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Thursday July 1, 2010

I REMEMBER / PETER QUAIFE

Stan Endersby of Toronto remembers bassist Peter Quaife of The Kinks.

I met Peter after moving to London, as Toronto's Yorkville Village was coming to an end in 1968.

Instantly he struck me as being full of charm, funny and down to earth.

He saw me playing guitar in a London club and came right up and invited me to be in a band. He wanted to leave The Kinks.

At the time he was upset that he had no creative input in the band and that they never played anywhere.

He was committed for another album. So I returned to Canada. A few months later Peter called me, flew me out with Marty Fisher (keyboard player) and later drummer Gordy MacBain. Almost before I knew it, there was a big picture of us in the musical press introducing our new band Mapleoak.

We rehearsed, got a record deal with Decca, played the London clubs, released a 45 record Son of a Gun and toured around Europe.

Peter liked his Scotch and we liked our "recreational tobacco." Despite many great times together the band fell apart in late May, 1970.

In the years to follow I played in Toronto and Los Angeles and eventually Peter wound up moving to Toronto to pursue graphic design. When our paths crossed we were always glad to play together.

We played the odd Kinks songs from time to time, but never on stage.

He loved Ray Davies's music and Village Green Preservation Society. He also liked Dave Davies's Death Of a Clown. He told me how much he liked John Dalton's bass playing.

My fondest memory is when I visited him in Belleville, Ont., in the mid-90s before he became sick with kidney disease. We all went out to a bar/pub and Peter and I played on stage. It had been more than 20 years since we had done that, and it really felt great.

I recently saw a video on the Net of the him playing with the Kast off Kinks.

It looked like he was having a great time with some of his old musical friends. I wish I could have been there.

I didn't visit Peter often, but the last time I saw him in Belleville, he took me on his rounds. He accepted everything that was happening and didn't become his illness.

He supported a lot of people - a very kind man. He had made a lot of friends. His art, his classical guitar playing and the book he was writing were all very important to him.

Peter had a tendency to be both hot and cold, but that was his nature and with friends you sometimes put up with things. I've always considered him a friend.

I realize how much I owe this man and how different my life would have been without him in it. We gave the band a shot. Whether it was bad management, being inexperienced songwriters or taking the wrong direction, I don't know. But we did record one of the early country rock albums in the sixties, maybe the first in England.

I'll always remember:

Playing The Factory in Birmingham and getting that standing ovation.

Playing at The London Palladium and Marquee

Practising at the Angel Pub

Doing our BBC auditions

In the studio recording and hearing our first single on the radio

Playing the Marquee

Playing the Roundhouse

My purple Marshall amp

All my friends from Eel Pie Island in Twickenham

The amazing time in Denmark

My heart goes out to all his bandmates, friends and fans. We all know how much he will be missed. We also know once a Kink always a Kink.

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