The Monkees: Mike Nesmith’s Last Words As A Band Member Had Nothing To Do With The Band: ‘Enerfs Enerf’


Mike Nesmith has signed on as a cast member of Monkeys television show in 1965. He remained a member of the entity that turned into a music group until 1970. However, his last words as a member of The Monkees were also unrelated. Nesmith uttered “enerfs enerf” after a ridiculous moment with Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz.

The cast of ‘The Monkees’ included Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork | NBCU/NBCUniversal Photo Bank via Getty Images

Mike Nesmith officially became a cast member of ‘The Monkees’ in 1965

Nesmith learned Monkeysaudition via a Hollywood Reporter ad. The ad read, “Madness!! Hearings. Folk & Roll Musicians-Singers for acting roles in new TV series. Running Parts for four crazy boys aged 17-21. You want the feisty types of Ben Frank. Have the courage to work. Must come for an interview.

Ben Frank’s was a cafe in Los Angeles popular with the rock and roll crowd after the bars closed.

The advertisement attracted 437 applicants. Nesmith was one of them. He caught the attention of Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider during his audition by wearing a stocking cap. Nesmith used the mattress topper to keep his long hair out of his eyes as he rode his motorcycle and never took it off.

He also carried a guitar, a harmonica around his neck and a bag of dirty laundry that he planned to wash immediately afterwards, CBC reported.

Rafelson and Schneider hired Nesmith for the gig and, along with Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, became a quarter of one of the most successful bands of the time.

Mike Nesmith’s Last Words as Monkee Had Nothing to Do With the Series

Mike Nesmith on the set of
Mike Nesmith | Archive by Michael Ochs/Getty Images

By 1970, Nesmith seemed fed up with portraying the straight man of Tork, Dolenz and Jones in the television series and subsequent commercials the foursome were legally obligated to take part in.

Shortly after the release of Head, Tork left the limelight as a member of the Monkees. Nesmith followed suit in 1970. However, he had to pay the default on the remaining years of his contract, which totaled $450,000, Turner Classic Movies reported.

Prior to leaving the band and its television persona Monkees, Nesmith filmed a television commercial which combined two popular products at the turn of the decade. Alongside Jones and Dolenz, he peddled Nerf Balls and Kool-Aid.

In the commercial, the trio stood in a living room and threw the stuffed animals at each other. For the most part, Jones and Dolenz had the most lines, talking about the virtues of both products.

However, Nesmith had the line that would officially end his Monkees career. He was sitting on a staircase with dozens of soft Nerf bullets falling on his head. There he said the last words of his tenure as an official member of the Monkees, “Enerfs enerf”.

The Monkees would go on without Nesmith for another album

Nesmith left the band to resume recording songs with his country-rock band, Michael Nesmith & The First National Band. He left Jones and Dolenz to work on the latest LP released under The Monkees banner, Changes.

The single “Oh My My”, featuring the song “I Love You Better”, was the last to be released under the Monkees name in the United States until 1986, when the group reunited on the heels of ‘a monkeys TV Show Marathon broadcast on MTV.

Nesmith told the Arizona Republic in 2018 that his Monkees experience was a moment in time.

“We were all very tired and the show was starting to repeat itself,” Nesmith said. “Things like Monkeys the show has a specific lifespan, and when it’s over, it’s over, left to history for evaluation. However, he never dies.

RELATED: ‘The Monkees’: Mike Nesmith Struggled Writing Music For A TV Series: ‘I Didn’t Know How To Write A Pop Song’


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