Kinks Reunion Saga: You Really Got Me

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Mick Avory, the longtime drummer and percussionist for The Kinks says that he doesn’t expect the band to reunite for a tour. In an interview with in late March 2023, Avory, 79, said, “I don’t think it’s possible now,” adding, cryptically, “health-wise.” He went on to say, “I don’t think we could ever work it out because Dave [Davies] wanted to do it one way, and Ray [Davies] wanted to do it the other – which was quite normal thinking for them. But I always turn to Ray because he did consider the whole thing – he didn’t just consider, ‘This is what I want to do.’ He used to consider, ‘What’s the best thing to do?’ That’s why I always listened to Ray.” Regrettably, the interview—timed to promote the first release of the British Invasion band’s 60th anniversary, a new anthology called The Journey Part 1—didn’t address any potential new recordings.

Eight months’ earlier, in a July 26, 2022, interview, Dave Davies said that Kinks fans shouldn’t give up on the long-discussed talk of the band reuniting. In his discussion with The Independent to promote his memoir, Living On a Thin Line, he told the newspaper he and his brother, Ray Davies, “have spoken about it – it’s possible.”

The brothers, who have never been shy about using the press to send messages to each other, are said to be getting along in recent years. “We get on okay,” Dave Davies told the paper. “We talk about football! We’re born-and-bred Arsenal fans… So, yeah, I’m optimistic about the future.”

The Kinks continue to issue expanded 50th anniversary editions of their late ’60s and early ’70s output. In 2022, that meant their reissues of Muswell Hillbillies and Everybody’s in Show-Biz, from BMG. Two years’ earlier, they expanded their 1970 Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One concept album. In 2018, they released a deluxe edition of The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.

In a March 2021 interview with Matt Friedlander of ABC Audio, brother Dave talked about a new collaboration that has been discussed for several years and offered an explanation for the delay. “It’s still around, but it’s always something. You know, it’s kind of like when you get in front of your desk, you work on the things you’re working on in the moment or in front of you, and then that piece of paper leads to the next piece of paper and the next project.”

He understands that Kinks fans might be tired of waiting. “Luckily, there’s a lot of work we can do and demo. And then Ray’s all the time buzzing around… [He’s] got ideas, old and new and in-between.”

Ray Davies turns 79 on June 21. Younger brother Dave turned 76 on Feb. 3.

In November 2020, the band premiered an animated video of “Lola” for the Lola Versus Powerman collection. The classic rock song tells the story of a romantic encounter between a young man and a possible trans-gender person whom he meets in a club in Soho, London.

As far back as August 15, 2018, Ray Davies told a BBC Radio 2 interview that he covets new music with the band’s surviving members.

That followed his comments in mid-July of that year when – more than two weeks after stunning the rock world with his announcement that The Kinks would reunite in some as-yet-undetermined fashion – Davies elaborated in an interview with SiriusXM’s Mark Goodman and Alan Light, which was quoted extensively in Variety. “If I can get Dave and Mick in the same room — I’ve spoken with them independently and they’re both on board spiritually, but whether they can handle it, I don’t know,” Davies said, referring to his brother, guitarist Dave Davies, and drummer Mick Avory. “I’ve got all these great songs — I think they’re great — that need to be aired. There’s something about the chemistry of the Kinks. If I can get them on the right day, we can produce it. It will be down to the music — if we can make four or five tracks that we really feel are energized and in keeping with what we can do, I’ll consider it.”

The Variety article further quoted Ray Davies as telling the BBC in June 2018, “Individually they’re both up for it. There’s a whole reservoir of songs we half-did in the ‘70s and ‘80s, so there’s material there — we wouldn’t just go out and play the hits…The trouble is, the two remaining members, my brother Dave and Mick, never got along very well. But I’ve made that work in the studio and it’s fired me up to make them play harder, and with fire. So if I can recapture those moments…”

In the August 2018 interview on the “Chris Evans Breakfast Show” on BBC Radio 2 to plug a 50th anniversary edition of the Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society, Davies was asked for an update. “They haven’t been in the same room since 2005,” he said, referring to his brother and Avory. “So, first we need them to get into a room together. We [need] the United Nations.” [laughs]

Evans wondered if things have progressed at all. “Well, if I can get them to talk, that would be great. The most important thing is if we can make new music. If the music’s good, anything can happen.”

Evans asked: “Can I take it as a ‘yes’ from you?” “It’s always been a yes from me,” said Davies, “because they’ve always been great players. Anyone listening to Village Green will see it’s a special band and they should make more music.”

“I’m talking to them both separately and they’re both up for it,” Davies continued. “It’s chemistry.” Listen to the complete interview here.

On August 17, 2018, Dave Davies tweeted a reply refuting an article in the Telegraph

The talk of a Kinks reunion initiated from a TV interview that aired in the U.K. on June 25, 2018, when Ray Davies revealed that, after decades apart, The Kinks were in the early stage of a reunion.

“We’re making a new Kinks album,” Davies said with a smile to Channel 4’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy, “inspired by the Rolling Stones.” The interviewer, who had expected to be discussing Davies’ new solo album, asks incredulously, “Are you really? Or are you pulling my leg?”

Davies replied, “I’ve got these songs that I wrote for the band when we parted company. It seemed like an appropriate time to do it.”

“Are the Kinks getting back together?” Davies is asked. “Officially, we are. Yes, in the pub later on,” was the reply. “It won’t be well-organized like the Rolling Stones. I must praise the Rolling Stones for being great at publicity and a great band, great at organizing their careers. Mick’s done an incredible PR job. It’s kind of inspiring to see them doing it.

“The Kinks will probably play in the local bar.”

The Kinks in 1969 (l. to r.): Mick Avory, John Dalton, Dave Davies, Ray Davies (from the band’s website)

Guru-Murthy asked Davies, “Which of the Kinks will get back together?” Again, with a smile, Davies said, “Those that are still alive.” 1968’s The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society was the last album that the original lineup made before their bass player, Pete Quaife, departed. (Quaife died in 2010; “It’s kind of a tribute to him.”)

In Best Classic Bands story, Will the Kinks Ever Reunite?, writer Jim Sullivan relates various discussions that he’s had over the years with both Ray Davies and his brother Dave Davies. They remain on the short list of bands that classic rock fans are eager to see return to the stage.

Davies noted that the two remaining members, Dave and drummer Mick Avory, “never got along very well, but I made that work in the studio… so if we can recapture those moments. I’ve got some great Kinks tunes in my head.”

Davies acknowledged that the three have yet to have a meeting together. “Separately. I haven’t brought them together in the same room yet but we’re working on it.”

Watch Ray Davies’ full interview below.

On June 26, Dave Davies weighed-in on the subject: “Me and Ray have spoken about the possibility of us working on a new album. Ray has a few songs he wants to finish. I have 3 or 4 songs I’ve written with Ray. We’ve been talking about it for some time now. We haven’t discussed shows or anything else at the moment.”

Dave toured the U.S. in spring 2018 and released an album later that year, produced by his son, Simon, titled Decade. “It’s an [album] of unreleased material from the ’70s, hence we’re gonna call it Decade, being the decade of the ’70s,” he told ABC Radio in March 2018.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

In 2015, Dave Davies said that he’d kept in touch with Mick Avory via email but had yet to meet with the drummer in person. Asked specifically about Dave, Ray said, “My brother is much brighter than I am. I’m a lost soul.” Dave returned the compliment, telling Rolling Stone, “Look, my brother is very intelligent. He’s a good writer.”

At Christmastime in 2015, Ray Davies surprised a London audience at a Dave Davies concert when he walked onstage, spoke a few words to the audience and joined the band for a performance of “You Really Got Me,” the Kinks’ first hit from 1964.

Watch that 2015 one-song reunion: Ray and Dave Davies performing “You Really Got Me”

In the ensuing years, the Kinks earned over a dozen Top 10 hits in the U.K. In the mid-’60s, they were one of the early British Invasion bands to score big with U.S. audiences on such “Kinks Klassics” as “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of the Night,” “Tired of Waiting For You,” “A Well-Respected Man” and “Sunny Afternoon.”

Dave Davies and Ray Davies, August 15, 2021, via The Kinks’ Facebook page

In 1970, with a revised lineup, they had another smash with “Lola.” The Kinks last performed together in 1996. They never broke up officially, and reunion rumors have popped up through the years yo no avail, but the new announcement is the first that appears to have some validity to it.

You Really Got Me, a Julien Temple-directed biopic about the Kinks, was slated to begin filming in 2016 and then again in 2020 although no announcement has been made recently as to the state of that project.

Also in 2018, Ray released a studio album, Our Country: Americana Act II, a follow-up to his 2017 album and 2013 memoir, Americana.

Watch Davies’ complete June 25, 2018 interview with the U.K.’s Channel 4

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8 Comments so far

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  1. Rob
    #1 Rob 27 June, 2018, 09:33

    I fondly recall my first Kink’s show in NYC’s Central Park (one of the Schaffer Music Festival shows). They were powerful and fun. Enjoyed by everyone! I hope to hear that magic again.

    Reply this comment
  2. Da Mick
    #2 Da Mick 18 August, 2018, 14:12

    Like everyone else, I would love to see this happen, though Dave is not the same singer or player that he once was. But there’s something cagey and seemingly false about Ray’s interviews, concerning the Kinks’ reunion. First of all his portrayal that the problem is Dave and Mick is hilarious, as it’s common knowledge that it was he and Dave who fought the entire career of the band. I can remember that it was Dave who no longer wanted anything to do with Ray. Odd how he never mentions that in his talk of reunion obstacles.

    Reply this comment
  3. Spenny
    #3 Spenny 23 March, 2021, 19:34

    Anyone who has been to the Kinks fan club gigs with the Kast Off Kinks will know that Ray’s health is not great, so concerts and tours are highly unlikely and his abilities are limited to his heyday. He does get energised by the crowd though.

    Hopefully, he can get his ideas out into the wild with Dave.

    Reply this comment
  4. dennybop
    #4 dennybop 24 March, 2021, 04:00

    Ray Davies says “The Kinks will probably play in the local bar.” Wouldn’t that be grand?

    Reply this comment
  5. EJG
    #5 EJG 24 March, 2021, 09:14

    I love the KInks long time but will not hold my breath for any of this

    Reply this comment
  6. Frost
    #6 Frost 19 February, 2023, 17:25

    I’ll believe it when I see it. Eventually one of them will pass away and it will be too late.

    Reply this comment
    • Peachykeen
      Peachykeen 7 April, 2023, 01:16

      That’s the really sad -but all too real -bits and pieces we are all subject to, whereas their brilliant music can put us into a state of eternity and time-less-ness.

      Reply this comment
  7. Bob D
    #7 Bob D 7 April, 2023, 01:20

    Such a busy bunch of guys who are’nt producing anything , so what are they all so busy at ? Ray never said they will play a bunch of bars as one reader said above , he said theyd probably reunite IN A bar . Im pretty sure no music was implyed . The Kinks time has passed – decades ago . It really doesnt strike you as odd that the only time they talk about this is when they ( Ray ) have something to sell ??? My first real record was ADAAOTN when i was 9 years old . I first saw The Kinks 1971 at the Schafer Festival in NYC and dozens of times afterwards . I cant think of anything less exciting than 80 year old Kinks on a stage . Let it go . They have .

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