Rest_In_Peace's current selection is:
Shades of Gray
by The Monkees, feat. Peter Tork, vocals/bass
FAST-TRACK: Peter Tork (1942 to 2019) was an American musician, with 'The Monkees', and actor. Peter Halsten Thorkelson was born on February 13th 1942 in Washington DC, USA. The son of an economics professor, he and the family soon moved to Connecticut, where he graduated from high school in Storrs. He attended Carleton College in Minnesota, but left before graduating and moved to New York to perform in 'folk' clubs in Greenwich Village - there, he met another up-and-coming musician called Stephen Stills. When they relocated to California together, Stills tried out for an upcoming TV series about a pop group called 'The Monkees'. However, while he was rejected for the part, he did recommend Tork, who had shortened his surname for brevity. He subsequently got the job, and became one of the four members of the (supposedly) fictitious music group alongside 'country' guitarist Michael Nesmith, singer Davy Jones (from England), and former child actor and drummer Micky Dolenz. Although the show itself only aired from 1966 to 1968, they continued to record music together until 1971, after which the group broke up. The music supervisor/producer for the show had initially been Don Kirshner (with songwriting duo Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart), and it was he who banned them from playing their own instruments, insisting on using session musicians instead. However, Tork was allowed to contribute some guitar work on some studio sessions produced by Nesmith, and all four contributed lead vocals to various tracks (his are featured on the song selected today). They eventually fought for the right to collectively supervise all musical output under the band's name, acting as musicians, singers, songwriters and producers. Tork left showbusiness completely after quitting 'The Monkees', and at one point taught at a high school in Santa Monica, California. He then suffered financial problems, and personal ones as well - he dealt with alcoholism and substance abuse, and served a short prison sentence in 1972 for drug possession. Thankfully though, a revival of interest in the television show came in 1986 - this led to a series of reunion tours and new records on several occasions, with different line-ups and with varying degrees of success. Later in his life, Tork made guest acting appearances on a handful of television series, including "The King of Queens" and "7th Heaven", and his last movie role was one in "I Filmed Your Death" (a horror drama, yet to be released). Diagnosed with a rare form of tongue cancer in 2009, Peter Tork died from complications of the condition at his home in Mansfield, Connecticut, on February 21st 2019, aged 77.
Posted: 22nd February 2019
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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