Peter Tork of the Monkees Passes Away at 77
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Tork was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer that affected his tongue, in 2009.
The death was announced on his official Facebook page:
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.
Born in 1942, Tork joined the Monkees in the 1960s as the oldest member of the group.
He was featured on the group’s television series that aired from 1966 until it was canceled in 1968.
However, the group continued to record music through 1971.
In total, the Monkees have sold more than 75 million records worldwide making them one of the biggest selling groups of all time with hits, including "Last Train to Clarksville," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Daydream Believer," and "I'm a Believer."
Following the Monkees, Took played banjo on George Harrison’s soundtrack to the 1968 film Wonderwall.
Tork’s banjo can be heard approximately 16 minutes into the film when Professor Collins is caught by his mom while spying on his neighbor Penny Lane.
He also tried to form his own group called “Peter Tork And/or Release,” but after not being able to secure a record contract, the group called it quits in 1970.
Tork returned to the film in 2017, playing a role in the horror movie "I Filmed Your Death," which was written and directed by Sam Bahre.
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