Ray Davies’ Reaction To The Kinks Being Banned From America
Having fights is one thing, but getting banned from a country for it is another. During the first tour of The Kinks in the summer of 1965, some things went south and led the band to be banned for years from the USA. After the incident, the lead singer Ray Davies had some words to say about the ban.
Why The Kinks Were Banned From America
It all started on stage. Dave Davies spat at the drummer Mick Avory, leading to a violent climax with a cymbal strike during a show in Wales. The incident led to both hospitalization and jail. The tour overall went bad since it featured poor ticket sales, which led to a shortened set in Reno and an immensely extended ‘You Really Got Me’ in Sacramento. Ray Davies dismissed claims as ‘character assassination,’ but insiders admitted some self-inflicted troubles.
During the Dick Cavett Show on August 2nd, Ray Davies recounted the incident in his autobiography:
“Some guy who said he worked for the TV company walked up and accused us of being late. Then he started making anti-British comments. Things like ‘Just because the Beatles did it, every mop-topped, spotty-faced limey juvenile thinks he can come over here and make a career for himself. You’re just a bunch of Commie wimps.'”
“When the Russians take over Britain, don’t expect us to come over and save you this time. The Kinks, huh? Well, once I file my report on you guys, you’ll never work in the U.S.A. again. You’re gonna find out just how powerful America is, you limey bastard!’ The rest is a blur. However, I do recall being pushed and swinging a punch and being punched back.”
The band was eventually banned from playing in America for four years by the American Federation of Musicians. The banning, in Davies’ words, took away the best years of the Kinks’ career.
Ray Davies’ Comments On The Kinks Getting Banned
Many years after the ban, the rocker sat down for an interview and reminisced about the incident that took their careers to another level. The rocker said of the effect the ban had on the band. Discussing the impact the ban had on the band, the rocker shared thoughts on how things might have unfolded differently had the ban never happened:
“It was a big pot of honey… An opportunity to take our careers further and we had that denied to us.”
He went on by explaining the ban in a few words:
“Bad luck, bad management, bad behaviour. It made me root myself more in Europe, the folk tradition in Britain.”
Things may have changed if the ban had not happened in the first place, but now we will never know.