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Friday, February 22, 2019

Peter Tork: 1942 - 2019

Buffalo Springfield Meets The Monkees 
Neil Young, Richie Furay, Dewey Martin, Peter Yarrow, Stephen Stills, Peter Tork + Others

Peter Tork, bassist for The Monkees, has transitioned at the age of 77.

Neil Young played on the following Monkees sessions in 1968:

  • Carlise Wheeling Version 4 (5/3) (No audio survived)
  • You and I, That's What It's Like Loving You (unrel.), Smile (5/10)
  • As We Go Along (5/30)
  • You and I (6/19) "Double blistering guitar solo"
  • You and I (6/21)

From the Monkees sessionography.
May 10, 1968 - Wall Heider's, Hollywood

"Smile", "You And I", "That's What It's Like Lovin' You"

This session featured former Buffalo Springfield member Neil Young on guitar.

In fact, the Springfield had ridden on The Monkees' tour plane in 1967 for a time, and after they broke up, several of the members played on Monkees sessions. Steven Stills and Dewey Martin played on several of Peter's songs. "Smile" is Davy's only Monkees song written solely by himself, and it is a very respectable effort.

It was not originally released and was also foolishly rejected from Changes. Thankfully, Rhino added it to their Instant Replay CD. Davy and Bill Chadwick later wrote new lyrics to this song and renamed it "How Can I Tell You". "You And I", cowritten by Davy and Bill Chadwick, is probably Davy's finest release. It was a highlight of Instant Replay. "That's What It's Like Lovin' You", a Jones/Pitts song, was probably recorded on this day as well.

It has not been released.

Most are quite familiar with the story of Stephen Stills auditioning for the Monkees and being rejected (Stills claims he was only auditioning songs that might be selected for broadcast). But now with this YouTube video of The Monkees - "You and I", Neil Young clearly had a The Monkees connection as well.

Neil's solo is very distinctive so we're pretty sure its him. This is from Instant Replay album version.

From comment by Mister Henry:
Tearful remembrance of the life, fun, music and wisdom that was Peter Tork. I was at this performance to see and hear my childhood idol, to talk with him after the show. He told wonderful stories and spoke so fondly of Stephen Stills.

Many sweet and sad stories about Davy. So funny, perfect timing in his stories. So giving of himself and his music, never more so than in this video where he shares a music lesson, comedy show and banjo gem:

He was my imaginary big brother in music and I already miss him terribly.

Life is short and no one knows what the next moment will bring. Open your mind while you have the opportunity, thereby gaining the treasures of wisdom, which in turn you can share abundantly with others, bringing them happiness.
--Dogen Zenji

Micky: This cufflink contains a miniaturized tape recorder.
Peter: If I wear two of them, can I record in stereo?
Thanks for memories Mr H.! Bummer on Peter Tork. The Monkees were definitely a trip back in the day.

From comment by Greg Mantho on Davy Jones passing in 2012:
I'm not ashamed to say that I had just about all the Monkeys albums, even though it was generally understood at the time that most of the music was not performed by the bands members. The music wasn't great, but it was good, and more than a few songs were very good. The show was also very funny. I'll also admit that Davy was my favorite.

I always thought that the Monkeys were looked down upon because of the perception that they were just stand ins for the real musicians behind them, but have since read that not only were they on friendly terms with many of their contemporaries at the time, including the Springfield, but that many of these contemporaries themselves were stand ins to a significant degree, e.g. the early Byrds, and therefore didn't share the commonly held attitude towards the group. David McGowan goes into depth on this subject in his essential series on Laurel Canyon. I never knew Neil was a studio contributor until just the other day reading an obit, and now this post. Who'd a thunk it?

In any event, it sure was a simpler time, and I have a lot of good memories around it all, even if I was part of a demographic targeted by an exploitative aspect of the music business.

RIP Davy, we'll miss you.

A Friend Of Yours

More on Buffalo Springfield.

Also, see:

Also, see:
Alternate History X: What If Stephen Stills Had Joined the Monkees? (Thanks Mark!)
"It is certainly not a question many people, even music historians, ponder, especially in 2010; however, what if Stephen Stills had successfully auditioned for The Monkees? How would that have affected the music of the 60s and 70s? One might be surprised at how many fingers Stills had in the stew."

The Monkees + Stephen Stills

Labels: , ,


At 2/22/2019 12:52:00 PM, Blogger mark said...

"Here in the shelter of my arms
I will make it right
Ooh, the Long March is beginning
And the river shows the Way
I, I must be crazy
To believe in what remains"
'Stranger Things Have Happened' Peter Tork

..... yo, Pete ....... Peace be upon thee

At 2/24/2019 01:08:00 AM, Blogger Mechelle said...

I will always remember the joy of watching The Monkees tv show . Thank you Peter Tork for the memories.

At 2/24/2019 11:37:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Via email from Mark from T.O. -

Thanks for the story on Peter Tork’s passing and the Neil connection to The

While doing some more reading on Tork and how the Monkees were brought into
formation, I happened upon this near decade-old piece that re-vists the
Stills/Monkees connection again, but then does some prismatic what-if time shifting
that pulls in Neil Young and the rest of that affiliated music scene.

You may have seen this before, but I got a kick out of it (mostly the premise behind
it), and chortled at the suggestion as to Neil’s alternate fate;

“ Neil Young managed to get a solo recording contract and piddled around during the
next decade, eventually living out his days in a homeless shelter, wearing nothing
but flannel. “

I’d dare anyone to sit down and try to do a similar exercise with someone like Neil
who has unpredictably followed his own muse his entire adulthood.

Cheers - Mark from T.O.


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