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Peter Quaife, The Forgotten Kink

Getty Images / Michael Ochs Archives / Don Paulsen

Peter Quaife, The Forgotten Kink


Peter Quaife When bassist and founding member of The Kinks, Peter Quaife, died June 23 at age 66, it may have been big news in the United Kingdom, but media in the United States took little notice.

The Associated Press ran no obituary. Though his obit appeared in The New York Times and ran on the CNN wire, few outlets picked up the story.

But then The Kinks were never as popular in the U.S. as they were in Great Britain. This might be partly due to the fact that in 1965, at the peak of the British Invasion, they were banned by the American Federation of Musicians from performing live in the U.S. Likely this was because of an incident in Australia, when Ray Davies insulted drummer Mick Avory onstage and Avory responded by smashing the high-hat over Davies’ head (the singer would need sixteen stitches). Fighting among band members was common – Quaife later claimed he got in a fistfight with Davies in a taxicab when Davies chaffed at him whistling a Beatles tune.

Quaife tired of the volatility and what he saw as a lack of creative freedom. He left The Kinks in 1969 to form a short-lived band called Maple Oak. He eventually quit music altogether, moving to Denmark and later Canada, where he worked as a cartoonist and graphic artist. He also worked on a novel, Veritas, about a 1960s rock band, though it was never published.

The Kinks carried on, of course, replacing Quaife with John Dalton (over the decades The Kinks would rotate 13 members through its line-up). Quaife appeared with the band for its 2005 induction into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame, but bristled at Davies’ public suggestion that he was interested in reuniting with the band.

In his later years he suffered from kidney problems and would eventually die of renal failure.

Here’s Quaife in happier days, performing “All Day and All of the Night” with the Kinks in 1965.