Music Videos (and More)

Michael Nesmith was born in 1942 to a mother who invented Liquid Paper, a correction fluid for writing out typos. He enlisted in the Air Force before completing high school and trained as an aircraft mechanic. He obtained his GED while in the Air Force.

After his tour in the Air Force, Mike’s parents gave him a guitar as a Christmas present. He learned on his own and began performing locally. He started writing his own songs and developed the confidence to move to Los Angeles.

He started to get recognized and he was invited to audition for a TV show featuring a rock and roll band. He got the role and became a member of the singing group The Monkees. The TV show and The Monkees became very popular, but for Michael, it was not utilizing his creativity or musical skills as he wanted. He lasted for only five years.

After leaving The Monkees, Mike undertook a solo career. He was considered one of the pioneers in country rock.

While Mike was recording, he created a video for one of his songs. This led to a TV show on Nickelodeon featuring other videos. His show was then sold to Time Warner and became the MTV Network. Mike won the first Grammy for a music video.

Later Mike created another TV series featuring standup comics. He gave starts to such comedians as Jay Leno, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jerry Seinfeld. He later formed a corporation that became a pioneer in the home video market.

Is there a genetic trait that leads to the development of new ideas? We don’t know the answer to that, but Mike Nesmith is a compelling case for answering that question with a yes. Certainly, his mother’s success provided a model for thinking anew. But it’s rare to find many similar stories of “idea families”.

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“I never feel like I have to hang on to the music. I don’t except that the music will go away. Ideas are the only thing that I can point to that are permanent and fixed.” – Michael Nesmith

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