A nation in turmoil sealed the Monkees’ fate and left Mike Nesmith bitter. But, in the end, he became a believer
Mike Nesmith of The Monkees and his new Mini Cooper, the most expensive one ever, at a hotel near London Airport, July 3, 1967. - Keystone Press Agency/ZUMA Wire/TNS

Why do rock bands break up? The new Peter Jackson documentary series “The Beatles: Get Back,” about the late stage of the Beatles’ career, touches on some of the reasons bands succumb: personality conflicts, jealousies, diverging personal lives, artistic differences, money and personal vices — shorthand for drugs and alcohol. (The exception seems to be the indefatigable Rolling Stones.) The Dec. 10 death of Mike Nesmith brought back to mind the breakup story of the Monkees, the circumstances of which were unique. Technically speaking, the Monkees were not a rock band, but four photogenic young...