by Robert Wilkinson
Today we send a big shout-out to another legend of modern music, Dave Davies of the Kinks.
The Kinks were part of the original "British Invasion" of 1964, and are generally considered the godfathers of punk, grunge, thrash rock, and served as inspirations for countless bands, including the Who, Pretenders, Van Halen, the Stranglers, and many more.
Dave Davies (3 February 1947) is considered in the top 90 guitar players of all time. From Wikipedia:
Davies was responsible for the signature distorted power chord riff on The Kinks' first hit, “You Really Got Me.” He achieved the sound by slitting the speaker cone on his Elpico amplifier, which he then ran through a larger Vox as a "pre-amp". This sound was one of the first mainstream appearances of guitar distortion, which was to have a major influence on many later musicians, especially in heavy metal and punk rock.
He and his brother Ray Davies formed the Kinks in 1963, and were one of the most explosive of all the original “British Invasion” bands! They rocketed into the charts in 1964 with “You Really Got Me,” and never looked back. Ray, one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century, composed countless hits, including "You Really Got Me," "All the Day and All the Night," "Tired of Waiting," “Stop Your Sobbin’,” "See My Friends" (said to be the first raga based song in pop music), "Dedicated Follower of Fashion," "Sunny Afternoon," "Waterloo Sunset," "Victoria," "Days," "Apeman," "Lola," "Celluloid Heroes," "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman," "A Rock and Roll Fantasy," "Come Dancing," and so many more I've lost count over the years. Still, I've been a BIG fan since the very beginning, and so figured you should know about this singularly amazing band.
Over the years Dave composed more than a few good ones, though they are not as well-known as the tunes crafted by brother Ray. So today I’ll give you all I can find, and unless I specifically note that the tune is written by Dave, just assume it was written by Ray.
From 1965, a live performance on Shindig of the song that kicked the doors wide open when it hit the charts in 1964! "You Really Got Me." And here’s a great live performance from 1972 on the Beat Club of the Kinks doing “You Really Got Me”
A great two-fer! I don’t know where this concert is, but it’s another very exciting live performance from 1966 by the Kinks whipping out “You Really Got Me” with Dave doing a frenetic lead solo! And from that same gig, a fantastic live performance of the awesome "Till the End of the Day"
Their second major hit from 1964, "All The Day and All the Night"
Here’s a very early Ray Davies composition, “Stop Your Sobbin’” And here Ray’s old girlfriend Chrissie Hynde cranks it out as a hit for the Pretenders! Yes, it’s lip-synched, but whatever, since it’s still great footage from 1979. “Stop Your Sobbin’”
From 1965, the Kinks doing “Set Me Free”
The original recording of the B-side of "Set Me Free," the rocker "I Need You""Well Respected Man"
Moving into their "middle period" later hits, and some extraordinary social commentary, we bring you:
From a 2007 live show, here’s Ray doing his hit "Dedicated Follower of Fashion"
From a live 1973 show, a very short version of “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”
From the album “Something Else,” the first big Dave Davies hit with the Kinks! Here’s a somewhat live 1967 performance of the slightly sloshy “Death of A Clown”
Also from 1967, Dave’s follow-up hit to “Death of A Clown,” the rocking “Susannah’s Still Alive”
From the “Face to Face” album, here’s the original studio audio-only version of another tune written by Dave, “Party Line”
This year I couldn’t find Dave’s tune “Rats” from the “Lola” album anywhere on you tube, but I did find another from “Lola,” a really great Dave Davies offering, “Strangers”
From a 1972 tv program “At the Rainbow,” a mix of great performances and interviews. I still can’t find the link for part 1, so you’ll have to enjoy parts 2 through 6, and I’ll see if I can find part one for the June 2014 Ray Davies birthday celebration.
From BBC television, here’s 30 minutes of the Kinks! The Kinks Live in Concert - 1973
Here’s a great find! From Christmas 1977 at the Rainbow, here are the Kinks live performing a great Christmas show!
The Kinks Christmas Concert part 3 (includes Sunny Afternoon, Waterloo Sunset, All Day and All of the Night.)
The Kinks Christmas Concert part 5 (Celluloid Heroes)
(Part 6 is nowhere to be found)
The Kinks Christmas Concert part 7 (Lola, Alcohol)
The Kinks Christmas Concert part 8 (Skin and Bones and of course, Father Christmas for the encore!)
From 1969, the Kinks live on TV doing “Last of the Steam Powered Trains” and “Picture Book”
Here’s Ray and the Kinks in a 1973 live performance in London doing the title track of the album “Village Green Preservation Society”
Some of these feature Ray without Dave on guitar, but since they are Kinks klassics, I figured I'd include them anyway.
From 1977 on the Old Grey Whistle Test, Ray and Dave in a live acoustic duet in a short version of “Muswell Hillbillies”
Live on the Mike Douglas show in 1977, the Kinks perform "Sleepwalker" and "Celluloid Heroes"
From 2007, never done live before then, Ray's haunting comment on a not-so-comfortable middle class life, "Shangri-La"
An incredibly beautiful love song! For your enjoyment from 1969 on “Pop Go The Sixties,” the poignant "Days"
The Kinks' gender-bending mega-hit, "Lola"
Ray at his theatrical best doing the unique torch/drinking song, "Alcohol"
Ray's wry take on the human condition! "Apeman"
From 1973, the great tongue in cheeky "Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues"
From the same show, "Holiday"
A few from the late 70s and into the 80s!
Here’s another version from 1979 that’s a bit more electric!
From the same 1979 show in Providence, R.I, a song from "Arthur Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire." For your enjoyment, an incredible rocking version of “Victoria”
Live in 1979, the Kinks doing "Superman"
From 1981, Ray ripping himself off and reworking the same 3 chords that made him famous way back when! "Destroyer"
The original video of "Come Dancin'"
From 1982 in Australia, the Kings cranking up “You Really Got Me” and “Destroyer”
Here’s a full 1 hour 50 minute video concert from Rockpalast in Germany! The Kinks Live at Rockpalast 1982
Here are Ray and Dave live and cranking it up at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction! Enjoy "All The Day and All the Night" and "Lola"
Dave had a stroke in 2004, so what you're about to see is a great recovery!
For a newer show, here's Dave in May 2013 live in NYC, cranking out "I'm Not Like Anybody Else" and "I Need You." From the same gig, complete with electronic repairs, "Where Have All the Good Times Gone" and "All the Day and All the Night"
Here's Dave Davies at Musikfest Cafe in PA in June 2013! Not great, his voice is shot, but it's definitely the man who was the prototypical thrash/grunge rocker!
Dave Davies Live at Musikfest pt 1 ("I'm Not Like Everybody Else," "Tired Of Waiting For You," "Death Of A Clown," "This Man Weeps Tonight," "Young & Innocent Days" - 17 min)
Dave Davies Live at Musikfest pt 2 ("Young & Innocent," "Strangers," "Flowers In The Rain," "Living on a Think Line," "Where Have All the Good Times Gone" - 16+ min)
Dave Davies Live at Musikfest pt 3 ("Where Have All The Good Times Gone, "All the Day and All the Night," "I Will Be Me," "You Really Got Me" - 8+ min)
From November 2013, Dave offering up one of the original trance tunes written by the Kinks back in the mid-60s in a particularly grunge arrangement, "See My Friends"
From 1987, the official music video of the Kinks cranking out the Dave Davies composition “Rock and Roll Cities”
We’ll close today’s birthday celebration with the rocking Dave Davies tune, “Perfect Strangers”
For the encore, Dave Davies live in Frankfurt in 1984 performing his “Living On A Thin Line” For a newer performance of this great tune, here’s Dave Davies live at the Lorsch in 2001 performing “Living On A Thin Line”
Thanks for all the great performances across the years! Though we may be perfect strangers sharing a party line while witnessing the death of a clown, we’re also all living on a thin line cruising through rock and roll cities. May you rock on until you sail off into Waterloo Sunset and we all Come Dancing.
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson