Sunday, 15 July 2012

In Memoriam, Pete King, missed, never forgotten

Friend, brother, soulmate, kindred spirit... Pete was all these and much more. The song claims 'a good heart... is hard to find', yet the word 'good' serves insufficient justice to what an amazing person Pete was. Thoughtful, kind, generous, quick witted and humorous yet he was also one who knew his own mind, taking key decisions with confidence.

And PK (in After The Fire lingo) was, of course, a sublimely brilliant drummer. I can still recall a couple of shows where the rest of us turned round and watched in amazement as he completed a seemingly impossible fill that he'd already embarked upon!

Despite being such a strong and super fit individual it was to be cancer that was his undoing. Strangely, at an early ZipcodeS gig in 1983, when a close friend of ATF already in terminal decline from the same disease arrived in a wheelchair, PK confided in me that he foresaw himself landing up in the same state. Naturally, I dismissed it at the time, now that prophetic remark is a dark ghost in my memory bank.

He was the baby in After The Fire and we all looked out for PK as our younger brother. Yet with his stint depping in ELO and later as a full member of top flight German band BAP, he landed up becoming the most successful musician of us all.

Personally, I miss him dreadfully and I am well aware I am not alone. Conversations with close friends and family regularly land up remembering him. Furthermore BAP nobly braved the potential emotional black hole by recording their deeply personal tribute, as above.

When our post funeral posse stopped off for some sea air by Sheringham waterfront 25 years ago I felt this moment when Pete whizzed past nearby 'up there', just for a split second. And I had this overwhelming sensation that he longed for us to delight in his new incarnation rather than suffer the grief of our loss...



historyguy said...

A beautiful tribute, Peter, both the music and your words. A good friend's spirit stays with you, though you miss the person. We all pray to see him in that better place.

BanksyBoy said...

Cheers buddy!

nevell said...

I never realised he was a member of BAP - who are, of course common currency over here, but this is the 1st time I have listened to anything by them.
A heart-felt tribute from you. I guess I saw PK a couple of times - behind his kit...

BanksyBoy said...

Cheers Tim, PK was in BAP only between 86 and 87. He came back to England early 87 and we played one more gig as Zipcodes in Finsbury Park, right in the shadow of the Rainbow Theatre. There's more, but will wait for another moment!

All the best and thanks for looking, PB

Didi said...

I went to see ELO in concert feb 82 and left as an ATF fan, posessed by this incredible drummer Pete King who managed it to give 2 almost perfect concerts in one night. As a young drummer playing for only 2 years I studied the "King-rhythm-method" painstakingly. Don't know why, but I knew he was a very special man, allthough I never met him personally. I was so enthusiastic and came across the loss of ATF when my hero PK entered germanys greatest band at that time: BAP. In that year I travelled to several shows just to see the King. Since he passed away I never had a favourite drummer again. So my relationship to Pete King was only one-way, but for me it was extraordinarily important. He still visits me in my dreams from time to time. Thank you so much for your words 25 years on Mr.Banksy.

Peter Banks said...

Very many thanks Didi, good to see you on here too.

Yes, PK played some amazing shows on that tour with ELO, pleased to hear you attempted to carry on his gift!

All the best, PB

Peter Sears said...

Another anniversary Pete. I KNOW your spirit lives on. If you look around you might find my partners Dad who died 12 days ago of Cancer. Make him feel welcome, I KNOW you will. You were taken from us FAR too young but, I guess our loss his gain. God bless. We'll meet again I KNOW Pete and then it will be for eternity.
Peter Sears

Anonymous said...

It was really nice to come across this tribute Peter.
PK was in a band called The Rayders for a while, prior to joining After The Fire. His talent, humour and humble outlook made him a brilliant band member and a genuine friend to all.

Alan Barnes