What Mike Nesmith Is Really Like

Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones

Tracy Thomas, one of FLIP’s groovy girls in Hollywood, probably knows The Monkees better than any reporter in the world. And when she was asked to do a story about THE REAL MIKE NESMITH, she asked for permission to do it in a very special way.

So, Tracy is taking her very personal knowledge of Mike and putting it into a make-believe diary, the kind of diary Tracy thinks she would have if she were the Nesmith’s next-door neighbor…

Dear Diary,

Well, what do you know! Somebody finally moved into that empty house next door! Not just somebody, but a very hip-looking couple with a tiny baby. The boy has dark, kinda curly hair, and is tall and thin. He had jeans and a Levi jacket on. His wife is blonde and slender and very pretty. I went down and helped them move their clothes and things inside. Their names are Mike and Phyllis and the baby is Christian—isn’t that a groovy name! Anyway, they were very nice, but kinda quiet.

I went next door to check on the neighbors today. They seem to have settled in nicely. The boy is evidently a musician as there are a number of guitars in the house, one cheap, old one, an expensive one and an electric one. Phyllis has a very nice wardrobe—all kinds of groovy dresses and pants. Mike has nice things, too, although he wears jeans around the house. I guess he must have some kind of job, as he leaves very early in the morning in a GTO and comes back at dinner time. I wonder what he does!

Mike Nesmith, Phyllis Barbour Nesmith

Phyllis called and asked if I would like to come to dinner and to a party that she and Mike were having tonight, so I said I would and did. We had a nice, quiet dinner. When I asked Mike what he does for a living, he laughed and said he was a musician. I asked if was in a rock and roll group after apologizing for not recognizing him if he was and he said well and then said it was all right, but unusual that I didn’t know anything about groups as most people my age do. I said, well it’s a long story. And he said, aren’t they all. Which is very true, don’t you think? Then his friends started arriving. Most of them had Southern accents like Mike and Phyllis do and they were mostly musicians. They sat around until very late playing country music, “a-pickin’ and a-grinnin’” I think is the correct phrase. Evidently Mike is a composer as well, as they sang several songs which he identified for me as his. Also some of his friends sang songs they had written and Mike said that they were in groups, too. But I didn’t recognize anyone. It was an enjoyable evening for me as I am not used to hearing a lot of country music.

I was having trouble with my autoharp today, as two strings broke and I couldn’t decide where to hook up which, and remembering that my neighbor was a musician, I asked for his help. Mike fixed it right away and then we had a long talk. Evidently he had a rather unhappy childhood. He didn’t go through the usual going steady at 13, 14 or 15 thing, you know, being forced by parents to “adjust” early. In fact, I don’t think he ever did “adjust.” He took refuge in music and then married Phyllis. Not that the one necessarily follows the other. He came to California and was a folk singer unsuccessfully for a long time. Too long, as things did not go well at all. Then, as far as I can tell, he somehow came into a great deal of money. He is a very quiet man and has a very charming accent and tells things with the fewest words possible. He’s also very amusing, I’ve found. But you must pay attention to what he’s saying in order to catch the funny lines.

Things did not go well today at all. After a day full of mishaps, I went next door to cry on Phyllis’ shoulder over a cup of tea. But my plan did not work as Mike came home in quite a huff. I had never seen him angry before. Concerned, annoyed, yes. But honestly and truly angry, no. Evidently, this group’s musical plans are not proceeding as they should. I should say that I guessed at all this. Mike is not one to blow his top in front of others. When I saw that he was not his usual cheerful self, I found a graceful way to leave, but not before he had dropped enough clues for me to hazard a guess at the problem.


Magazine: Flip
Publisher: Kahn Communications Corporation
Pages: 28–30