A lot of local Monkees fans were pleasantly surprised to learn that Peter Tork, who passed away Thursday at age 77, studied in Minnesota at Carleton College in the early-‘60s before going on to superstardom. Now we have visual proof he was a full-on Carl.
Carleton representatives have shared a photo from the 1963 edition of the Algol yearbook that shows the young P.H. Thorkelson standing alongside his dorm mates from the fourth floor of Burton Hall. Judging by the photo, it looks like that may have been the party floor that year.
The future rock and TV star is pretty easy to spot in the picture, not only because of the similar smirk and haircut that would appear on television sets across the nation just three years later, but also because he’s wearing a sweatshirt that reads “Tork.”
A 1982 article on Tork from the school’s newspaper, the Carletonian, was also dug up following his death. In the interview with then-student Sam Delson during a period when he was playing solo acoustic gigs, the Monkee recounted his rather abysmal academic performance but otherwise fun time while studying in Northfield – which included an initial stretch in 1959, followed by a break and then two more years before he was finally kicked out in 1963 “for low grades and missing chapel,” he said in the article.
Originally from Connecticut, Tork declared himself an English major at Carleton and was also an intramural wrestler, but apparently neither of those were his main pursuit while at the school.
“There were no women in my home town, but there were women at Carleton,” he enthused in the story, “even though they lived on the other side of campus in closed dorms and visitation was allowed only two or three times a year.”
No wonder he cut loose for sunny Los Angeles before he could finish school.