A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, April 22, 2019



The long, strange journey of Michael Nesmith is as fascinating as it as was fraught--from fleeing Dallas as a young man with his pregnant girlfriend, to gaining international fame as a member of the Monkees, to falling deep into the grips of what he calls Celebrity Psychosis, to finally achieving inner peace and finding a creative wellspring in the teachings of Christian Science. Influenced in equal parts by the consciousness-expanding ambitions of Timothy Leary and the cerebral humor of Douglas Adams, in "Infinite Tuesday," Nesmith spins a spellbinding tale of an unexpected life, in which stories about meeting John Lennon, or recording with Nashville greats, or inventing the music video trace an arc from Hollywood to Silicon Valley, illuminating a remarkable mind along the way."



Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical RiffInfinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff by Michael Nesmith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Infinite Tuesday: An autobiographical riff by Michael Nesmith is a 2017 Crown Archetype publication.

Leave it to Michael Nesmith to reinvent the autobiography. I, for one, am very pleased with his style and the format he chose to tell his life story because it certainly fits his personality.

However, if you are a huge Monkees fan, hoping for a book centered mostly around Michael’s time on the show, then this book might not be for you. Not to make light of the many doors that show opened for Michael, but the Monkees were only on the air for a couple of years. When this book was published in 2017, Michael was in his early seventies. To center his entire life story around two years of his long life would be boring, and that is something Michael definitely is not. In fact, Michael has a led a most fascinating and interesting life and accomplished much more than having appeared on a popular television show back in the sixties.

His approach is stunningly intimate. It is almost like having a one on one conversation with Michael. He’s refreshingly honest, admitting his moral missteps, laying bare his heartbreak and disappointments, and occasionally his genuine confusion regarding certain situations, such as his lawsuit with PBS. (What a weird story that was!)

I appreciated his candor, loved the stories he told about his friendship with Douglas Adams. What struck me here was that Michael and Douglas were so very different, yet they were able to put those differences aside and respect the other’s opinion. We could all stand to borrow a page from this book in that regard, as no one appears able to respect a differing opinion anymore.

Michael is a very bright and intelligent person and has more of an impact on our lives than many realize. This is a very unique memoir, one I found incredibly absorbing and not the least bit pretentious. In fact, I think Michaels aversion to ‘Celebrity Psychosis’ as he terms it, has left him with a more down to earth viewpoint on life, as has his faith in Christian Science- (not to be confused with Scientology).

That said, I must admit I loved The Monkees when I was a kid and I had the biggest crush on Davy Jones. Even now the pop tunes they are famous for, are fun, even if the group was, for all intents and purposes, manufactured.

So, while I still think of The Monkees when Michael’s name pops up, I also think of Videoranch and MTV, of his liquid paper fortune, his incredible life experiences, and his willingness to take a risk, to utilize current technology or trends in creating new and visionary ideas, and respect his entrepreneurial talents immensely.

This is a fascinating journey and I am very happy I accepted Michael’s invitation to join him as he recounts his triumphs and failures, and the many strange avenues he’s traveled down. I believe he will continue to work, to experiment, play music, and have faith in the here and now.

4 stars





Michael Nesmith's career in music and television took him from starring in The Monkees to a celebrated run of albums as a solo artist and in the First National Band. He created the TV show Popclips, a forerunner of what would become MTV, and produced the films Repo Man and Tapeheads. He is the author of two novels and the founder of the Pacific Arts Corporation, which produces projects in the worlds of audio, video, and virtual reality, including Videoranch 3D. He lives in Carmel, California.

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