I must say, I never thought it would happen. Up until recent days, it seemed that Mike Nesmith was by far the most elusive of the Monkees. Although he had returned to playing live with the band now and then after Davy Jones’ death, and I had known that people had gotten backstage to meet them, I didn’t foresee myself shelling out those kind of big bucks, much less even attending a concert. Then when I heard that he had been announced for the Spring 2015 Chiller Theatre show that I normally attend, I sort of hit the roof. And not in the good way. I had already committed to being at Disney World that week and had already accepted the fact of missing the show, and missing a smattering of celebs I wanted to meet, chief among them Michael Nesmith.
So I promised myself that if he made another appearance at any autograph show, I’d do whatever it took to get there to meet him. And it really didn’t take all that long before he got scheduled for the Motor City Comic Con in Detroit, Michigan on May 14, 2016. It had taken just over a year.
Unfortunately the guest list was mostly all celebrities whom I had already met, or a few I didn’t care to meet, but nevertheless I planned the trip. They announced the prices in advance so I knew I was in for spending more on one guy than I ever had before. Typically in a case like this, I would be inclined to forego the autograph and just get the picture with him, but in this case I already had a nice color photo signed by the other three Monkees that I had assembled over the last eight years: Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork… in that order.
Interestingly I had just seen the other two surviving members of the Monkees three weeks earlier. My friend Dave Chasteen had sent along photos to get signed by Tork and Nesmith so that he could complete his set of individual head shots as well. And even at a hundred bucks a pop, he sent along enough (and more) to get two photos signed by Nesmith.
I was hoping that a professional photo op wouldn’t be the only option, not only because of the $80 price tag, but also because it would have required sticking around until 3:45 to get it. Fortunately they offered a photo at the table for $60, so I went with that.
He wasn’t at the table yet when we arrived, but we lined up at around 2:00pm and waited for about a half-hour. With these prices, the line wasn’t all that long, and thus he also spent plenty of time with the fans, and his handler (who I see everywhere) was generous in taking photos of him signing the item, and of me with him, and also allowed Carolyn to join for a photo. Although the handler got distracted when he was adding his – the final – signature to my photo, Nesmith was glad to pose with it as if he was signing it still.
Not thinking I’d have much time with him, I didn’t really have any questions on the tip of my tongue to ask, but he was friendly enough, mostly asking about my Technology shirt, and asking who I was getting the other autographs for. Although he didn’t flash a big smile by any means, he was extremely approachable and felt like the type of guy you’d run into in line at the grocery store.
I’ll be honest: it was a thrilling moment. Not because I like Mike Nesmith any more than the other Monkees but because it provided closure to that eight-year question “will I ever meet them all?”
Hey, hey, the answer is yes. I’m a believer.
Celebrities of the 2016 Steel City Con will continue…