“I’d say one of my favorite bass players was Pete Quaife because he literally drove the Kinks along”. – John Entwistle
Depending on which legend you deem true, it was the late Peter Alexander Greenlaw Quaife who rendered the landmark riff to “You Really Got Me,” hence the birth of heavy metal – and The Kinks – as we know them.
Akin to his contemporary, Sir Paul, the Kinks’ founding bassist was noticeably inspired by the jubilant dance hall music which permeated radio broadcasts of post-War Britain. Pete’s simple yet sturdy motifs brought muscle to the Kinks.
Said latter day Kinks bassist Jim Rodford to this writer, the Kinks were the best live band of their era – better than the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and even The Who. Note that as the anchor of Mike Cotton Sound – Rodford toured with all those aforementioned ensembles and spoke from experience.
An early adopter of the Rickenbacker 4001 – as was Macca – Pete and original Kinks drummer Mick Avory flexed their collective rhythmic strength on the more raucous releases in the Kinks canon, most notably on 1965’s Kinda Kinks and The Kinks Kontroversy.
To my ears, Pete’s choice performances lie in the grooves of his final album with the band, the 1968 classic The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society – which had the misfortune of being released on the same day as The Beatles “White Album” wherein Ray Davies’ sentimental song-cycle sank into obscurity until Brit-pop rockers in the 1990s afforded it the attention it so richly deserves.
Weary of the brothers Davies constant conflicts and inner band turmoil, Quaife left The Kinks for good and briefly toiled with a roots rock ensemble that worked under the moniker of Mapleoak. Following one failed single (“Son of a Gun”), Pete left the music biz for good. He spent the last thirty years of his life as a graphic artist in Ontario, Canada and Denmark.