'Monkees' guitarist Peter Tork dies at 77

Michael Nesmith as Mike Micky Dolenz as Micky Davy Jones as Davy Peter Tork as Peter | Getty Images

Michael Nesmith as Mike Micky Dolenz as Micky Davy Jones as Davy Peter Tork as Peter | Getty Images

"This is not a band", Tork told the Telegraph.

The American musician and actor "passed peacefully" at the age of 77, a post on The Monkees' official Twitter page said.

Nesmith wrote on Facebook: "Just got the news that Peter died".

"It is with beyond-heavy and broken hearts that we share the devastating news that our friend, mentor, teacher, and awesome soul, Peter Tork, has passed from this world", the team posted on his official Facebook page, without specifying a cause of death.

Peter's family had this statement, "We are all saddened to share the news that Peter Thorkelson - friend, father, husband, grandfather, philosopher, goofball, entertainer - died peacefully this morning at a family home in CT".

"Please know that Peter was extremely appreciative of you, his Torkees, and one of his deepest joys was to be out in front of you, playing his music, and seeing you enjoy what he had to share".

Monkees members Michael Nesmith and Micky Dolenz paid homage to Peter Tork, who died on Thursday.

Carole King, Graham Coxon and Brian Wilson were among the stars paying tribute to Tork on social media. I will miss him - a brother in arms.

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"Love & mercy to Peter's family, friends and fans".

Peter Halsten Thorkelson, singer, songwriter and musician. "Never got to meet the man". "Affiliates of METV FM will feature a long-form tribute to PETER TORK and the group all day today and THE MONKEES are the featured artists on all METV FM stations".

From 1966 to 1968, the Monkees had a popular TV show and three No. 1 hits: "Last Train To Clarksville", "I'm A Believer", and "Daydream Believer".

All along, Tork and the others defended the band's musical integrity and rejected the criticism that the Monkees were only a fabrication of older TV producers seeking to capitalize on 1960s youth culture.

Having cut his teeth in the free-wheeling folk scene of New York's Greenwich Village, Tork was a multi-instrumentalist who became the first member to leave the Monkees, feeling restricted artistically.

He struggled to regain a music career in the decades that followed, briefly serving time for marijuana possession, working as a teacher and a waiter, and battling with alcoholism before overcoming the addiction in the 1980s.

Tork had surgery for tongue cancer in 2009, from which he reportedly recovered.

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