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Mick Avory


Michael Charles Avory (born February 15, 1944) was the drummer for The Kinks from their formation in 1963 to 1983. In 1962, before he joined The Kinks, he played drums for The Rolling Stones when they were first formed. He played their first show at The Marquee Club, but his tenure did not last long. He was replaced with their current drummer Charlie Watts.

Work with the band (1964-1984)

Avory was hired by the Kinks (who had just changed their name at that time from the Ravens) in January 1964, after their managment saw an advertisement he had placed in the trade magazine Melody Maker. Despite his ability, early Kinks' recordings (including hits such as You Really Got Me) commonly did not feature Avory on drums; producer Shel Talmy hired more seasoned session drummers (most notably Clem Cattini) for studio work well into 1965, with Avory commonly providing supporting percussion. After the summer of 1965, Mick played drums on virtually all Kinks recordings.

Avory was always considered the quiet and balancing person in the Kinks lineup, although he had a long-running turbulent working relationship with guitarist Dave Davies, which resulted in many legendary onstage fights. In the most notorious (and widely mis-reported) incident, in 1965, Avory hit Davies with his drum pedal (not the cymbal stand, which, according to later interviews with Avory "would have decapitated him"), in reprisal for Davies kicking over his drumkit, then fled into hiding for days to avoid arrest for assault. Other times, fuming, he hurled his drumsticks at Dave. Nevertheless, during 20 years of the band's history, Mick is the only bandmember who remained with the volatile Davies brothers.
Avory was with the Kinks for about twenty years and he performed on nearly all of the band's material. Particularly at his second decade of his tenure, performing with the Kinks, he had become a powerful, highly professional drummer. From more than 20 albums, many of them pop and rock masterpieces, only a four after his departure do not feature his performance, which is another proof for Mick's considerable skills and talent as well as his persona. Mick is cited as an influence by various modern rock drummers like Tré Cool of Green Day and Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam. His solid-standing performance is similar to that of Charlie Watts (both were jazz drummers before joining their respectable bands). Avory is praised for his steady and rhythmic style - playing behind the beat, supporting steadily, solidly and incessantly the songs, rather than going out in front.

Leaving and current work (1985-present)

By agreement with Ray Davies, he left performing and recording with the band in 1984, after his working relationship with Dave Davies had become unsustainable.

Ray explained the situation: The saddest day for me was when Mick left. Dave [Davies] and Mick just couldn't get along. There were terrible fights, and I got to the point where I couldn't cope with it any more. Push came to shove, and to avoid an argument I couldn't face....we were doing a track called "Good Day" and I couldn't face having Mick and Dave in the studio, so I did it with a drum machine. Dave said he wanted to replace Mick, and Mick had an important sound. Mick wasn't a great drummer, but he was a jazz drummer - same school, same era as Charlie Watts. I took Mick out, and we got very, very drunk. We were in Guildford, and after about five pints of this wonderful scrumpy, Mick said if any other band offered him a tour, he wouldn't take it, because he didn't want to tour. And I remember him getting the train back - because he was banned from driving; it was a very bad year for Mick - and he walked to the station and disappeared into the mist.

He has continued since 1984 in a management role with the Kinks and their Konk Studio in London. However he still performed on some tracks of their sophomore albums like Think Visual and Word of Mouth. After the band stopped working in 1996, he started playing with the Kast-Off Kinks with John Dalton, Dave Clark, and John Gosling. He is performing with them ever since. He had managed to patch his relationship with Dave, and now is friends with the Davies brothers, keeps in regular contact and continues to manage Konk studios. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 with the original bassist Pete Quaife and the Davies brothers.

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