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Peter Tork (1942–2019), beloved Monkees musician

Peter Tork (1942–2019), beloved Monkees musician

by Kirk Fox

Peter Tork reached superstardom as the offbeat member of the Monkees.

Peter Tork was the loveable wise guy of the Monkees, the popular television rock group that rocketed to stardom in the 1960s. Tork was a serious musician who pushed for the Monkees to create their own music instead of the outside musicians and songwriters the producers used when the show started. Tork co-wrote the song “For Pete’s Sake,” which was used for the closing credits during the Monkees second season. He continued to record and perform folk and blues music after the Monkees, releasing his latest album with his band Shoe Suede Blues in 2018.

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Died: Thursday February 21, 2019 (Who else died on February 21?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 77.


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How he became a Monkee: Tork played the folk circuit in Greenwich Village and then moved out to Los Angeles. He became good friends with Stephen Stills, who auditioned for the Monkees and then suggested that Tork audition. Tork told the Washington Post in 1983, “They told Steve, ‘Your hair and teeth are not photogenic, do you know anyone who looks like you that can sing?’ And Steve told them about me.”

Tributes to Peter Tork:

“There are no words right now…heart broken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork.” —Monkee Mickey Dolenz on Twitter

“Our hearts are broken. Peter Tork. Rest in peace, brother, xo.” —Monkee Peter Nesmith on Twitter

“I’m sad to hear about Peter Tork passing. I thought The Monkees were great and Peter will be missed. Love & mercy to Peter’s family, friends and fans.” —Brian Wilson on Twitter

“RIP, Peter Tork. Condolences to his family and loved ones. Peter was so adorable! I loved the Monkees when it reran in the 70s. Thank you for all the fun. Now I want to watch the Monkees again.” —Actress Ming-Na Wen

“Pleasant Valley Sunday”: Tork said that the single was the band’s best, according to the Los Angeles Times.


More Peter Tork and Monkees videos in our Gallery


Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

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