Long-suffering Kinks fans were given yet another jolt of hope earlier this week Dave Davies told Rolling Stone that the he’s been recording music with his brother Ray along with original Kinks drummer Mick Avory. “The songs are really just in demo form now,” says Dave. “But good demos. Ray is still dissecting various other material we might use. The intention is to get the work out, but it’s not a done deal.”
The group has been completely inactive since they quietly broke up in 1996 a couple of years after their last album, To The Bone. In the summer of 2004 — just months after Ray was shot by a mugger in New Orleans — Dave suffered a stroke. The brothers were largely estranged by that point, but the medical crisis briefly brought them together. “I know this sounds a bit mean,” Davies told Rolling Stone in 2013. “But I think he secretly enjoyed seeing me completely incapacitated.”
In that same interview, Dave compared Ray to the evil Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. “He’s [actually] much worse,” the guitarist said. “But I have to thank him, because if he wasn’t so fucking horrible to me, I wouldn’t have understood more about life. When he was a real cunt to me all those years ago I took up astrology so I could understand why people behave like that … It’s like that old cliché — you can choose your friends but you’re stuck with your family. I think we were thrown together to try and teach each other something, and hopefully help some people that listen to us.”
Despite all this, the brothers have been teasing a reunion for years. One major sticking, point however, has been the participation of original drummer Mick Avory. “I hope we don’t bring him back,” Dave said in 2013. “I love him, but it’s water under the bridge. We need new people.”
Ray is close to Avory and has always insisted that he be a part of any new Kinks project. “I had a drink with Mick last week, and I asked, ‘What happened to you guys?’” Ray told Rolling Stone in 2014. “They shared a house in the 1960s. I think some things went on there that created a rivalry. It’s like a bad Harold Pinter play.”
Throughout that whole time, Ray and Dave toured in separate camps, both playing sets very heavy on Kinks classics. The only time they came together for even a single song was December 18th, 2015 at London’s Islington Assembly Hall. It was a Dave Davies show and at the end he shocked the audience by bringing out Ray for “You Really Got Me.” Check out video of the big moment right here.
Hopes were high that it would lead to a new album or tour, but it’s nearly four years later and we’re still waiting. Ray hasn’t gone on any sort of tour in the past four years and now that both brothers are in their mid-70s, it’s possible they’ve simply waited too long. (Hey Gallagher brothers, let this be a cautionary tale. You don’t have forever.) But the mere fact that Ray, Dave and Mick Avory are able to sit down together and record anything should give fans at least a small degree of hope that the last chapter of the Kinks sage hasn’t been written.