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Kinks’ Lead Guitarist Dave Davies: "I Still Like Coming to Washington"

The rock 'n' roll star will perform some Kinks-era classics at Howard Theatre on October 20.

It was in DC that Davies, the Kinks’ lead guitarist, had one of many onstage fights in the band’s tumultuous history. The setting: DAR Constitution Hall, 1977. The holdovers from the British Invasion—whose 1964 hit, “You Really Got Me,” was anchored by a seminal rock ’n’ roll riff—were wrapping up a gig when Davies knocked over a microphone stand and spat on drummer Mick Avory. Avory spat back and threw his drumsticks at Davies, then stormed off the stage. Bewildered lead singer (and elder brother) Ray Davies left the stage, too. But Dave wasn’t finished—he trashed the drum kit and mike stands. Show over.

The Washington Post ran a story that asked: does the band that fights together stay together? Some audience members thought it was a stunt. In reality, it was just another night on the road for one of rock’s most dysfunctional bands, which broke up in 1996. The infamous dust-up was “an unfortunate evening,” says Dave Davies, 68. “It was a long tour, and it was such a public fight.” After a nearly fatal stroke in 2004, tours are less frequent for him. Still, he promises “a few surprises” beyond Kinks-era classics such as “Lola” and “Living on a Thin Line.” More important, he says his upcoming gig will be “much calmer” than 1977’s battle royal: “I still like coming to Washington.” October 20; $39.40 to $65; Howard Theatre.

This article appears in our October 2015 issue of Washingtonian.