One of the most enduring sibling rivalries of the past half-century is showing signs of a detente: The Kinks’ Ray Davies has confirmed conversations with his younger brother Dave that could reunite the long-running British Invasion band after decades of fraternal distance.
Creators of a handful of stone-cold rock classics in “All Day and All of the Night,” “You Really Got Me,” “Lola” and perfect albums “The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society” and “Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire),” the brothers Davies have been on-and-off for decades, and have quashed reunion rumors in recent years much like the way Dave claims Ray stomped on his birthday cake a few years ago during a party.
The brothers, who formed the band in 1963, have clashed for decades. They’ve fought onstage, traded barbs in the media, disbanded and reformed a few times. Dave, who suffered a stroke in 2004 but has recovered and can play the guitar, once said of his brother: “I think Ray has been happy for only three years in his life. And those were the three years before I was born.”
Then again, it’s not just a blood rivalry at work. The other piece of the puzzle, drummer Mick Avory (original bassist Pete Quaife died in 2010), has his own tattered history with his band mates. According to Ray, Avory once attacked Dave onstage in Cardiff, Wales, resulting in loss of consciousness and stitches -- and another layer to the band’s infernal dynamics.
But Ray recently confirmed to the Sunday Times that relations are warming, and that he and his brother are talking, emailing and even survived being in the same room together. He said that tentative conversations have begun.
“I met Dave only last week to talk about getting back together again,” he told the newspaper. “We’ve also spoken a few times on the phone and emailed.” Ray added that Dave had been writing new songs on his own, “but I’d really like to write with him again.”
On Sunday, Dave confirmed the meeting on his Facebook page, writing: “Ray & Dave Davies have started meeting about a potential The Kinks reunion, but we’re not there quite yet."
The last time the Davies brothers performed together was in 1996, after they embarked on a large-scale tour. That stint, though, isn’t a model for future gigs, Ray said. “We both agree we don’t want to do old stuff or tour with past hits. It’s got to be something new.”
During a recent public conversation, though, Ray said that a reunion of the two with Avory still required some healing. “My brother still has an issue with the drummer. If they resolve their issues, I might be there.”