The Monkees bassist Peter Tork has sadly died aged 77. The blues and folk star – who made his name with the ‘Daydream Believer’ pop group – was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare form of cancer affecting his tongue, a decade ago. The tragic news of his death was confirmed by his sister Anne Thorkelson, but details on how or where he died have not yet been revealed.
A statement on his official Facebook page read: “It is with beyond-heavy and broken hearts that we share the devastating news that our friend, mentor, teacher, and amazing soul, Peter Tork, has passed from this world. As we have mentioned in the past, the PTFB team is made up of Peter’s friends, family and colleagues – we ask for your kindness and understanding in allowing us to grieve this huge loss privately.”
Tork – along with bandmates Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones – became a huge star with the Monkees, which was initially created for a self-titled NBC show. Although the programme was originally meant to be about an imaginary band, viewers fell in love with them and they went on to have a number of huge hits. ‘I’m A Believe’, ‘Last Train to Clarksville’ and ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’ were all big tunes for the group, while they also branched out into comic books.
Tork played bass in the quartet, and also sang lead on some tracks, including ‘Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again’. He also wrote the theme for the band’s 1968 movie ‘Head’, which included cameos from stars ike Frank Zappa, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson. Although he quit the group at the end of 1968, he later reunited with his former bandmates for their 20th anniversary in 1986.
As well as hitting the road with the Monkees, he continued to play with his own bands he Peter Tork Project and Shoe Suede Blues. He also continued his acting work, and in 2017 e appeared in Sam Bahre’s horror movie ‘I Filmed Your Death’.