Update: Michael Nesmith Issues Devastating Statement On Peter Tork’s Passing
(L) Michael Nesmith / Facebook, (R) Access / YouTube
Monkees’ Nesmith Issues Statement
It’s been a long, sad day for fans of The Monkees as news broke this morning of Peter Tork’s passing at the age of 77. Throughout the day, we’ve heard from the people who loved him most as his family issued a lengthy statement on the passing of their husband, father, and grandfather, sharing that his death came after a 10 year battle with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands that he was diagnosed with in 2009.
Bandmate Micky Dolenz took to social media shortly after news broke with a heartbroken statement of his own, admitting that there are “no words” to express the sheer magnitude of the loss he’s suffered today.
“There are no words right now…heartbroken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork. #petertork #themonkees @TorkTweet”. He also shared a simple black and white photo of Tork, taken during his later years.
Now, Michael Nesmith of The Monkees has weighed in on the loss of his old friend, letting the world in on the kind of grief that he says “has no cure”.
The statement reads,
“Pardon me if I am being dogmatic — but I think it is harder to put together a band than a TV show — not to take anything away from TV shows. These days I watch MSNBC — mostly aghast at what I see — and what I am missing is “madcap”.
Peter Tork died this AM. I am told he slipped away peacefully.
Yet, as I write this my tears are awash, and my heart is broken. Even though I am clinging to the idea that we all continue, the pain that attends these passings has no cure. It’s going to be a rough day.
I share this with all Monkees fans this change, this “loss,” even so.
PT will be a part of me forever. I have said this before — and now it seems even more apt — the reason we called it a band is because it was where we all went to play.
A band no more — and yet the music plays on — an anthem to all who made the Monkees and the TV show our private — dare I say “secret” — playground.
As for Pete, I can only pray that his songs reach the heights that can lift us and that our childhood lives forever — that special sparkle that was in the Monkees. I will miss him — a brother in arms.”
He then signed off with a simple, “Take flight my Brother.”
The Monkees’ official Twitter account was updated with a brief statement as well, where they expressed their love and grief at the loss of their friend, and asked fans to share their favorite memories of Peter throughout the years.
“@TorkTweet has passed away peacefully at the age of 77. We’ll be remembering him throughout the day. Share your favorite memories of Peter below,” reads the tweet.
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.”
In 2009, he was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands as reported by his family, 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.
Our hearts go out to Mr. Tork’s loved ones during this heartbreaking time, and he will be sorely missed.