Kevin Ayers released a stunning volume of work over the years and this website aims to celebrate his songwriting talent, recordings and performances. It’s also a place for people to share their memories of Kevin whether they are fellow musicians, family, friends and fans (or all of the above!). Our aim is to preserve Kevin’s legacy for future generations of music fans and we welcome well-written contributions and reviews from all individuals. Hopefully along the way we will get to discover and hear some Kevin Ayers music that we didn’t even know existed!
We began writing this blog at the end of July 2013 and shortly afterwards we went to Kevin’s memorial event in Deià, Mallorca, which was held on the 16th August 2013, which would have been Kevin’s 69th birthday. We were privileged to meet Kevin’s daughters, Galen and Rachel, as well as a number of Kevin’s musician friends. After that we travelled to some of Kevin’s favourite places in France, including Montaulieu in the Rhône Alpes and Montolieu in Languedoc-Roussillon, where we had some interesting encounters.
In 2014 Susan published a book about Kevin’s memorial celebration and her continuing interest in all things “Ayersian” entitled ‘Kevin Ayers : August 16th 2013, Deià’. Like this website, it is a good place to start if you are curious about Kevin Ayers, his friends and the places where he lived. The book also contains handy travel information for anybody making the trip to Deià. It is available via Amazon.
Kevin Ayers’ legacy continues to flourish. In 2019 Faber Music published ‘Shooting At The Moon: The Collected Lyrics of Kevin Ayers’, which contains the lyrics of all of Kevin’s songs plus photos and other memorabilia. The anthology was curated by Kevin’s daughter, Galen Ayers. You can read our review of it in our ‘Memorabilia’ section.
We also like to keep our followers up to date with re-releases of Kevin’s material, such as the Warner Music Group ‘Original Album Series’ box set, and other reissues or rarities. From time to time generous fans send us unofficial recordings of Kevin’s concerts which we can make available via a sign-up system for educational purposes only, with no financial profit.
We hope that you enjoy browsing through this website and we look forward to hearing from you if you have questions to ask or memories to share.
Please forward my email address to Nigel Stoneley
Hi Derek, Nigel doesn’t do the internet, but I can email you his phone number/address if you wish.
Could you please send me the link to get the MP3 files.
please check your email, you will have a link there.
Your site is a welcome surprise!
Saw Kevin and the Wizards at a packed Borderline, London 7 June 2003. Excellent gig. Would greatly appreciate any music links you are willing to share. Keep up the good work.
Hi Phil, well this site is a ‘work in progress’ but unfortunately ‘real work’ 🙁 gets in the way a bit. It’s happening slowly and we will let you know when we have something worth looking at. Meanwhile, you have the downloads yeah?
Had the pleasure of hearing Kevin Ayers perform at the University of East Anglia in ’76. Was a fan years before that and still am ! Shame he never got the fame he deserved, not wanting to play the music industry’s exploitative game, choosing to be his own man in music, to his great credit. http://aquariumofvulcan.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/kevin-ayers.html
Hi, this site is great. I listen to Kevin Ayers every day, what an amazing guy, unique and brilliant, not only was his music brilliant but his whole outlook on life was and still is inspiring. Is there some MP3 files I can be sent? Thanks in advance if so. Have a great day, Kim.
Hi Kim, thanks – there’s a long way to go with this site and progress is slow, meanwhile please check your email 🙂
Great to find people that care about music and not just about money 🙂
I saw Kevin Ayers play in Deya at a new museum Bill Waldron built with a little help on the archeology front from me, and later saw him in London at a club I can’t remember. The Soft Machine with Ayers I loved because they had a sense of humor. I heard about his death from Tomas Graves. The crazy thing is, I’ve been trying to get in touch with Nigel Stoneley for the past few years, and stumbled upon your website, and the query for his contacts. He has always been my guardian angel–it’s a long story– and I would love to hear from him. I think he was/is a good poet and made me laugh a lot. Hope someone will please ask him to email me his phone so we can talk a bit. He knew me as Diane Williams, and I am still an American, whatever that means.
I to this day remain a dedicated fan of the Lord of whimsy. I have all his albums although I only had the pleasure of seeing him once in concert. It was a night I will never forget at the legendary Friars club in Aylesbury. I had a new girlfriend at the time who ne2 nothing of Kevin and this was to be her indoctrination. Kevin was at his mystical best and obliged with several encores and we were blown away by his rendition in French of May I “ Puis Je..
Sorry if I messed up. Just hope that Rick will kindly ask Nigel Stoneley to contact me at my email or if not email me with his address and phone number. Not sure my first comment got through.
Hi Diane, well stumbled upon! Comments have to be approved by us first time to avoid spammers and weirdos! I’ve emailed you some details about Nigel. I’m sure he would love to hear from you.
I am sure by now that you will have heard that our dearly loved friend Nigel Stonely died la st septembre…….he was a very close brother/friend of miné from the Canterbury music days….as was also Kevin…….l have lived in and around here in La Drôme france near the village of Montaulieu for many years…….and Nigel is greatly missed by us all……..l dont know from when they date these ” comments ” but just wannted to let you know about Nigel Stonely
Hi Zina, thank you for your comment. Yes Susan and I had heard about Nigel. We were very sad to hear about this. At the same time, we were so pleased that we had met Nigel, if only once, when we visited Montaulieu in 2014.
Now that I have temporarily stopped crying and said a prayer, I wanted to thank Rick and Zina for informing me of Nigel Stoneley’s death. Because Rick was kind enough to give me Nigel’s phone number, I had a long, heart-to-heart talk with him in early September, and had the chance to remind him after so long, just how much I admired him and valued his friendship. We had a strong emotional/spiritual bond based on a horrific trauma inflicted on us in Deya by an evil stalker with a double-barreled shotgun. And some kinds of shared trauma never leave your mind. Despite his terrible physical condition, Nigel managed a couple of funny “nigelisms,” such as immediately asking me to move in and take care of him, despite knowing that I was married and 3,000 miles away. But after the call I was very worried about him. This wonderful poet and “my guardian angel” has found relief from pain and the honor he deserves up there in the clouds. Everyone who knew him misses him dearly.
the first and only time i ever saw kevin ayers was when he performed at maxwell’s in hoboken, new jersey in 1993…(i had been living in new jersey at the time; now i’m in portugal)…it was a great solo acoustic show…i had seen many acts perform at the venue but that was the first time the whole crowd was sitting on the floor…maxwell’s was a bar/performance venue…the bar was at the front of the building and the stage was in a rear area with no tables or chairs so the audiences would always stand…but at kevin’s show, coinciding with his own laid back hippie attitude, the audience sat on the floor…sort of an indoor woodstock…there was enough room for all of us to do that; the show was not sold out nor a packed house…in fact, when kevin arrived on stage he looked into the crowd and his first words were “a small but select crowd”…
as far as i can remember, the performance was great and flawless…kevin only became slightly flustered toward the end when some of us began calling out requests for songs which, he admitted, he had forgotten how to play…
a great night with a living legend…i wish i had a recording of the event…
Thanks for sharing your story, Al. 1993 must have been a tough year for Kevin, with the sad passing of Ollie Halsall. Our memorabilia from Richard Derrick gives a good insight into Kevin’s American activities.
Hello Susan Lomas…..you don’t know me….but l was a very close friend of Nigel Stonely…here in thé village of Montaulieu in France……..and just wannted to let you know that sadly Nigel died 28 Septembre…..and is greatly missed by us all
I discover your blog tonight (from France). Fantastic ! And, of course, your cassette recording of J. Peel (on Youtube, unfortunately, with “holes”….).
As you, my life has changed when I heard K. Ayers (but I was 18). To me, the five first albums are the best. Nothing to throw away ! I have the french lp’s. So, if you want the scan of sleeves or labels, they are available.
Hi Angel, you should now have an email with a link to get all the recordings we have. This includes the John Peel show without the holes. Enjoy. Tomorrow is a special day 🙂
Thanks a lot…..I was and I still I am one of the Arch European Canterburian archivist/sax player…Probably one of the very very few who met and interviewed Mike….witt Kevin , Robert and Elton
the ‘stories’ are a joy to remember
First heard Kevin Ayers in 1970 on John Peel (but of course) – what an eclectic time with Peelie championing the laddish Faces at the same time as the whimsical Toff-like KA. I thought he was like a psychedelic Jake Thackaray, and still do. Never got to see him until 1988 in my home town of Brighton then he made a couple of appearances in 1994 and 1995 at the original Concorde, one on a Saturday and the latter on a Sunday night. Being a Sunday and pre-current licensing laws, an announcement went up at 10.20pm that it was last orders at the bar whereupon our boy asked very drolly if someone could get him a double brandy and coke ( he looked as if he had a few on board already, fine chap). As the band commenced the next number at least four doubles arrived near his feet at the monitors(Gently placed, that is)! He set about supping them at the next break between songs,of course.
I came to get into Kevin Ayers by way of Cale/Eno & Nico. From there I picked up Joy of a Toy and the 1st Soft Machine and have been enamored ever since. I wish I could have seen him live. Thankfully he had left behind an impressive catalog to revisit. Currently enjoying th Warner Music Japan SHMCD’s of his back catalog, Harvest records era. They sound fantastic! Highly recommend them. Love the site!
I first saw Kevin on the Dr Dream tour at Manchester Free Trade Hall. He had the silver satin suit, played a very tight set and was supported by Ollie who blinded us with his solo on May I? and a remarkable solo on Lady Rachel. I saw him in Manchester a few years later, backed by some of my heroes (Richard McCracken, Rob Townsend) and an unknown guitarist called Andy Summers. But the set was laboured, very ‘going through the motions’. A shame as by then I was a great fan (and still am). A great talent that deserved a greater audience. However, there was a hidden current in that second concert – throughout I unknowingly stood about ten feet from my future wife, although it would be some years before we actually met. So thanks for that, Kevin.
I remember Kevin from when I saw him fronting the Soft machine at the UFO club when it was at the Roundhouse in London.. it was an amazing performance.. none of the exist footage can ever do it justice.. how great this band was live… I was just 15.. I had run away from home and gone to live with my gran in London… The year was 1967.. the Summer of Love… and I used to go to the all night hippy under-ground clubs…. from dusk to dawn… I made a short video.. featuring the Soft machine and the original Pink Floyd.. based on my memories.. in order that this magical time should never be forgotten… I mixed bits and pieces of documentaries and added light shows and the music of the Soft machine… it is called – 1967 The Round House and Memories of The UFO Club & the Fantastic Light Shows in 1960’s London – LINK – – – – – – -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elkIed4qjPo
What a great pleasure to find your site. I have loved his music since my teens, many years ago, and saw him on a number of occasions, the last being at Sussex University in the mid 80’s. Buying a copy of The Unfairground and finding it to be among his finest albums was one of the most uplifting experiences of my life.
We are very pleased to have you here Clive. I’ve just sent you an email with a link to get the downloads that we currently have. The ‘Mr Kyps’ Poole gig is particularly fun 🙂
Hello! and greetings from Tijuana. Just finished reading your book. I was almost overcome with emotion. The music of Kevin Ayers means a lot to me. I remember reading Eric Burdon’s autobiography; where he visits Deia and hears Ollie Hallsall’s electric guitar blasting through the town one Saturday night. I’m going to look for that book you mention written by a local musician.
I just stumbled across your site, after watching some Kevin videos on YouTube and developing an irresistable urge to try to work out when I saw him in concert. Perhaps someone here can help – sometime in the mid-seventies at Bristol University, and then sometime in the 2000s in London (the Arts Theatre perhaps – in Great Newport Street I remember). Which seems like a very meagre live experience. That second time was in a period of a couple of weeks when I saw the four greatest practising English songwriters in concert (separately): Kevin, Ray Davies, Robyn Hitchcok and Richard Thompson. OK, four greatest IMHO but I’m sure no-one would disagree …
I would definitely agree with that four greatest English songwriters comment.
I just recently had to get everything Robyn Hithcock put out, and have long been into Richard Thompson, Ray Davies, and Kevin! Robyn was another artist influenced very much by the late great Syd Barrett.
16.8.2019: kevins birthday. i think “shooting at the moon” is the right choice for this day.
We had this 1981 Soller gig instead, it seemed to go down very well.
Hi Rick and fellow fans. We were staying at Soller last month so went to Deia on what would have been Kevin Ayers’ 75th birthday, visiting Cafe Sa Fonda the church, as well as the Robert Graves Museum. We took Susan’s book with us and took photos of Kevin and Ollie’s plaques. I spent much of our holiday lounging around listening to the lasting legacy of magical music which Kevin has left us all. Beautiful music. Beautiful place.
I had a 1967 acetate recording and a 1968 vinyl white label test pressing of his album, to my horror my mother accidentally thew them in a skip while having the loft extended in 1992. I tried to get them back but by the time I realised they were missing it was too late; they had been incinerated.
I feel your pain 🙁
At 63, I was too young for concerts until 1972. Through the wiseness of my mother, who I now take care of full time for dementia and old aging, I was prevented from taking acid, which would have happened if I attended the original Woodstock at 12, until college which is when I was first exposed to Kevin Ayers. Having gotten to see Elton Dean, Hugh Hopper (a 1970s Knitting Factory tribute to Robert Wyatt), Robert Wyatt (was there a concert where he appeared with Traffic around 1973 in the States?), but not Kevin. Saw Daevid Allen with Gong in the late 1970s in Philadelphia. Thank you for this website. It has renewed my interest in the brilliance of this almost forgotten musician. I just turned my 24 year old son onto him. Spotify has a considerable amount of his catalogue. Peace, love and happiness to all. Eric
I consulted Michael King’s Wrong Movements, which documents all of Wyatt’s live performances and recording sessions. July ’71 were his last ever gigs with Soft Machine, and also his last performances in the states so far as I can tell. They played five nights at The Gaslight and two at The Beacon Theater in the midst of a tour of the midwest and Texas. The other acts listed for those NYC gigs are Loudon Wainwright III, Richard Pryor and Miles Davis. At the beginning of ’73 Wyatt was in Venice writing what became Rock Bottom, while Alfie worked on Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now. He returned to the UK with the intention of reforming Matching Mole, did a few gigs with WMWM at Ronnie Scott’s, recorded the Solar Flares score for a short film, and then on June 1st as you know he fractured his spine. He didn’t perform again until Kevin’s June 1, 1974 extravaganza.
I wonder if Kevin Ayers fans have seen the new book publicised on his daughters
Fans of Kevin will probably know of his and Archie Leggett’s frequent collaborator, singer Barry St.John. (AKA Eliza Thomson.)
Sorry to report that she passed away on July 24th this year.
Wonderful singer- I have her solo album.
That is sad news Brian. Some of her work on Banamour is mentioned here.
Hello, I’m trying to find out a snippet of information concerning the wonderful Beware Of The Dog II, on Rainbow Takeaway. There appears not to be any credit for the sax solo for that song. To my ears it shrieks Lol Coxhill…. Is it that man please.
Kindest regards, Chris Wood.
I first came across Kevin’s music at university and loved his wit and whimsy. I can’t think of any artist who would have released such an eclectic body of work as his first five albums contained.
I have to confess that he went off my radar for a while bar the occasional listen to his albums and then I came across the live BBC sessions and was hooked again. I’ve just got Unfairground and despite its brevity love it.
There are mentions of some mp3 links on here and if anything is available I’d love to hear it.
Thank you very mush!
Somewhere on the Internet is a report of (your) Nigel having died a few years ago. Try interweb for KA Montaulieu ,. A web page has a family visiting KA in France (as it were).
Hi Felix, Sadly this is true – See above https://www.kevinayers.org/#comment-98693
Even worse, my wife Susan, co-founder of this web site went up to join him on March 16th, 2021. I hope they are discussing some funny KA moments up there <3
Sadly I read the loss of your partner and wife Susan. Condolences friend.
I will ask if? I may please be notified of any Kevin Ayers gathering or festival.
Like to think I shall encounter my brave self and pop in.
Hi Jude, thank you for that. It would have been our 21st Wedding Anniversary yesterday, it wasn’t an easy day for me. Now with Kevin’s birthday coming up tomorrow, I remember back to August 16th 2013 when Susan and I went to Majorca for Kevin’s farewell party.
I’ll put your email on my mailing list (I send emails only when something notable happens, so very seldom) – you’ll get a link sent to you to confirm that is OK with you. You will also get all the free downloads too 🙂
Immense thank-you. Have followed this awesome Kevin Ayers site all along you are appreciated. Good day birthday. Jude
Could you let me know when (Kevin Ayers Diamond Jack and the queen of Pain) and (Deja Vu) comes out on CD at ( email@example.com ) Thanks. Dave
Who is the lady keyboardist in the Kevin Ayers & Friends in Spain video? She rocks the stage. That’s an excellent show. Thanks for your website.
Zanna Gregmar. She was Ollie’s girlfriend for a while. We saw her on stage at Kevin’s memorial gig in Deia. She was great then too!
I am spending another evening watching Kevin and Friends. Tonight there is an hour filmed recording from Spain in the 80’s with Ollie et al. It’s sad they’re not around anymore but it is fab that archive stuff like this gets posted on YouTube.
Ah, I think I have found the real fans of Kevin Ayers here!
Some really interesting (and sometimes sad) stories too. Well done.
We have just found a copy of Kevin’s early poetic work ‘Leo the Lilo’ when he was in The Wilde Flowers. Question is who coloured in the B/W cover?