Pete King, bassist for Rik Reese & Neon Highway Tragically killed in Collision in New Brunswick

Pete King

By Sandy Graham

Rik Reese & Neon Highway is deeply saddened to inform the public and their fans of the loss of their bassist and good friend, Pete King in a motorcycle collision.

Labeling themselves as ‘Canada’s Untamed Country Rock Show’, Rik Reese & Neon Highway have been labeled the ‘KISS’ of Country Music. With  two nominations for the critically acclaimed album, Mama Raised a Good Boy 2010 Music New Brunswick Nominee: Group Recording of the Year 2010 Music New Brunswick Nominee: Country Recording of the Year (Awards to be announced Oct 9, 2010) Rik Reese & Neon Highway won for top Canadian video in response to a North American wide contest sponsored by Sennheiser. The contest called for entries to demonstrate their appreciation of quality sound and products and how they would allocate the winnings. After much deliberation, video submission by Rik Reese & NH was chosen as the top Canadian submission and second overall for North America. Rik Reese & Neon Highway continue to receive rave reviews from audience, media, and industry alike.

When Rik Reese & Neon Highway took the main stage Sunday afternoon at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival, bass player Pete King turned and faced his bandmates as they performed for the crowd. "He was fist-pumping," says lead singer Rik Reese. "It was a very, very cool show and it was a good feeling."

The Moncton country rock band was one of many performing at the four-day festival, including big names like Trace Adkins, Ricky Skaggs, Johnny Reid, Tanya Tucker, George Canyon, Brad Paisley, and Toby Keith, who performed Sunday night. Reese says it was a big show for Neon Highway and while posing for photos with fans after the performance, it was clear King was enjoying himself. Reese says the bass player even took off his trademark leather cowboy hat and swapped it with a fan wearing a straw Corona cowboy hat for a photo-op."I think that was the first time I've seen him without that hat," says Reese, who's been bandmates with King since 2003, shortly after Neon Highway's inception.

Tragically, the euphoria of Sunday's concert was short-lived for Reese, drummer Ben Melanson and guitarist Kris Richards. They awoke to hear the terrible news that King was killed early Monday morning when his motorcycle crashed into a moose on Route 11, just north of the Sheridan Road exit near Bouctouche, New Brunswick shortly before 3:00 a.m. Peter Jesse King was from Indian Island, N.B. and died at the scene as a result of injuries he sustained in the crash. King didn't have any children, but leaves behind a long-time girlfriend. Pete King was 48 years old. At this time no funeral plans are available.

The band is in mourning but would like to say, “"You rocked that Cavendish Big Stage with us buddy and will be truly missed by band mates, family, friends, and the east coast music scene.