Monkees bassist Peter Tork dead at 77

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

Tork's death was announced on his official Facebook page The REAL Peter Tork on Thursday.

"It is with beyond-heavy and broken hearts that we share the devastating news that our friend, mentor, teacher, and amazing soul, Peter Tork, has passed from this world," the post read. "As we have mentioned in the past, the PTFB team is made up of Peter's friends, family and colleagues -- we ask for your kindness and understanding in allowing us to grieve this huge loss privately."

"We want to thank each and every one of you for your love, dedication and support of our 'boss.' Having you in our world has meant so very much to all of us. 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. We send blessings and thoughts of comfort to you all, with much gratitude," the post read.

Tork was also known as the jokester on the band's popular 1960s TV series.

The Monkees, which also included band members Michael Nesmith, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones, are known for their hits like "Daydream Believer" and "I'm a Believer."

The band tweeted a video of Tork with the caption, "@TorkTweet has passed peacefully at the age of 77. We'll be remembering him throughout the day" and asked fans to share their favorite memories.

Tork's son Ivan Iannoli told The Associated Press his father died Thursday at the family home in Connecticut of complications from adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands. He had battled the disease since 2009.

"Peter's energy, intelligence, silliness, and curiosity were traits that for decades brought laughter and enjoyment to millions, including those of us closest to him," his son said in a statement. "Those traits also equipped him well to take on cancer, a condition he met like everything else in his life, with unwavering humor and courage."

Tork, who was often hailed as the band's best musician, had studied music since childhood. He was accomplished on guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, banjo and other instruments, and Nesmith, the Monkees' lead guitarist, said Tork was actually the better of the two.

When "The Monkees" debuted in September 1966, Tork and his fellow Monkees became overnight teen idols.

Producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider modeled the show after the Beatles' popular musical comedies "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!," seeking to create a band that would mirror them in cheekiness if not musical talent.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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