The Original Mr. Cool. An original on the Canterbury Scene, Kevin Ayers spent the 60s with Wilde Flowers and Soft Machine before retiring to the comforts of Deià, Mallorca. Coaxed away by Peter Jenner, Ayers recorded a quartet of albums for Harvest label, beginning with the amazing Joy of a Toy. His band, the Whole Wide World, comprised of David Bedford, Lol Coxhill and Mike Oldfield, among many other luminaries, but his work was strictly pop, albiet one combined with an absurdist's sense of humor. By the mid-70s, Ayers was under the care of Elton John's management and Island Records, yet success was ever elusive, and probably planned that way. His later career wasn't really, as he retreated further from the public eye, but records and tours appeared in the 80s, 90s, and the 00s, standing more as postcards so we wouldn't forget, rather than true attempts at a restart. His final 2007 solo album saw a much younger generation lending a helping hand, but a lifetime of excess had already taken its toll. Ayers passed away in early 2013. He stands one of the most original singer-songwriters and persona of the progressive era.
Location: Herne Bay, England
Website: Kevin Ayers