Pete Quaife, born New Year’s Eve 1943 in Tavistock, Devon, was a founding member and the original bassist for The Kinks from 1963 to 1969.
Quaife and the Davies brothers founded a group known as The Ravens in 1962, as they all attended William Grimshaw secondary school in Muswell Hill. While closer in age to Ray, Peter was closest to Dave who worked down the road from him in London’s West End. In 1966 Pete was in a serious car wreck and was replaced by John “Nobby” Dalton, but by the end of the year Quaife was back. Later that year, Eric Clapton invited Pete to join Cream, but he politely declined. Quaife left The Kinks for the second and final time in 1969, to form the country rock band Mapleoak with whom he recorded one single before again moving on in April 1970.
After retiring from the music business, Quaife lived in Denmark throughout the 1970s. He relocated to Canada in 1980, where he worked as a cartoonist and an artist. In 1981, while The Kinks were on tour in Canada, Pete joined them for one song, but was not to perform with them again until the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awards ceremony in 1990.
Quaife was diagnosed with renal failure in 1998. During dialysis sessions, he drew a series of cartoons based on his experiences. Following their enthusiastic reception by other patients, they have subsequently been published in book form as The Lighter Side of Dialysis.
Pete also spent 30 years writing Veritas, a fictional account of a London rock band starting up in the Sixties, which was finally published at the beginning of 2011 after his death.
Due to his ongoing ill health he moved back to Denmark in 2005, the same year he was to appear for the last time with the other ex members of The Kinks at the UK Music Hall of Fame show. Quaife died in June 2010 of kidney failure, he was engaged to marry his girlfriend Elisabeth Bilbo at the time.
Dave Davies posted a statement on his message board expressing his deep sorrow over the passing of his former band mate and lauding him for his friendship, personality, talent, and contributions to The Kinks’ sound. He stated that Quaife “was never really given the credit he deserved for his contribution and involvement”. Ray dedicated his 27 June 2010 show at Glastonbury Festival to Pete by saying: “I wouldn’t be here today, if it wasn’t for him.”