How Kinks star Quaife took Davies’ feuds on the chin
Character: Quaife, left, with Dave Davies, Ray Davies and Avory
Kinks bassist Pete Quaife knew he’d never shout down bandmates Ray and Dave Davies – so he took it on the chin when they were fighting.
That’s how drummer Mick Avory remembers his bandmate, who died in 2010 after receiving kidney dialysis for a decade.
Quaife’s life will be celebrated at a fundraising event on Saturday, the second anniversary of his passing. And Avory tells Classic Rock there was more to his old friend than just musical ability.
He says: “He was a great bass player for the times – he’d always be trying out different lines, but he was never too complicated and his style fitted well with the songs. He was easy for a drummer to follow. The records he played on are evidence of all that.
“When I first met the Kinks he was the one who made me feel comfortable being there. He was already ready to meet and greet people, and made them feel at home.
“When disagreements happened between Ray, Dave and Pete he wouldn’t shout back at them. He knew he couldn’t beat them and it would just lead to irrational arguments, so he’d taken it on the chin. He’d look defiantly at them and try to rise above it.
“He was quite unpredictable – he enjoyed doing odd things. He’d turn up to gigs separately from the rest of the band on a scooter, dressed as a mod. He’d take a later flight than the one he was booked for. He grew square tomatoes, he shaved off one of his eyebrows for a TV show and he went on a month-long tour of America with just a small handbag.
“Pete was always up to something. The Kinks were all so utterly different to each other – that’s what made the band what they were.”
Avory formed the Kast Off Kinks in 1994, ten years after he left the Davies brothers’ band. Since their formation many former members have appeared with them, including Ray and Dave.
“Pete played with us in Holland in 2004,” Avory remembers. “It was great to see and play with him again – we carried on where we’d left off, just taking the mickey out of each other.”
The bassist passed away on June 23, 2010, leading Dave Davies to say: “Pete was never really given the credit he deserved for his contribution and involvement.” Ray dedicated his Glastonbury festival appearance to Quaife, which took place four days after his death. The frontman dedicated an emotion rendition of Kinks track Thank You For the Days to him and added: “Without Pete I wouldn’t be here today.”
The Pete Quaife’s Lighter Side of Dialysis will be held on Saturday, June 23 at Fortismere School, Muswell Hill, London, starring the Kast Off Kinks, Stone Foundation, the Most, a mod scooter rideout and more. It’s been organised by the bassist’s brother Dave. Find out more.
Money raised will be spent on ebook readers and portable DVD players to be supplied to hospital dialysis wards. It follows a recent ruling that newspapers and books cannot be supplied to the establishments due to infection risk. However, electronic entertainment devices can be disinfected.