Dave Davies once claimed that when his brother Ray stamped on his 50th birthday cake, it ended any chance of the Kinks reforming for ever. He has called his older brother toxic, and an arsehole. Ray snarled of his younger brother: “I don’t know what his problem is, apart from pride.” Dave said: “I don’t want to see the legacy of the Kinks soured by two miserable old men doing it for the money.” Ray said: “Some people say he’s a jumped-up upstart, but I say: take him as you find him.” The next move is obvious: reform the Kinks.
“I met Dave only last week to talk about getting back together again,” Ray told the Sunday Times. Even their meeting was historic: for years the brothers have communicated almost entirely by email.
The band, formed in 1964, released a string of some of the best-loved hits in British musical history, including Waterloo Sunset, Sunny Afternoon, Lola, Dead End Street and You Really Got Me, and last played together in 1996. Long before then their rows, reputedly including punchups in the back of the tour bus, were legendary. The arc of the band towards what appeared to be a crash landing in a dead end was recently traced in Sunny Day, a Hampstead Theatre musical now set for a West End transfer: Ray was involved with both script and the music, but Dave apparently saw and liked it.
Among the hurled insults, both brothers have recognised that their musical partnership produced something extraordinary. In an Observer interview in 2011, Ray said: “When we were together, it was aggressive, violent, powerful, but we triggered off each other. We don’t see each other much, but this morning I found two songs we recorded together at my house on my computer. It’s unforgettable, his sound.”
Fans will rejoice at the news that the sound may soon be heard again.