For Pete’s Sake – Reflections on Peter Tork, R.I.P.

 

“We were born to love one another
This is something we all need
We were born to love one another
We must be what we’re goin’ to be
And what we have to be is free”

– “For Pete’s Sake” written by Peter Tork/Joey Richards and recorded by The Monkees

It’s with a heavy heart that I type this blog post as I have just heard the news that Peter Tork of The Monkees passed away today at the age of 77.

Readers of this blog will know that I have been a fan of The Monkees and Peter Tork since practically the womb. I was born in 1966 the same year that The Monkees premiered and I have loved their music since I could walk, even BEFORE I could walk to tell you the truth.

I also as it happens that I have had the great honor and pleasure of interviewing Peter Tork not once but twice so it’s really strange to be writing about his death. He was such a gracious and fun guy to interview and one of the favorite performers I had the pleasure of writing about as a freelance entertainment writer.

Truth be told I’m not too surprised about his death as I was waiting for this day to come.

Peter Tork’s not being a part of The Monkees touring in the last year or so seemed totally out of character for him. And the fact that he appeared on only one song from last years “Christmas Party” Monkees album plus his electronically altered voice pretty much gave away the fact that he was battling some pretty heavy heath issues.

But I’m not going to be too sad or morbid today. One of the things I really admired about Peter after interviewing him was his graciousness, wit, charm and frankness. Of all The Monkees he seemed to be able to access the group and his work in a totally philosophical and practical way and that’s how I shall remember him.

His battles with alcohol plus his basic view of life gave him a very philosophical approach to the world around him and one of the things that struck me last October when the last Monkees album came out was him posting he was taking time to be with family and said to readers to take care of yourself and love one another. Words to live by and pretty much the sentiment of his most iconic Monkees song “For Pete’s Sake” from “Headquarters”, my favorite Monkees albums.

It’s a minor miracle that one of the last songs he recorded with The Monkees, “Wasn’t Born to Follow”, from their 2016 album “Good Times!” not only seemed to sum up his life perfectly but was the best vocal performance he ever gave as a part of the group.

I won’t ramble on. Rest in Peace dear Peter Tork and thanks for your kindness to me in your interviews and thanks for the music!!! I will remember your spirit always with love and a smile.

These two interviews (below) are how I will remember Peter Tork and I will always be grateful that I had the chance to connect with him in some small way. The first interview was for the The Monkees 50th Anniversary Tour and the second is from 2011.

Peter Tork interview 2016

Peter Tork interview 2011

Take care and God Bless!

 

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