Peter Tork
musician and actor
Peter Tork
Peter Tork is an American musician and actor, best known as a member of The Monkees.
Biography
Peter Tork's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Peter Tork from around the web
Watch: The Monkees Talk New Album 'Good Times'
ABC News - 9 months
Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork are live in Times Square talking about their latest work.
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ABC News article
Daydream Believers
Huffington Post - over 3 years
At the start of November 1966, The Monkees were at the top of the Billboard singles chart with Last Train to Clarksville, the group's first No. 1. It was later revealed that due to filming commitments on their TV series, none of the group had played on this or most of the group's early recordings. Are we bothered? So, where did these four cheeky, floppy-haired wannabes come from? In September 1965, the Hollywood Reporter ran the following advertisement: "Madness folk and roll musicians, singers wanted for acting roles in new TV show. Parts for four insane boys." The Monkees were born. These were the days when the seeds of Pop Idol and X Factor had yet to germinate in the mind of a five-year-old Simon Fuller. Englishman Davy Jones was a former jockey who had achieved some initial success on the musical stage (in 1964, Jones appeared with the cast of Oliver! on The Ed Sullivan Show the night of the Beatles' live American debut). Texan Michael Nesmith had served a brief stin ...
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Huffington Post article
Tony Sachs: Micky Dolenz Talks About The Monkees Present... And The Monkees' Future
Huffington Post - over 3 years
It's kind of amazing to realize that the Monkees in their original incarnation were around for less than four years, from the debut of their TV show and their first hit single, "Last Train To Clarksville," in the fall of 1966 until remaining members Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones finally threw in the towel in 1970 (the other Monkees, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork, had already left). During that time they managed to crank out nine albums, tour the world a few times, make a creatively adventurous but commercially disastrous movie (Head), and of course film two seasons of a TV show that, every time it gets aired again, creates a new generation of fans. Which is why the Monkees have never really gone away. Every few years, two or three members of the "Prefab Four" have hit the road, playing the old hits and occasionally even some newer songs; they did an album of new material in the '80s and again in the '90s. And the old songs keep getting reissued in ever more comprehensive pac ...
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Huffington Post article
Up & Coming
The Portland Mercury - over 3 years
Music previews for the week of August 14-20. WEDNESDAY 8/14 YEAH YEAH YEAHS, HAR MAR SUPERSTAR (Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale) See My, What a Busy Week! CLOUD CONTROL, ELLIS PINK, SWAHILI (Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi) Read our article on Cloud Control. INTERNATIONAL POP OVERTHROW: THE ZAGS, DON'T, 302, THE LONESOMES, ANNY CELSI, CHRISTOPHER REYNE (Alhambra Theatre, 4811 SE Hawthorne) Local power-pop up-and-comers the Zags have only been around since the beginning of the summer, but their lone recording, the can't-believe-it's-not-Squeeze "It's Over," has already earned them a considerable amount of buzz among this city's pop litterateurs. While it's difficult to write extensively about a band with such a limited output, it's easy to see the Zags' star-spangled trajectory: clocking in at just over two minutes (if you need any longer than that to make your point in the realm of pop music, you're doing it wron ...
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The Portland Mercury article
On the Road Again: The Monkees, after Davy
USA Today - over 3 years
Hey, hey, it's Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork.
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USA Today article
Monkees' Peter Tork brings blues band to Long Beach festival
LATimes - over 3 years
What’s a Monkee doing on the lineup at a blues festival? Singing the blues, of course.
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LATimes article
Yes, Peter Tork of the Monkees can play
Chicago Times - over 3 years
Teen idol at 71 held the stage with flair Back when I was still young enough to be entertained by unrequited love, I routinely kissed Peter Tork good night.     
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Chicago Times article
Monkees reunite after Davy Jones' death
San Francisco Chronicle - over 4 years
Monkees reunite after Davy Jones' death Less than a year after singer Davy Jones died from a heart attack, the surviving members of the Monkees - Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith - are on a reunion tour. What makes it noteworthy is that this 12-date U.S. tour is the group's first with Nesmith since 1969. Even though the made-for-TV band that once outsold the Beatles has come together over the years to record albums and mark various anniversaries, a history of acrimony has dogged it. After the last Monkee tour had been put together with Davy and Peter and I in 2010, we started talking about doing a "Headquarters" tour and getting Mike involved. When I spoke with Davy shortly before his death, I got the impression that there are some strong egos involved within the band. The creative tension is what makes groups successful. [...] it was one of the most successful tours we had done. Aidin Vaziri is The San Francisco Chronicle's pop music critic.
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Monkees Singer Split on 'Breaking Bad' Using Band's Song
Big Hollywood - over 4 years
Even non-Monkees fans know classic tracks like "I'm a Believer," "Last Train to Clarksville" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday," the latter a near-perfect slice of '60s pop music. Those who watch AMC's "Breaking Bad" heard a lesser known Monkees song during a recent episode. Micky Dolenz, who sang lead on the bulk of the band's numbers, is split on his reaction to the television shout out to the jazzy "Goin' Down." "'Goin' Down' has nothing to do with drugs, obviously," he said, "and I certainly don't condone meth – that is nasty stuff that kills a lot of people and ruins a lot of lives... On the other hand, I like the TV show; it's very well-made." The song remains one of the band's sturdier efforts, showcasing Dolenz's vocal range as well as the band's ability to stretch beyond its plastic roots. The "Breaking Bad" episode marked the second time in recent memory that Hollywood saw fit to highlight the tune. Last year's remake of "Straw Dogs" also featured the song during the f ...
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Big Hollywood article
Peter Tork at peace with post-Monkees career
The Morning Call - Blogs - over 4 years
Peter Tork figures that, had he never become a member of 1960s television pop-rock band The Monkees, he still would have had a music career.
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The Morning Call - Blogs article
Celebrate Roma Day at museum
The Evening Telegraph - almost 5 years
CELEBRATE International Roma Day by finding out more about the community and its connections to Peterborough. The Community Partnership Group (COMPAS) is organising the celebration in partnership with Vivacity at Peterborough Museum, in Priestgate, on Sunday, April 15. It will start at 1.30pm with a procession from Cathedral Square to the museum - with the event being opened by a speech from the Mayor of Peterborough councillor Paula Thacker. At the museum there will be a range of different crafts for families to try and displays about Peterborough’s Roma Gypsy community. Entry will be free and the event will run from 2pm to 4pm. Among those performing at the event will be internationally-renowned singer Jozka Bartos who will sing the Roma hymn Gelem Gelem. Petr Torak, project coordinator for COMPAS, said: “We are very excited to be hosting an International Roma Day event in the newly refurbished Peterborough Museum. “It will be a unique opportunity for people to learn more ab ...
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The Evening Telegraph article
Peter Tork recalls favorite Davy Jones memory
USA Today - almost 5 years
Tork is remembering the salad days with the band. Literally.
Article Link:
USA Today article
Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, Ringo Starr, and more remember Davy Jones
Entertainment Weekly - almost 5 years
The sad news that the Monkees singer <a class="fplink fp-62350" href="/Davy+Jones+1">Davy Jones</a> has died at the age of 66 after suffering a heart attack
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Entertainment Weekly article
Week in Rock History: James Brown Dies
Rolling Stone - about 5 years
This week in rock history the Rolling Stones send out cheeky holiday wishes <a class="fplink fp-220353" href="/peter+tork">Peter Tork</a> bought himself out of the Monkees two pairs of young rock celebrities tied the knot and <a class="fplink fp-127599" href="/james+brown+sportscaster">James Brown</a> and Dennis Wilson passed away December 26 1964 The Rolling Stones take out an ad in NME wishing...
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Rolling Stone article
Peter Tork: Monkees Canceled Tour Due to a 'Glitch'
Rolling Stone - over 5 years
Earlier this year the Monkees put aside a decade of acrimony and toured in support of their 45th anniversary They did 43 dates in Europe and America before the tour was called off with little explanation in August "I'm not really at liberty to get into detail about what happened" Monkees...
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Rolling Stone article
This Week in Music - Black and White
Google News - over 5 years
The four Monkees (Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, and Peter Tork) would provide vocals, but they wouldn&#39;t compose any songs or play any instruments on the records. During long breaks between takes for the new TV program, the four musicians
Article Link:
Google News article
Stars turn out at Montville car show - Dailyrecord.com
Google News - over 5 years
Montville -- 08/31/2011 -- Peter Tork of The Monkees and Butch Patrick of the Munsters TV show sign autographs at The Dead Man&#39;s Curve Custom Machines Car Club annual car show to benefit 5-year-old Vanessa Morales of Lincoln Park
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Peter Tork
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2011
    Age 69
    In 2011, he joined Dolenz and Jones for the 2011 tour, An Evening with The Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour.
    More Details Hide Details In 2012, Peter joined Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith with a Monkees tour in honor of the album Headquarters 45th anniversary as well as in tribute to the late Davy Jones. The trio would tour again in 2013 and 2014.
  • 2009
    Age 67
    On September 15, 2009, Tork received an "all clear" from his doctor.
    More Details Hide Details Tork documented his cancer experience on Facebook and encouraged his fans to support research efforts of the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation. Tork currently resides in Mansfield, Connecticut. He has been married four times, and has a child each from two of the marriages and one child from a relationship: All songs written by Peter Tork or co-written by Tork as indicated. Solo: with James Lee Stanley: with Shoe Suede Blues:
    In July 2009, while undergoing radiation therapy, he was interviewed by the Washington Post: "I recovered very quickly after my surgery, and I've been hoping that my better-than-average constitution will keep the worst effects of radiation at bay.
    More Details Hide Details My voice and energy still seem to be in decent shape, so maybe I can pull these gigs off after all." He continued to tour and perform while receiving his treatments.
    On June 11, 2009, a spokesman for Tork reported that his cancer had returned.
    More Details Hide Details Tork was reportedly "shaken but not stirred" by the news, and said that the doctors had given him an 80% chance of containing and shrinking the new tumor.
    On March 4, 2009, Tork underwent extensive surgery in New York City, which was successful.
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    On March 3, 2009, Tork reported on his website that he had been diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare, slow-growing form of head and neck cancer.
    More Details Hide Details A preliminary biopsy discovered that the cancer had not spread beyond the initial site. "It's a bad news, good news situation," explained Tork. "It's so rare a combination (on the tongue) that there isn't a lot of experience among the medical community about this particular combination. On the other hand, the type of cancer it is, never mind the location, is somewhat well known, and the prognosis, I'm told, is good." Tork underwent radiation treatment to prevent the cancer from returning.
  • 2008
    Age 66
    In early 2008, Tork added "advice columnist" to his extensive resume by authoring an online advice and info column called "Ask Peter Tork" at the webzine The Daily Panic.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 2002
    Age 60
    In 2002, Tork resumed working with his band Shoe Suede Blues.
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  • 2001
    Age 59
    In 2001, Tork took time out from touring to appear in a leading role in the short film Mixed Signals, written and directed by John Graziano.
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  • 1999
    Age 57
    In 1999, he appeared as the Band Leader of a wedding band in season one episode 13, "Best Man", of The King of Queens.
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  • 1996
    Age 54
    In 1996, Tork collaborated on an album called Two Man Band with James Lee Stanley.
    More Details Hide Details The duo followed up in 2001 with a second release, Once Again.
  • 1994
    Age 52
    In 1994, he released his first album length solo project, Stranger Things Have Happened, which featured brief appearances by Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1991
    Age 49
    In 1991, Tork formed a band called the Dashboard Saints and played at a pizza restaurant in Guerneville, California.
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  • 1986
    Age 44
    In 1986, after a 1985 tour with Jones in Australia, Tork rejoined fellow Monkees Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz for a highly successful 20th anniversary reunion tour.
    More Details Hide Details Three new songs were recorded by Tork and Dolenz for a greatest hits release. The three Monkees recorded Pool It! A decade later, all four group members recorded Justus, the first recording with all four members since 1968. The quartet performed live in the United Kingdom in 1997, but for the next several years only the trio of Tork, Dolenz and Jones toured together. The trio of Monkees parted ways in 2001 with a public feud but reunited in 2011 for a series of 45th anniversary concerts in England and the United States. Since 1986, Tork has intermittently toured with his former band mates and also played with his own bands The Peter Tork Project and Shoe Suede Blues.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1981
    Age 39
    In 1981 he released the 45 rpm single "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" (b/w "Higher And Higher") with "The New Monks".
    More Details Hide Details He also did some club performances and live television appearances, including taking part in a "Win A Date With Peter Tork" bit on Late Night with David Letterman.
  • 1980
    Age 38
    A chance meeting with Sire Records executive Pat Horgan at the Bottom Line in New York City led to Tork recording a six-song demo, his first recording in many years. Recorded in summer 1980, it featured Tork, who sang, played rhythm guitar, keyboards, and banjo; it was backed by Southern rock band Cottonmouth, led by guitarist/singer/songwriter Johnny Pontiff, featuring Gerard Trahan on guitar/keyboards/vocals, Gene Pyle on bass guitar/vocals and Gary Hille on drums/percussion.
    More Details Hide Details Horgan produced the six tracks (which included two Monkees covers, "Shades of Gray" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday"), with George Dispigno as engineer. The four other tracks were "Good Looker," "Since You Went Away" (which appeared on the Monkees 1987 CD "Pool It"), "Higher & Higher" and "Hi Hi Babe." Also present at the sessions were Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, and Tommy Ramone of the Ramones. The tracks were recorded at Blue Horizon House, 165 West 74th Street, home of Sire Records, but Seymour Stein, president of Sire, rejected the demo, stating "there's nothing there." Tork recorded a second set of demos in New York City, but little is known about these (other than the fact that one track was a yet another version of "Pleasant Valley Sunday" with an unknown rock band, and featured a violin solo).
  • 1976
    Age 34
    Peter Tork joined 'Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart' onstage for a guest appearance on their concert tour on July 4, 1976 in Disneyland.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year he reunited with Jones and Dolenz in the studio for the recording of the single "Christmas Is My Time of The Year" b/w "White Christmas", which saw a limited release for fan club members that holiday season.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1971
    Age 29
    Tork was credited with co-arranging a Micky Dolenz solo single on MGM Records in 1971 ("Easy on You", b/w "Oh Someone").
    More Details Hide Details An arrest and conviction for possession of hashish resulted in three months in an Oklahoma penitentiary in 1972. He moved to Fairfax in Marin County, California, in the early 1970s, where he joined the 35-voice Fairfax Street Choir and played guitar for a shuffle blues band called Osceola. Tork returned to Southern California in the mid-1970s, where he married and had a son and took a job teaching at Pacific Hills School in Santa Monica for a year and a half. He spent a total of three years as a teacher of music, social studies, math, French and history and coaching baseball at a number of schools, but enjoyed some more than others.
  • 1970
    Age 28
    Tork's record and movie production entity, the Breakthrough Influence Company (BRINCO), also failed to launch, despite such talent as future Little Feat guitarist, Lowell George. He was forced to sell his house in 1970, and he and a pregnant Reine Stewart moved into the basement of David Crosby's home.
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    Release could not secure a record contract, and by 1970 Tork was once again a solo artist, as he later recalled, "I didn't know how to stick to it.
    More Details Hide Details I ran out of money and told the band members, 'I can't support us as a crew any more, you'll just have to find your own way'."
  • 1969
    Age 27
    Tork said in April 1969, "We sometimes have four.
    More Details Hide Details We're thinking of having a rotating fourth. Right now, the fourth is that girl I'm promoting named Judy Mayhan." "We're like Peter's back-up band", added Stewart, "except we happen to be a group instead of a back-up band." Release hoped to have a record out immediately, and Tork has said that they did record some demos, which he may still have stored away somewhere. According to Stewart the band were supposed to go to Muscle Shoals as the backing band for Mayhan's Atlantic Records solo album Moments (1970) but they were ultimately replaced. They mainly played parties for their "in" friends and one of their songs was considered for the soundtrack to Easy Rider, but the producers – who had also produced Head – eventually decided not to include it.
  • 1968
    Age 26
    His playing featured in the movie, but not on the official Wonderwall Music soundtrack album released in November 1968.
    More Details Hide Details Tork's brief five-string banjo piece can be heard 16 minutes into the film, as Professor Collins is caught by his mother while spying on his neighbour Penny Lane. Striking out on his own, he formed a group called 'Peter Tork And/Or Release' with girlfriend Reine Stewart on drums (she had played drums on part of 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee), Riley "Wyldflower" Cummings (ex The Gentle Soul) on bass and – sometimes – singer/keyboard player Judy Mayhan.
    No longer getting the group dynamic he wanted, and pleading "exhaustion" from the grueling schedule, Tork bought out the remaining four years of his contract after filming was complete on December 20, 1968, at a default of $150,000/year.
    More Details Hide Details In the DVD commentary for the 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee TV special—originally broadcast April 14, 1969—Dolenz noted that Nesmith gave Tork a gold watch as a going-away present, engraved "From the guys down at work". Tork kept the back, but replaced the watch several times in later years. During a trip to London in December 1967, Tork contributed banjo to George Harrison's soundtrack to the 1968 film Wonderwall.
    The band finished a Far East tour in December 1968 (where his copy of Naked Lunch was confiscated by Australian Customs) and then filmed an NBC television special, 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee, which rehashed many of the ideas from Head, only with the Monkees playing a strangely second-string role.
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  • 1967
    Age 25
    Tork, once free from Don Kirshner's restrictions, in 1967, contributed some of the most memorable and catchy instrumental flourishes, such as the piano introduction to "Daydream Believer" and the banjo part on "You Told Me", as well as exploring occasional songwriting with the likes of "For Pete's Sake" and "Lady's Baby".
    More Details Hide Details Tork was close to his grandmother, staying with her sometimes in his Greenwich Village days, and after he became a Monkee. "Grams" was one of his most ardent supporters and managed his fan club, often writing personal letters to members, and visiting music stores to make sure they carried Monkees records. Six albums were produced with the original Monkees lineup, four of which went to No 1 on the Billboard chart. This success was supplemented by two years of the TV show, a series of successful concert tours both across America and abroad, and a trippy-psychedelic movie, Head, a bit ahead of its time. However, tensions, both musical and personal, were increasing within the group.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1942
    Age 0
    Tork was born at the former Doctors Hospital, in Washington, D.C. Although he was born in the District of Columbia in 1942, many news articles incorrectly report him as born in 1944 in New York City, which was the date and place given on early Monkees press releases.
    More Details Hide Details He is the son of Virginia Hope (née Straus) and Halsten John Thorkelson, an economics professor at the University of Connecticut. His paternal grandfather was of Norwegian descent, while his mother was of half German Jewish and half British Isles ancestry. He began studying piano at the age of nine, showing an aptitude for music by learning to play several different instruments, including the banjo and both acoustic bass and guitars. Tork attended Windham High School in Willimantic, Connecticut, and was a member of the first graduating class at E.O. Smith High School in Storrs, Connecticut. He attended Carleton College before he moved to New York City, where he became part of the folk music scene in Greenwich Village during the first half of the 1960s. While there, he befriended other up-and-coming musicians such as Stephen Stills. Stephen Stills had auditioned for the new television series about four pop-rock musicians but was turned down because the show's producers felt his hair and teeth would not photograph well on camera. They asked Stills if he knew of someone with a similar "open, Nordic look," and Stills suggested Tork audition for the part. Tork got the job and became one of the four members of the Monkees, a fictitious pop band in the mid 1960s, created for a television comedy sitcom written about the fictitious band. Tork was the oldest member of the group.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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