Having gotten a little behind on checking in on Kinks news, I found out only today that Pete Quaife had died. Pete was the original bassist for The Kinks, a founding member of the band who left in 1969. So his bass lines underscored all their great early hits, starting with “You Really Got Me.” His bass is particularly prominent in the opening of one of the most beautiful songs ever, “Waterloo Sunset”. And he even got to sing lead once, on the country-esque “Willesden Green.”
Pete also happens to be the only member of The Kinks I’ve met personally. It was at an academic conference, of all things, albeit one on the subject of Popular Culture. The conference was in Toronto, and Pete was living in Canada at the time. He presented a session on the British Invasion in general, and The Kinks in particular. His presentation was funny and engaging, and he was very congenial about shaking hands afterward.
So, I find myself pretty bummed that he’s gone. At 66, he is the first of the four founding members of The Kinks to die.
Really nice tribute to Pete from the maker of the Do It Again documentary (a quest to reunite the original Kinks. Now I’m bummed again.)
Another artifact of Pete’s time in Canada: A YouTube video of his appearance on On the Road Again
Pete spent years on dialysis. He passed the time making cartoons about it. Actually pretty funny…