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Peter Tork Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (4)  | Trivia (24)  | Personal Quotes (4)  | Salary (2)

Overview (5)

Born in Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Died in Mansfield, Connecticut, USA  (complications from adenoid cystic carcinoma)
Birth NamePeter Halsten Thorkelson
Nickname The Monkees
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Performed as a folk musician in Greenwich Village and Los Angeles before being selected for the Monkees TV show. Made 58 TV episodes 6 albums, a TV special, and a movie before leaving the Monkees in 1969 Released a solo single in 1982. Rejoined the Monkees for tours and an from 1986 to 1989. Released his first solo album, "Stranger Things Have Happened", in 1994

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Michael J. Bauman <mbauman@acsu.buffalo.edu>

Spouse (4)

Pamela Grapes (2013 - 21 February 2019) ( his death)
Barbara Iannoli (January 1975 - 1987) ( 1 child)
Reine Stewart (24 December 1973 - 1974) ( 1 child)
Jody Babb (5 June 1964 - 1964) ( divorced)

Trivia (24)

When Stephen Stills was turned down by The Monkees (1966) producers because his teeth were crooked and his hair was falling out, he recommended a local folk musician who looked like him named Peter Tork.
Peter has a daughter named Hallie Elizabeth (b. 25 January 1970) with Reine Stewart) and a son named Ivan Joseph (b. 22 December 1975) with Barbara Iannoli) and a daughter named Erica Marie (b. 15 June 1997) with Tammy Sustek.
Declined an invitation to rejoin The Monkees for a McDonald's TV commercial, as he is a vegetarian. (Michael Nesmith also declined, believing they should have made a movie appearance instead.).
Taught algebra and coached baseball at a private school in the late 1970s; also worked as a singing waiter. Said later he'd have been pleased to join Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones in their reunion with Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, had they asked.
The most accomplished musician of The Monkees, Tork plays 12 different instruments; his choice "depends on what kind of music I'm playing." While producers Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart admired Tork's playing, he was almost never given lead vocals on the Monkees' records. Box-set and CD bonus tracks from the 1980s and 1990s included several rarely-heard Tork songs and vocals.
Was actually the first Monkee to play an instrument on one of their records ("Papa Gene's Blues"), after writer/producer Michael Nesmith insisted Peter be allowed to add a guitar part.
Peter and his close friend James Lee Stanley have released two CDs of their music. Among the songs used is a cover of "Pleasant Valley Sunday."
While with The Monkees, Tork was involved in the group's most famous musical outtake, "Lady's Baby," a song released in 1995 as a bonus track on the reissue of the group's fifth LP, and inspired by Karen Harvey Hammer, the wife of his business partner Bob Hammer. The Hammers had an infant son, Justin. Peter insisted on getting the cooing of little Justin recorded for use on "Lady's Baby," which required following the baby around the studio with a microphone. Peter's use of baby cooing on a pop album predated by some 30 years the practice later incorporated by country beauties Martina McBride and Sara Evans, who used the cooing of their own children on some of their songs.
Tork and his grandmother were close; when he became a Monkee, "Grams" was one of his staunchest supporters, running a fan club for him, keeping a huge scrap book on The Monkees and checking local record stores to see that they kept Monkees records in stock.
The Monkees were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6675 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Was diagnosed with a rare form of head and neck cancer and underwent surgery to remove a growth on his tongue [March 5, 2009]. He made a full recovery.
Attended E.O. Smith High School in northeastern Connecticut. Another alumnus was Rivers Cuomo of Weezer.
Peter Tork and Shoe Suede Blues released their second CD, Cambria Hotel, in February of 2007. Band member Richard Mikuls (formerly with Rufus Feat, Chaka Khan) on guitar/vocals died of heart failure in 2008. Other band members include Arnold Jacks on bass/backing vocals, John Palmer on drums/backing vocals and Tork on guitar, piano, banjo and vocals. Peter Tork and Shoe Suede Blues toured The United Kingdom immediately following the release of the new CD. [February 2007]
He has been touring small venues with musician/singer James Lee Stanley since early 1996.
Resigned from the Monkees' 2001 tour at the end of August, tired of squabbling with his bandmates, but rejoined them for later tours.
Played with his band Shoe Suede Blues, and Two Man Band, joined by the group Aura3 in 2004. Both acts toured all over the US.
Guest appearances with Jeff Pitchell & The Texas Flood, touring with Shoe Suede Blues, joined by Aura3 on dates beginning August 2005.
Reunited with Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz in May 2011 for the Monkees' 45th Anniversary World Tour.
He and Davy Jones toured Australia together in 1986, billed as the "Sound of the Monkees Australian Tour".
Came up for the draft in the early 1960s, but was excused after appearing before his local draft board.
Visited Mexico for an afternoon in the early 1970s. Was stopped at the border on returning; a small amount of hashish was found in his shirt pocket, and he served a brief jail sentence. His record was expunged after his release.
His remains were cremated and his ashes were sprinkled into the Atlantic Ocean.
Has three grandchildren.
Son of Virginia Hope (Straus) and Halsten John Thorkelson. His father was of about half Norwegian and half many-generation American descent, and Peter's mother was of half German Jewish and half Irish ancestry.

Personal Quotes (4)

You should be a hero to yourself. And if you're not... check it out.
The longest I've ever gone without playing [guitar] is two or three days. It keeps me going.
[late 1960s] "I don't believe in 'My country right or wrong'. My country wrong needs my help."
[on the death of fellow Monkee Davy Jones] It is with great sadness that I reflect on the sudden passing of my long-time friend and fellow adventurer, David Jones. His talent will be much missed; his gifts will be with us always. Adios to the Manchester Cowboy.

Salary (2)

The Monkees (1966) $450 /episode (first season)
The Monkees (1966) $750 /episode (second season)

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