The death of Peter Tork has stunned the music industry. The musician, who was an original member of the 1960s TV band The Monkees, passed away at age 77, reportedly after battling a rare form of tongue cancer, as previously shared by the Inquisitr.
Peter Tork was 24-years-old when The Monkees premiered on NBC in 1966. Tork, who played bass and keyboard, and bandmates Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Michael Nesmith released a string of hits including “I’m a Believer,” which was Billboard’s top song of 1967. The made-for-TV band also released four No. 1 albums.
Despite his status on the made-for-TV band, Peter Tork was a respected musician who famously sang the lead on tracks including “Head” and “Your Auntie Grizelda.” And Tork could credit his Monkees fame to pal Stephen Stills, who urged him to audition for the band, according to Guitar World. Tork later jammed with Stills and his Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young bandmate Neil Young on multiple Monkees tracks.
After Peter Tork’s death was announced, many musicians and fans took to social media to pay tribute to the beloved Monkees bassist.
Mickey Dolenz posted a black-and-white photo of his longtime bandmate to Twitter.
“There are no words right now…heartbroken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork.”
Dolenz’s heartbreaking tweet comes one week after he wished his brother Peter Tork a happy 77th birthday.
— Micky Dolenz (@TheMickyDolenz1) February 13, 2019
In addition to Micky Dolenz, Beach Boys star Brian Wilson tweeted, “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.”
Other musicians, including Diane Warren and Carole King, also posted condolences and tributes. You can see some of the reaction to the death of Peter Tork below.
R.I.P. Peter Tork https://t.co/7MupqRioKa
— Carole King (@Carole_King) February 21, 2019
Oh no RIP Peter Tork. Thank U for giving me your love beads (it was the 60s!) when I was a little girl.
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) February 21, 2019
We just lost a MONKEE ……. R.I.P. Peter Tork
— The Oak Ridge Boys (@oakridgeboys) February 21, 2019
RIP Peter Tork…https://t.co/KGqF1yuIp5
— Tim Weisberg (@TimWeisberg) February 21, 2019
The death of Peter Tork comes just after the 50th anniversary of The Monkees’ classic TV heyday. Last year, Tork, Nesmith, and Dolenz recorded their first-ever Yuletide album, Christmas Party. The new release came two years after the band’s 50th-anniversary album, Good Times, which scored The Monkees their highest ranking on Billboard’s album chart since 1968, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.
Original Monkees members Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, and Peter Tork recorded the tracklist of holiday songs last year, but bandmate Davy Jones was also featured on the album thanks to vintage vocals that date back to the 1970s that had been preserved in the band’s archives.
Ahead of the death of Peter Tork, Davy Jones passed away from a heart attack in 2012 at the age of 66.