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The Monkees‘ wool-hat-wearing star Mike Nesmith said he held a “gentle regard” for clean-cut “lovely boy” Davy Jones. And he added that was despite “all contrary appearances on the mortal plane.”

Before Jones died, he used a few less-than-friendly words to describe Nesmith. But after Jones’ death, Nesmith noted his friend’s “spirit and soul [lived] well” in his heart.

What differences supposedly caused disagreements between the two Monkees? And how did Nesmith feel about Jones’ place, and his own, in the group in the end?

Mike Nesmith (L) had a 'gentle regard' for Davy Jones (second from left)
(l-r) Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork | NBCU Photo Bank

Davy Jones once regarded Mike Nesmith as ‘rude, arrogant, belligerent, and aggressive’ on a good day

Since The Monkees became a hit in the late ’60s, some observers have disagreed that they were actually a band. They were actors who starred in the television series The Monkees and musicians who toured as The Monkees. But some refused to give them credit as the latter because they were “manufactured” for maximum ratings, which frustrated Nesmith.

Jones was an English actor, and Nesmith was a musician from Texas. Jones liked being a heartthrob television star, but Nesmith grew frustrated as he hoped to be taken seriously for his music. On the surface, they seemed like total opposites in some ways, even though they shared a birthday.

Eventually, Nesmith distanced himself from his past as a Monkee. And Jones once said his former bandmate was “rude, arrogant, belligerent, and aggressive, and that was on a good day” (per Total Control: The Monkees/Michael Nesmith Story).

Nesmith once confessed that he was the “difficult” Monkee but explained he called himself that partly because of what others thought about his relationship with the group. He shared that he didn’t connect like the other members and fans. And he wasn’t sure he ever would. Fortunately, as his manager confirmed, that changed at the end of his life when he “finally embraced” what people loved about The Monkees.

Mike Nesmith had a ‘gentle regard’ for Davy Jones

After Jones died of a heart attack in 2012, Nesmith said he was sad and would miss his old companion. But he viewed existence as stretching beyond this life into infinity (per E! News). “That David has stepped beyond my view causes me the sadness that it does many of you,” he explained.

“I will miss him,” he added, “but I won’t abandon him to mortality.”

Nesmith said he would think of Jones “with that gentle regard in spite of all the contrary appearances on the mortal plane,” and offered, “David’s spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us.”

“I have fond memories,” Nesmith concluded. “I wish him safe travels.”

Mike Nesmith said Davy Jones ‘was The Monkees’ and the others were his sidemen, but Micky Dolenz believes otherwise


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After Jones’ death at 66, Nesmith revealed that he had always viewed Jones as the frontman of the group. “For me, David was The Monkees. They were his band. We were his sidemen,” he told Rolling Stone.

He explained further that Jones “was the focal point of the romance, the lovely boy, innocent and approachable.”

However, after Nesmith died in 2021, Micky Dolenz told Rolling Stone, “… It was definitely Nesmith’s band. He was the bandleader the whole time.”