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LawrenceA

R.I.P. Peter Tork (1942-2019)

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Peter Tork (February 13, 1942 - February 21, 2019) has died. He was the keyboardist and bassist in the Monkees. 

Tork co-starred in the Monkees film Head (1968), which has aired on TCM.

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 I was a teenager when the Monkees had their tv show. My girlfriends and I loved the show and always watched.  Peter was darling, he was always the sweetest. Davy and now Peter. Very sad. Condolences to his family, friends and fans.

RIP Peter Tork

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They called them the "Prefab 4", but they were a delicious 30 minutes of fun every week.

I know there was a lot of great talent behind them like Neil Diamond and Boyce and Hart, but the four Monkees were truly good actors and personable people.

 I don't care what anybody says, "The Last Train to Clarksville" is a terrific number.

Davy Jones was always my favorite, but Pete Thorkelson was the funniest one.

It was a long time ago and we were all so young then.

 

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Peter was my favorite Monkee. He just seemed nice. He was a serious musician, as well.

~RIP, Mr. Tork

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"Why am I always the dummy?"  Because you were good at it, Pete--It takes the right delivery to be one of the great "dim" characters in sitcoms, and you can't play dumb without being smart enough to do it.

(Sorry, that's one of the complaints I always had about the show, "Head" and Bob Rafelson taking out their own fatigue with the "kiddy" TV series on the audience.   Don't blame us, we KNEW what we were watching, and we liked it.)

5 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

They called them the "Prefab 4", but they were a delicious 30 minutes of fun every week.

I know there was a lot of great talent behind them like Neil Diamond and Boyce and Hart, but the four Monkees were truly good actors and personable people.

I don't care what anybody says, "The Last Train to Clarksville" is a terrific number.

Boyce & Hart claimed they were trying to write "imitation Beatles" songs for the first episodes, and thought "Wasn't there a 'train' in 'Paperback Writer'?--'I can meet you at the station', something like that?"  There wasn't, and a classic was born.

"Paperback Writer" is one of the few Lennon/McCartney songs that has a catchy standout guitar riff, and any time anyone asks me my favorite Beatles song, I pick that one because, quote, "it has a great Monkees-like guitar riff in it".  That's how you could tell the two groups apart.

5 hours ago, sagebrush said:

Peter was my favorite Monkee. He just seemed nice. He was a serious musician, as well.

He was the genuine representative Peace-&-Love San-Francisco Hippie, and put a good mainstream face on the "movement", while Joe Friday on another night was preaching against the wrong kind.  I remember Tork appearing at the beginning of one episode to promote his new crusade of "The 'Hippie' movement is dead!", ie. that if the word was causing everyone to get so upset, maybe they should just all try calling themselves something else instead.

And anyone who claims "The Monkees couldn't play their own instruments" has never seen Pete on the keyboard:

And a great sense of humor, too...But:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfgUck_AifM

 

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Sad news. I hope Pete is resting in peace.

Peter Tork certainly brought us lots of joy in his charactors and music, I hope he knew that.

I always think of him whenever pulling a paper towel from my TORK dispenser.

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13 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

They called them the "Prefab 4", but they were a delicious 30 minutes of fun every week.

I know there was a lot of great talent behind them like Neil Diamond and Boyce and Hart, but the four Monkees were truly good actors and personable people.

 I don't care what anybody says, "The Last Train to Clarksville" is a terrific number.

Davy Jones was always my favorite, but Pete Thorkelson was the funniest one.

It was a long time ago and we were all so young then.

 

Yeah, PETER was the only other actual musician in the band, and in my "neck-a" the favorite of most guys while the girlies panted after DAVEY.  

It too, might be interesting to note that despite them being a "send-up" of THE BEATLES, and seeing how successful their movies have been,   The Beatles, JOHN LENNON in particular, did like the TV show and the entire cast, John calling them "The MARX brothers of rock'n'roll".  Now, in the extensive film footage( from a "home movie" camera, it looks like) of the making of "A Day In The Life" from the "SGT. Pepper" LP, you'll notice( if you're quick enough) a few seconds of MIKE NESMITH'S image.  

But what bums me out about the Peter Tork news( besides the news to begin with) was my NOT finding out until later last night, MeTV had a quick RIP for him during a commercial break.  I had wasted almost 6 hours in some hospital ER finding out what WASN'T the cause of my complaint!  :angry:  And the news just made a bad day worse.

so, Rest In Peace, PETER.

 

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Hope you're feeling better Sepiatone. Seems yesterday was a strange day for ER's. 2 of our regular posters also had ER emergencies! (unless they say it's OK, I won't mention names)

 Thanks for the interesting and informative post about The Monkees and Lennon.

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I'm very sorry to hear about Peter Tork's passing.  He and his Monkee bandmates all had tremendous talent.  They brought a lot of joy to the world.

When I was a young kid in the mid- to late-60s, the Monkees and the Beatles got me started as a rock fan.  I still have my 45-rpm single of "Daydream Believer" in a picture sleeve, the first record I ever bought, as well as some of my original Monkee (and Beatle) LPs.  They're cherished mementos of many hours of happy listening.

In the late 90s, after about 25 years of not listening to the Monkees very much, I bought their Anthology CD set and gave them another try.  I was surprised at how great all of those old hits and album tracks still sounded, which led me to seek out their full albums on CD.  The music is still well worth hearing.

A few years ago, I finally saw the Monkees (sadly without Davy) for the first and only time, during their "Midsummer's Night with the Monkees" tour.  I can testify from direct observation that Peter, Mike, and Micky could all play their own instruments, despite those old stories to the contrary.  Mike and, especially, Micky still have outstanding voices, and Peter impressed the full house with his instrumental talents, along with his very credible singing.  They knew how to make the crowd happy.  And I was interested to see how young some of the fans were -- many were too young by decades to have seen the Monkees in the 60s.  It shows that the group has lasting appeal.  (I've also seen Nesmith a couple of times, and his shows, which feature his excellent solo music, were quite good and well-attended.)

If you're interested in hearing the more recent efforts of the Monkees, the group put out two outstanding albums in the past few years.  Good Times!, from 2016, stands tall with the best Monkee music from the 60s.  It features all four Monkees (Davy from archive recordings), and in addition to original tunes by the group members, it includes songs by some of today's best songwriters (e.g., XTC's Andy Partridge), much as their original albums did.  Christmas Party, from 2018, also features all of the Monkees (albeit with only one Monkee on each track).  The song selection is a mixture of traditional holiday tunes and new Christmas songs by more current songwriters (e.g., R.E.M.'s Peter Buck).  A very nice collection.

It's sad to see Peter Tork go.  He fought illness for the last 10 years but remained active until quite recently, to his great credit.  He brought happiness to a lot of people who remember him very fondly -- not a bad accomplishment to leave behind.

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6 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

The Beatles, JOHN LENNON in particular, did like the TV show and the entire cast, John calling them "The MARX brothers of rock'n'roll". 

One observation I'd heard about the Marx Brothers was that they were a "cross-section" of early stage-era American humor, playing off each other:  Groucho was a motormouthed ad-libber for those who'd never seen Burlesque, Chico was a funny Q&A foreigner for those who'd never seen Vaudeville routines, Harpo was a clown for those who'd never seen the Circus, Zeppo had his brief time as Variety star, and when they fell into synch, you got a perfect mix.

The Monkees were assembled to try and repeat the four "Hard Day's Night" Beatles characters, but the show's producers also didn't know which 60's "Young people" would be watching, and tried to create a crossover appeal:  Davey was the bubblegum idol for the 12-yo. girls, Mike came out of the folk-rock movement, Peter was the flower-child hippie, and Mickey's vocals had an "angry" vibe that gravitated to the Yippie protests by the time he started singing antiwar songs and wearing tied-dyed dashikis...Basically a cross-section of 60's music and culture, and when they fell into synch for comedy and cultural-satire, you got a perfect mix. :)

6 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Yeah, PETER was the only other actual musician in the band

Er, Mike Nesmith was already a songwriter before joining the group, having already written "Different Drum" for Linda Ronstadt & the Stone Poneys. (As he parodied on the show.  :D)  Not to mention a few of the Monkees' own later hits.

They may not have played their own tracks on the albums, but Peter Tork's keyboards were usually his own.

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17 hours ago, EricJ said:

 

Er, Mike Nesmith was already a songwriter before joining the group, having already written "Different Drum" for Linda Ronstadt & the Stone Poneys. (As he parodied on the show.  :D)  Not to mention a few of the Monkees' own later hits.

They may not have played their own tracks on the albums, but Peter Tork's keyboards were usually his own.

What's up with the "er"?  I did mention that Peter was the only OTHER actual musician in the "band".  Of COURSE I knew Nesmith had a fairly good solo career BEFORE joining the cast.  Both Peter and Mike casually knew each other from their days at  THE TROUBADOUR in West Hollywood. 

And in actuality.... Though "Different Drum" was written by Nesmith in '65, it WASN'T written for the STONE PONYS specifically, it's first recording done by the bluegrass band GREENBRIAR BOYS in '66, the PONEYS not recording it until '67 and releasing it late that year.   The parody of the tune on the show was more or less an inside joke at the time.  ;) 

And too, ERIC, there really was NO NEED to explain who the Marx brothers were or the basis of their comedy style.  John Lennon's "Marx Brothers of rock'n'roll" observation was never meant to claim a "verbatim" similarity of comedy styles, just that The Monkees used a zany type of comic style with being a rock'n'roll band as their characters.  He was really complimenting them and the show.  ;)  :)

Sepiatone

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But too, not only was the show a zany "send-up" of sorts, but also full of occasional surprises that let us know they were MORE than what they seemed!  ;) 

Sepiatone

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Today, on MeTV, from 5PM to 7PM, there will be two hours of "The Monkees".

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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