Friday, March 06, 2009

Stay Strong Peter Thorkelson!

It was announced today that Peter Tork is going to undergo surgery to take care of a rare type of cancer. Here is the full press release that has been posted on his official site,
Peter Tork, former member of the hugely popular 60's pop group The Monkees and current bandleader of blues-rock band Shoe Suede Blues announced Tuesday that he has recently been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. This uncommon and generally slow-growing form of head and neck cancer is most frequently found in the salivary glands but in his case was discovered on the lower region of the tongue.

"It's a bad news, good news situation," explains Tork, "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, 67, will undergo extensive surgery Weds. March 4th in New York and doctors will follow with a round of radiation treatment. Preliminary findings from a biopsy show that the cancer has not spread beyond the initial site.

Peter's four-decade long career in the public eye started with the charming high energy made-for-TV band The Monkees and continues as the Emmy-winning television show from 1966-68 still shows in syndication around the world. The group has staged several highly successful reunion tours with three of the original members, Tork, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones,fondly known by longtime fans as the "3kees".

In 1986 with the help of MTV and an enthusiastic blend of old and new fans their 20th Anniversary Tour was a massive success, spawning a new Greatest Hits collection, a brand new hit song, "That Was Then This Is Now", a popular video and a star for the band on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Following that comeback were several successful world tours, including one short-lived reunion with the often elusive Michael Nesmith. All of the Monkees have pursued solo projects in between group tours and appearances. In addition to his television and personal appearance schedule Tork has taken up his pen as an advice columnist in "Ask Peter Tork" at webzine The Daily Panic ( and continued to tour Europe and the United States as a solo act and with Shoe Suede Blues, with whom he has also recorded two CDs, "Saved By The Blues" and "Cambria Hotel".

Peter remains cheerful about his condition and hopeful abut the future.

"I am extraordinarily grateful, amazed and humbled by the encouragement, affection and support I've received so far," Peter says of the reaction from friends and family to the news of his illness. "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."

As for touring with his Monkee cohorts again? "Well, never say never, "Tork smiles.

So I hope you join me in wishing Peter all the best.

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