expressing their condolences. “But what a legacy, especially given that the band was meant to be TV gimmick. Nesmith and others showed them all, in the Monkees and outside of it. RIP.”

“This is sad news,” tweeted musician Gary Numan. “When I was about 9 or 10 my friends and I formed a ‘band’ called The Monkee Juniors. We mimed to The Monkees records in people houses in our street for sweet money. I was the Mike Nesmith in the line-up. He was far more talented than given credit for.”

Comic and actor Patton Oswald wrote, “#RIPMikeNesmith. Thank you for The Monkees, Elephant Parts, MTV & REPO MAN.”

And actor John O’Hurley summed it all up, echoing Beaver by tweeting simply, “This breaks my heart...”