Who was Kevin Ayers?: Emerging as one of the founders of English psychedelic movement we all know so well (Pink Floyd and who else?), Kevin Ayers began an illustrious musical career in the Canterbury Scene band Soft Machine in the mid 1960s.
The Canterbury Scene was a very specific musical movement born in Canterbury, England. The music that defined this scene can be described as a fusion of rock, jazz, and folk–improvisation playing a major part in composition and performance. Strange, stream-of-consciousness sort of lyrics also played a prominent role.
The majority of Ayers’ work, however, was produced after his time in Soft Machine. From 1969 to 2013 (his time of death), he released a staggering amount of material (15 solo records and a slew of single releases, live performance releases, and collaborative releases).
Upon his death, British rock journalist Nick Kent wrote in a Guardian article: “Kevin Ayers and Syd Barrett were the two most important people in British pop music. Everything that came after came from them.”
For those of you who don’t know, Syd Barret was the first Pink Floyd frontman.
Interesting Fact: Kevin Ayers toured extensively with Jimi Hendrix during the height of his (Jimi’s) career.
Recommended listening: The entire 1970 album Shooting at the Moon.