June 25th, 2010
12:08 PM ET

Kinks bassist Pete Quaife dead at 66

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' rollΒ  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.

soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. m / 21/ Toronto

    The Kinks were much before my time but I fell in love with there music. Such a great band, i cant stop listening to there songs. R.I.P Pete πŸ™ 60's rock is truly the greatest and will never fade out. God bless you Pete and your family and friends.

    July 8, 2010 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. The Next in Line

    Wow.........what happened here with all the negativity. It looks like the original offending message was deleted, so all I can see is the symptom (rancor and contention), not the cause. Guess it's better left unrevealed.

    Anyway, my condolences to the family and friends of someone who contributed integrally to music that has inspired me throughout the years. It's interesting that he cites TKATVGPS as his favorite album, because as I listened to everything from 64 on up the other day, that album was the one I found myself singing along to with the most joy.

    June 28, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. Howard'O


    June 28, 2010 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Beendare

    Who reads poetry? Almost nobody. The poetry of a generation was in the music. Can the same be said today? Maybe not.

    Hey Kinks, you really got me going. You really got me.

    June 28, 2010 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. Maria bONITA

    RIP Pete!

    June 28, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  6. Toni

    Never heard of you. Get with it.

    June 28, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. ReginaM

    Loved the Kinks. I still have my 45s.

    June 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Wilie


    June 27, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    What a great band! What a great loss! He will be missed! Rest in Peace!!

    June 27, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. SpiritbearNY

    I just lost a friend even though I hadn't seen Pete since I was a kid and he was a rock hero. He wrote me a couple of letters and sent some drawings. I still have them. A sweet, sweet man who deserved better in life. RIP Pete.

    June 27, 2010 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cindy

    I loved the Kinks music and enjoyed their hard work for many years. A very sad loss of someone who gave me so much musical enjoyment. Just one question: What does religion or any other these other totally unrelated comments have to do with the passing of someone who obviously gave most of us so much enjoyment and memories!!!!!!!!!

    RIP Pete

    June 26, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Vona

    RIP Pete. My thoughts and sympathies to his friends and family. I grew up listening to the Kinks – great music – great memories. I'm sad. He was such a talent.

    June 26, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cafcdog

    Ah, a sad day.
    RIP dear Pete.
    I guess our dreams of a Kinks reunion are over, but it matters not, your work is out there Pete and will live forever.

    A shame that the old Jimmy Page garbage has to be dragged up here.
    This was just a cheap publicity stunt dreamed up by Page or his publicist to get the fledgling New Yardbirds (later Zep)a bit of attention.
    Of course, as the guitar heroes became the new Gods Page's claim was believed without question.
    An insult to the clearly less capable Dave Davies.
    I swear if I ever meet Page on the street he'll walk away with less teeth.

    June 26, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Punky Mendoza

    All in peace...

    June 26, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. John in So Calif

    One of the best bands of 60s. I am 52 and miss them.

    June 26, 2010 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  16. Newcastle Dave

    Don't get me wrong, the Kinks have always been and still are my favorite band, hands down. However, it is generally known that their live concerts sucked, largely brought on by the Davies brothers' squabbles and disagreements. I saw this first-hand when they played in Seattle in the 80s. Notwithstanding the poor acoustics of the King Dome, they played terrible and appeared disorganized and confused. It was the worst live concert I'd ever seen. Nonetheless, their studio albums were stunningly mesmerizing and addictive. They were the first to develop concept albums, each song a new chapter of the story book. Their albums, like a great book, can be easily listened to over and over again, picking up new clues each time through. Pete was a key part of that process, and I grieve for his loss. The first time I heard Schoolboys in Disgrace, I felt like I immediately needed to listen to it again and again until every last lyric was memorized. The Kinks will always be my favorite band of all time. However, I still think their concerts sucked.

    June 25, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • freida

      Did you ever see their concept albums performed live (Preservation, Soap Opera, School Boys)?
      They were spectacular.

      June 26, 2010 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  17. Ray J

    It said in the book Hammer Of The Gods that Jimmy Page, who was one of the top London session players at the time, did play rhythm on a couple of Kinks songs (don't remember if they said which songs) so that Ray Davies could focus more on producing and driving the sound board. The comment was made that many people were upset that word later got out that Page had played on some sessions but it seems Page was not behind that.
    I had the chance to see the Kinks live and they were one of the best, hands down. Definitely broke ground for later bands. Ray Davies writing is also under-rated – able to go from flat out rockers like You Really Got Me to Celluloid Heros,
    Help Me Now I'm Falling, Father Christmas – the man has much to say and it is WELL said. Pete was obviously a huge part of the whole thing and my heart and best wishes go out to family and friends.
    Thank you for your contribution.

    June 25, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Carol laGrave

    I loved this band...RIP, Pete!!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  19. David Watts

    Pete was in The Kinks for the time they were banned from touring the U.S. 1965-70 for rowdy behavior. It all seems very trivial now, but they missed the "British Invasion" market at it's peak years in the States along with the huge outdoor concerts of Monterey and Woodstock. I for one always thought Pete and John Entwhistle had the best bass lines. Just listen to "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" or "Ev'rybody's Goin' to be Happy" for Peter's killer technique. It makes me really sad when you consider that now that Pete is dead, we will never see the original Kinks ever again. The big four bands of England of the 60's are now truly forever gone. For Pete's sake, just go to YouTube and watch "The Last of the Steam Powered Trains" video. There he is in all his glory for all time.......

    June 25, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  20. ed

    Whenever the question, "Who is better, the Beatles or the Stones?" arises, my answer has always been "the KINKS!"

    June 25, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Well Respected Man

      Great post, Ed-you're right–they were the best band in my eyes. Great lyrics & original music. A sunny Afternnoon was to be had with this band.

      June 25, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  21. duh

    which one is he in the picture? Right guy or left guy. I know the Davies' brothers were in the middle.

    June 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joyce

      Pete is the one on the left, the drummer, Mick Avory is on the right. Condolences to Pete's family and friends and love to the rest of the Kinks. I became a lifelong fan 35 years ago after Pete left but am so grateful for his contributions to the band. He and his music will live on.

      June 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jim

    4th row at the Kinks in St.Paul in 1980. Sensational. Truly one of the all time greatest rock and roll bands. Died on the anniversary of MJ's death. Hmmm. RIP Pete! Great muscian will surely be missed.

    June 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  23. dunners

    Bull...Jimmy Page did NOT play on any early kinks..
    I knew Pete in Canada and he always remarked how bloody
    awful Dave's early solos were!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Danton

    Now here is a musician who's death should truly be headline news! A pioneer and hell of a musician! But will he get the respect and recognition that that freak Michael Jackson got after he ODed? Doubt it. What a sad world we live in where accused child molesters are put up on pedestals πŸ™ and champs like Pete Quaife are not πŸ™ It may be a small percentage, but we are all gonna miss you Pete!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew Williams

      You mean where accused child molesters are put on pedophiles. Bu-dum CHHHHHHH

      June 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Nikki

    Amazing music will live on with your memory Pete. Thank you for the music. RIP.

    June 25, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  26. M

    I agree with the many posters who believe The Kinks were one of the most (if not THE most) underrated rock bands – great songs and great energy. And for those of you who have forgotten the purpose of this thread, please post your bumper-sticker religious cliches and "truths" somewhere else.

    June 25, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Collin

    That suck, the Kinks were a great band. RIP

    June 25, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Mr. Flash

    Thanks Pete. Great bass playing on some of the greatest rock classics. You will be missed, but not forgotten!

    June 25, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Kinksman

    Godspeed, Pete... "here's wishing you the bluest skies"....

    June 25, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Kinks Fan

    I remember seeing the Kinks once and upon playing You Really Got Me, some teeny boppers sitting near me exclaimed "They're playing Van Halen!".. I wanted to throttle the little things.
    Kinks songs will be forever remembered and covered by others.
    RIP Pete, you will live on forever though your incredible bass lines!

    June 25, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • RayDavies

      Admit it, you were just jealous they were younger than YOU. Because honestly, who really cares if they didn't know it was a "cover" of a Kinks song? Was the world going to end or something? Seriously.............

      June 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  31. scottybudlite

    I saw The Kinks in 1980 at the Memphis Midsouth Coliseum. As Navy tech students at the nearby NATTC, we got in to concerts free by offering to work as security. They posted me in front of a spotlight to "guard" it. As soon as the lighting tech showed up, he said "you can take off." I took the best empty seat I could find an had a great time. RIP Pete.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Omigosh

    When my parents gave me their Hi-Fi stereo when I was a kid the first album I ever bought was the 'Kinks Greatest Hits'. I remember learning to play the drums by practicing 'Tired Of Waiting For You' over and over. Ah, the good ol' days... RIP Pete.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  33. canexplain

    I saw them a number of times when they were really big like the Beatles and the Stones. What great complicated music sometimes. RIP Pete tnx for the music.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Jetranger

    The most underrated band in rock history. RIP Pete.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Joe

    Condolences to his family and thanks for the great music, Pete.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Glimmerman

    There are very few fans as justifiably rabid as Kinks fans. The poignant humanity of their songs and the unrelenting dedication to non-conformity made The Kinks the primary standard-bearers of the primary message of the 60's. We were "not like everybody else". God Save The Kinks.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Stephanie

    Pete Quaife -May you Rest in Peace.
    My sincere condolence to his family and The KINKS.
    And, Shelly – you are so wrong. Rock and Roll is here to stay.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  38. EssKay

    Tell me you don't reach for the volume control whenever songs like YOU REALLY GOT ME or ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT or TIRED OF WAITING FOR YOU comes on the radio! Problem is...they were too short! They were over too soon! But what a rush for those two and a half minutes of pure bliss!

    RIP Pete Quaife and know you were one of those who rocked our world.

    June 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  39. NetReacher

    Thanks for your great music Pete. Belleville, Ontario will miss your smile.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  40. JT

    I met the Kinks in LA. I walked by their table and spoke to them, and they asked about my Texas accent...Pete said, "I think we'll come to Texas, will you pick us up in a covered wagon?" LOL....I sure would have Pete....so long my man..

    June 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Diane

    The Kinks are one of those wonderful bands that you take for granted. I'd forgotten how much I loved them and then saw Ray Davies perform with Metallica and wow – fantastic!

    I saw the Kinks at Madison Square Garden when I was 17 – danced all night!

    RIP, Pete.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Jim Johnson

    Great sound, great bassist. You may or may not know that Jimmy Page played the lead guitar parts on You Really Got Me & All Day & All Of The Night.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • xoxox

      Jimmy Page, from most accounts, did not play on these. Dave insists that they are his work, and I believe him.

      June 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • bluenote

      But Page DID play on lots of other stuff. Sunshine Superman comes to mind first. (Donovan). lots more...

      June 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike J

      So that old chestnut is raising its ugly head again!! Even Jimmy Page has said that he DID NOT play lead on YRGM and ADAAOTN. He "thinks" he may have added a little rhythm guitar to some early Kinks songs but it was more likely a tambourine!!

      However, Dave Davies did play lead guitar on Dazed and Confused and Black Dog, didn't he?

      Get back in your dreamworld JJ

      June 26, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  43. you really got me

    goodness...another great one gone. Rest in Peace man.. I'm in my mid 30's and the Kinks were one of the reasons I wanted to pick up a guitar at age 10... God Bless the rest of the band and His family!

    June 25, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  44. bluenote

    The Kinks were such a tremendously influential band for so many people. I grew up listening to the Kinks... They were (and still are, actually) my best friends favorite band, and I'm grateful he got me into them. Rock and Roll IS dead, kinda. Nobody writes anything even remotely like this stuff anymore. RIP, Pete Q.

    June 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • jewls

      Bluenote...YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!!! And a shame too,,,,as that was some great music.
      May he RIP

      June 25, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Pablo03

    Great basslines to rock classics! Thanks for the music. RIP

    June 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  46. uk rocker

    The Kinks do not get the credit they deserve – same boat as Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. RIP Pete. Thank you for your great contribution to music.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  47. james

    My youth would not have been quite what it was without your sound.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  48. wendystewart@bellsouth.net

    Good info on the Kinks and the plyer who died.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  49. testy

    Great band

    June 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  50. joy

    Have always loved this band. Thanks for the memories......now go with God.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • LM

      hey there TD,
      I'm a Muslim and I can assure you that i am anything but lost. And No, I don't want to kill anyone. Well, except for the little blood sucker thats been living in my room for the past week!

      June 25, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • evangelicide

      I'm by no means a "fan," but they have a few songs I've always liked. A quick question–if you loved this artist so much, why did you feel the need devolve the conversation into a judeo-xtian peeing match?
      Shame on all of you clowns who capitalize on the misery of others for the sake of proselytizing. Can't speak for your "god," but if I were him, my thunderbolts would have reduced you all to ashes by now.
      Oh yeah–Rest in Peace Pete.

      June 25, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Why do you feel the need to bring religious nonsense into this?

      June 26, 2010 at 7:11 am | Report abuse |
    • LM

      Tell me about it!
      R.I.P Pete <3

      June 26, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  51. let's be real

    Rest in peace, man.

    June 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kinkdom

      Thanks for the great music memories, Peter. I was lucky to see you in concert & The Kinks 4 times. You're my all time favorite group. So lucky to be part of your generation. You're in rock'n'roll heaven–what an all-star band.

      June 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry Shaw

      A shining example to thousands of Bass players... never overplayed the part and the choice and timing of his notes were perfect.... Shall be missed by many and always in our minds. A good person that left pleasure for the world.

      June 26, 2010 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |

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