Thank you very much to Live Almanac contributor Renny Simno for sharing these tributes to Peter Tork from the latest issues of Uncut and Mojo:
Thanks a lot to Jeremy Roberts for sharing his recently published article on Medium about a stop on The Monkees' triumphant 45th Anniversary World Tour!
More information from the Downtown Arts District Association:
The May DADA 1st Friday Gallery Hop, “Dancing in the Streets” will include a tribute honoring the life of someone who spent quite a bit of time over the last two decades in this area of NC, The Monkees’ Peter Tork. Film, memorabilia, a scavenger hunt with prizes, a dance contest, music, yoga, theatre vignettes, a family art area, dark chocolate, a lot of tie dye, mismatched socks and a mauve tie or two will be in full force as some of Peter's favorite things!
Please come help us celebrate Peter’s life and contributions to the arts on the first Friday in May from 7-10 pm in the Winston-Salem Downtown Arts District.
"Love is understanding"
"Be a Hero unto yourself"
6 PM - 500/600 block of N. Trade from 5th to 7th Street, and Sixth Street from Cherry to Liberty closes for Hop.
7-10 PM - Hop Begins in the Winston-Salem Downtown Arts District
We will finish the Hop with a group sing of Monkees hits "Daydream Believer" and Tork's own composition "For Pete's Sake" which was the Monkees TV series closing theme.
Recorded during The Monkees' 30th Anniversary Tour in the summer of 1996, Two Man Band featured Peter Tork and his longtime friend, singer/songwriter/musician James Lee Stanley, performing selected covers and songs by Tork, Stanley, and The Monkees.
Peter and James first met in 1964 when Peter was a member of the Phoenix Singers during Peter's Greenwich Village days. In 1994, James Lee's Beachwood Records issued Peter's first solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, and the duo began to perform together in the aftermath of its release. The intimate, acoustic nature of their shows inspired them to replicate that formula inside the recording studio, and Two Man Band was born.
In 2001, Peter and James released Once Again, which was followed by Live/Backstage at the Coffee Gallery in 2006.
Two Man Band is an excellent album that the Live Almanac highly recommends. Listen to an insightful interview with James Lee Stanley where he talks extensively about the album on the Texas Prairie Chicken Home Companion podcast:
AllMusic delivered praise for Two Man Band in its review of the album:
"Following the artistic success of his debut solo CD, Stranger Things Have Happened, Peter Tork teamed up with Beachwood labelmate James Lee Stanley. This pairing allowed Tork to further explore his acoustic, blues, and easy listening side. And, as with his first release, this is an excellent album. Both artists compliment each other and the music is very accessible. Tork has a wonderfully pleasing and distinctive voice, and Stanley's voice is a perfect blend. The two alternate lead vocals and composition credits and this, too, works. Stanley contributes more original tunes to the collection, while Tork is content to write a couple and choose suitable covers (such as the brilliant 'Milkshake,' a clear standout of the CD). 'Pleasant Valley Sunday' is outstanding and rivals the Monkees' version. One wonders what direction the Monkees would have taken had Tork had more control. That said, this album is a treasure. A perfect album for late summer nights while relaxing."
Two Man Band can be purchased on compact disc today through Amazon or CD Baby. The album is also available for downloading on iTunes and can be streamed on Spotify.
Thanks very much to Ben Belmares for sharing his scans of Two Man Band with The Monkees Live Almanac!
11:05 p.m. Def Leppard is the final induction of the night... But first, the Rock Hall is paying tribute to those we've lost in the last year. The "in memoriam" honored dozens of people, including Aretha Franklin, Avicii, Pete Shelley, Andy Anderson, Danny Kirwan, Keith Flint, Joe Jackson, Vinnie Paul, Ed King, Mac Miller, James Ingram, Dick Dale, Peter Tork and Marty Balin, among many others.
In the spring of 2013, Peter Tork embarked on a solo tour entitled "In This Generation." Produced by Monkees archivist Andrew Sandoval, the show highlighted Peter's eclectic career in music.
In this video, filmed on June 1, 2013 at The Granada Theater in Dallas, Texas, Peter delivers an inspired performance of the Monkees classic "Pleasant Valley Sunday."
After reuniting in 1986 and undertaking worldwide tours through 1987, The Monkees were relatively out of the limelight in 1988. Peter Tork reemerged late that year with a short solo tour that included multiple shows at The Speakeasy in New York City. I vividly recall these concerts being advertised in fan club newsletters like The Monkees/Boyce & Hart Photo Fan Club and Monkee Business Fanzine, and later seeing Michael G. Bush's photos from the Speakeasy.
Beginning in the late 1970s and right up to The Monkees' phenomenal 1986 comeback, Peter had played numerous club dates in and around New York City as a solo artist and with his bands The New Monks and The Peter Tork Project, as documented in an essay on this blog by Fred Velez in 2017. Looking back, it's interesting to see how Peter seamlessly transitioned from playing stadiums, arenas, and amphitheaters in 1986 and 1987 while returning to the more intimate setting of New York City clubs in 1988. During these shows, he was backed by Jerry Renino (who was a member of The Peter Tork Project as well as The Monkees' backing band from 1989-2002), Michael Levine (electric fiddle), and Mal Stein (drums).
The March 1989 issue of Monkee Business Fanzine covered Peter's late 1988 concerts, which also included stops at The Town Crier in Pawling, New York and The Iron Horse in Northampton, Massachusetts:
As mentioned in the above article from Monkee Business Fanzine, Peter's shows at the Speakeasy were recorded for a live album that ultimately was never released. However, thanks to Scott Erickson, select samples of those live recordings were heard for the very first time in a recent post on the Live Almanac's blog.
Heather Sciacca recently uploaded her photos from one of Peter's shows at The Speakeasy in New York City on the Torkees Discussion Group on Facebook. Thanks, Heather!
Finally, here is video footage of Peter's appearance at The Speakeasy in New York City (which is now a comedy club) on November 26, 1988, courtesy of Jennifer Winkle:
"Early Morning Blues and Greens," written by Jack Keller and Diane Hildebrand, originally appeared on The Monkees' third LP, Headquarters, in 1967. Peter was known to be fond of the song and delivered an inspired rendition of it with Shoe Suede Blues on their 2013 album, Step by Step:
The Monkees' version featured a lead vocal by Davy Jones with Peter providing the harmony vocal:
Peter talked about the March 1967 recording sessions for the song in Andrew Sandoval's book, The Monkees: The Day-by-Day Story of the '60s TV Pop Sensation:
"Early Morning Blues and Greens" made its live concert debut on The Monkees' 2012 tour, and here Peter performs the song at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey in July 2013:
This past weekend, longtime fan Scott Erickson shared a very special item from his personal collection with The Monkees Live Almanac: a cassette tape of music sent to him by none other than Peter Tork.
Scott's story about the tape goes all the way back to the late 1980s when he had the opportunity to interview Peter for a radio show.
"When I was in my teens, I produced a radio show for a local AM station," Scott told the Live Almanac. "In 1989, I contacted Peter's 'people' to get an interview and he agreed. Peter later sent me a cassette containing 3 songs that I could use on the air. He had just finished mixing a live album recorded during his run at The Speakeasy in New York City in 1988. The live songs included on the tape were 'Sea Change,' 'Vagabond John,' and 'Miracle.' The live album was never released.
"Back then I was in the habit of always checking both sides of cassettes to make sure I didn't miss anything. And much to my surprise, there were 2 unused and unreleased backing tracks on the other side for 'Gettin In' and 'Sea Change'. I don't think Peter even knew they were there!"
Scott relayed that very few people have heard this unique tape, so the Live Almanac is honored to be able to share snippets from it in this very special audio sampler. Enjoy, and thanks again Scott!
Don't forget that Peter released official recordings of "Gettin' In" on The Monkees' 1987 album Pool It! as well as his 1994 solo album, Stranger Things Have Happened, which also included "Miracle" and "Sea Change."
Thank you very much to Paul Iverson for sharing his footage from The Monkees' November 22, 1996 performance at the Rosemont Theatre in Rosemont, Illinois!
And here are some photos from the ceremony that I had never seen previously, courtesy of Lisa Duclo:
At the time of his passing, Peter’s family requested that anyone wishing to make a contribution in his honor, to do so by supporting the scholarship fund at The Institute for The Musical Arts in Massachusetts, a nonprofit that provides young women with music education, music recording, & music community. More info on the IMA can be found here: