Pete Quaife, one of the founding members of The Kinks and their bass player up until 1969, sadly passed away in 2010 after battling kidney failure and enduring kidney dialysis for more than ten years. Shortly after, his brother, Dave Quaife, decided to start The Pete Quaife Foundation in his memory. We asked Dave Quaife more about it.
‘We supply children on dialysis treatment the things they need and want to pass the time during treatments during their four hour, three times a week visit to the clinic. As everything must be sterile we give them iTablets, play stations, kindles, portable dvd players – anything they need that can be sterilized. We do not give money to the clinics – we give the children what they want – cuts out the administration costs. If all goes well with the foundation we would like to supply or lend home dialysis units – a great help for the children – holidays in sight.’
One of the first events organised by The Pete Quaife Foundation arranged for a blue plaque commemorating Pete’s life to be unveiled at Fortismere School (previously William Grimshaw Secondary Modern) - the school Pete attended and where The Kinks started life as The Ray Davies Quartet. The plaque was unveiled by Kinks members, Ray Davies and Mick Avory and a message from Dave Davies was read out by Dave Quaife.
This September The Pete Quaife Foundation will release a new CD to raise money. This 30 track CD features ‘donated’ tracks from bands such as Heavy Mod and The Electric Stars. Dave told us, ‘We also support live music and the bands that play. We decided to start a record label, PQFMusic and produce a double CD where each band does a cover of a Kinks number Pete played on, and one of their own numbers. This CD will be sent ‘around the world’ and hopefully some of the bands playing will be ‘picked up’ giving them the break they deserve.’
As you might expect, music is at the heart of The Pete Quaife Foundation. Dave says, ‘We have done a few gigs and decided to do a launch of the CD as a fund raiser to do it. We like the idea of helping those who help us – and a good way to have people donate, and to get something in return – enjoyment, something to remember.’
Pass It On, the new CD is set to be launched on the 21st September with a party in London. ‘The launch party will be a lot different than others before,’ Dave told us. ‘Top class food served, the best vinyl DJ around, friends from the days when Pete was in the Kinks, dancing of course and a few surprises too! We chose the timing of 2.00pm to 6.00pm on purpose - the 7 Dials is in the center of club land so the overseas visitors (and others!) can ‘do the town’ after – but as rumor has it their will probably be a jam following, just like it used to be!’
Tickets for the launch party are £26.00 and can be purchased from The Pete Quaife Foundation website - www.petequaifefoundation.com - where you can also pre-order the CD.
Another exciting project the foundation is involved in is the publication of Pete’s book, Veritas, the fictional story of The Elmores, a 1960s band, based largely on Pete’s experiences with The Kinks. Dave told us, ‘Pete started writing Veritas when we both lived in Denmark in 1982. It is about a band that existed before the Kinks and follows the lives of the band. It is a sort of parallel story of the Kinks and their milieu - the Mod scene, their lives and surroundings. It is a ‘must’ read for those who want to know how it was then, and to be a Mod!’
Being a Mod is definitely something Pete was an authority on. As pictured on the cover of the Pass It On CD, Pete was a scooter fan and his famous scooter ‘Flo’ is almost as much an icon as he was. Dave remembers, ‘Flo was Pete’s scooter and they both became Mod icons. He was the only real Mod musician who turned up at big gigs on his scooter; the rest driving in a limousine. We met Stuart McNeill at the Brighton weekender and he approached us asking about Flo. It transpired he had spent a good 12 years rebuilding her, down to the tax disc and specially made exhaust pipe. We were completely amazed when we saw Flo later that year – it looked like a clone, and sounded just the same. Flo is definitely the star of the show!’
2014 also has some big things in store for The Pete Quaife Foundation. Dave told us, ‘Master tapes have been found of music Pete co-wrote in Denmark – a few were chart hits. These are being re- recorded and will be released next March at a concert that will included three warm up bands, some ‘pop’ stars that knew and worked with Pete and a compare from those days too, a very 1960s affair!’ Look out for more information about that on The Pete Quaife Foundation’s website.
You can also follow the foundation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ThePeteQuaifeFoundation.
This article was originally published in Up&Atom, Issue 1.
All images © David Quaife, used by permission.