Pete Quaife, the Kinks’ original bass player died last week and it reminded me of the one time I met him.
Many years ago an acquaintance was dating Ray Davies and somehow me and a friend got dragged out to Long Island to see one of Ray’s solo shows. It turned out that brother Dave Davies had played in the area (at a different venue) the night before. Of course the two brothers did not try to contact each other, but who shows up at Ray’s gig but Pete Quaife. Pete was anxious to say hello to Ray but Ray kept putting him off, going out of his way to avoid him. It turns out that Ray found out that the previous evening Quaife had gotten onstage with Dave and jammed on a tune or two. Ray not only refused to meet with Quaife, but during the long monologue sections of the show he made sure to pointedly insult him several times. Ray Davies might’ve made some great records, written some great songs (although it’s been a long time since he’s come up with a decent one), but he’s really an asshole of a human being. I usually don’t like to meet my heroes, especially when they’re rock stars (something about rock stardom really brings out the asshole in people), but meeting and socializing with Ray Davies really ruined my enjoyment of the old Kinks records, which I truly loved and had been buying since I was six years old. That’s the whole story (well, not really, it gets worse with Ray but I’ll keep the woman beating story to myself for now). Goodbye Pete Quaife, you were a great bass player.