Peter Tork’s Magic Memories

Christopher Thorkelson, Peter Tork, Nick Thorkelson
Info Chris, Peter & Nicky

My story begins in the summer of 1968, when my brother Peter was still a Monkee. Peter had just moved into his new home in the Hollywood Hills and had invited the family to spend summer vacation with him in California. Needless to say, we jumped at the chance to visit Peter, and within a matter of days we had our plane tickets and were on our way. Peter met us at the airport, and from the moment he greeted us it felt like old times again. It was so good to see him, and I just knew this would be the greatest vacation of my life!

Peter likes people around him. His old house had been too small to accommodate his many friends and acquaintances, so he had decided to buy a bigger one. The new house is almost too beautiful to describe, but I’ll try. Peter’s home sits on the side of a mountain, facing the valley, and on a clear day you can see all of Los Angeles from his terrace. It’s a truly breathtaking view. The shrubbery surrounding the grounds and the pool is a sort of desert brush, and there are orange and lemon trees growing on the side of “his” mountain! The inside of the house is something else again. There are a total of 14 rooms, seven bathrooms including a sauna bath—and there are five fireplaces! Peter had one room made soundproof for those loud jam sessions musicians are known to have!

During our two-weeks visit with Peter (which, by the way, was our first trip to California), we had a wonderful time. There was never a dull moment. We had barbecues on the patio, pool parties, and we went just about everywhere! Peter took us to Disneyland for an entire day, to the famed Coconut Grove nightclub, to Whiskey A Go Go, and we even went dancing at the Factory—a private club where all the stars hang out! But, of course, the nicest part of the whole trip was being able to spend so much time with Peter. The days seemed to just whiz by, and pretty soon it was time for us to leave California and go home. The last thing I remember was Peter shouting, “See you all soon!”—as we boarded the plane that would take us back to Connecticut.

After a few weeks, everything returned to normal. Then, late one August night—the eve of my 16th birthday, to be exact—my sister Anne heard a noise in the driveway. She went to the window and saw a strange car pull up. Before she had time to wonder who it was, out popped Peter! What a surprise—and what a birthday present!

Peter was so exhausted after his trip from California that he fell asleep on our living room couch—moments after he entered the house! The next morning at breakfast, Peter was the first to wish me a happy birthday. Then he told me that his gift for me—a bright red MG-TF sports car—would be arriving in a few days! That nearly knocked me for a loop, and I couldn’t believe my ears! In Connecticut, we are allowed to drive at 16 years of age—and needless to say, that car was the greatest birthday gift I ever received!

But Peter had a couple of additional surprises in store for us. He was wearing a beautiful silk shirt which he had especially made in Hollywood. And since my brother Nicky and I admired it so much—he reached into his suitcase and gave us each one! Anne was right there with her handy camera to take pictures of “The Three Musketeers”!

That day seems so fresh in my mind that I can’t believe it happened almost one year ago. Since then of course, Peter has left the Monkees, but he is still one busy brother. In addition to working on a solo career, he is also forming his own group, called Release—which features his girl friend Reine Stewart on drums! They hope to have a record out very soon, so watch for it! And keep reading 16 and 16 SPEC, where you will always find the latest on Peter!

FLASH! Peter Tork has his very own (personally supervised) fan club. For full information on how you can join, send your name and address and a six cent stamp to Peter Tork Personal Fan Club, c/o Miss Sandi DeMastus, 147–10th Avenue, Kirkland, Washington 98033.

Magazine: 16 Spec
Editor: Gloria Stavers
Issue: 18
Publisher: 16 Magazine, Inc.
Page: 30