Peter Tork Said 1 of The Monkees’ Songs Is ‘Sarcastic as All Hell’


  • Peter Tork wrote one of The Monkees’ songs and called it “really pretty nasty.”
  • Tork felt the track appeared on an album that was underrated.
  • Mike Nesmith felt the album was perhaps “misguided.”
The Monkees’ Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz near a poster
The Monkees’ Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz | James Jackson/Evening Standard/Getty Images

Peter Tork said one of The Monkees‘ songs was “really pretty nasty.” In addition, he explained the song’s meaning. Notably, the track appeared on an album called Justus that Tork felt was underrated.

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In 1996, The Monkees released the album Justus. It was the group’s first album since 1987’s Pool It! and the first album to feature all of the band’s original members since the soundtrack of the 1968 film Head.

During a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone, Tork discussed how the album came together. “[Mike Nesmith] just caught a charge and wanted to see it through, so he asked me and Micky to come jam with him,” Tork recalled. “It was the first time we’d played together like that since 1969.

“I played bass,” Tork added. “Micky [Dolenz] was on drums and Michael was on guitar. We sounded just the same. It was really amazing. We had a jam, and as a result we brought in Davy [Jones] and did Justus.”

Peter Tork said 1 of The Monkees’ songs was about ‘fantasists’

The Monkees had more input on Justus than any of their other albums. “I think the whole album is entirely under-appreciated,” Tork opined. “Nobody else was in the studio besides us and the engineer.” On the other hand, Nesmith opined Justus was perhaps a “misguided” album because The Monkees made it themselves after they had not seen each other in years.

Tork discussed one of the tunes from Justus. “I wrote ‘Run Away From Life,'” he said. “It’s about fantasists. It’s sarcastic as all hell, really pretty nasty.” 

Subsequently, Tork said Justus had flaws. “But with the album, I think we were operating under some limits we didn’t need to,” he opined. “Mostly, I think it was a big mistake for me to not play more guitar. Micky’s drumming is just ferocious on that record though.”


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How The Monkees’ ‘Run Away From Life’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Run Away From Life” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s parent album, Justus, did not chart on the Billboard 200.

According to The Official Charts Company, “Run Away From Life” did not chart in the United Kingdom. Justus did not chart there either.

“Run Away From Life” was not a hit — and it has a different tone than The Monkees’ more famous songs.