reporting : First off, Dave Davies wants to spell something out. There will not be reunion of The Kinks. Not now. Not in the future. Never. ‘I think the music is so beautiful it shouldn’t be tainted,’ he says. ‘It would be a shame. You don’t need to see silly old men in wheelchairs singing You Really Got Me.’
The problem is that there’s another ‘silly old man’ — fellow Kink and Dave’s older brother Ray — who thinks otherwise. Just a few weeks ago, he insisted Dave was ‘coming round’ to the idea of a reunion.
Dave sighs. ‘Ray’s an asshole,’ he says .
You see, Ray and Dave - the brothers behind one of the biggest rock bands of the Sixties, whose hits include Waterloo Sunset - don’t exactly see eye to eye.
In fact, they never have. Their volatile relationship, littered with violent bust-ups, is one of the longest running feuds in rock ’n’ roll. And while this creative tension was responsible for much of The Kinks’ success, it has also driven both brothers half-crazy.
Dave sought escape in drugs and more recently in spirituality. And Ray attempted suicide (he was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression).
Ray is now 66 and Dave 63, so isn’t it time to, well, let bygones be bygones? It seems not. They communicate - when they have to on business matters - by email and rarely see one another.
This week, when asked how his brother was, Ray replied: ‘Don’t know, don’t talk to him. Dave’s a very proud man. I don’t know what his problem is apart from pride.’
For his part, Dave can’t remember if it’s two or three years since he last saw his brother.
‘You’ve heard of vampires,’ says Dave. ‘Well, Ray sucks me dry of ideas, emotions and creativity. It’s toxic for me to be with him. He’s a control freak.
‘I hate to say it, but it’s got worse since he met the Queen [Ray received a CBE in 2004]. In his mind, it’s given him more validity, more “I’m better than you”, more “I’m superior”. With him, it’s “me, me, me”. He thinks he is The Kinks.
‘When I think of all the beautiful music we made, it wouldn’t have been the same if I or Pete Quaife hadn’t been there.’
Quaife is the reason for the brothers’ latest bust-up. Ray wanted Dave to perform at a memorial for The Kinks’ bass guitarist, who died in June, insisting: ‘Even the Mafia get together and make up when someone dies. If only for the funeral.’
But Dave refused. ‘Ray wanting me to come back into the fold is to make him look good. He had an album coming out,’ he says.
‘He’s cancelled the memorial, which again will be my fault. But after Pete died, I had my own private service for him on my website. I asked Elizabeth, Pete’s girlfriend, and his brother David to join me in sending Pete our love and they were happy to.
‘I wrote a few prayers and made my peace with Pete. I wasn’t going to get involved in using Pete as a PR exercise to bolster Ray’s vanity.’
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