When Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones first got together in a London club in 1962 to form the seeds of the Rolling Stones, Mick Avory was their drummer.
Jagger and company's first gig as the Rolling Stones, at the Marquee Club, marked the beginning of Avory's tenure with the soon-to-be-giant band. It was not a long one, however, as the Stones didn't feel Avory was up to the task. Around the same time, art school student Ray Davies joined his brother Dave's band, the Ravens. Switching his career interest to music, Ray took over the band, which he renamed the Kinks. The Davies brothers completed their lineup with bassist Pete Quaife - and Mick Avory on drums.
Avory was born 1944 in London. The Kinks released one of the signature songs of the British Invasion, "You Really Got Me", which topped the U.K. charts and hit #7 in the U.S. in 1964. Its pounding drums and slashing guitar chords were to have a profound influence on the development of '70s hard rock and heavy metal.
That cut and others notwithstanding, Ray Davies composed ballads about British middle class life; those works, "Well Respected Man" among them, also formed part of the band's identity.
The Kinks made the U.S. top 10 again with "All Day and All of The Night" and "Tired of Waiting" in 1965, before settling into a decade of modest success in that country. But the band's output of this period during which Quaife quit the band - was noteworthy for its detailed depiction of those English customs against which the Stones and other groups railed. The Kinks began issuing concept LPs, such as 1969's The Village Green Preservation Society, and made one of the first rock operas, Arthur, or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire.
Avory remained with the Davies brothers through these quiet years. The Kinks broke out of their commercial slump in the U.S. in 1978 with "A Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy" from 1978's Misfits. The next year's Low Budget became the band's first gold record in a long time with the minor hit "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman."
The Kinks began a period of filling arenas in America as such new bands as Van Halen and the Pretenders covered their old hits. Around this time, the Kinks had hits with a live version of one of their older songs, "Lola," as well as such new records as "Better Things" and "Come Dancing." They also enjoyed success on Album-Oriented Rock radio stations (now categorized as Classic Rock stations) with tracks such as "Destroyer."
Avory parted ways with the Kinks in the mid-'80s. He went behind the scenes with the band when he stopped performing, and works in a business role to this day at the Kinks' Konk Studios. He also plays in a jazz band.