June 25th, 2010
12:08 PM ET
Pete Quaife, the original bassist of the Kinks, has died, according to bandmate Ray Davies. Quaife was 66.
Quaife died of kidney failure Wednesday in Herlev, Denmark. He moved to Denmark in 2005 after many years in Canada. He had recently gotten engaged to his partner, Elisabeth.
"I am overwhelmed with emotion- I literally can't speak- we might never have done any of this without him," said Kinks guitarist Dave Davies in a statement on his website, davedavies.com. "The Kinks were never really the Kinks without you."
Peter Alexander Greenlaw Quaife - as he was listed on the back cover of the band's 1968 masterpiece, "The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society" - was the bassist during the band's British Invasion height, playing on such hits as "You Really Got Me," "All Day and All of the Night," "Tired of Waiting for You," "A Well-Respected Man" and "Sunny Afternoon." In John Mendelssohn's 1985 biography of the band, "The Kinks Kronikles," producer Shel Talmy called him the most musical of the four-man group.
The Kinks - made up of guitarist/vocalist Ray Davies (the band's primary songwriter), Ray's brother Dave and drummer Mick Avory along with Quaife - originally formed in 1961, with Quaife a co-founder. With its hard-driving power chords and distortion, 1964's "You Really Got Me," the band's third single, has been called a forerunner of heavy metal.
But the complicated relationship between the Davies brothers was also a forerunner of that of other angry rock 'n' roll siblings, such as Oasis' Gallagher brothers, and Quaife briefly left the band in 1966 after being injured in an accident - a period he described as "a good break for me" given the discord. He returned a few months later.
The Kinks had a fallow commercial period in America from about 1966 until 1969 - ironically a period of some of the band's most notable albums, including 1966's "Face to Face," 1967's "Something Else by the Kinks" and "Village Green Preservation Society." Quaife left after the release of that album and the single "Days" to join a band called Maple Oak. He was replaced by John Dalton for the next Kinks album, 1969's "Arthur."
The Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and Quaife played with them at the showcase concert.
Quaife is survived by a daughter, Camilla, from a previous marriage.
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