For Peter Tork, performing still comes first.
"Let me play," the Monkees star says, calling from his Connecticut home, "and let the chips fall where they may."
Tork says he is happy to do benefits for the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation, as he will do Sunday at Sandpiper Ice Cream in Greenport. It's a cause close to his heart, since he was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma - a cancer that usually strikes the salivary glands or, as in Tork's case, the tongue - two years ago.
After a surgery and a course of chemotherapy, Tork is now cancer-free and touring with his band Shoe Suede Blues, as well as on his own, and happy to be making a difference.
What are your solo shows like?
I do everything from '20s folk songs and '30s blues, rock and roll songs all up the line and a lot of Monkees songs. I haven't gotten around to doing an arrangement of "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addiction yet, though.
These days sure seem right for the blues.
The secret of the blues is not about the blues. People will say the blues is about a good man feeling bad - that's true. But the reason for the blues is about, "We've all been there." It brings us together in our humanity. You go to a blues show, you don't come away feeling how awful life is, you come away thinking, "What a good time I had!"
The Monkees will be getting a lot of attention again this fall when a remastered version of "Head" is released.
Well, I think "Head" is quite poor. . . . The message of the movie is that we are all trapped, that the Monkees are trapped. That's not the message of the TV episodes, so I think it's painfully poor in that respect. . . . The Monkees' main contribution - the music was the filler - what we did in the TV series was that there was no senior adult figure. It's something that hadn't been done and wasn't done again for decades. It reflected what the kids needed to hear. No authority was good. It was just the four of us making our own way.
WHO Peter Tork
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m. Sunday, Sandpiper Ice Cream, 142 Main St., Greenport. (Tork will also sign autographs from 4-6 p.m. for free.)
INFO $35 (sold-out, but you can watch the show at facebook.com/l/ac1b7; www.stickam.com/hankandjim); 631-477-1154
MORE MONKEE BUSINESS
WHO Davy Jones
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Nov. 20, Queensborough Performing Arts Center, 222-05 56th Ave., Bayside
INFO $35-$45; 718-631-6311, www.qcc.cuny.edu/qpac