Just a few weeks earlier, Nesmith had performed in front of thousands of adoring fans on the Monkees farewell tour, seemingly giving him renewed strength in the last months of his life.
“Their joy came back to him. He finally really felt it, and it lit him up, you know?”
The Monkees – Nesmith, drummer Micky Dolenz, singer Davy Jones and keyboardist and bassist Peter Tork – conceived in 1965 for a television show and spawned a series of hits over the next several years, including “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a believer,” wrote Neil Diamond.
They broke up in 1970 but later reunited to record and tour. Jones died in 2012, followed by Tork in 2019.
Sandoval said Nesmith and Dolenz, the remaining Monkees members, had planned to do a farewell tour in 2020 but postponed it because of Covid-19. When they began preparing for the tour this fall, Sandoval said, Nesmith was very weak – he had battled heart problems for years – and missed the first few days of rehearsals. .
“He was afraid he wouldn’t make it through – and we were all scared if we’d get sick and die of Covid on this tour,” Sandoval told Variety. “But in the end, his desire to want to do that pushed me and Micky and the band and crew to get through it, because we knew we didn’t have a lot of time with him – so we can’t delay it. again.”
When the tour started in September, Nesmith could only perform while sitting down, Sandoval said. Then he was able to stand with the help of a cane. And then, about two or three weeks after the tour, he started standing for the length of most of his performances.
“So he got a lot of power from the audience and from the performance,” said Sandoval. “Lockdown has been very difficult for him, because he couldn’t go a lot and he has atrophied. So there was a real renewal with the tour. It was a great memory for him. him, get to do what he’s done in the past, and do it well.”
“His last performance at the Greek Theater in front of 5,000 people, and it was fun. So it was a very successful tour,” he added. “He really played at the top, as far as that is concerned.
“And for those who get to see them for the last time, I think it will be a good memory.”