Birth of the heavy: 50 years of The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’
09:01 am


The Kinks
Dave Davies

The misconception that a pre-Yardbirds/Zeppelin Jimmy Page played the hectic guitar solo on the Kinks’ stunningly durable first hit “You Really Got Me” seems like it will never die, despite being denied repeatedly, for decades, by the song’s producer Shel Talmy, Page himself, and Kinks guitarist Dave Davies, who, as the actual pair of hands behind that solo, must be singularly miffed that he’s been so widely denied credit for it for five decades. (Davies also famously invented, by slashing the speaker cone of his cheap amp, the guitar distortion effect that became practically a requirement in hard rock forever after that song hit. It bears mentioning that he was 17 years of age at the time.)

Just this last summer, a BBC documentary called London’s Tin Pan Alley: Danny Baker’s Musical History Tour repeated the long-debunked Page myth, prompting a response on Davies’ Facebook profile:

That justifiably salty post was the next day toned down a bit to this:

Perhaps the error is being corrected, as the doc is, as of this posting, no longer available for viewing on the BBC’s web site.

The song first appeared on Billboard’s charts on September 26, 1964—fifty years ago today. Its success was dramatic. The Kinks had two flop singles behind them, and their contract with the Pye records label was for three singles. “You Really Got Me” didn’t just launch the Kinks’ career, it saved it, and the label didn’t even approve of its release. Details of the single’s backstory are bared in Thomas M. Kitts book Ray Davies: Not Like Everybody Else.

The Kinks’ path…began on August 4, 1964, with the release of “You Really Got Me.” Although audiences had responded enthusiastically to the song since the Dave Clark Five tour, record executives thought it too loud and crude, lacking in melody, and too far removed from the harmonies and smooth rhythms of the popular Merseybeat sound—one executive, according to Ray, compared Dave’s guitar to a “barking dog.” Pye Records would have preferred the Kinks to record something else for their third and, most likely, final single. But with two failed efforts behind them and their career in jeopardy, the Kinks insisted on “You Really Got Me,” and to anger executives further, the barely twenty-year-old, unproven lead singer and composer demanded to re-record the song because the production on the first recording dissatisfied the band. Pye only yielded to Davies because Larry Page, the representative of Kassner Music assigned to the Kinks, threatened to withhold the mechanical license to the song. Pye agreed to allow the Kinks to re-record “You Really Got Me,” but at the band’s expense—costs were assumed by Wace and Collins [London businessmen who supported the Kinks early on]. Then, having fulfilled its end of a three-single contract with the Kinks, the company could release the band from the label.


That should go down in history as shocking executive myopia to rival the famous Decca honcho who passed on the Beatles.

Here are the Kinks performing the song on Shindig in 1965.

Dave Daives new solo album Rippin’ Up Time is due out in October.

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Kink think: Luscious fashion ads from 1966 starring Dave Davies—and Terylene, the wonder fabric
Was the Kinks’ ‘Dead End Street’ promo film the world’s first concept music video?
The Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’: Kinky Barbie version

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
The Kinks rip up le joint, Paris 1965
08:31 am


Ray Davies
The Kinks
Dave Davies

With the recent news that the remaining members of The Kinks may reform this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their debut release, it’s worth reminding ourselves just how good and powerful The Kinks were when they first started-off all those years ago.

This is The Kinks performing at Le Palais de la Mutualité, Paris, on April 24th, 1965. Dave Davies kicks off proceedings with a raw and rocking version “Bye Bye Johnnie” before the band rip into “Louie, Louie” and then “You Really Got Me.” The concert has been recorded like a newsreel package, with numerous cutaways of glaikit/grooving audience members and some very bad lip-synching issues. But hey, this all becomes irrelevant as we watch The Kinks just do what they’re great at and blow the audience away.

Track Listing

01. “Bye Bye Johnny”
02. “Louie, Louie”
03. “You Really Got Me”
04. “Got Love If You Want It”
05. “Long Tall Shorty”
06. “All Day and All of the NIght”
07. “Hide and Seek”

Previously on Dangerous Minds
‘Starmaker’: Ray Davies and The Kinks’ postmodern soap opera
Stations en Route to Ray Davies’ film masterpiece ‘Return to Waterloo’

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Was The Kinks’ ‘Dead End Street’ promo film the world’s first ‘concept’ music video?
01:01 pm


The Kinks

I was thumbing through The Rolling Stone Book of Rock Video the other day when I came across a section near the end of the book in which the author, Michael Shore, isolates “Rock Video’s Hot 100.” This book was published in 1984, so the list is heavy on DEVO, Duran Duran, ABC, The Cars, and so forth. But before he gets to that list, Shore indulges in a modicum of throat-clearing, isolating fourteen videos from 1966-1979 to define the prehistory (i.e., pre-MTV) of rock video.

The first video Shore mentions is The Kinks’ “Dead End Street,” from 1966, which apparently did something novel for the time: it wasn’t just a straight-up lip sync performance, there was a concept and a narrative. (The Who’s “Happy Jack,” also 1966, is mentioned as well. I don’t know which video came first, but “Dead End Street” was released as a single a couple of weeks before “Happy Jack.” Come to think of it, “Happy Jack” and “Dead End Street” are awfully similar, considered solely as promo films.)

True to The Kinks’ undying interest in the antiquated past of the United Kingdom, both song and video for “Dead End Street” come about as close to Dickens as is credible for a charting rock band. In the black-and-white video, the Kinks play pallbearers tasked with delivering a coffin to a widow in one of London’s ramshackle slums. The widow, played by Ray Davies, is looking to evade her malign landlord, a pint-sized chap in a bowler who picks his nose. The widow is reluctant to leave her flat, and the landlord decides to wait it out. The pallbearers leave with the coffin, but eventually the corpse, wearing nightclothes and a nightcap, jumps out of the coffin and scampers down the street, with the pallbearers giving chase. The reanimated fellow vanishes in a bit of movie magic reminiscent of Georges Meliès, to the astonishment of the baffled pallbearers. 

The invocation of Meliès is far from an accident—the entire video is redolent of the melodrama of the silents, particularly the closeups of Davies as the widow. The video also includes two montages of stills with haunting photographs of impoverished British folks in the slums—to Davies, it was this focus on Britain’s poverty that made the video unacceptable to the BBC.

In Ray Davies: Not Like Everybody Else, Thomas M. Kitts lends some insight into the creation of the video as well as its reception:

The Kinks wanted to do something different to promote “Dead End Street.” Tired of the hackneyed lip-sync performance of Top of the Pops, Davies drew on his interest in film and his college experiences with Paul O’Dell to develop a promotional film, which Davies expected to air on British television.


Unfortunately, after its screening, this remarkable three-and-one-half-minute film was banned by the BBC for being distasteful. With minimal controversy, the BBC could allude to the darkly humorous treatment of widows, pallbearers, coffins, and corpses. Perhaps, however, Davies surmised the true reason for the ban: “It showed slums and poverty and so they wouldn’t run it. I guess they prefer films about running around in parks, jumping over chairs.”

I assume that last line is a jab at The Beatles, but I don’t know for sure.

Any argument about the first conceptual music video will run aground on the endless prior instances one could care to name. Surely the list of possible candidates is long indeed. But for my money, there are few exemplars from the rock era that qualify as richly as the one The Kinks made for “Dead End Street.”

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Kinks’ Dave Davies paints a self-portrait
07:49 am


The Kinks
Dave Davies

Dave Davies’ unusual self-portrait for MOJO is accompanied by his equally colorful description of himself:

I would describe myself as… handsome, sexy, 5ft 10 and a half, 12-and-a-half stone. Dark hair. Inventor. Metaphysician. Musician. Innovator. Gorgeous. Intelligent. Fabulous father. Loving, compassionate, kind. Generous. Modest. Humble. Magnetic personality. Generally wonderful.

Bob Dylan’s self-portrait was probably a bit better, but who knows, maybe Dave will grow into it!

Via Mojo

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Have a Kinky 69th birthday Ray Davies!
01:35 pm


Ray Davies
The Kinks

Head Kink Ray Davies turns 69 years old today. In his honor, here’s a clip of The Kinks curiously lip-syncing “Sleepwalker” but then actually performing “Celluloid Heroes” on The Mike Douglas Show on March 8, 1977.


Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Starmaker’: Ray Davies and The Kinks’ postmodern soap opera
09:56 pm

Pop Culture

Ray Davies
The Kinks

In Granada TV’s 1974’s Starmaker, head Kink Ray Davies proved once again that he’s not like everybody else, producing a rock opera for television that tells the story of an insufferable, vain, egotistical rock star (played by Davies, naturally) who switches places with an “ordinary person” named Norman, working in Norman’s crappy job and living Norman’s crappy life to find inspiration for his next album. (Well, it’s a little more complicated than that…)

Davies’ play reveled in breaking the fourth wall: cameras and microphones are visible throughout and the play’s author/star himself even ends up a member of the audience.

Starmaker was a dryrun for the themes of the Kinks’ 1975 album, The Kinks Present a Soap Opera.

Watch complete version at this link.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Imaginary Man’: Julien Temple’s superb documentary on Ray Davies

Director and Kinks fan, Julien Temple beautifully captures Ray Davies’ wistfulness in his excellent documentary on the former-Kink, Ray Davies: Imaginary Man. Davies is allowed to gently meander around his past life, talking about his childhood, his family of 7 sisters and 1 brother, his early days with The Kinks, the development of his writing skill (the quality and consistency of which now makes him seem at times better than, if not on par with Lennon & McCartney, Jagger & Richard), and onto his life of fame, of parenthood, of growing-up, all of which seemed to happen so fast.

It would seem Davies has always lived his life with one eye on the past—from the nostalgia of The Village Green Preservation Society through to his film Return to Waterloo, Davies takes solace from the past. It gives his music that beautiful, bittersweet quality, as Milan Kundera reminds us that:

The Greek word for “return” is nostos. Algos means “suffering.” So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return.

But it’s not just about wanting to return to some mythical past, it’s also about loss—whether this is the loss of the past, of opportunities, of career, or, even of memory—for without memory we are nothing. Memory keeps us relevant, and all artists want to be relevant. Throughout Temple’s film, Davies makes reference to this sense of loss, from the remnants of Hornsea Town Hall, to the changing landscape of London, or the songs he has written. And put together with the brilliance of the songs, the wealth of archive, and Ray Davies’ gentle narration, Temple has created a clever, beautiful, and moving film, which leaves you wanting to know and hear more.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Stations En Route to Ray Davies’ Film Masterpiece: ‘Return to Waterloo’

‘Kinkdom Come’: A beautiful film on Dave Davies


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Dave Davies

Happy Birthday Dave Davies - founder of The Kinks and highly original guitarist, whose innovative playing style influenced Psychedelic Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk Rock and Brit Pop.

Mr Davies continues to make wonderful music and has just released a fab new CD Fortis Green 2, a follow-up to his 1999 release, named after the district in London where Davies was born, sixty-six years ago. The album is exclusively available at Dave Davies homepage.

Happy Birthday Dave Davies and long may you continue to make music.

Dave Davies - ‘Fortis Green 2’ promo

The Kinks - ‘Got My Feet On The Ground - written and performed by Dave Davies

The Kinks - ‘Susannah’s Still Alive’ - written and performed by Dave Davies

Dave Davies - ‘Death of a Clown’ Live Belgian TV, 2002
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Kinkdom Come: A beautiful film on Dave Davies


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
30 Minutes of Excellence: The Kinks ‘In Concert,’ January 1973

Forty-years ago this month….

‘But they don’t feel afraid…

Of course not—as we have a whole thirty-minute concert of The Kinks to watch! And it’s a candy box full of all our favorite centers!

Track Listing

01. “Victoria”
02. “Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues”
03. “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”
04. “Lola”
05. “Holiday”
06. “Good Golly Miss Molly”
07. “You Really Got Me”
08. “All Day And All Of the Night”
09. “Waterloo Sunset”
10. “The Village Green Preservation Society”

The Kinks live at BBC TV Center, January 24th, 1973.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Deep Purple’s Jon Lord dead at 71

One time Deep Purple keyboardist, Jon Lord has died in London at the age of 71. In a band with such a continuously flucuating line-up, Lord was one of the heavy group’s few constant members, co-writing hits like “Smoke on the Water,” “Strange Kind of Woman” and “Black Night.” Lord played keyboards in Deep Purple from the band’s formation in 1968 through their first split in 1976 and when they reformed in 1984 until he retired from music in 2002.

The statement from his website reads:

It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday 16th July at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was surrounded by his loving family.

Jon Lord, the legendary keyboard player with Deep Purple co-wrote many of the bands legendary songs including Smoke On The Water and played with many bands and musicians throughout his career.

Best known for his Orchestral work Concerto for Group & Orchestra first performed at Royal Albert Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969 and conducted by the renowned Malcolm Arnold, a feat repeated in 1999 when it was again performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple.

Jon’s solo work was universally acclaimed when he eventually retired from Deep Purple in 2002.

Jon passes from Darkness to Light.

Born in Leicester, June 9, 1941, Lord was a classically trained pianist, who originally planned a career as an actor. He attended the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, while keyboards (piano, Hammond organ) with various Jazz combos.

In 1960, he joined the jazz band the Bill Ashton Combo. He also worked a as session musician playing keyboards on The Kinks first hit “You Really Got Me”. During the mid-1960s, Lord formed and played with a variety of bands (including one with Ronnie Wood) before forming Deep Purple with Ritchie Blackmore and Ian Paice in 1968.

Deep Purple, along with Black Sabbath, pioneered Heavy Metal during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Purple had the edge through the Blackmore’s brilliant guitar-playing and Lord’s mastery of the keyboards (primarily the Hammond organ). Together they made Deep Purple one of the most exciting bands on the planet. Of particular merit was their ability to perform a classical album Concerto for Group and Orchestra, mainly under Lord’s influence, and one of Rock’s greatest albums Machine Head, mainly under Blackmore’s influence. It was this ability to try out each other’s musical ideas that made the band so successful. Or as Lord said in 1973:

‘We’re as valid as anything by Beethoven.’

After he left Deep Purple in 1976, Lord released a solo album Sarabande and then went on to join Whitesnake, remaining an integral part of the band until 1984.

Lord was a brilliant musician, whose talents went beyond his work in Rock and Heavy Metal. He wrote and released several classical music albums including The Gemini Suite , Windows and To Notice Such Things. He also had a fruitful collaboration with the singer Sam Brown on the albums, Before I Forget, the concept album, Picture Within and Beyond the Notes.

Jon Lord 9 June 1941 – 16 July 2012.

Bonus: Deep Purple in concert from New York, 1973, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kinkdom Come: A beautiful film on Dave Davies, the other half of The Kinks

In June 2004, Dave Davies suffered a stroke as he was exiting a lift, in BBC’s Broadcasting House.

Suddenly the right hand side of my body seized up and I couldn’t move my arm or leg. Although I didn’t lose consciousness, I couldn’t speak. Luckily my son Christian and my publicist were there, so they carried me outside and called an ambulance.

Though he had warnings signs - waking up one morning to find he couldn’t move his right hand or speak when he opened his mouth - and was examined by a doctor, nothing indicated the imminence of his stroke. As Dave later wrote in the Daily Mail in 2006:

I was told I’d had a stroke - or, in medical terms, a cerebral infraction. An ‘infarct’ is an area of dead tissue and there was a patch of it on the left side of my brain - the bit that controls movement on the right side.

The doctors told me I had high blood pressure and that this was what had caused the stroke. They thought I’d probably had high blood pressure for at least ten years….

...Two weeks after my stroke, I finally plucked the courage to pick up my guitar. I held it across my lap, pressing on the strings. I could feel everything but the hand itself was virtually immobile.

I knew I was going to have to work very hard if I was to get better, and I started using meditation and visualisation. I thought if I could visualise myself running, walking and playing the guitar, it might prompt my brain to remember how I used to be.

It took Dave 18 months of physio, determination and hard work, to get “about 85 per cent back to normal”.

I believe my stroke was meant to happen to slow me down. I’d like to write and male films and start a foundation where I can help people be more spiritual…

...For now I appreciate my slower pace of life. I feel I have discovered an inner strength which I know will see me through any adversity.

Made in 2011, Julien Temple’s pastoral documentary Kinkdom Come is a touching portrait of the other half of The Kinks, Dave Davies.

Opening with Davies in the wilds of Exmoor, where he revels in the desolation and the quiet, Temple’s film moves through Dave’s life story, examining key moments in his childhood, his career as guitarist with The Kinks, his openness about sexuality, his (some would say torturous) relationship with his brother Ray, and the damagingly high cost of that all of his fame, success and position as “iconic Sixties figure” has cost him.

Throughout, Dave comes across as an honest, gentle soul, slightly lost, beautifully innocent, almost ethereal, as if he is a visitor from some other galaxy.


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Dave Davies: ‘I love my brother… I just can’t stand to be with him’

Though his stroke in 2004 made Dave Davies more mindful of what he is doing and “appreciative of the chance to do it,” there’s still little chance of a Kinks reunion anytime soon, as Dave tells Neil McCormick in an interview over at the Telegraph:

“About an hour with Ray’s my limit, so it would be a very short reunion.”

Dave talks to Neil about his relationship with Ray, his time in The Kinks and his thoughts about being a sixties superstar:

‘I felt that I was indestructible, but rock and roll does that, you strap on that guitar and think, ‘F—- the world.’ I wasn’t a very academic kid, and music was the way for all that feeling and angst and sex and love and anger to be channelled.”

Dave has always been “the other Kink”, and it is his dysfunctional relationship with his more famous, more acclaimed and, arguably, more accomplished brother that has come to define him in the public’s eye. They could be the prototype for the Gallagher brothers, their bickering, battling relationship so mutually dependent and disharmonious that, even though the Kinks disbanded in 1996, Ray still constantly hovers at the edges of conversation, alluded to directly and indirectly.

One moment Dave will describe Ray as “a vain, egotistical arsehole”, but another he will profess profound respect and affection, saying: “How could I not love my own brother? I just can’t stand to be with him.”

Dave and Ray grew up in a large (six girls, two boys) working-class family in Muswell Hill, close to where we meet. “I had to look sibling rivalry up in the encyclopaedia: for years, I didn’t even know what it meant. He was my older brother. I looked up to him; he inspired me.

“I thought what we were doing in the Kinks was collaborative. But Ray uses different words to me. He would talk about me as his muse. So I’m important to be in his life, but only as a support for what he’s doing. That’s a pretty hard pill to swallow.”

Davis is still performing, and claims he sounds and plays better now than ever before. He is working on a ‘new’ alum, and though never as prolific as Ray, Dave is still a fine songwriter, as this classic track, “Death of a Clown” attests.

Read Neil McCormick’s with Dave Davies here.

Via the Daily Telegraph

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Ray Davies!
09:16 am


Ray Davies
The Kinks

The the former Kinks frontman and one of our greatest living pop songwriters and observers of working-class life, Ray Davies, turns 67 today!

Although stories have long been told about what a prick Davies is supposed to be in real life (especially those tales told by his estranged younger brother Dave Davies) I got a chance to meet him in the late 80s and he was super cool. He had to change a shot on the master of a music video he’d directed (I can’t recall for what, but it took place on a rooftop) and I was given the job at a video post house where I was working at the time. He was cheerful and friendly.

I was looking for just the right video—my first choice would have been a live “Shangri-La” or “This is Where I Belong” from the sixties or early seventies, but neither can be found on YouTube—and came across a clip I had not seen before of The Kinks performing on the Once More With Felix program hosted by American folk singer Julie Felix, in 1969.

Below, watch a terrific performance of “Picture Book,”  from their classic album, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. This is one of those things that would have been lost to time—and the idiotic BBC policy of wiping their video masters to re-use the tapes!—had not a former BBC video engineer named Bob Pratt defied BBC policy and made his own copies of significant programs and event coverage.

Birthday bonus, a great “Days” from Pop Go The Sixties:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Fantastic rendition of ‘Waterloo Sunset’ by Queenie Watts

It doesn’t get more Lahndan Tahn than than this. Taken from a 1979 BBC TV Play For Today drama written by Barrie Keeffe and directed by RIchard Eyre, this clip sees Ray Davies’ mid-60s paean to young romance belted out on a rickety ole joanna by Queenie Watts. Watts was a well-loved Cockney performer who appeared in such classic British TV shows as Dad’s Army and Steptoe and Son. She and her husband Slim also ran the Rose and Crown pub in London’s East End, where they would perform with a band, entertaining a mixed crowd of locals, celebs and gangsters. Queenie’s take on The Kinks’ classic makes the connection between the swinging 60s and the city’s earlier music hall history, and it just drips Cockney charm. Cor blimey!

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Classic Documentary of The Kinks in concert at the Rainbow Theater, 1972

Here’s an excellent performance-documentary of The Kinks in concert at the Rainbow Theater in London, 1972. It was shot around the time of their classic album Muswell Hillbillies, and the performance footage was originally shown as part of the BBC’s In Concert series.

What makes this program especially wonderful is the way highlights form the concert have been inter-cut with documentary footage with interviews from the band, vox pops, celebrity fan / film and TV producer, the late Ned Sherrin, together with clips from The Virgin Soldiers, and Ray Davies wandering around the disappearing London haunts of his childhood. Tracks include:

“Till the End of the Day”
“Waterloo Sunset”
“Top of the Pops”
“The Money-go-Round”
“Sunny Afternoon”
“She’s Bought a Hat Like Princess Marina”
“Acute Schizophrenia Paranoid Blues”
“You Really Got Me”

Previously on DM

The Kinks Live in Paris, 1965

Stations Enroute to Ray Davies’ Film Masterpiece ‘Return to Waterloo’



Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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