Mike Nesmith by His College Teacher (Part 2)

Magazine: Tiger Beat
Editor: Ralph Benner
Published:
Volume: 2
Issue: 10
Publisher: New Asbury Ltd. Publishing Co.
Pages: 20–21

Mike Nesmith

Here are the facts about Mike, as revealed exclusively to TiGER BEAT and TiGER BEAT only!

By his favorite teacher, Mr. John Igo

Did Mike get along well with his classmates? Did he have a large circle of friends that you were aware of?

Mike gets along well with anyone he chooses to get along well with. He can cope. The only complaint I ever heard against him was that he was cooley (not slang, there) ambitious. Okay, so what! That’s fine. He made it and I have never heard of the complainer. The peer-group was awed by him. When he settled in the later afternoons with his guitar, there would instantly be a group around him for chats and songs. He is a great banterer.

Friends? He may have had a buddy or maybe two lurking somewhere off in the background, but not that I noticed. I always had the impression that he was one of the most alone people I’ve known. (Not the same as lonely).

Do you remember any incidents (funny or otherwise) which happened in your classroom or on the campus involving Mike?

The classroom performance I mentioned before was a thoughtful occasion. The others suddenly became aware of a new dimension in life. Here was someone their own age who was being deliberately showcased in an unlikely place (an English classroom)! They started (some of them) seeing that values are values and need to be affirmed. There was no place, then, for a Mike Nesmith. A place needed to be made. I think he understood what I was saying to him. Funny? Well, no. Once I saw him decline to be a performer at a dance and then sit and entertain a group of kids and maids and janitors after hours.

Mike Nesmith

Do you watch the Monkees on TV? If so, do you like the show?

I have a very busy schedule and don’t get to watch The Monkees regularly. But, yes, I watch it. And love it. Greatest boost to TV comedy, the freshest since the Smothers Brothers hit sometime back. A delight. I wrote to Mike after the first or second show but I suppose he never got the letter in the deluge. I am proud of him. I like the regular show, but I like the little impromptu bits at the end best, because that gives me pure Mike. His reactions are marvelous. He COULD be a remarkable actor if he ever chose to go straight actor.

Did you remember Mike as a student when you first saw him on The Monkees?

Yes, of course. First of all, it hasn’t been THAT long since he was in my class. And as I have indicated I saw him other than just in class, then. I called people and told them to watch The Monkees, if only to see Mike. And, anyhow, I had been sort of keeping up with him. He left here and came back as part of a folk-rock team to do show at a local hotel during a style show (or something like that)—he was not a stranger when he showed up on The Monkees. I was pleased, but not surprised. I expect BIG things of him.

Were you aware of any of his activities outside of your class?

I do not know. Bluntly, most of his activities were evidently outside
of class, period. He did not make the Dean’s List (honor roll), but he
could have!

Are there any other incidents that you can recall that would be of interest?

He once entered a student talent show sponsored by a local TV station, which will have to be nameless here. They taped it. The audience reaction for Mike was wild. The next day, several of the contestants got together and went to the studio and demanded to be allowed to re-tape their entries pleading various excuses. They had also changed some of their material and one had changed his style closer to Mike’s. Even with the skulduggery, Mike was Everest over their puny foothills. He won! Not just over standard competition, but over their dirty-worst-conniving and most-select-best-performance.