MICHAEL NESMITH OF THE MONKEES DIES
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) – The way Michael Nesmith of The Monkees remembered it, the band loved having Jimi Hendrix open for them in the 1960s – and they were the only ones. Nesmith said in a 1992 Associated Press interview that the first time he heard Hendrix play live it blew him away. However, he says the promoters wanted Hendrix out, and “mothers and the local priests were just going crazy.” Nesmith recalled while Hendrix was at the height of his power playing “Foxy Lady,” girls in the crowd were screaming “Davy!” and “Micky!” Nesmith has died in central California at the age of 78.
MICKY DOLENZ REMEMBERS MICHAEL NESMITH FONDLY
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Micky Dolenz of The Monkees says he will treasure the last couple of months that he got to spend with fellow Monkee Michael Nesmith. Nesmith died in central California at the age of 78. Dolenz says in a statement they spent the past few months “doing what we loved best – singing laughing and doing shtick. I’ll miss it all so much. Especially the shtick,” Dolenz is now the last surviving member of the group. Davy Jones died in 2012. Peter Tork died in 2019.
THE MANY ASPECTS OF MICHAEL NESMITH
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Here’s a fun fact you may not have known about Michael Nesmith of The Monkees: he wrote the song “Different Drum,” which was Linda Ronstadt’s breakthrough hit in 1967. He wanted it to be a Monkees song, but music producer Don Kirshner thought it was too country for the group. Nesmith has died in central California at the age of 78. While Nesmith made his name as a Monkee, he also found success as a country musician and author. He was the executive producer on the films “Repo Man” and “Tape Heads.” His fortune, however, came from his mother. She invented Liquid Paper, the typewriter correction fluid, and left her money to Nesmith, her only child.
VICENTE FERNANDEZ DIES
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez has died at the age of 81, according to his family. Fernandez had been hospitalized since August after suffering a severe fall and other ailments. Fernandez sold more than 50 million records, including hits like “El Rey,” “Volver, Volver” and “Lastima que seas ajena.” He was known for playing ranchera and mariachi styles of music that inspired a worldwide following. Fernandez won three Grammys and nine Latin Grammys. He also appeared in more than 30 films.
SAVAGE GARDEN’S DARREN HAYES PAYS TRIBUTE TO ANNE RICE
UNDATED (AP) – Savage Garden singer Darren Hayes is mourning the death of author Anne Rice, because she inspired the band’s name. Hayes tweets he named the band Savage Garden after a passage in her novel “The Vampire Lestat.” He says he “adored escaping into the rich, vivid worlds she created.” Rice died late Saturday of complications from a stroke. She was 80.
FOO FIGHTERS CANCEL UAR SHOW
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The Foo Fighters called off their concert at the Formula One race in the United Arab Emirates because of “unforeseen medical circumstances.” Event organizers say they have no other details except that the band is “unable to travel.” Emirati state-linked newspaper The National quotes concert promoter John Lickrish as saying a member of the band was rushed to a hospital from an airport in Chicago. He did not give details. The Foo Fighters performed Thursday in Fresno, California, and had scheduled the UAR concert as the tour ender.
ALICIA KEYS TRIES SOMETHING DIFFERENT FOR “KEYS”
LOS ANGELES (AP) – For a long time, Alicia Keys was obsessed with figuring out what new thing she could create musically. For her “Keys” album, she decided to take a step back. The “Originals” section features Keys on piano, while the “Unlocked” portion has more up-tempo, produced versions. Keys says while she found the whole album liberating, she found the “Originals” part like she was driving in her lane and owning the space. She says the most beautiful way she can describe music is “soulful,” and “Keys” has it. The album is out now.
ADELE’S “30” IS NUMBER ONE FOR A THIRD WEEK
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Adele’s “30” album has moved another 193,000 units, putting it at the top of the Billboard 200 albums chart for a third straight week. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift is stuck in second, followed by the reissue of Polo G’s “Hall of Fame.” “Christmas” by Michael Buble’ is number four. “Sour” by Olivia Rodrigo is fifth.
NORFOLK STATE UNIVERSITY HONORS PHARRELL WILLIAMS
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) – Norfolk State University in Virginia has not only bestowed an honorary doctorate upon Pharrell Williams, it also named him an honorary member of the marching band. Williams gave the fall commencement speech to the historically Black university on Saturday. He did not attend the school, but he is from nearby Virginia Beach. The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports Williams told the new graduates to vote with their wallets by spending their money at local businesses. He also urged them to change outdated language like “minorities,” because “we are the emerging majority.”
MORE PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED FOR “NEW YEAR’S EVE LIVE”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Lady A, Carly Pearce and Sam Hunt have been added to the lineup of entertainment for the CBS celebration of New Year’s Eve from Nashville. Jon Pardi, Ingrid Andress, Chris Janson and BRELAND also will perform for the special “New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash.” The five-hour broadcast also will feature performances by Jason Aldean, Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Dierks Bentley, Brooks and Dunn, Luke Bryan, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Cole Swindell and Zac Brown Band.
CHRIS WALLACE DEPARTS FOX FOR CNN
NEW YORK (AP) – Chris Wallace has pulled up anchor from Fox News – and will now dock himself at CNN. The veteran newscaster announced his decision on the air yesterday, saying he’d be leaving Fox after 18 years. He didn’t tell his viewers where he was headed – but two hours later, CNN said he’d be joining its new streaming service as an anchor when it debuts next year. While Fox News tends to skew right, Wallace wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions of any guest, regardless of their politics. He even would challenge his own Fox colleagues on their positions.
NOVELIST ANNE RICE DIES, ELEVATED VAMPIRES TO NEW HEIGHTS IN BOOKS
NEW YORK (AP) – Anne Rice, the novelist who helped a new generation bring vampires out of the shadows and into our TVs and movie screens, has died. Her son, Christopher announced online that his mom died late Saturday from complications from a stroke. She was 80. Rice churned out a series of best-selling gothic books, including “Interview With a Vampire,” that helped re-fashion vampires as tragic antiheroes. Her 1976 “Interview” novel was adapted into a 1994 movie starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. It will be revived in an upcoming TV series on AMC due out next year.
MICHAEL NESMITH OF THE MONKEES DIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – It’s true The Monkees were a made-for-TV band. But the latest member of the foursome to die had a career that featured much more than the zany antics the group pulled off on the small screen. Michael Nesmith was a singer-songwriter when the show came calling for him, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davy Jones – and made them overnight rock stars. Once the band ran its TV course, Nesmith went on to have a long and creative career as a musician, writer, producer and director of movies, an author – and creator of a music video format that led to the creation of MTV. Nesmith died over the weekend. He was 78 years old.
“RUST” ASSISTANT DIRECTOR ORDERED TO SPEAK WITH SAFETY REGULATORS
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin the prop gun that killed the cinematographer on the set of the movie “Rust” is being ordered to speak with authorities. A judge in Santa Fe, New Mexico says Dave Halls must answer questions from workplace safety officials. State officials twice asked Halls to speak with them but he declined through his attorney, saying he wouldn’t do a interview until the ongoing criminal probe into the shooting is done. The Oct. 21 shooting killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.
“WEST SIDE STORY”FALLS FLAT AT BOX OFFICE
NEW YORK (AP) – Steven Spielberg’s take on “West Side Story” didn’t make much of a rumble at the box office. Despite good reviews from critics and two years of hype, Spielberg’s retelling of the classic story failed to capture the imagination – or the money – of the moviegoing public. It took in just $10.5 million in its first weekend. It’s another sign the movie industry isn’t quite ready for the kind of revival that would bring Hollywood back to the way it was before the pandemic hit.
MICHAEL STRAHAN TAKES BRIEF TRIP INTO SPACE
UNDATED (AP) – After his brief trip into space Michael Strahan says “TOUCHDOWN has a new meaning now!!!” The morning TV host and former football star was enthusiastic in a tweet he sent after his successful journey Saturday. Strahan and the daughter of Alan Shepard, America’s first astronaut, rode on the Blue Origin craft named New Shepard. The craft rose 66 miles high before floating back down to earth. That gave the travelers few minutes of weightlessness while they were aloft.