Skip to comments.The Monkees’ Peter Tork Dead At 77
Posted on 02/21/2019 4:32:36 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Peter Tork, a member of the massively popular 60s band the Monkees, has died. The Washington Post reports that Anne Thorkelson, Torks sister, has confirmed news of Torks death, though she declined to say how he died. Tork was 77.
Tork, born Peter Thorkelson, was born in Washington, DC, and he grew up largely in Connecticut. After college, he moved to New York and joined the thriving Greenwich Village folk scene. Tork auditioned for The Monkees, a sitcom about a band of four up-and-coming musicians, after his friend Stephen Stills suggested him for the job. Tork, the oldest member of the group, became the bassist.
The Monkees were an instant pop phenomenon. The band members generally didnt play on their records, with session musicians playing their parts instead. But Tork, who played a number of instruments, as occasionally allowed to play some of those instruments on the records. He was, for instance, responsible for the piano intro of the #1 hit Daydream Believer. (He also played banjo on George Harrisons score for the 1968 movie Wonderwall.) On the TV show, Tork played a sort of clueless ditz, and his bumbling was one of the major sources of comedy.
The Monkees eventually wrestled creative control away from their management, and they kept on as a band after their TV show was cancelled, making strange time-capsule artifacts like the psychedelic 1968 movie Head. But an exhausted Tork left the Monkees at the end of 1968. After leaving the Monkees, Tork struggled creatively and eventually left the music and TV businesses. He served a few months in prison for hashish possession, and he briefly became a high school teacher in Southern California.
Tork reunited with the Monkees in 1986, and he continued to tour and perform with them until his death. (The Monkees released the holiday album Christmas Party just last year.) Tork also released the solo album Stranger Things Have Happened in 1994, and he played the recurring role of Topangas father on the sitcom Boy Meets World. He was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma in 2009, but the cancer was treated, and its not yet known whether that contributed to his death. Tork is the second of the four Monkees to pass away; singer Davy Jones died of a heart attack in 2012, at the age of 66.
Below, watch a few Monkees videos:
How many times has he died today?
I thought I saw him a little while ago walking down the street.
Making me feel old
Your Auntie Grizelda
I’m guessing that the one time he died was more than painful enough for him.
I did some research on the cancer that he had, which apparently can hit a number of areas in the body. It was a very unpleasant research.
I couldn't believe the other boys were all totally into the show. They collected Monkees playing cards; if you collected them all they could be assembled mosaic-style into a groovy Monkees poster for your pad!
Unlike the aging and cranky teachers in the city school, my new sixth-grade teacher was young and hip. She looked a lot like Karen Carpenter, and was married to a doctor.
One of the things that was a total culture shock was that she let us play records on the class record player before class if we got there early.
There were only a couple of records there for us to play. One was Donovan's Mellow Yellow. To this day, when I hear it, I can go right back to September of 1966.
I remember their TV show. Some years ago for some strange reason I bought a Deluxe Edition of their first album.
My favorite songs were Daydream Believer, Valleri, I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone (Paul Revere & the Raiders did a nice version too) and Pleasant Valley Sunday.
They certainly had the best songwriters and musicians working for them.
“Unlike the aging and cranky teachers in the city school, my new sixth-grade teacher was young and hip. She looked a lot like Karen Carpenter, and was married to a doctor.”
Karen Carpenter wasn’t famous when the Monkees were on.
(I enjoyed your post, don’t get me wrong).
I thought Pleasant Valley Sunday was about the town we'd just moved to, and (as an 11-year-old) I thought it was complementary. The irony and snarkiness of it went right over my head.
Interesting how so many of their songs were not about love, romance, attraction, etc., but were about ideas and concepts. Daydream Believer was an insightful song.
Condolences to family and friends of Peter Tork.
I recently watched a youtube video titled The Legends Of Laurel Canyon and Mickey Dolenz was one of the host. If you haven’t seen it already try to watch it...you and I are about the same age and have a lot of the same musical experiences...I think you’ll enjoy it.
“They certainly had the best songwriters and musicians working for them.”
Agreed...I recently read Carole King was one of them.
They would play episodes on Nickelodeon back in the late 80s. Strangely enough I found the show entertaining as an 10 year old back then.
Do you get the funniest looks from everyone you meet?
I know. When I saw Karen Carpenter, I thought she looked familiar. Then, some time later, I realized she looked like Mrs. -------, my teacher.
I guess you’d have to actually be one of the Monkees to know they were still around.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.