The Monkees’ Peter Tork Dead At 77
The REAL Peter Tork (Official) / Facebook
Today, the world got a little less sunny.
It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we share that Peter Tork, the delightfully offbeat bassist and singer for The Monkees, has died at the age of 77 from unknown causes. The news was confirmed by Tork’s sister, Anne Thorkelson, to the Washington Post just a short time ago; she did not reveal any details as to the circumstances surrounding her brother’s death.
Not long after, Mr. Tork’s social media accounts lit up with confirmation of the tragic news. In a statement shared to both Facebook and Twitter, Mr. Tork’s social media team wrote:
“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. This page will remain open for your use in sharing your thoughts with your fellow fans and hopefully helping you through your own grieving journey, however the team will not be available for some time as we start to mend our own hearts and calm our minds.
We want to thank each and every one of you for your love, dedication and support of our “boss.” Having you in our world has meant so very much to all of us. Please know that Peter was extremely appreciative of you, his Torkees, and one of his deepest joys was to be out in front of you, playing his music, and seeing you enjoy what he had to share. We send blessings and thoughts of comfort to you all, with much gratitude.”
The team, comprised of Mr. Tork’s friends, family, and colleagues, signed off with a heartbroken “ptfb team”.
Born Peter Halsten Thorkelson just one day shy of Valentine’s Day in 1942, Tork rose to fame as the deliciously offbeat, affable bass player and keyboard player for 60s rock icons The Monkees. While his character on the hit television show was admittedly a little scatterbrained and the self-professed “dummy” of the made-for-tv group, it couldn’t be further from the truth; Tork was one of the most musically gifted members of The Monkees, a fiercely capable songwriter and performer who played on several key recordings and wrote several songs for the band, including “Can You Dig It?” and “For Pete’s Sake.”
Again, while an official cause of death has not been given for Mr. Tork, it’s worth noting that he was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer affecting his tongue, in 2009. He was given a clean bill of health as of 2012 and celebrated by hitting the road with bandmates Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith, gigging with them through 2016 and releasing 2016’s Good Times! as well as last year’s Christmas Party, both of which featured posthumous contributions from bandmate Davy Jones, who died in 2012.
In addition to a glowing legacy as both a musician and a teacher, Peter Tork is survived by his wife Pam and children Hailie, Ivan, and Erica. He will absolutely be missed, and the world is a little more gray without him in it.