Peter Tork, who struggled to have his music taken seriously for decades after becoming an overnight sensation as a member of the Monkees in the 1960s, has died.
Tork, born Peter Halsten Thorkelson, died Thursday morning at a family home in Mansfield, Conn., according to media reports. He was 77.
Tork reportedly died as a result of adenoid cyctic carcinoma.
A multi-instrumentalist and an accomplished guitar player, Tork’s role in the Monkees was mainly playing the made-for-TV band’s “lovably clueless” bass player.
Following the meteoric success of the Monkees in the late 1960s, Tork concentrated on a number of his own music projects while continuing to sporadically join later Monkees incarnations on reunion tours. An aficionado of the blues, he frequently played smaller venues as frontman of his own bands, including the Peter Tork Project, Shoe Suede Blues and the Dashboard Saints.
Tork’s death follows that of his Monkees bandmate Davy Jones in 2012.
Here’s a clip of Tork, on keyboard and vocals with his band Shoe Suede Blues, performing “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You,” a Neil Diamond song that was recorded by the Monkees in 1967 …