Former Monkees guitarist Peter Tork dies at age 77
Peter Tork, former guitarist for the 1960’s television and music sensation the Monkees, has died, according to Variety.
Tork, 77, had been diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare form of cancer associated with the tongue, in 2009.
He had been active with the band’s reunion shows as recently as 2016, and released a solo blues album last year.
Tork’s social media team confirmed the news with a post 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,” the statement read. “Please know that Peter was extremely appreciative of you, his Torkees.”
The Monkees had a popular television show in the 1960s, but rarely played together after Tork left the group in 1968, Variety reports.
But the band had a revival in the late 1980s, when MTV began playing reruns of the old Monkees TV show. Tork, along with former bandmates Davey Jones and Micky Dolenz, launched a reunion tour in 1986 and played together sporadically in the years since.
The band’s fourth original member, Michael Nesmith, began participating in Monkees reunion events following Jones’ death in 2012.
Tork, Nesmith and Dolenz made their last appearance together as the Monkees at a farewell show at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on Sept. 26, 2016, according to Variety.
The Monkees TV show was an Americanized version of the Beatles, as depicted in “A Hard Day’s Night,” according to Variety. While the band itself was manufactured, Tork and Nesmith were serious musicians at the time of the Monkees’ formation. Jones and Dolenz were former child actors.
Tork was the band’s comic foil on the TV show, Variety reports.