Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon

Music and Loss

Posted in Music by bourdaghs on the June 24th, 2010

Fans of other 1960s rock bands have all had to deal with this many times over. But for us Kinks fans, it is a new and unwelcome experience: news is now spreading over the Internet that Pete Quaife, original bassist for the Kinks, died yesterday in Denmark. He’d been in a coma for several days and had been battling health problems for years. I’d just been thinking about Pete the other day, searching on-line for tracks by his post-Kinks band Mapleoak and stumbling across this 1988 interview:

Pete left the band in 1969, seven or eight years before I discovered them, and so I never had the chance to see him play live. But his wonderful bass playing forms a distinctive part of so many early Kinks records: “Waterloo Sunset,” “Sunny Afternoon,” and of course “Dead End Street.”

This is our first loss of a member of the Kinks, and I don’t like it one bit. I hope we don’t have to do this again for many more years to come.

To make matters worse, I’ve just learned that Bob Meide, drummer for the Flamin’ Oh’s, passed away a few days ago. The Oh’s were probably my favorite local band in the Twin Cities in the early 1980s. They had a number of local hits and were monsters live, but never broke out nationally. I had the chance to interview them a couple of times and hang out with them at one or two shows. I remember one night in 1981 or 82 at Macalester College: after they finished playing a show on campus, I took them up to the broadcast studio of WMCN, the campus radio station, and we drank beer and played cool records for hours. Meide was a terrific drummer; as the obituary in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune notes, “He looked like Ringo Starr but played like Keith Moon of the Who.” RIP, Pete and Bob. Heaven has a new rhythm section, it seems.

(Update on 6/25/10: More tributes to Pete Quaife are coming on-line now, from Dave Davies, Facebook, Geoff Edgers (of the movie Do It Again), and Rolling Stone magazine.)

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