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The Kinks showcase a storming selection from ‘Sleepwalker’ live in 1977

1973 was not a good year for The Kinks. Personal problems, changes in line-up and a whole shift in the music scene led Kinks frontman and main songwriter Ray Davies to question what he was doing with his life. In June of that year, Davies’ wife Rasa left him taking their children with her. It sent Davies into a major depression.

During the band’s headline concert in July at the White City Stadium in London, Ray Davies announced from the stage he was quitting the band. According Roy Hollingsworth in his review of the gig for music paper Melody Maker:

Ray Davies should never have been at London’s White City Stadium, on Sunday. Physically, and more important, mentally. Davies was in no fit condition to play. And in no fit condition to stand on a stage and say that he was quitting, He was a man neck-high in troubles, and when he shouted “I quit,” he should have shouted “Help!”

Ray looked frightening in dark glasses for the sun wasn’t shining … He was a wreck that evening … Davies swore onstage. He stood at the White City and swore that he was ‘F—ing sick of the whole thing … Sick up to here with it … and those that heard shook their heads.

After this tirade, Ray walked across to his brother, guitarist Dave, kissed him on the cheek and exited the stage. He then collapsed from a massive overdose of “valium.” According to Dave Davies this was the night Ray had “tried to top himself.”

I thought he looked a bit weird after the show—I didn’t know that he’d taken a whole bloody bottle of weird-looking psychiatric pills. It was a bad time. Ray suddenly announced that he was going to end it all—it was around that time that his first wife left him. … She’d left him and taken the kids on his birthday, just to twist the blade in a little more. … I think he took the pills before the show. I said to him towards the end that he was getting a bit crazy. I didn’t know what happened—I suddenly got a phone call saying he was in the hospital. I remember going to the hospital after they’d pumped his stomach and it was bad.

During his recuperation in hospital Ray spent much of his time listening to Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony The Resurrection—the story of one man’s redemption and resurrection after death, which Ray described as “a moving piece of music.” It made him think about taking the band in a more theatrical direction.

When Dave came to visit him, Ray told his brother he no longer wanted to just be a rock band but “wanted to explore the idea of rock theatre, something no one else had really done before.”
In many respects this idea—or concept albums similar to this idea—exactly what The Kinks had been experimenting with since The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society in 1968, and had continued with in Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) (1969), Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One (1970), Everybody’s in Show-Biz (1972) and Preservation Act 1 in July 1973.

Out of hospital, Davies returned to the band and started mining his “rock theatre” idea with Preservation Act 2 (1974), Soap Opera—which was made into a TV musical extravaganza Star Maker (1974), and Schoolboys in Disgrace (1975). Though each of these albums has its merits—and all deserve considerable reappraisal—they performed poorly in the charts and did little to keep The Kinks relevant with a younger audience. In hindsight, none of this matters much as the quality of the songs and Ray’s ideas have outlasted the fickle fancies of pop fashion. However, the Kinks’ record company was not impressed and demanded that the band’s next album had to be a stand alone traditional collection of good songs—as if such a thing can be ordered to suit.

In 1976, Davies therefore started writing a non-concept album Sleepwalker, which was released in February 1977. Though the songs still reflect Davies’ own preoccupations—the title track dealt with the singer’s insomnia after moving to New York—it was the first album to give The Kinks a top fifty placing since the singles “Lola” and “Apeman” in 1970.

Sleepwalker was generally well received—Melody Maker said the record was “the group’s strongest and most organised album in years” which:

...emphatically testifies to the dramatic artistic revival of Raymond Douglas Davies, whose supreme talents as a writer have been so distressingly overlooked during the first half of this decade.

The Kinks showcase ‘Sleepwalker’ and more, after the jump…

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Ray Davies stars in ‘The Long Distance Piano Player,’ 1970
11:33 am


Ray Davies

In 1970 Ray Davies took a break from the Kinks to work on the first entry for a new anthology drama show for the BBC called Play for Today. The show was to take over from a program called The Wednesday Play that had run since 1964. The premiere of a new drama show generated some interest, as seen in the Radio Times cover above.

The play was called “The Long Distance Piano Player,” and it’s a kind of mashup between They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, the Sydney Pollack movie of a year earlier about a marathon dancing contest during the Depression, and any number of treacly kitchen-sink dramas of the early to mid-1960s. The idea of the play is that Pete (Davies) plays a guy who will execute, in the words of his unscrupulous manager Jack, “one of the greatest feats of human endurance ever attempted…. the marathon, non-stop piano playing championships of the world—four days and four nights of continuous, I repeat continuous non-stop piano playing!”

It quickly becomes apparent that Pete is being manipulated by Jack and that the whole thing (similar to They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?) is meant to be a metaphor for the rapacious and predatory entertainment world or something. Meanwhile, Pete’s wife Ruth (Lois Daine) importunes him to stop this stupid marathon and get as far away from Jack as possible—it all doesn’t end well, but that much is clear pretty early on in the story. (For those wanting to learn more about the show, this article can’t be beat.)

“The Long Distance Piano Player” was written by Alan Sharp, who wrote many movies in his long career, the best of which is probably Night Moves, a distinctive thriller directed by Arthur Penn and starring Gene Hackman and Melanie Griffith, who was still a teenager at the time. Sharp also wrote Sam Peckinpah’s final movie The Osterman Weekend as well as the 1995 Scottish epic Rob Roy starring Liam Neeson.

Pete’s manager, Jack, is played by Norman Rossington, who also played the Beatles’ manager in A Hard Day’s Night. Typecasting!

“The Long Distance Piano Player” aired on October 15, 1970. (Amusingly, according to the essential Kinks resource All Day and All of the Night, written by Doug Hinman, Davies is said to have booked studio time that evening for his bandmates so that they would be unable to watch it.) The movie isn’t good (and isn’t helped by the literally incessant piano tinkling that never goes away), but Davies is a natural actor and the problems with it have nothing to do with him.

Over the closing credits the as-yet-unreleased song “Got to Be Free” is played; it would appear on Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One, which was released a few weeks after the television special.

The movie is unfortunately broken up into ten parts on YouTube. If you want to hear “Got to Be Free,” it starts at the end of part 9.


Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Starmaker’: Watch Ray Davies’ TV musical of the Kinks’ ‘Soap Opera’
09:54 am


The Kinks
Ray Davies

Even the most passionate of Kinks fans will be forced to admit that the 1970s saw a few too many failed experiments in the rock opera direction. Taking all of the grandiose Kinks Koncept albums (see what I did there) after, what, Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part 1 perhaps (Muswell Hillbillies doesn’t count), one of the ones that probably stands up best today is The Kinks Present a Soap Opera from 1975. I’m none too fond of the central idea of the all-powerful musical demigod Starmaker masquerading as regular-bloke Norman for a day so that he can go off and imbue the lives of ordinary folks with his magical anthems, no sir I am not. But the songs are pretty decent and there’s at least some humor in it, which some of Ray’s other big concept albums sorely lack.

What I didn’t know until recently was that Ray Davies starred in a live staged version of Soap Opera taped for Granada Television about eight months before it was released as an album, with Ray playing the double role of Starmaker/Norman. In a rather demanding role, June Ritchie played Norman’s wife. It’s a full-on production with the Kinks acting as the backup band, and a whole host of singers and dancers. It was taped in front of a live audience on July 25, 1974, and broadcast on September 4 of the same year. The Soap Opera album wouldn’t come out until the following May.

One of the problems with Soap Opera is that the central conceit of the Starmaker is just waaaay too close to Davies himself for my taste. The staged version of the play suggests an uneasy mashup between kitchen-sink drama and a big, heavy-handed, idea-driven satire à la Network. And in fact Soap Opera probably would have worked better if Starmaker was a TV executive rather than a big rock star—it fits naturally, a soap opera is after all a genre designed for TV/radio to begin with. What you’re left with is Davies trying to say something about the entertainment industry and ordinary life but in fact seems to really be all about Ray’s ego, and that’s a palpable flaw.

In any case, the Starmaker Granada show wasn’t a big success, but it’s surprisingly watchable and entertaining. For one thing, they’re almost always singing, and the songs are pretty good, as I said earlier. The staging is almost “theater in the round,” which was fashionable in the 1970s but for darn good reasons has stopped being a common method of presenting drama. Davies is remarkably fluent as an actor, and he’s required to do a whole hell of a lot here.

According to Doug Hinman,‘s The Kinks: All Day and All of the Night, it wasn’t a big success, as Ray showed some discontent with how it all came off.

A little later, Ray reveals that he was too self-conscious to watch Starmaker on TV. “I just didn’t want to know. I knew it was going to be bad. It wasn’t the producer’s fault. That guy [Dennis Wolfe] is suffering, trying to use rock bands, trying to break new ground, and his Light Entertainment department don’t wanna know. So we got squeezed into some late-night slot, and we got the guy who does the drama sound. … We always get resentment from those kind of people because we’re a rock band trying to do something on a theatrical level. Theatrical people don’t like us infringing on their territory.

According to Hinman, Dave Davies wasn’t too thrilled about the Granada appearance, especially “how poorly the band were treated by the crew” as well as “his feeling of being reduced to a sideman in what he sees as a vehicle for Ray alone rather than a Kinks project.” It really does seem like a 100% Ray project, so it makes sense that Dave saw it much the same way.

By the way, it seems that Bobcat Goldthwait has written a movie treatment based on Schoolboys in Disgrace, and he and Ray Davies been “trying to get this movie going for a while now.”

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Kinks rip up le joint, Paris 1965
11:31 am


The Kinks
Ray Davies
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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The Kinks vs. The Beatles: Ray Davies thought ‘Revolver’ was garbage
04:18 pm


The Beatles
Ray Davies

In the August 1966, The Kinks’ Ray Davies reviewed The Beatles’ latest album, Revolver, for Disc and Music Echo Magazine. He didn’t like it. In fact he thought it was garbage, or “rubbish” as we Brits say, and that was even after listening to each track three or four times.

BEATLES and Brian Epstein were so delighted with “Eleanor Rigby” and “Yellow Submarine”, two of the tracks on the new “Revolver” LP out next Friday (August 5), that they’re also being issued a single for the same date.

But if that celebrated songwriter Ray Davies is a reliable judge, the Beatles have made a big mistake. Ray thinks Miss Rigby was definitely dedicated to John and Paul’s music teacher back in primary school; while “Submarine” should sink into a dustbin. “It’s a load of rubbish, really”, remarks Ray.

Disc and Music Echo decided to turn over the task of reviewing the Revolver album - and the Kink certainly spoke his mind.

Here’s the album, track by track, with Ray’s inter-round summaries:

Side One:

“Taxman” - “It sounds like a cross between the Who and Batman. It’s a bit limited, but the Beatles get over this by the sexy double-tracking. It’s surprising how sexy double-tracking makes a voice sound.”

“Eleanor Rigby” - “I bought a Haydn LP the other day and this sounds just like it. It’s all sort of quartet stuff and it sounds like they’re out to please music teachers in primary schools. I can imagine John saying: ‘I’m going to write this for my old schoolmistress’. Still it’s very commercial.”

“I’m Only Sleeping” - “It’s a most beautiful song, much prettier than “Eleanor Rigby”. A jolly old thing, really, and definitely the best track on the album.

“Love You Too” - “George wrote this - he must have quite a big influence on the group now. This sort of song I was doing two years ago - now I’m doing what the Beatles were doing two years ago. It’s not a bad song - it’s well performed which is always true of a Beatles track.”

“Here There and Everywhere” - “This proves that the Beatles have got good memories, because there are a lot of busy chords in it. It’s nice - like one instrument with the voice and the guitar merging. Third best track on the album.”

“Yellow Submarine” - “This is a load of rubbish, really. I take the mickey out of myself on the piano and play stuff like this. I think they know it’s not that good.”

“She Said She Said” - “This song is in to restore confidence in old Beatles sound. That’s all.”

Side Two:

“Good Day Sunshine” - “This’ll be a giant. It doesn’t force itself on you, but it stands out like “I’m Only Sleeping”. This is back to the real old Beatles. I just don’t like the electronic stuff. The Beatles were supposed to be like the boy next door only better.”

“And Your Bird Can Sing” - “Don’t like this. The song’s too predictable. It’s not a Beatles song at all.”

“Dr. Robert” - “It’s good - there’s a 12-bar beat and bits in it that are clever. Not my sort of thing, though.”

“I Want To Tell You” - “This helps the LP through though it’s not up to the Beatles standard.”

“Got To Get You Into My Life” - “Jazz backing - and it just goes to prove that Britain’s jazz musicians can’t swing. Paul’s sings better jazz than the musicians are playing which makes nonsense of people saying jazz and pop are very different. Paul sounds like Little Richard. Really, it’s the most vintage Beatles track on the LP.”

“Tomorrow Never Knows” - “Listen to all those crazy sounds! It’ll be popular in discotheques. I can imagine they had George Martin tied to a totem pole when they did this.”

So, after listening to each track three or four times, the Ray Davies verdict:

“This is the first Beatles LP I’ve really listened to in it’s entirety but I must say there are better songs on Rubber Soul. Still, “I’m Only Sleeping” is a standout. “Good Day Sunshine” is second best and I also like “Here, There and Everywhere.” But I don’t want to be harsh about the others. The balance and recording technique are as good as ever.”

There you have it…

The Beatles—‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ (Take One) Semi-Acappela.

The Beatles—‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ Isoalted Guitar Solo—not backwards.

The Beatles—‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ Partial backing tape—Isolated Drums and Bass.

The Beatles—‘Tomorrow Never Knows’—Tape Loops.

The Beatles—‘Tomorrow Never Knows’—Drums and Vocals.
H/T ‘The Classic Rockers Network

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Have a Kinky 69th birthday Ray Davies!
04:35 pm


The Kinks
Ray Davies

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
12:56 am

Pop Culture

The Kinks
Ray Davies

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


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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
‘London Calling’: Jools Holland’s personal guide to London’s musical history

Musician, cheeky-chappie, and renowned Boogie-Woogie pianist, Jools Holland takes a personal tour through the theaters, music halls and performance venues, at the heart of London’s diverse musical history.

Unlike Chicago blues or Memphis soul, London has no one definitive sound. Its noisy history is full of grime, clamour, industry and countless different voices demanding to be heard. But there is a strain of street-wise realism that is forever present, from its world-famous nursery rhymes to its music hall traditions, and from the Broadside Ballad through to punk and beyond.

Jools’s investigation - at once probing and humorous - identifies the many ingredients of a salty tone that could be called ‘the London sound’ as he tracks through the centuries from the ballads of Tyburn Gallows to Broadside publishing in Seven Dials in the 18th century, to Wilton’s Music Hall in the late 19th century, to the Caribbean sounds and styles that first docked at Tilbury with the Windrush in 1948, to his own conception to the strains of Humphrey Lyttelton at the 100 Club in 1957.

On the way, Jools meets Ray Davies, Damon Albarn, Suggs from Madness, Roy Hudd, Lisa Hannigan, Joe Brown and Eliza Carthy who perform and talk about such classic songs as “London Bridge is Falling Down”, “While London Sleeps”, “Knocked ‘Em in the Old Kent Road”, “St James Infirmary Blues” and “Oranges and Lemons”.


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!
12:16 pm


The Kinks
Ray Davies

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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