THE DRUMMER in one of the most popular and influential British bands ever says he is dubious whether a rumoured reunion will ever happen, as he prepares to embark on a tour with other former members.
Mick Avory was a founding member of The Kinks, who exploded onto the music scene in 1964 with number one hit You Really Got Me, widely cited as a trendsetter for punk and heavy metal.
Mick enjoyed 20 years at the top with Ray and Dave Davies and bassist Pete Quaife, sitting behind the kit on classics including Waterloo Sunset and Sunny Afternoon, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
The drummer weathered a stormy relationship with guitarist Dave, with Mick famously knocking him unconscious with his drum pedal on stage after a blazing row.
After their relationship broke down completely, Mick left the band in 1984 and went on to form the Kast Off Kinks, a tribute band with a difference.
The 69-year-old now tours with other former members of the band, who had a turnover of musicians in their 20-year career, and what started as a few gigs at Kinks fans conventions soon blossomed into a viable career.
And as the veteran rockers prepare for a UK tour, which comes to Maidenhead next week, Mick says he still gets a thrill from playing the songs that made him famous.
He said: "The great thing is there’s such a variety of repertoire to pick from, the Kinks lifespan was over 20 years, and a lot of the stuff we perform the Kinks never did live so it gives a different angle on it.
"Often the same people keep coming back but’s it great to win over new fans. We did a gig before Christmas with loads of youngsters and a DJ and we thought we wouldn’t go down very well but in the end they were all up dancing. "I think the appeal of the songs must be timeless and a lot of people have heard the songs and know them, but didn’t know it was the Kinks originally."
With the 50th anniversary of You Really Got Me’s chart-topping success arriving this year, there are calls for Ray, Dave and Mick to get together and mark the occasion.
But with bassist Pete sadly passing away in 2010, is there hope that Mick and the younger Davies brother can bury the hatchet for one of the hottest reunions in pop history?
"I don’t talk to Dave, apart from the occasional email," said Mick. "We’ve been trying to get this 50th year together but it’s pretty difficult.
"Ray wants to do it and so does Dave, but only with his terms and conditions. It won’t be a proper reunion on his terms there’s no point unless we do it properly. "It’s worth doing definitely, but we’ve got to do it the right spirit, without too much spitting at each other, we’re too old for that!"
Mick will be joined by ex-Kinks members Ian Gibbons and John Dalton, as well as Dave Clarke, who played with the Beach Boys and the Noel Redding Band.
The Kast Off Kinks come to Maidenhead’s Norden Farm Arts Centre on Friday, January 31 at 8pm. Tickets cost £16 (£14 concessions) and are available from the Box Office on 01628 788997.
To read more leisure stories including what's on, gigs listings and food reviews click here.