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Kevin Ayers. RIP.

Bugger! another good man gone.

I have at least 2 other posts going round in my head that I have been meaning to put up for you delectation, but I had to do this one when I heard the news.

So who was Kevin Ayers? I’m sure most of you will never have heard of him, but he was a founding member of Soft Machine, one of Britain’s first Psychedelic bands alongside Pink Floyd. The Floyd became world famous, Soft Machine didn’t. They went from being quirky avant-garde  with lots of vocals to being almost totally  instrumental  Jazz by 1970. Kevin had left by then and continued to plough his own idiosyncratic furrow. He could have been a contender, he knew and worked with all the right names, but ultimately he couldn’t be arsed. Preferring to live the life Libertarian/Libertine in Majorca, Ibiza and the South of France.

Your humble Music Correspondent saw the Floyd support Hendrix, when he was just 15 (me not Hendrix) and naturally checked out where this crazy weird music that was then mainly driven by Syd Barrett’s wacky songs was coming from, and he discovered Caravan and Soft Machine and later Gong and Hawkwind. So when Kevin Ayers Joy Of a Toy came out in 1969, I bought it and loved it. Here’s one of my favourites that set me on the road to Libertarianism, anarchy and self discovery without knowing it…

And for those of you familiar with Robert Wyatt’s singing and phrasing, um who do you think stole what from whom, considering they were in the same band?


  1. Tony says:

    Sad news. My favourite track:
    “Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes”

  2. RAB says:

    We appear to be on the same wavelength Tony. Great choice of track. Tongue in cheek homage to the Velvet Underground there do you think?

    And talking of which… Kevin shagged John Cale’s old lady. He always was in trouble with the ladies. Not getting them but knicking them from other folks who might have helped his career, not that he gave a toss about his career.

  3. lysistratatheoriginal says:

    Oh yes, I am so very sad about this. Stranger in Blue Suede Shoes….also Stars – I feel like a million dancing stars. Or something. Which Mr L sang to me in the heady days when we were just like, you know, edging round each other before we finally got together. *sigh*

    Ah yes. Kevin did indeed shag John Cale’s woman. Hence the song “The bugger in the short sleeves f*cked my wife”. Never one to mince words, that Mr. Cale. But my word, Kevin was a fine looking man even in his 60s.

    I did see Kevin live, maybe in 1998 or so, in The Duchess pub in Leeds. We all cried and stomped. A great night and great memories.

    RIP Mr. Ayers. “Thank you, very much.”

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