Mike Nesmith revealed that he doesn't believe that the Monkees deserve to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "Nez," who made an incredible recovery from open-heart surgery back in June, is playing a string of shows this month with his solo unit, the First National Band Redux. During a chat with Clevescene.com, Nesmith was asked whether the Monkees -- who out sold both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in 1967 -- deserved Rock Hall status. Nesmith said, "Well, the direct answer is no. If you read my book (Infinite Tuesdays), you realize that I go to some length to unpack the notion that the Monkees were a TV show. Something created this thing from the general cultural community and consciousness. It was permanent and deep."

He went on to explain, "There were thousands of eight-and-nine-year-olds watching the Monkees in secret and nursing a broken heart over the fact that they wanted Davy (Jones) to be their boyfriend. There was this mixture of this strange fatuous reality of puppy love that just persisted. There’s substance there. I don’t know what that substance is. I just know that it’s there."

Nesmith spoke about his recent joint tour with Micky Dolenz, which got sidelined by his own health issues -- but will be back on board in the New Year: "There was 100 percent quality to it that I don’t get a lot. You go in and you think, 'I hope this works out.' It worked out on a level of magnitude that I had never dreamed. That’s how it was with Mick. I love him as a man and a human being. I always got on with him very well. Our ability to go out and work together was a step of progress in that developing relationship. I don’t want to sound snarky or weird, but it gave us a chance to work outside the Monkees in a way that we have never been able to do. The Monkees have great songs, and Micky is a great performer of those songs. I like to play them and horse around on stage."

Mike Nesmith spoke honestly about his 50-plus year connection with Micky Dolenz: "There’s a thing that happened when the two of us got together inside the Monkees enclave that was a lot of fun. There was a lot of horse play going on in terms of living fast and hard and having fun with girls and booze and all the stuff that would happen when you’re a 20-year-old attractive boy band member. . . It was fun and it is fun. It’s weird being a part of it when you’re 65 or 75, but it still has a quality to it that I think has enriched my life."

Back in the day, Mike Nesmith couldn't help be frustrated by the fact that due to the Monkees' dependence on session players, the press deemed the band's fakes who were incapable of playing live: "I gotta tell you, I was standing at a place we were playing. We were backstage and it’s like two minutes before we’re supposed to go on. And this guy walks up to me, he’s a reporter, y'know, like that anyway. I’m standing with my guitar over my back, he walks up to me and says, 'Is it true that you don’t play your own instruments?' I said, 'Wait a minute! I’m fixin’ to walk out there in front of 15,000 people, man. If I don’t play my own instruments I’m in a lot of trouble!' I don't know why even talk about it? It's ridiculous."

AUDIO: MICKY DOLENZ ON THE MONKEES ON RADIO AND TV
AUDIO: MIKE NESMITH ON THE MONKEES PLAYING THEIR OWN INSTRUMENTS