A decade after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, The Monkees’ bassist, Peter Tork has died, aged 77.
Tork (originally Thorkelson) played a number of instruments for the American 1960s rock band and performed vocals, but he was best known for his work on the bass guitar and the keyboard.
Back in 2009, Tork was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his salivary glands, adenoid cystic carcinoma. Tork’s family said in a statement that through his 10 year stint with the cancer he faced it with unwavering humour and courage.
“We are all saddened to share the news that Peter Thorkelson — friend, father, husband, grandfather, philosopher, goofball, entertainer — died peacefully this morning at a family home in Connecticut,” they said.
“Peter succumbed to a 10 year bout with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands.”
His passing was announced on the band’s official Facebook page too saying, “His talent, charm and humor were undeniable and he had the rare honor of bringing joy and music to multiple generations.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and fans around the world.”
The Monkees formed in 1965 and were widely known for their biggest hits, ‘Daydream Believer’ and ‘I’m a Believer’. They also aired their own television series on NBC, The Monkees from 1966 to 1968. The series followed the antics of Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and of course Peter Tork.
Micky Dolenz tweeted of the news, “There are no words right now…heart broken over the loss of my Monkee brother”.
Tork’s family have asked fans who’d like to make a contribution in his name to donate to The Institute for The Musical Arts in Massachusetts a “nonprofit that provides young women with music education, music recording, and music community”.
Read the statements in full below.
— Micky Dolenz (@TheMickyDolenz1) February 21, 2019