Peter Quaife of the Kinks on “The Ligher Side of Dialysis”

The bassist for the The Kinks was on kidney dialysis for 11 years?

Peter Quaife / The Kinks

I’ve worked for the National Kidney Foundation of Utah & Idaho for a long time.  So today I was clearing our shelves of dusty, outdated kidney patient support and services pamphlets (that are all now available online) when I ran into this little ditty.

How did I miss this?

I had worked for the Kidney Foundation of Utah for 7 years when Peter Quaife started dialysis treatments.  I’d worked here for 12 the year he ultimately passed away from kidney failure.  I’m kind of devastated.  I thought I knew all the famous people who were on dialysis or who’d had a kidney transplant (Gary Coleman, George Lopez, Selina Gomez, Nick Cannon, Tracy Morgan, Sarah Hyland).  But somehow I’d missed Peter Quaife, The Kink’s bassist. I can sing at least 7 of their top 10 songs by heart like every other kid who lived through the 1970’s.  I looked over all his sketches, and read each joke thinking about the artist, a former rock star, sitting on dialysis letting the difficulty of that, fuel his wicked humor.  The English are so much better at the ‘stiff upper lip’ and ‘self effacing’ humor than Americans to begin with.  But I found myself really admiring the spirit of rebellious observation in which he drew cartoons and jokes about some really awful realities of dialysis.  Dark humor is always the best humor in my book.  I think that’s what makes it so delicious.  I’m on the hunt now for Volume 2, which I guess I’ll have to find on abebooks.com if all else fails.  But I am sad that I missed this chapter.  I am a little younger than Mr. Quaife was when he went on dialysis.  No one wants to go on dialysis, or have their kidneys fail.  There are a lot of depressed people on dialysis trying to make the most out of life, and mourning the life they had ‘before’ dialysis.  I don’t know about you, but being a freaking rock star, like LEGIT British Invasion rock star, would be a hard thing to mourn the loss of.  I’m certain he’d settle way down by the time his kidneys were failing.  But wow.  He’d been bigger than life, toured the world –one of the hippest cats out of England.  And kidney failure still found him.

Famous People Do Their Best

We hardly even heard about George Lopez and Selena Gomez having kidney failure. They didn’t seem to miss a beat between kidney failure and kidney transplant. Unless you follow them on Instagram or something, who knew? Other kidney patients, that’s who.  But no famous person on dialysis, to my knowledge,  ever sat down to write a book (and really marinate) about how much dialysis sucks.  And then also make it funny. So today, 12 years too late I’m honoring the memory of Peter Quaife “He Really Got me Now.”  So I’m sharing my personal favorite sketches from The Lighter Side of Dialysis, Volume 1.  I’ll keep you updated when I find  Volume 2.

Salty joke

He’s making fun of medieval blood letting. But ironically, the enzyme in leeches is actually how dialysis works.

Bananas are not very ap-peeling.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.