Micky Dolenz, 71, answers a health quiz

März 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm (Uncategorized)

Under the microscope: The Monkees‘ drummer Micky Dolenz answers our health quiz

By John Mcentee (http://www.dailymail.co.uk)
Last updated at 10:17 AM on 02nd March 2010

The musician, who hang out with John Lennon at his prime, answers our health quiz.

Micky Dolenz, 71, says he's never been ill - despite his rock 'n roll pastStill going strong: Micky Dolenz, 71, says he’s never been ill – despite his rock ’n roll past

CAN YOU RUN UPSTAIRS?

I can at the moment because I’ve been exercising strenuously for the musical Hairspray – I do a lot of dancing. When I’m home in California, I can’t be bothered and the only exercise I get is in my garden.

ANY VICES?

Post Monkees in the Sixties and Seventies I was living pretty hard. I was hanging out with Keith Moon and John Lennon, and while I never got into heavy drugs, I did experiment a lot. When I look back on my life, I wonder how I survived – my mother said I had a guardian angel. I don’t remember much of it, to be honest, although people tell me I had a good time. Now I drink, but usually just a few glasses of wine.

POP ANY PILLS?

Every day I take multivitamins and another supplement with vitamin D. I also take a fibre pill – called Nature’s Secret – to help with digestion. As a performer, I’m on the road a fair bit eating in less than salubrious restaurants, so I need to take something to ease things along.

ANY FAMILY AILMENTS?

My mother passed away at the age of 72 from lung cancer. She smoked two packets of cigarettes every day. My father died of a heart attack in his early 60s. But this was down to him being unfit and also smoking. He ran Marquis, the famous Italian restaurant on Sunset Strip in the Fifties and Sixties. In those days, a lot of lard was used in cooking and he ate everything on the menu.

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BWW INTERVIEWS: Micky Dolenz, London’s New Wilbur In HAIRSPRAY

März 7, 2010 at 9:19 pm (Uncategorized)

by Carrie Dunn(http://westend.broadwayworld.com)

// //

Hello, Micky, thanks so much for meeting me, and welcome back to London!

Thank you!

And to the West End.

Yeah. It’s been a while. I don’t know if the Mermaid Theatre [where he starred in The Point] is considered West End, but I also directed Bugsy Malone at Her Majesty’s. That was pretty exciting there.

But of course you’ve been on Broadway since then.

Yeah!

You did Aida, didn’t you?

Yes!

Why did that never come over here?

You know, I don’t know. I’ve never been able to get a straight answer. I don’t know. I’ve heard all kinds of different stories. It was a wonderful show. Very dramatic. I played the villain, I played the bad guy! It was great, very flattering, because on a number of occasions I’d go out the stage door after the show and people would say, „I didn’t know you were in the show! I heard the voice and recognised it, looked in the programme and it was you!“ It was very flattering.

But now you’re playing a nice guy.

Great character, Wilbur, I’m having a lot of fun doing it.

The relationship between Wilbur and Tracy is so sweet.

I have four daughters so I think that helps.

And you know Chloe [Chloe Hart, who plays Tracy] well now?

Yes. Not long left in rehearsals now, so I know everybody now.

How are rehearsals going?

Great. The first week is intense and scary, it always is, no matter how much you prepare, you never know how you’re going to possibly get ready.

Of course you’re a newbie to the cast, while pretty much everybody else has done it before.

Yes, Brian [Brian Conley] has done it before, and everybody else is staying on. Apart from Siobhan McCarthy, who’s playing Velma. Siobhan had it real tough, she was doing another show in Leicester until this week. She was rehearsing in the days then shooting off to Leicester every night. It was intense.

Have you seen the show with the current cast?

Oh, yeah, plenty of times.

What’s your favourite part of the show?

It’s a good question. It’s a pretty solid show. I like the big dance numbers, and the comedy. And Timeless To Me is always a great showstopper – it’s funny, it always is just a big number. I’ve seen it plenty of times, though – in fact, I saw the original cast in the States, on Broadway.

Are you in until the end of the run?

Yes.

That must be tough, coming in and then the news breaking that the show is closing.

I was only ever going to be in for a short run anyway, so it’s just going to be a little shorter. I have to go back to the States to go on the road for my concert tour. I guess after this many years in the business, that’s showbiz. It’s had a heck of a run. It’s been years!

Did you know that the Shaftesbury has had a bad track record with musicals before?

Really? Well, this must have broken the curse! Three years. That’s a good run.

So you’re back on the road when you get back. How long’s your tour for?

The first one is two months.

And you’ve been recording a new CD, of Carole King songs?

Yes, it’s all done. I think they might bring it out this spring. It’s called King For A Day, and it’s a tribute album to Carole King, because she wrote some of the original Monkee hits.

My mum was excited when I told her I would be meeting you, because she was a big Monkees fan, but I loved Metal Mickey [the TV programme about a robot that ran in the UK from 1980 to 1983]!

Oh yeah! I directed and produced it. I was Michael Dolenz then. That was a big show. It ran for three seasons – a long time for the television. The guy who created the robot, a few years ago, he got in touch with me and said he wanted to bring it back. I don’t know if anything ever happened. LWT would hold the rights to the old show, I guess.

You were over here for quite a long time in the Eighties, weren’t you?

Yes. Twelve years. I came over to do that play at the Mermaid. And I got lucky. I’d directed on the Monkee Show. I’d done some stuff in the States. I came here to do that play and brought my reel with me. I took it to an agent and she sent it over to the Beeb, and I got my first directing thing over here, Premiere, which was a half-hour slot for dramas specifically designed to premiere new directors. So they saw my reel and gave me one of the half-hours. That’s still one of the nicest things I’ve done; they were very generous with their time. I was supposed to go back to the States after my run at the Mermaid, but nothing was desperately bringing me back. I’d just married my second wife, who’s English, so I could live here and work here. So we thought, OK, we’ll see what happens. I’d literally come for three months, and stayed for twelve years.

So were your daughters born and brought up here?

Yes, three of them from that marriage. They were born in the hospital in Hammersmith. One of them still lives here, Georgia, she’s done a degree in theatre, and now she’s going to be an actress.

I take it she’ll see you a lot during your run.

Yes, I’ve seen her almost every day at the moment. It’s been great! It’s one of the major plusses!

Do you still direct?

I haven’t done much recently. The thing is that I’m always going on the road, which is a lot of fun and very lucrative. And the thing about theatre is that you’ve got to be around all the time, developing contracts, script meetings, and so on. The last thing I did was a couple of years ago, a film in the States, and a couple of episodes for TV series. Then I’ve started doing musical theatre, and again, you can’t just disappear for a year on tour. You can’t keep the relationships, everybody’s changing all the time, and this is what I want to do at the moment, more than anything – musical theatre.

How did that shift to musical theatre come?

That’s a good question. The first thing I did was right after the Monkees, Tom Sawyer; they just thought, let’s get Micky the Monkee. The next thing was The Point here. Harry Nilsson just asked – I had never auditioned for musical theatre, just for film and TV. After that, I didn’t do anything for a number of years until the early Nineties and I got offered Grease in the US, a couple of weeks on Broadway and the national tour, playing Vince Fontaine the disc jockey. Then I was offered A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum in Canada for six months. I didn’t have to audition. It’s flattering to be offered stuff, but it’s a very specific audition process for musical theatre than it is for a TV show or film.

So then an agent in LA saw me do a show, and she said do you want to audition for some musical theatre, there’s this thing called Aida – this was in the mid-Nineties – and they said I’d have to audition because it’s the bad guy, and they wouldn’t immediately associate me with that. And I’d never auditioned before. I’d seen it on TV, and in A Chorus Line, and it’s quite daunting. She set me up with a singing coach who specialised in Broadway stuff, and set me up with an audition for Mamma Mia!, even though I wasn’t right and we knew it, but she knew the casting director. She said, „Just have him in to get a sense of what it’s like.“ It was terrifying.

Really?

Oh yeah! It’s in the middle of the day. No lights, no make-up, it’s you and a piano and ten people sitting behind tables. It’s scary. And I got it. I nailed it. Since then I’ve auditioned for dozens of things. Funnily enough, now I look back, the Monkee auditions were like musical theatre. It wasn’t a bunch of guys behind a desk, but we had to sing, move, improvise, scene-work, play – I played guitar at the time – and if you look at the old shows it was kind of like a musical – comedy, acting, singing and dancing.

It’s funny, with the popularity of something like Glee now, when the Monkees were doing something similar 40 years ago.

The Marx brothers were doing it 40 years before the Monkees! People forget that! Their movies were musicals, and they did film versions of their stage shows. The Monkees were like a little slice of musical theatre in a half-hour.

Has there ever been a plan for a Monkees jukebox musical?

People have talked about that for years. I’ve always said, „Make me an offer.“ I’ve seen so many jukebox musicals, and so few have actually worked. It’s the exception when one does. There are so many who’ve tried it, and very few have worked.

What’s on your wishlist of roles in musical theatre?

I’m too old for most of the parts I’d like to play! No, I know I am. And I’m not necessarily the right type either. But that doesn’t matter, because a wishlist is a wishlist. I’d have loved to have done The Music Man. I’d love to have done Billy Flynn in Chicago. I’d love to do Thenardier in Les Mis! I did a revival of Pippin after Aida, and it was re-envisioned, and Stephen Schwartz came out and worked with us, and I played King Charlemagne. And of course you’ll think, „Micky Dolenz? King Charlemagne?“ with a beard and an English accent, which I could do from my years here. So one of my favourite parts I’d like to do is King Arthur in Spamalot. I’d LOVE to audition for that.

It’s one of my favourites! You never know.

Ah, not here, there are too many English actors here, but maybe in the States.

It was in Vegas for a while, wasn’t it?

Yeah, those Vegas shows – I looked into a couple of them, they’re really short. They do abridged versions, and I don’t think anything’s really done well there that’s been brought in from Broadway. I mean, what do you take out of Hairspray? What do you take out of Spamalot? You just get a Reader’s Digest version. To take a show, they have an arc to them, the show is a whole thing, that’s what the show is.

Are you going to see any other shows while you’re here?

Georgia and I went to press night of Enron, and we also saw Waiting For Godot. Dame Judi Dench was there – my daughter was beside herself! I’d love to see Legally Blonde; and I’ve seen Jersey Boys but I’d like to see this production too.

Micky Dolenz stars as Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray from Tuesday February 2nd.

http://westend.broadwayworld.com/article/BWW_INTERVIEWS_Micky_Dolenz_Londons_New_Wilbur_In_HAIRSPRAY_20100129

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Monkee’s request for hits ignored

März 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm (Uncategorized)

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item (http://www.dailyitem.com)

Published January 14, 2010 05:39 am – A report in a national supermarket tabloid that 1960s heartthrob Davy Jones drunkenly challenged his audience to a fight after a performance at a city hotel is true, according to Valley residents who witnessed the former Monkee’s outburst.

SUNBURY — A report in a national supermarket tabloid that 1960s heartthrob Davy Jones drunkenly challenged his audience to a fight after a performance at a city hotel is true, according to Valley residents who witnessed the former Monkee’s outburst.

According to the Jan. 11 edition of the National Enquirer, Jones, a Beavertown resident, ended an impromptu singing performance with a challenge to fight the entire audience outside the Hotel Edison.

No one took the 5-foot-3, 65-year-old singer up on his invitation.

“He was ready to take anyone on,” said Steve Korek, a New Berlin resident who attended the Dec. 11 concert with friends. “Jones had the microphone in his hand and was walking towards the bar, cursing. His wife held the other end of the cord and tried to pull him back.”

It was all very comical, Korek said.

“I was wondering what set him off,” Korek said. “What made him so angry? Why was he cursing at someone at the bar? I don’t think anyone knows.”

Repeated telephone calls and e-mails to Jones, through his management company and his wife, Jessica Pacheco, were not returned Wednesday.

Jones was late for the start of the show, and by the time the performance began around 10:30 p.m., he was already drunk, Korek said.

“He couldn’t even stand up,” Korek said. “A few songs into the performance, I turned to a friend and said, ‘You think he’s going to fall over?’”

Jones was very sociable when the show began, said a Union County woman who asked to remain anonymous. “He sang a few songs, but he stumbled over the words.”

Earlier, Jones tried to sing “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” but stopped midway because he couldn’t remember all the reindeers in the song.

“The people at the bar were laughing at this point,” Korek said.

Then Jones started singing one of the Monkees’ biggest hits, “Daydream Believer.”

A minute into the tune, he just stopped singing and started shouting a series of expletives aimed at people in the audience and at Sunbury residents in general.

Edison Hotel manager Bradley A. Niemiec, who was working that night, confirmed the National Enquirer’s account of Jones’ behavior. But Niemiec declined to elaborate on any further details.

http://www.dailyitem.com/0100_news/local_story_013203734.html/resources_printstory

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Peter Tork sings the praises of proton therapy following his head and neck cancer

März 7, 2010 at 9:12 pm (Uncategorized)

Monkee See, Protons Do He’s a believer: Musician Peter Tork sings the praises of proton therapy following his head and neck cancer.

By Jeff Bell (www.advanceweb.com)

Posted on: December 8, 2009
For much of the year, Tork–who plays guitar and piano in addition to handling lead vocals–tours with Shoe Suede Blues bandmates Arnold Jacks (bass/vocals), Derek Lord (drums) and Joe Boyle (guitar/vocals).

You might expect a measure of jaded reserve from a guy who’s part of an enduring pop culture phenomenon. Not so with Peter Tork. The 67-year-old former Monkee co-starred in one of the most influential series in television history, belonged to one of the most successful Top 40 bands of the Sixties, and jammed in his living room with the likes of George Harrison and Jimi Hendrix. But ask Tork about the proton therapy he received this summer for his head and neck cancer, and you’re hit with a flood of unfettered, wide-eyed wonder.

„You should see the machine they developed–Mother of God, this thing is astounding!“ he says, referring to the cyclotron at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center. „I’m a little bit of a science freak. And when they tell me that because protons will stop where you tell them to–and what’s more, that they go in at a lower power than they get to be by the time they’re full blast–then you [understand] that it’s possible under some circumstances to hit the healthy tissue with no more than 30 percent of what you’re hitting the tumor with. And I’m going, ‚Hey, hoo-RAY! Let me have some of that, if I’ve gotta have radiation at all.'“

Tork was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) at the beginning of this year (see „ACC Facts and Figures“ sidebar). His symptoms were so subtle that they nearly went unnoticed: an odd sensation when swallowing, a subtle change in his voice that an ex-girlfriend called to his attention. His form of ACC proved extremely rare, manifesting not in its most common haunts–the salivary glands or the tear ducts–but on his tongue. After Jatin Shah, MD, the chief of head and neck surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, removed the lower portion of his tongue in March, Tork received nearly two months of proton therapy from Norbert Liebsch, MD, PhD, a radiation oncologist at Mass General. Between treatments, the erudite musician–who gamely played the „dumb“ Monkee four decades ago–even attended a lecture on proton therapy. („The first cyclotron was about the size of a bagel,“ he enthuses. „Did you know that?“)

Tork, who now tours and records with his band Shoe Suede Blues, prides himself on having not missed a single scheduled performance date during treatment. He played his old high school on May 29, only two months after a surgical team split his jaw in half to extract his cancer. And less than eight weeks after completing his regimen of radiation, he again took to the stage. Having weathered an initial–and, he says, unfounded–fear of recurrence, he’s free of any major side effects, aside from the recent impairment of his falsetto (a condition he admits could be the result of a cold). „[After] surgery, they didn’t expect me to speak for four or five days; I was speaking on the second day,“ he says. „They didn’t expect me to be up and walking for three or four days; I was walking on the second [or] third day. They prescribed a week’s stay; I was in there for six days. [It was] like that, you know? The surgery hasn’t affected me. The radiation, which lays people low, hasn’t bothered me. Odds and ends–the sunburn on your neck–you can’t avoid. And it slowed my ability to speak . but I got through the performance dates fine. I’m a very lucky guy. I soared through this stuff relative to some people.“

hear also an interview with Peter:

http://imaging-radiation-oncology.advanceweb.com/Article/Monkee-See-Protons-Do.aspx

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Phyllis Gibson orbituary

März 7, 2010 at 9:02 pm (Uncategorized)

Phyllis GIBSON

Phyllis Gibson, born Phyllis Ann Barbour, died at age 63 on February 13, 2010. She was born July 30, 1946 on Long Island, New York, to Paul and Elizabeth Barbour. Due to her father’s lifelong career as an educator and a soldier, Phyllis lived in a variety of countries as a young girl, including Germany, before settling in San Antonio, Texas, for the majority of her school years. Phyllis moved to Los Angeles at the age of 17 with her first husband Michael Nesmith of The Monkees, with whom she had three children. In the late 1960’s she travelled the world with the band and was truly adored by young fans everywhere. In the 1970’s she worked as a political aide to Senator Alan Cranston and many others. During those years she raised money and awareness for many of the causes she believed in. She took a very personal interest in helping Vietnam War veterans gain access to government benefits and easing their transition home. Following that, she had a long and successful career as a senior vice president, working with people she dearly loved at Winner & Associates, an L.A.-based communications firm. Her volunteer activities included work as an adult literacy tutor and service on the board of directors of the Travelers Aid Society of Los Angeles. She was an avid hiker, a voracious reader, yoga-enthusiast, a cat-fancier, and an angelic singer. Her passion for hiking and biking was truly established when she married her husband Bill, nearly twenty years ago. She is survived by her beloved husband Bill Gibson, her children Christian Nesmith, Jonathan Nesmith and Jessica Nesmith, her granddaughter Chyna Dale, her brother Bruce Barbour, and her sisters Cristine White and Joannie Cass. Phyllis was much beloved by all who knew her and she will be deeply missed. A memorial service for Phyllis will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 4832 Tujunga Avenue in North Hollywood on Sunday, February 28th at 3:00 p.m. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers please send contributions to The ALS Association – Greater Los Angeles Chapter.
Published in Los Angeles Times on February 25, 2010
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/latimes/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=139999236

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2010 Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards to Michael Nesmith!

März 7, 2010 at 8:58 pm (Articles, Michael Nesmith, Monkees, News)

By Agnes Varnum | Dec 21, 2009 |

The Austin Film Society (AFS) is pleased to announce that the tenth anniversary celebration of the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards, presented by AT&T, will be held on March 11, 2010. The Awards recognize outstanding actors, directors, screenwriters, musicians, producers and films from, influenced or inspired by the Lone Star State.

Quentin Tarantino will become an honorary Texan, cementing his personal and creative ties to Texas that date back to the early1990s. A longtime collaborator with Robert Rodriguez (MACHETE, GRINDHOUSE, SIN CITY, ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO, FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, and FOUR ROOMS), Tarantino has also collaborated with the Austin Film Society since a chance meeting with Richard Linklater at a midnight screening of NASHVILLE in Santa Monica. After the two discovered their mutual enthusiasm for showing rare films to live audiences, Tarantino brought his personal collection of 1960s and 1970s genre films to Austin in 1997. A tradition was born that became the QT Festival, which migrated from the Dobie Theater to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for the third festival in 1999, helping to launch the Alamo Drafthouse’s reputation for specialty exhibition. Harry Knowles credits his live coverage of the first QT fest on his fledgling web site, Ain’t It Cool News, with launching his success. Tarantino remains active with the Film Society as an advisory board member. He returns to the Texas Film Hall of Fame for the first time since its inaugural year when he presented his agent, Mike Simpson, with the Warren Skaaren Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michael Nesmith, born in Houston, will receive the Warren Skaaren Lifetime Achievement Award. Nesmith is perhaps best known for his work with The Monkees band and TV show but has made significant contributions in film, television and music. He served as executive producer of the cult films REPO MAN, TAPEHEADS and TIMERIDER. In 1980, he developed “Pop Clips,” which became the inspiration for MTV and his video, “Cruisin” became the first video on the network. The next year, he won the first Grammy Award given for Video of the Year for his hour-long “Elephant Parts.” Nesmith served on the board of trustees for the American Film Institute for ten years. World-renowned American artist Edward Ruscha will be on hand to present the award to Nesmith.

San Antonio-born Bruce McGill got his start in the raucous 1978 comedy classic NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE, drumming the William Tell Overture on his windpipe. His extensive filmography includes SILKWOOD, COURAGE UNDER FIRE, CLIFFHANGER, THE INSIDER, THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE and recently Oliver Stone’s W. McGill earned a B.F.A. in acting from The University of Texas at Austin, and later made his professional debut as a member of Rhode Island’s Trinity Square Repertory Company, appearing in numerous theatrical productions.

They will be honored for their immense contributions to Texas film and join fellow Texas Film Hall of Fame honorees Billy Bob Thornton, Mike Judge, Morgan Fairchild, Dennis Quaid, Kris Kristofferson, Forest Whitaker, Sissy Spacek and many more. Additional honorees will be announced in January.

Thomas Haden Church, an El Paso native, returns to emcee the tenth annual awards ceremony. In addition to his Academy Award nomination for his role in SIDEWAYS, Church has appeared in such films as SPIDER-MAN 3, SPANGLISH and ROLLING KANSAS, his directorial debut, which he also wrote.

Evan Smith and Louis Black serve as Founding and Talent Chairs. This year’s Event Co-chairs are Erin Driscoll and Ali Watson. Dana Wheeler-Nicholson and Alexa Wesner serve as Honorary Auction Chairs, and Kate Hersch is this year’s Lottery Chair. The proceeds from the Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards benefit the educational and artistic programs of the Austin Film Society.

Tables (seating 10 – 12) range in price from $5,000 to $25,000. For table sales and sponsorship information, contact AFS Director of Development Shannon Moody at 512.322.00145 x 222 or by email at shannon@austinfilm.org.

Austin Film Society promotes the appreciation of film and supports creative filmmaking by screening rarely seen films, giving grants and other support to emerging filmmakers, and providing access and education about film to youth and the public. Through Austin Studios, which AFS opened in 2000 in partnership with the City of Austin, AFS helps attract film development and production to Austin and Texas. Gala film premieres and the annual Texas Film Hall of Fame Awards raise funds as well as awareness of the impact of film on economy and community. The Austin Film Society is ranked among the top film centers in the country and recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and Directors Guild of America.

About the Author: Agnes Varnum is the communications manager of the Austin Film Society, as well as a freelance writer and film programmer. She is the primary contributor to doc it out.

Link to the original article:

http://www.persistenceofvision.org/2009/12/21/2010-texas-film-hall-of-fame-awards-to-honor-tarantino-nesmith-mcgill/

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Blog-Tip: What is the value of your vinyl record?

Juli 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Hier werden erzielte, höhere Kaufpreise für Schallplatten (die meisten aus eBay) gelistet. Ach ja: nach einigen Malen wird man gebeten sich anzumelden- kann man aber umgehen, indem man die Seite einfach erneut aufruft. Viel Spaß!

http://www.popsike.com/index.html

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Blog-Tip: Colgems Records

Juli 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Einfach mal schauen, toller Blog, der sich allen Veröffentlichungen von Colgems Records (natürlich auch die Monkees) widmet. U.a. geht es um Singles-Veröffentlichungen, Sampler, Mono-Versionen:

http://colgems.blogspot.com/

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Peter Tork pictures!

Juli 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm (Peter Tork, Pictures) (, , )

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Peter Tork’s Cancer, In His Own Words

Juli 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

By Peter Tork:

Late last year, after a few months of my not swallowing in a normal way, a friend mentioned that my voice sounded funny, kind of squawky and nasal. I’d meant to get it checked out, but her observation pushed me to doing something about it sooner rather than later. I went to an ear, nose and throat doctor, who sprayed my nostrils with anesthetic and sent a length of fiber-optic cable up my nose and down my throat. He came back with bad news. There was a growth on the lower region of my tongue. He suspected squamous cell carcinoma.

I don’t count myself as being afraid to die, but the news hit me like a fist to the chest.

A subsequent biopsy and pathology exam showed that I had adenoid cystic carcinoma.

Adenoid cystic carcinoma, ACC to the cognoscenti, is a relatively rare cancer, usually occurring in the salivary glands. Mine occurred on the lower part of my tongue; that’s even rarer. I wound up in New York at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where one Dr. Jatin Shah told me I should get surgery as soon as possible. I thought about it a second and said I wasn’t doing anything that afternoon….

Dr. Shah laughed and amended: as soon as practicable. That turned out to be the following Wednesday, which was March 4. I woke up from that surgery with another tube up my nose and down my throat — this one for feeding me. About three months later I began a follow-up course of radiation at a high-tech hospital in Boston, where they rev up a cyclotron and pipe protons down the hall and through a giant metal tube into my throat. (Remember electrons, neutrons and protons? Those.)

My friend Therra Gwyn, who is also my editor and publicist, suggested that if the news of my cancer seeped out without my having a say in it, it would most likely get so distorted that there’d be 30 stories out there, none of them with more than a tangential relationship with the actuality. Better she said — and I agreed — to tell the story myself, as best I could. Besides making sure the record was straight, telling the story out loud on a Web site and Facebook page might help the world (or that part of it that was interested) relax some fears about cancer in general and might boost attention to adenoid cystic carcinoma in particular. Also, it might just help me keep a right-sized attitude about life and myself. Otherwise, you know, it’d be like: I’m a celebrity, get me offa this planet! Can’t have that.

As of this writing, I’m just beginning to feel the effects of the second course of radiation, a bit of soreness on the tongue, some unpleasant effects when swallowing. So far, not too bad.

I have a couple of performance dates lined up, which I’ve opted not to cancel. I know I’m taking a chance here, because one of the side effects of the radiation is supposed to be hoarseness. The radiologist told me, „Well, you play guitar and you sing. Perhaps you won’t sing, but maybe you’ll play guitar a lot more.“

I recovered very quickly after my surgery, and I’ve been hoping that my better-than-average constitution will keep the worst effects of radiation at bay. My voice and energy still seem to be in decent shape, so maybe I can pull these gigs off after all. Just in case, though, I’ve invited some friends to join me, including my friend Lauren, a world-class slide guitar player. People will be so dazzled by her that they won’t notice whether I’m doing well. I’m also bringing in belly dancers, and I’m expecting a fly-over by the Royal Canadian Air Force. Maybe elephants.

I mean to do those shows.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget |  July 1, 2009; 7:00 AM E

Thanks to Jennifer LaRue Huget (The Washington Post),

Link: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/2009/07/my_blog_last_week_about.html

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