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Peter Tork - and yes, im serious.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Jumping_Bomb_Angel, May 20, 2002.

  1. Does this loser actually play bass - I swear hes miming, even in some of the Monkees reunion footage currently being shown on ET.....
  2. From what I remember, Peter Tork was actually one of two real musicians in The Monkees, the other being Mike Nesmith. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Peter Tork could play banjo and some other instruments before he was hired for the show. I'm not sure how much he knew about bass playing, but when they transitioned to actual songwriting and recording on their own, he was really playing the bass on some of their later albums and tours, for whatever that was worth.
  3. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I'm pretty sure he could play. I remember reading that he was a bass instructor at some point after The Monkees. Also, he did a number of nostalgia tours with a line-up of The Monkees. My old road crew did work for him - said he was a pretty nice guy, and they always called him Peter Dork.
  4. Loser?

    Making his claim to fame as the guitarist for the Monkees, Peter Tork became a household name during the 1960s. His participation in the garage band not only led to musical success, but also to an acting career.
    Peter Tork was born Peter Halsten Thorkelston to John and Virginia Thorkelston in Washington, D.C. He became proficient as a banjo and guitar player at an early age. After being schooled at home, Tork eventually left to become part of the folk scene of Greenwich Village in New York City, where he became a popular figure in the early '60s. He played with members of the soon-to-be Lovin' Spoonful and dated Cass Elliot from the Mamas and the Papas.

    His luck and money wore out by the mid-'60s, so Tork decided to head to Los Angeles, where he would eventually audition for the part of the guitarist for the Monkees; he also became known as the clown of the group. Along with Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork became one of the heartthrobs of the '60s and '70s. The show continued for two seasons but eventually fizzled out; after its demise, the group stayed together for a movie and a couple more albums. The group finally went their separate ways in 1971, some pursuing solo careers.

    During his Monkee days, Tork made tremendous strides as both a musician and a songwriter. His song "For Pete's Sake" was used during the second season credits, and he also wrote some vocals for several of the group's albums, including the songs "Auntie Grizelda" and "Shades of Gray." It was also during his Monkee career that the list of musical instruments that he could play grew to include banjo, guitar, bass, piano, organ and keyboards.

    In 1994, Peter Tork used his talents to produce his own solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened. He released the album Two Man Band with James Lee Stanley in 1996. Once Again followed in early 2001.

    Tork's longevity as a Monkee still lands him many a role on sitcoms and occasional cameo roles in movies. He played himself in the 1995 film The Brady Bunch Movie. Peter Tork has also been a teacher and is a recovering alcoholic. He has devoted some of his time helping others with their battles over substance abuse. — Kim Summers

    from www.allmusic.com
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Thanks for posting that gruffpuppy.
  6. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    Peter is for real! He also plays the guitar and is not too shabby at it. Check out his SITE for related info, and a link to a review of his current Blues Band.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm not sure Tork played that much bass with The Monkees, though.
    The 1st two records, courtesy of Don Kirschner Productions, were primarily played by studio-musicians of that era.
    Tork, I think, MAY have played some guitar &/or other stringed instruments + some keys.
    Headquarters, The Monkees' third album, was the one where Mickey Dolenz learned how to play his own drum parts. Additionally, Nesmith & Tork played much more, too.
    Tork may have played some bass on Headquarters...I think producer/friend Chip Douglas(no, NOT the guy from My Three Sons)played most of the bass on that particular record.
    Douglas' tone, IMO, is very reminiscent of McCartney's mid-'60s tone.

    FWIW, I dig Headquarters...the liner notes to this cd are pretty extensive. I laugh when I read that The Monkees were depressed because it took them 6 weeks(?) to make this record...a studio band coulda knocked it out in a week.
    Then again, look at how long the average poseur-band of today takes to make a record.
    Who's the loser? ;)

    BTW, The Monkees also tackled some 'heavy' material. "Cuddly Toy" sounds pretty & innocent...ON THE SURFACE. In reality, its subject matter is about a Hells' Angels gang bang.
    If the record company had known, this woulda never made it onto a Monkees' album.
  8. Max

    Max Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2000
    Bakersfield, CA
    I saw the Monkees last summer and was impressed with Peter's musicianship. He did not play bass, but he more than held his own on guitar and keyboards during the evening.
  9. Peter Tork is a very talented musician, having played guitar, keyboards, banjo, and, occasionally, bass on Monkees records starting with Headquarters.

    He was cast as the bassist. However, it is interesting that, once the Monkees got the right to play their own music, Tork ran from the bass as quickly as possible...on "All Of Her Toys" and "Girl I Knew Somewhere," the first two songs where the Monkees played their own instruments, Mike Nesmith's friend John London played bass. Similarly, while receiving a bass credit on Headquarters, Tork actually only played the double-tracked bass on "You Just May Be The One"; all other bass was supplied by either London or Monkees producer/former Turtles bassist Chip Douglas.

    Also, on the Monkees live tracks from 1967, Tork spends as much time playing bass lines on the organ (check out "Girl I Knew Somewhere" and "I'm A Believer") as he does playing the bass.

    So, for whatever reason, notwithstanding his proficiency on about a dozen other instruments, Tork seems to be uncomfortable on bass.

    FWIW...Tork had some heavy friends. Buffalo Springfield backs him on the Monkees tracks "Lady's Baby," "Come On In," and another I forget, and Pete managed to get Neil Young to play lead on two Davy compositions, "Smile" and "You and I."

    BTW--Chip Douglas is one of my favorite 60s bassists. Great tone and note selection.
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Peter is one of the 2 real musicians as stated earlier.

    When I saw them in concert back in 1986, he was playing guitar, keys, and bass. He was mostly on guitar and keys, but he did a great job as a bassist too, at least i thought so.

    Lol...ill never forget that show...i was row 2, wearing a Ratt concert shirt, and lookin like i was too cool to have a good time, (what can i say i was 16 at the time) He (Peter) said, i want to see everyone having a good time, looks like everyones having a great time, even you and pointed at me. I was so stoked...lol
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You're a big man for admitting that Cassie... ;)

    ...remember seeing Funkster wearing his Poison T-shirt?

    Have you fans checked out their movie, Head?
  12. My wife has "Head" on video (she's the resident Monkees fan here). I've been curious to see it, but I have yet to force myself to sit through it.
  13. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    i saw it...i believe it was what killed the monkeys
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I only saw Head about 3 years ago...there was a discusion at some Jazz BB(a couple serious Monkees' fans there)& the movie was mentioned.
    My question: How many chemicals did I need to ingest in order to enjoy Head? (Answer: "None"). ;)

    Anyway, it was a definite depature from their image on the TV show. Head woulda been over the 'heads' of their "typical" fans. It still has some of the zaniness; the subject matter, at times, is more mature, though.

    So, it IS the '60s...it is very surreal, it is "avant", it was co-written/directed by Jack Nicholson, etc.
    I love Zappa's cameo(w/ talking cow in-tow)-
    ...after seeing Davy Jones do some kinda soft-shoe number, Zappa sez, "That was pretty white".

    Terrie Garr(she of the "Nice Knockers' from Young Frankestein)is in one of the scenes...
  15. The Monkees are an interesting band. They're sort of like Pinnochio, a toy gimmick bands sudden becomes real. I'd like to see a couple of bands pull the stunt they did......though NSYNC don't have their own TV show............yet,
  16. aikakone


    Jan 27, 2008
    Reviving an old thread.

    I've been watching The Monkees season 2 DVDs, and I really love the song "For Pete's Sake." The bass groove on that is great. I read the post above that it was probably Chip Douglas who played the part, but does anyone know *for certain* who played that?

    I'm thinking of learning it and taking it to my teacher as something fun that I like.
  17. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Inactive Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
  18. Much of the studio stuff was Jerry Scheff.
  19. iamthebassman


    Feb 24, 2004
    Endorsing Artist: Phantom Guitars, Eastwood Guitars
    Ya ever notice when someone posts something stupid("loser") they always seem to disappear from the rest of the thread?

    My wife's best friend is Peter's tour manager, and I can tell ya personally, the guy's a damn good banjo player.
  20. I love The Monkees.

    When I was a kid, they used to repeat their shows in a tea-time slot (UK, early 80's). I fell in love with the songs, and still love them today.

    Great pop is great pop, and they released a lot of great songs, regardless of who actually played on them!

    In agreement with the above - 'For Pete's Sake' - superb track....too many others to mention!

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