‘Together we can find a way’: Kinks lineup featuring John Dalton, John Gosling and Mick Avory.

Why do the Davies brothers do this to Kinks fans?

Periodically, they raise our hopes, then stomp all over them in their vicious Cuban heels.

Ray and Dave Davies have reportedly been in talks about a possible reunion to mark The Kinks’ 50th anniversary. Hallelujah, we cry, but also cautiously elect not to hold our breath.

Just as they seem to be edging toward something like rapprochement, Dave will throw a spanner in the works and Ray will counter that with a wrench. And the 50/50 odds bandied about in the press start to look slimmer by the second.

For one minute Dave is behind the proposal, fanning its flames into a virtual bonfire of expectation, the next he’s pouring cold water all over it and stamping on the embers.

In a positive frame of mind, blossoming in a healthy new relationship with writer Rebecca Wilson, playing gigs on a quite regular basis on the US east coast, Dave reports of his meetings with Ray:

We talked about the old days and maybe doing something next year. I thought to myself, ‘Oh shit, maybe we could do something before we fall down dead.’


‘Yet we’d heard it all before’: one minute Dave’s all ears, the next he doesn’t want to hear it.

This is the first time I’ve known Dave even lend the possibility the least consideration. It seemed to take Ray by surprise too.

But, guess what, things quickly soured when they had their last cup of tea before Dave’s return stateside. Describing his sibling as ‘negative, grumpy and just mean’, Dave interpreted Ray’s changed mood as disapproval of his trip, saying ‘I feel like he was miserable because I’m happy. He’s a really troubled man.’ And went on to recall times when Ray was ‘fucking horrible’ to him in the past. Maybe so but now’s not the time to dredge all that up again.

Many of us believed that Dave’s new relationship would rejuvenate him and rebuild his confidence, along with the American tour. But his sensitivity to Ray’s (real or imagined) criticism sets him immediately back on the defensive.

The younger Davies also underlines the fact that he doesn’t want any other ex-Kinks to be involved. Why not?

Of original drummer Mick Avory, he states bluntly, ‘I hope we don’t bring him back’ before going on to claim:

I love him, but it’s water under the bridge. [1] We need new people. Sometimes when you’re with the same old people, you get the same old thing.

Um, it’s not a reunion if it’s just Ray and Dave and a bunch of other guys.[2] There are plenty of other ex-Kinks out there, still playing the material. Mick is an original member, for goodness sake.

We not only have the much maligned Mick, but his replacement Bob Henrit, John Dalton, John Gosling, Ian Gibbons, Jim Rodford, all fine musicians with a great track record of involvement in The Kinks.


‘We’re all tryin’ to get along’: Bernie Leadon had finally had enough.

And surely, the point about a reunion is that you do get the old people back together and at least play some of the same old thing?

The Eagles have understood this, even drafting in original member Bernie Leadon for their latest ‘farewell’ tour, History of the Eagles. Bernie had made his early departure after pouring a beer over Glenn Frey’s head (probably long overdue if you ask me). Randy Meisner was invited too. Okay, Don Felder has yet to make a reappearance this time around. But he was included in the 1994 Hell Freezes Over tour.

The Davies brothers would also look to be at odds regarding new material. Ray is insisting that any reunion should involve new music: ‘As long as there’s something new to go forward with rather than stay in the past, I’m interested.’ But on the subject of making an album together, Dave demurs: ‘I can’t face the concept of days and days in the studio with Ray. I just can’t do it.’ Surely some compromise can be reached?

Ray has taken a gracious path and declined to retaliate, saying Dave’s

a great player. Whenever I write a song, I think of how it could be improved by having him on it, and what his power chords would bring to it. […] I don’t know what next year will bring. Let’s see if he’s polite to me the next time we meet.

Mmm, maybe it would take more than hell freezing over to reunite this amazing band. The brothers are so diametrically opposed to each other that it’s like they’re in different planetary orbits.

mick and ray

‘You’re a lot like me, that’s why I’m still your friend’: friendship that lasted the course.

A year or so back, any kind of reunion appeared to be out of the question, a remote possibility, a distant dream, with Dave dismissing it out of hand while Ray has always been more open to the idea, once admitting:

I’m still ­waiting hopefully for the phone call to go back on the road and tour with The Kinks. I tour now, I’ve got a good band who I’ve been with for a few years. But I still carry The Kinks in my mind and Mick Avory is a very good friend of mine. I never say never because suddenly these things will happen.

Sadly, before original bassist Pete Quaife died, The Kinks had been planning to record together again. He’d said:

Ray, Dave, Mick and I are going into Konk Studios this fall. We’re doing a CD of new material. Just the four of us. Just like old times. There’ll be a fight. I can almost guarantee it.

I think the lyrics of the song ‘Hatred’ probably reflect the real current situation as much as any press report.

You and me accept reality
There’s no way we can agree
The world can’t make us alter this position
At least you and I know where we stand
We can’t be friends, walk hand in hand
My hostility for you defies description

Hate’s the only thing we have in common
There’s no escape, we’ll always be this way
So we might as well just learn to live together
‘Cause we’re gonna be this way till our dying day

If you keep on putting me down
Rub my name into the ground
I’ll drag the dirt all over town about you

The reunion didn’t come up at the Purcell Room on the South Bank, where we witnessed Ray in rather awkward conversation with John Wilson, pretty close to Waterloo Bridge and not that long after sunset. Maybe Ray wasn’t that comfortable because on the wrong side of the river but I have the feeling the whole promotional aspect of the situation rendered him a bit sheepish.

Publicising Americana, his latest book, which delves into his relationship with the US and its denizens, necessitates events like this and book signings galore (the queue afterwards was pretty lengthy but very ordered and patient) but I wouldn’t think it’s Ray’s favourite activity.

I attended this rather than a normal book signing because I hoped to hear the promised excerpts from the text. But we only got one, an extremely short one at that, so I was left unresolved as to whether to buy a copy or not.[3]

you really shot me

‘Don’t wanna get myself shot down’: Ray ended up getting shot down as a 21st century man.

Along with an interview, we were also treated to a homemade video of some of Ray’s US travels as a solo performer, starting with a 2000 tour beset with transport problems after September 11th and covering his time in New Orleans before and after being shot.[4]

He also touched on the band’s six-year ban from the US, quoting Mick Avory’s pithy rationalisation as to its probable causes , ‘a combination of bad management, bad luck and bad behaviour’.

Ray also responded to some questions from the spectators, who were invited to scribble these out in advance for submission.

Returning to the question of a reunion, though, I guess I can forgive Dave his misgivings. Whereas Ray has maintained friendly relations with his old bandmates, Dave has been somewhat isolated and estranged. No doubt he expects that, if disagreements arise, the others’ loyalty will lie with Ray, which has led to friction in the past.

Testing the barometer of other fans in attendance, it would seem that few hold out any hope that The Kinks will ever reform.

But let’s leave the last words to Dave:

I really do want to do something with Ray before we both decay and decompose. I said to Ray last week, ‘We don’t have much time left.’

Some quotes from Rolling Stone, NME, Uncut and the Daily Star.

For all things Kink on bashful blog so far see https://bashfulbadgersblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/everything-kink-on-bashful-blogs/.

[1] ‘Water under the bridge’ generally equates to letting bygones be bygones.

[2] Though both have been playing regularly with the accomplished backing of other bands like The Jigsaw Seen , Bill Shanley and The 88.

[3] It was on sale for the jacket price of £18.99. It was £15.19 with free delivery from the Waterstones site, £12.72 on Amazon. The cheapskate in me won out and I didn’t make the purchase.

[4] Dave is currently soliciting crowd funding for a similar film project, The Rock’n’Roll Journey, documenting his own experiences on the road. For details see http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dave-davies-rock-n-roll-journey-film.


9 responses »

  1. Nobodys Fool says:

    I told Ray he has Rocks in head if he decides to go through and do a KinKs reunion…if Dave really wanted a reunion he should be kissing Ray’s ass not kicking it in the press, especially since Ray does not need a KinKs reunion for financial reasons but Dave does as he has admitted himself that his finances are not so good! …I am so pissed off at Dave you have no idea for a few reasons, some personal and some to do with the way he trashes Ray. Just the other day Dave made a sarcastic remark referring to Ray as ” Mr Big “, in way he’s right Ray is the bigger of the two of them in public arguments and disagreements, and Dave is the smaller of the two and this has nothing to do with their talent or success only to do with the way they handle themselves in public

    • Nobodys Fool says:

      and for Dave to portray himself as such a spiritual and forgiving person??? let’s put it this way his actions what he claims to profess do not go hand in hand and he comes off bitter, jealous, and a hypocrite..

    • Thanks, Nobodys Fool. I think Ray is handling himself well. He did cast a slight aspersion Dave’s way but I’m impressed that he hasn’t been goaded into more of a retaliation, considering the provocation.

  2. JOe Jordan says:

    I can understand years ago these 2 brothers in a Rock n Roll Band that is LEGEND fighting and arguing with one another as well as other band members, that is the nature of the business. Years have gone by since the KINKS performed Live. In between Ray was shot and Dave suffered a stroke. Both got a second chance at life. It is time to give us fans a second chance by resolving their differences and embracing one another no matter how hard that may be. One more tour with this AWESOME band from London England would cap off a 50 year of some of the most influential music of our time. There are KINK fans out there who are 10 years old and those who are 80+ years old. I hope they can get together to make this happen because they the KINKS DESERVE IT just as much as their fans.

    From Joe J (Philadelphia, PA) WAY-O!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks, Joe. I came to the band way late and never got to see them play. I’ve seen Ray and Dave solo, with other bands and the Kast Off Kinks a number of times. But I would love to see the whole lot together. Many fans dream of this. But others think it’s a crazy idea …

  3. Marie says:

    Thanks, Bashfulbadger, for your very interesting and well-written post which says it all in a nutshell. I have the uncomfortable feeling that Dave is playing the martyr, whilst shamelessly portraying Ray as the baddie. While my sympathies have been with Dave in the past, I am starting to wonder whether he is really such a ‘loving’ person as he professes to be. To start with, I am flabbergasted at the speed with which he appears to have cast off his long-term partner who must have played a major role in his recovery from illness. And let’s face it, Ray maybe took the lion’s share of the earnings from the Kinks, but he was the one who did the lion’s share of the work by all accounts (and not just the songwriting but the nitty gritty everyday boring stuff too). Ray has behaved in a very dignified way in response to Dave’s recent comments in the press and I can’t see him backing down over the Mick Avory issue. I don’t blame him; how can you have a reunion without one of the longest-serving members of the band? It makes nonsense of the whole thing. The fans won’t want a reunion without Mick and the others. However, like you, I live in hopes of seeing the band play (for the first time), but there are incompatibilities … . However, it would be enough for me just to know that the brothers were reconciled. Life’s too short for endless bickering and let’s be frank, it may be a source of entertainment in young men but it’s unbecoming in older ones. Just have a cuppa tea, Ray and Dave, (let’s not be too ambitious).

    • Thanks, Marie. I have to agree with you about most of that. Dave as a young man was quick to fly off the handle but one would have thought he’d have mellowed a little with age and not be so ready to throw his toys out of the pram. I think that you’re right, too. If they can get along just as brothers, perhaps that’s the main thing. If throwing all the stresses of a band recording and touring together is going to put too much of a strain on the relationship, maybe they are just best to forget it.

  4. Well.. being a Kinks fan for literally as long as I can remember (54yrs old) I feel the need to put in my two cents. The reasons for any sibling feud are usually deep & personal so there’s that, most family feuds get resolved eventually or not but it doesn’t really matter except within the brood, but this feud matters to lots &lots of people everywhere.
    These gentleman have persevered through the seedy sex, drugs rock & roll world of the music business and through near tragedy for both of them, they have stayed true to their vision and dedicated their lives to their art. They have not succumbed to mediocrity or irrelevancy like most of their contemporaries. They have nothing to prove to anyone. So…. maybe through some konvoluted kosmic karmic konfiguration maybe they will see fit to leave the past where it belongs and grace us once again with their wonderful talent. Come on Kinks…………(


    • Thanks for comment, hopefullhillbilli. Yes, perhaps it’s selfish of us but I’d love to see it happen too. But I know there are other fans who think it could be disastrous. I don’t see a lot of my brother and his family – we tend to argue whenever we do meet so that I dread it whenever they visit. But we still try to put our differences aside and maintain some kind of contact and relationship.

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