Yep, I’m just doing one of *those* posts because…well, it’s my dime and why not? I loved Peter’s music and I want to remember him. 🙂
Peter Tork from the Monkees just passed away at 77. To give you a brief recap of The Monkees—they were basically a TV “band” created in the mold of the Beatles. Two of its members, Mike Nesmith & Peter Tork, were pretty accomplished musicians, and the other two, Mickey Dolenz & Davy Jones, were great singers but had to “pick up” the musical instrument stuff as they went along. I say this because the “lie” is that the Monkees were the “Pre-Fab Four” and supposedly were musically illiterate, just pretty faces. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The great lesson of the Monkees, to me, was that they could just have rested on their laurels and not stretched themselves past “bubblegum” pop. But “stretched” they did anyway, putting themselves in direct conflict with the producers of their TV show, their marketers, and perhaps even some of their original fans.
The Beatles/Monkees analogy is often made, and Peter has been equated with Ringo Starr. But I disagree, I feel he was far more like George Harrison (I mean, Mickey was the “comedy relief” and even played the drums; meanwhile Peter was a serious musician even before the Monkees and was friends with Stephen Stills and shit like that). (not trying to have a fight with Mickey fans, he was also an accomplished musician and a *great* singer but that was later with the Monkees)
I first encountered the Monkees in the mid-1980s, during their MTV revival. I’m in the middle of a bit of sentimentality regarding that period from the mid-80’s to mid-90’s at the moment, and Pete’s passing sure underlines that feeling. I’m sure glad he was able to tour with Michael and Mickey one last time during their “Good Times” tour. Below are some selected videos about him & the Monkees.
Have a good Thursday.