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Michael Nesmith


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Houston, United States (1965 – present)

Robert Michael Nesmith (born December 30, 1942) is an American and musician, perhaps best known as a member of The Monkees. A pioneer of , Nesmith notably composed “Different Drum”, a hit for Linda Ronstadt (by way of The Stone Poneys). In 1981, Nesmith won the inaugural Grammy Award for Video of the Year for Elephant Parts, a “video record” consisting of humorous sketches and visual representations of songs, breaking new ground for the concept of music videos, which would shortly become ubiquitous with the advent of MTV.

Born in Houston, Texas, Nesmith was an only child, and his parents, Warren Audrey Nesmith and Bette Nesmith Graham, separated when he was very young. With his father gone, Nesmith’s mother worked as a secretary. Their fortunes changed when Bette invented typewriter correction fluid, later known commercially as Liquid Paper.

Nesmith was an indifferent student, and in his teen years an occasional prankster. An urban legend says a prank with a firecracker went wrong, leaving Nesmith with a hand injury, and that a doctor suggested he learn to play guitar to recover his dexterity (the incident never actually happened). An early accident with a hammer smashed the ring finger on Nesmith’s right hand, and he did not learn to play guitar until his twenties. He did, however, participate in choral and drama activities during his years at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas. He also began to write verse poetry.


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