Peter Tork, the bassist for the ‘60s rock group The Monkees, has died, The Washington Post is reporting.
Tork’s sister, Anne Thorkelson, confirmed that he died Thursday at the age of 77.
The Monkees were a creation of NBC executives, with the bandmates selected for their looks instead of how well they made music, specifically for the television show that aired starting in 1966 and ran for only two seasons originally. It won an Emmy Award for outstanding comedy during that time and spawned hit songs like “Daydream Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville,” the Post reported.
Tork was the oldest, at the age of 24, and one of two actual musicians when the show premiered. The other was Mike Nesmith, Variety reported. Tork called his role as the “dummy” of the group, performing as a version of himself he created when he was a folk musician in Greenwich Village, the Post reported. He played bass and keyboard for the Monkees and sang lead on and wrote some songs like “Your Auntie Grizelda.”
Tork left the band in late ‘60s, after the group released the movie “Head,” and the band eventually broke up, but reunited for tours with various members over the years, according to Biography.com.
In 1986, he returned for the band’s 20th anniversary as it released a new collection “Then and Now” that included the new song “That Was Then, This Is Now.” In 1987, the band released a new studio album, “Pool It!”.
He also formed a new group in the ‘90s, “Shoe Suede Blues,” according to Biography.
He released a solo blues album in 2018 called “Relax Your Mind,” Variety reported.
Tork was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma in 2009, a cancer that affected his tongue, according to the Post.
He toured with The Monkees in 2012 through 2016, but gave no reason why he ended performing with the band, Rolling Stone reported.
In October, Tork wrote on Facebook, “While it is true that my health has required a little more attention these days, I’m feeling pretty good.”
He also called it private time and that he would not be updating fans on his condition, Rolling Stone reported.
Tork was born Peter Halsten Thorkelson in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 13, 1942 before his family moved to Mansfield, Connecticut, in 1950, the Post reported.
His cause of death and where he died were not released.
Tork is survived by his wife, Pamela Grapes, daughter Hallie from his second marriage, son Ivan from his third marriage, daughter Erica from another relationship, as well as a brother and sister, the Post reported.