Former Monkee Has Cancer
Peter Tork says he is doing well and will begin radiation therapy treatments after he recovers from the surgery.
The 67-year-old Tork, who currently tours with his band, Shoe Suede Blues, announced on his Web site he is suffering from adenoid cystic carcinoma.
According to the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Alliance, the disease most often strikes the head and neck areas but has been known to infect other body parts, and is “usually grouped with cancers of the minor salivary glands.”
It’s a bad news, good news situation,” Tork said. “It’s so rare a combination (on the tongue) that there isn’t a lot of experience among the medical community about this particular combination. On the other hand, the type of cancer it is, never mind the location, is somewhat well known, and the prognosis, I’m told, is good.”
Tork, along with Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith, occupy one of the more unique moments in pop history.
Inspired by The Beatles’ movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” filmmakers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider wanted to do a TV series about four mop-topped musicians. “The Monkees” TV series aired on NBC from 1966 through 1968, and the group had several hits penned by songwriters toiling in the legendary Brill Building in NYC. Among the manufactured band’s biggest hits were “I’m A Believer,” penned by Neil Diamond, and “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” written by Carole King.
But the TV program crashed almost as quickly as it shot to the top of the ratings. Although the four Monkees were originally content with musical coordinator Don Kirshner picking the songs and arranging for session musicians to play the instruments, they eventually wanted to write and perform their own tunes. In fact, it was this experience that inspired Kirshner to create the cartoon band “The Archies.”
But enough of the past. Tork is remaining upbeat about his condition and is thankful for the support he’s already received from fans, friends and family.
“I am extraordinarily grateful, amazed and humbled by the encouragement, affection and support I’ve received so far. Barring any complications, I fully expect to honor a performance date I have this June with Shoe Suede Blues,” Tork states, “We’re appearing in Manchester, Connecticut, and I’m looking forward to that and all our tour dates.”
For Peter Tork’s Web site, click here.
For the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Alliance, click here.