Peter Tork – the keyboardist and bassist for ’60s pop-rock group The Monkees – has died. He was 77.
According to The Washington Post, Tork “performed as the self-described ‘dummy’ of the group, drawing on a persona he developed while working as a folk musician in Greenwich Village, where he flashed a confused smile whenever his stage banter fell flat. Off-screen, he embraced the Summer of Love, donning moccasins and ‘love beads’ and declaring that ‘nonverbal, extrasensory communication is at hand.’”
And while many staunch music fans dismissed The Monkees as a corporate creation, the band’s namesake program won an Emmy in 1967 for Outstanding Comedy Program, and songs like “I’m A Believer” and “Daydream Believer” remain part of the pop music zeitgeist.
Carole King, Neil Diamond and Neil Sedaka were among the songwriters that contibuted to the Monkees songbook, and in his later years Tork performed and interacted with fans regularly.
His passing was announced via his official Facebook page, and his team recounted how “Peter was extremely appreciative of you, his Torkees, and one of his deepest joys was to be out in front of you, playing his music, and seeing you enjoy what he had to share.”