Monkees Bassist Peter Tork Dies At Age 77 [VIDEO]

The Washington Post reports:

Peter Tork, a blues and folk musician who became a teeny-bopper sensation as a member of the Monkees, the wisecracking, made-for-TV pop group that imitated and briefly outsold the Beatles, died Feb. 21. He was 77.

His death was confirmed by his sister Anne Thorkelson, who did not say where or how he died. Mr. Tork was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer affecting his tongue, in 2009.

If the Monkees were a manufactured version of the Beatles, a “prefab four” who auditioned for a rock-and-roll sitcom and were selected more for their long-haired good looks than their musical abilities, Mr. Tork was the group’s Ringo, its lovably goofy supporting player.

Jam Base reports:

While Tork was a proficient musician, producer Don Kirshner limited his role in the studio during the recording of the first few Monkees albums. The television show ran from 1966 to 1968 and was introduced to a new generation by constant re-airings on MTV in 1986. Peter’s band mates were Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Davy Jones.

The quartet scored a number of hits in the ’60s including “Daydream Believer,” “I’m A Believer,” the theme to the television show and “Pleasant Valley Sunday.” According to Wikipedia, the Monkees sold more than 75 million records.

The Monkees fought for and eventually won control of the production of their musical output. Peter, Micky, Michael and Davy continued on with the group after the sitcom was canceled and appeared in the 1968 cult classic film Head.