Michael Nesmith, to his credit the most contrarian and independent-minded member of the mid to late ’60s embarassment known as The Monkees, passed early today at age 78.

Nesmith hated the fakeness and pushed for the band’s right to play their own instruments and not just go through the motions as network-controlled Beatles imitators. Nesmith wrote and performed ““Papa Gene’s Blues” and “Joanne.” In ’81 Nesmith won a Grammy Award given for Video of the Year for his hour-long TV show, Elephant Parts. He was also an exec producer of Repo Man (’84).

Three Monkees have now merged with the Great Beyond — Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones. Only drummer-singer Mickey Dolenz, 76, remains to hold down the fort