Tengo Amore: Missing Papa Nez and the First National Band Redux

I'm thrilled that Michael Nesmith and the (incredibly talented) First National Band Redux are out there touring.  Papa Nez, as he's often known, recently had some health issues (nothing says summer fun like bypass surgery), but this September he's scheduled to be back on the road. Nothing would make me happier than to go see him and this "new" version of the band performing tracks from the holy trilogy (Magnetic South, Loose Salute and Nevada Fighter -- also known as the Blue, Red and White albums).  Unfortunately it's not going to happen.

The east coast is part of his tour.  He will be in NYC on a Thursday evening, outside of Philly on Saturday and in CT on Sunday.  Although NYC is the closest, it's also the priciest, especially if I want to do the meet and greet afterwards. (And this devoted fan wants to meet him again; even though I've already done it twice!)  In PA, the meet and greet is sold out, and CT doesn't offer a meet and greet.  PA and CT would probably also require an overnight stay somewhere, which negates any "savings" there might be.

To be frank, when it comes to concerts, this one is very reasonably priced and Nez and the band are worth every penny in my book.  I have been lucky enough to see him twice in my lifetime.  Once at the Lone Star Roadhouse (where I was so close to the stage that I was practically sitting on John Hobbs lap) and then nearly 20 years later at the Union County Performing Art Center.  His concert so moving that I HAD to write about it and hence this blog was born. (https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/a-few-words-about-michael-nesmith.html.  And if you go back and read it, my apologies.  My first post is full of typos and the layout is weak...but it was a beginning.)    

I would really like to see him again, even without the meet and greet. (While some might say paying for a meet and greet afterwards is a little over the top or money grubbing, I say no way.  Musicians have to make money.  Paying for some time and an autograph is costly [especially if you are going as a couple which doubles the price], but not out of bounds. Besides can you really put a price on a memory?)  However, it's just not going to happen.  Money is tight. (Has it ever NOT been?  Well, I'm not living paycheck to paycheck as I've heard so many people are, but I'm getting close enough to make myself squirm.)  Family vacation had already been planned and money (sort of) put aside, so I can't tap into those resources.  It's just bad timing for me all around.

Which is a shame because I've heard the Live at The Troubadour album (Are they still called albums?) and Nez and the band sound incredible.  (Yes, I realize that live albums are not completely live, but...)  Red Rhodes may no longer be with us, but Pete Finney plays an awesome slide guitar.  Jason Chesney does some great bass work. The backing vocals of Amy Spear and Circe Link add just that little something extra. Oh heck, the whole band just kills it.  Don't take my word for it, order it for yourself:  http://www.videoranch3d.com/

And then of course, there is the man himself.  Listening to him sing you can't hear a vocal difference between the 1960s and today.  Unlike many of his contemporaries, his voice shows no sign of aging.  Listening to him is no different now than it was decades ago.  How is this possible?  Perhaps some kind of deal with Mr. Zero many years ago?  (That's a reference to "The Devil and Peter Tork" for those not obsessed with Monkees history.)  The man HAS aged (he's gone from rakishly handsome to distinguished gentleman ala Cary Grant or Paul Newman), yet he has the voice, the stamina (remember the bypass surgery?) and the energetic enthusiasm of a man in his 30s.  (Maybe even 20s?!)

I realize I've gone all fan girl here, but that's only because the music is so darned good.  I've seen some wonderful concerts in my lifetime; Michael Nesmith definitely takes a top spot. His laid back style on stage captivates his audience and the music...well, it goes without saying that I love his music.  (Of the "holy trilogy" both Magnetic South and Loose Salute made it on my list of influential albums:  https://bfthsboringblog.blogspot.com/2018/06/10-albums-part-3-adult-years.html)  When I had the opportunity to meet him (briefly) he was not just personable but charming.  How can I NOT go all fan girl?  If I was younger and had more financial resources, I'd definitely be hitting more than one of these shows...because they ARE that good.

As it is, I'll be missing out.  No Tengo Amore (one of my FAVORITE songs that I don't believe he's done live before) for me...this time around.  Maybe there will be another?  Only time and Papa Nez can tell.

If you are reading this and have the opportunity to attend one of the shows...DO IT!  (And then report back to me!)  It's an evening that you'll remember...maybe it'll even inspire you to do something creative like take up an instrument, write a song or even start a blog!

To Michael Nesmith and The First National Band Redux...I'm sorry I'll miss seeing you perform live, but you'll be forever on my Google Play list. Thanx for the ride! 


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