How Late The Monkees’ Musician Michael Nesmith Helped Lift Up Another Singer

by Hannah Heser

Musician Michael Nesmith rejects The Monkees hit song when his Different Drum song came out. He identifies himself more as a writer than a performer. After all, songwriting is where most of the money is. That is, if it’s a hit song.

To begin with, Linda Ronstadt’s and her band, The Stone Poneys had a No. 13 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with the song during the fall of 1967. It happens a year after The Monkees television show began airing.

Unfortunately, Nesmith died on Friday at the age of 78. However, Micky Dolenz recollects the offering of Nesmith’s single, Different Drum, to the band before letting Linda Ronstadt cut this banger.

“It’s so funny that he went to the Monkees producers in the early days and brought them Different Drum,” Dolenz chuckles. “He decides to play it for them, and they said, ‘Well, that’s nice, but it’s not a Monkees tune.’ and he replies with, “Wait a minute. I am one of the Monkees.”

After a minute of consideration, they reply with “Yeah, yeah, we know. But no thanks. It’s really not a Monkee tune.” So he gave up and eventually gave it to Linda Ronstadt, not knowing what could happen.

The Journey Different Drum Takes

Since the writing of the song in 1964, the Greenbriar Boys were the first to ever record the song. Although, his dreams of the Monkees recording it were still in consideration.

Linda and her band, “The Stoney Poney’s” version features future Eagles member, Bernie Leadon. It also has future Derek and the Dominos drummer, Jim Gordon on the track.

This version came out in 2015 with seven million views on YouTube. This turnout is unreal and the writers were content with this masterpiece.

Michael Nesmith actually records the song as well in 1972 for his solo album, And the Hits Just Keep on Comin’. In order to make his version stand out from “The Stoney Poney’s version, he adds another verse.

The band’s ability to write their own music always caused Nesmith frustration and his Monkees friends. He ends up writing two more songs for the group’s self-titled 1966 debut album: Papa Gene’s Blues and Sweet Young Thing.

Dolenz also remarks on him being cast in The Monkees TV show, but only as a singer-songwriter.

Fun fact, Michael Nesmith punches a wall to let the show’s producers see how angry their decisions make him. He tells them that the wall could’ve been their face. And that my friends is something Dolenz will never forget. He calls this legendary and absolutely accurate.

How Michael Nesmith Began His Music Career

Michael Nesmith was late into the music industry. The late musician’s contributions to pop and country-rock are irreplaceable. He has made a name for himself and his memory will live on forever.

Most of his work is on YouTube and other streaming services!