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Michael Nesmith: Not Creation, But Discovery

The roots-music pioneer, passing through Bloomington, opens up about the creative process and what pushes him to continue writing and performing.

Michael Nesmith

Photo: Wikimedia

Michael Nesmith performing with his band, including roots-music scion Chris Scruggs.

Event Information

Michael Nesmith: "Movies of the Mind" Tour

The roots music veteran performs highlights from his career, focusing on his solo, post-Monkees work.


Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Friday, November 22, 2013, 8 p.m.

$40-$65

Since pioneering roots-rock music as a member of The Monkees in the late ’60s, Michael Nesmith has sustained a career of remarkable depth and breadth. He has been a producer, novelist, actor, businessman, music-video innovator, and performing artist.

On Friday, November 22, he brought a five-decade retrospective of his original songwriting, ranging from his twangy Monkees hit “Listen to the Band” to selections from his 2006 record Rays, to the stage of Bloomington’s Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

He took a few minutes out while on the road to talk about surviving as a recording artist in the online era, about what continues to fuel his creative fire, and about the nature of the creative process itself.

“The universe just hands you something and says, ‘Here, look at this.’ And you pick it up and you go, ‘Gosh, I never saw that before. That’s interesting.’ And so, to make it part of your own life, you write it down and you make it live. And people mistake that taking it and writing it down and performing it and so forth for creating it. But in fact, it really isn’t. It’s discovering it.”

John Bailey

John Bailey came to Bloomington in January 2011, bringing with him more than 16 years of experience in public radio as a program director, classical music and news host, membership coordinator, and manager of online initiatives. He is a University of Missouri graduate and a native of the Show-Me State.

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