Sunday, April 1, 2012

"The Story of the Kinks: You Really Got Me" by Nick Hasted

The Kinks couldn't do no wrong from 1963 till the early 1970's. By all means and reason they were my favorite band. With Ray Davies, one had a writer that was up there with Cole Porter and (more likely) Noel Coward. In the early 70's I went to see the band whenever they came to Los Angeles - and the shows were more music hall than rock n' roll. Davies always came off to me as slightly like Laurence Olivier in the Entertainer. When you go into a Kinks album, it is very much of a world that doesn't exist anymore. Post-War England as re-imagined by The Kinks.

This is a very good biography by Nick Hasted on Ray, Dave Davies (the brother), Pete Quaife, and Mick Avory. Although in the big picture extremely successful, but in the miniature details a life full of doubt and pain. For whatever reasons the brothers can barely stand each other - and the other two musicians in the band had often suffered under their tortured relationship. Ray and Dave, raised in a house full of sisters, are very eccentric in their ways. Yet totally opposite in character. Dave dived into the world of London 60's and Ray stood by the side and caught it all on paper and music. If one was to get a book on the Kinks - this one is it.

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