This past Saturday, Liverpool Tours and Charles Rosenay sponsored "The Peter Tork Memorial Convention" in New Haven, Connecticut to commemorate Peter's birthday month and the one year since his passing. Michael Nesmith remembered Peter in a special video that was screened at the event and published on the Videoranch YouTube channel:
An official tribute video was also produced for the convention, featuring appearances by Micky Dolenz, Bobby Hart, Valerie Kairys Venet, Wayne Avers, John Billings, Sandy Gennaro, Fred Velez, Ed Reilly, Rich Dart, and many more:
Monkees fans set to gather in Connecticut to honor Peter Tork (UPDATED with convention schedule & Governor's proclamation)
The Peter Tork Memorial Convention for Monkees Fans will take place on Saturday, February 8 in North Haven, Connecticut. Check out this previous Live Almanac blog post for more details and to purchase tickets!
UPDATE 2/1/2020: Thanks to convention producer Charles Rosenay for sharing the official schedule of the event with The Monkees Live Almanac:
UPDATE 2/3/2020: The Governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont, has officially proclaimed the date of the convention, February 8, as "Peter Tork and The Monkees Day" in the State of Connecticut:
To mark the one year anniversary of the passing of Peter Tork (and his birthday month), Liverpool Tours and Charles Rosenay announced today that "The Peter Tork Memorial Convention" will take place in New Haven, Connecticut on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The convention will include memorabilia vendors and dealers, a rare video show, memorial tributes, and special guests are slated to be announced in the future. Live music will be provided by John Sheridan, Loose Salute, Zilch, and The Blue Meanies.
The site of the convention, Best Western Plus, is currently offering special room rates of $99 with the code "MONKEES" until January 1, 2020.
For more information, you may call (203) 795-4737 or email MonkeesFanConvention@gmail.com. The convention organizers have also launched an official website and accompanying Facebook page. Please note that this event is being organized for fans by fans and is not officially endorsed by The Monkees or their families, or Rhino Records.
Thanks to Charles Rosenay for passing along all of the details about "The Peter Tork Memorial Convention" to The Monkees Live Almanac!
The official charity of the convention, the Institute for the Musical Arts, was a favorite of Peter's. Click the image below for more information.
UPDATE 1/28/2020: James Lee Stanley, singer-songwriter and a longtime musical collaborator of Peter Tork's, will be a special guest at the upcoming Peter Tork Memorial Convention for Monkees Fans. Read more about James Lee in the archives of The Monkees Live Almanac!
The wonderful team who oversees Peter Tork's official Facebook page has just announced that "Peter Tork: A Celebration of Life & Community" will take place on Sunday, October 20, 2019 at Club 66 in Edgewood, Maryland (near Baltimore) to honor the memory of Peter. Details can be found below, and stay tuned to The Monkees Live Almanac for more information about this special event.
A CELEBRATION: Peter loved his Torkees fanbase and was proud of the wonderful community and friendships that developed as a result of people traveling to see him perform in Monkees and Shoe Suede Blues shows. He was always concerned about the well-being of his fans, friends and loved ones. When thinking about the time he would no longer be on this earth, Peter often said that he would not want any glitzy or flashy events, nor sad or solemn ceremonies. He wished, instead, that people would simply gather in a comfortable place to remember him in fellowship, enjoy good food, listen to music, and share fun memories. We'd like to honor Peter by giving him his wish... and we invite you to help us.
In a gathering similar to his beloved Fan Parties, we welcome you to join us on Sunday, October 20, 2019 @ 1:00-5:00pm ET at Club 66, Edgewood MD (near Baltimore) for Peter Tork: A Celebration of Life & Community, as we enjoy one more visit with our favorite Blues Boy in celebration of his life and deep love and appreciation for all of you! This laid-back, casual celebration will include a buffet lunch, the showing of a never-before-seen-in-public video of a Shoe Suede Blues concert on a big screen (featuring Peter, Arnold "AJ" Jacks, Joe Boyle, and Sturgis Cunningham), lots of Peter Tork/Shoe Suede Blues music, time to chat and reflect on good memories, and a few other activities.
We have chosen Club 66 for this celebration because it was Peter's favorite place to play, as well as the host to most of the band's fan parties. The owners, staff, and members of the Club were always so supportive and welcoming to Peter & SSB, and the vibe so electric there, that the band truly considered it their "home away from home." If the timing would have worked out, Peter had even hoped to host a CD Release Party for "Relax Your Mind" at the Club. Because of all this, we couldn't think of a more appropriate place to bring people together to celebrate, remember and heal.
We are aware that Micky Dolenz will be performing in the “It Was Fifty Years Ago Today” tour in Bethlehem PA on October 19th, and in Washington DC on October 20th. Edgewood MD is located between these two locations, approximately 2.5 hours from Bethlehem and 1.5 hours from DC. We have adjusted the timing of our gathering to make it possible for fans to attend as many of the happenings as they wish to, without causing a conflict.
Please email our team at fiorepro85[at]hotmail[dot]com for ticket information and additional details. We hope you will be able to join us in celebrating Peter and being a part of his world! ~ptfb team #ShineOn #WeAreOne #PeaceLoveAndTork
(Photo: Sherri Hansen)
In 2016, Patrick Zappi penned a three-part series, "Reimagining The Post-Peter Albums." And now Patrick has contributed another piece to The Monkees Live Almanac, featuring a retrospective playlist of Peter Tork's musical career that not only includes his time in The Monkees, but also highlights Peter's work as a solo artist, his musical partnership with James Lee Stanley, and his stint in Shoe Suede Blues.
"Come On In: The Best of Peter Tork (1966-2016)" by Patrick Zappi
Since 1966, the press and purported "serious" music critics have reveled in stories about The Monkees and their musical prowess. But after the group's triumphant 45th Anniversary Tour in 2011, progressive journalists have reassessed The Monkees' musical catalog and many now choose to celebrate this cast of actors, singers, and musicians and their metamorphosis into an authentic recording and touring project.
As longtime fans already know, and contrary to urban legend, the individual members of The Monkees all played multiple instruments with varying degrees of skill. Peter Tork cut his teeth in the early 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene, gigging with the likes of a then unknown Stephen Stills in The Buffalo Fish and jamming onstage with Mama Cass in her pre-Mamas and Papas project, The Mugwumps. Tork was a multi-instrumentalist who mastered the banjo, guitar, bass, piano, and even the French horn with exuberance. His stunning instrumental contributions are undisputed highlights of the Monkees catalog: the beloved piano lick from "Daydream Believer," the ominous organ solo on "Words," the breezy harpsichord on "The Girl I Knew Somewhere," the propulsive banjo on "You Told Me," the aggressive bass on "You Just May Be The One," the majestic piano on "Shades Of Gray," the rolling keyboards on "The Door Into Summer," the tense electric piano solo on "Pleasant Valley Sunday," and the famous guitar-intro to his own composition, "For Pete's Sake," which became the closing theme for The Monkees television series in its second season. The list goes on and on!
Peter's singing and songwriting however, were met with a different response. With a questionable pitch and a lovable but infrequently utilized voice, Peter became the Ringo Starr of The Monkees, an ace in the hole who was lucky to score a single lead vocal on any given album. In his heyday, Tork was an inspired but seemingly frustrated songwriter. Overshadowed by the prolific and somewhat dominant Michael Nesmith (who just happened to title Peter's signature composition "For Pete's Sake"), some of Peter's quirky, folksy, and bluesy gems were initially left unreleased until The Monkees' incredible resurgence in 1986 that ultimately opened the studio vaults. After that unprecedented commercial resurgence, Tork was able to spread his wings as a solo artist, exploring his folk roots with longtime friend and musical partner James Lee Stanley, tackling the roadhouse blues with the tongue-in-cheek titled band Shoe Suede Blues, and finally bringing his peculiar vision to life with 1994's Stranger Things Have Happened.
In February of this year, we lost Peter Tork to a longtime battle with cancer, but his music survives. The following is a retrospective of his career for fellow fans to enjoy. As Peter wrote, "To say that you can dig it, is to make your soul to fly . . . to heaven."
"Pleasant Valley Sunday" (With James Lee Stanley, Two Man Band, 1996)
"Peter Percival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky" (The Monkees, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., 1967)
"Your Auntie Grizelda" (The Monkees, More Of The Monkees, 1967)
"Words" (The Monkees, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., 1967)
"Shades of Gray" (The Monkees, Headquarters, 1967)
"Cripple Creek" (The Monkees, Live 1967)
"Alvin" (The Monkees, Originally Unissued, 1968)
"Tear the Top Right Off My Head" (The Monkees, Originally Unissued, 1968)
"Come On In" (The Monkees, Originally Unissued, 1968)
"Seeger's Theme" (The Monkees, Originally Unissued, 1968)
"Lady's Baby" (The Monkees, Originally Unissued, 1968)
"Prithee" (The Monkees, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, 1969)
"Can You Dig It" - Peter's lead vocal originally unissued (The Monkees, 1968)
"Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again" (The Monkees, Head, 1968)
"MGBGT" (The Monkees, B-side to "Heart & Soul," Live 1986)
"Gettin' In" (The Monkees, Pool It!, 1987)
"Since You Went Away" (The Monkees, Pool It!, 1987)
"Milkshake" (With Micky Dolenz & Michael Nesmith, Stranger Things Have Happened, 1994)
"Sea Change" (Stranger Things Have Happened, 1994)
"Giant Step" (Stranger Things Have Happened, 1994)
"Tender Is" (Stranger Things Have Happened, 1994)
"I Believe You" (The Monkees, Justus, 1996)
"I Remember Christmas" (With James Lee Stanley, A Beachwood Christmas, 2003)
"Saved by the Blues" (Shoe Suede Blues, Saved by the Blues, 2003)
"Slender Tender and Tall" (Shoe Suede Blues, Saved by the Blues, 2003)
"She Belongs To Me" (Shoe Suede Blues, Cambria Hotel, 2007)
"Vagabond John" (Live 2012)
"Little Girl" (The Monkees, Good Times!, 2016)
"Wasn't Born to Follow" (The Monkees, Good Times!, 2016)
"Early Morning Blues and Greens" (The Monkees, Live 2013)
"For Pete's Sake" (Shoe Suede Blues, Cambria Hotel, 2007)
"Daydream Believer" (With James Lee Stanley, Once Again, 2001)
"Higher and Higher" (Stranger Things Have Happened, 1994)
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:
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.
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.
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:
UK Daily Mail: 'He slipped away peacefully' - Monkees bassist Peter Tork dies at 77 after being diagnosed with rare tongue cancer 10 years ago
La Jolla Light: There's a local, San Diego-area angle to The Monkees history; band member Peter Tork dies at age 77
The Scotsman: Peter Tork, talented musician who helped manufactured band The Monkees transition into a genuine pop group
MedPage Today: Monkees' Peter Tork Dies of Rare Salivary Gland Cancer - But what is adenoid cystic carcinoma?
The Monkees Join METV Network Sunday Lineup Following Overwhelming Fan Response To Peter Tork Tribute
The latest episode of our Rolling Stone Music Now podcast celebrates the life and music of Peter Tork, with previously unheard interview audio and more. Andy Greene and Rob Sheffield join host Brian Hiatt to discuss Tork’s place in music history, while also tracing the Monkees’ broader story and making a case for their greatness.
Live in 2021