A Well Respected Man - Dave Davies Takes Care Of Unfinished Business

By Dan Epstein

BAM - February 12, 1999



"I'm so upset that they closed The Source down!" It's a cold and wet weekday afternoon at a Los Angeles tea room, and Dave Davies - legendary founding member of the Kinks and an ardent vegetarian is holding forth on the tragic demise of a local health-food restaurant. "That was like a little oasis for us, in the '60s," he recalls with obvious sadness, "You could get nut-roast cutlets there before anyone else had them. They keep closing down all these great little local places - Johnny's on Fairfax, that'll go next. It seems like the only little bit of culture they've got here, they cant wait to dispose of!"

All of which is true, of course, but LA's also been pretty good to Dave. Though he also resides in London and Manchester, the city has served as Dave's Stateside home for the past five years; it's also been the scene of his first-ever concerts as a solo act, and the place where he met the members of his current backing band: Andersons drummer Jim LaSpesa, Andrew bassist Dave Jenkins and Wondermints/Lucky/Jigsaw Seen multi-instrumentalist David Nolte, who juggles keyboard and rhythm guitar duties.

"It all kind of came about by accident, really," Dave laughs. "I played a charity show about three or four years ago that was a Kinks tribute, and the guys I'm using now were up there in the rhythm section. They're very open-minded, and they all come from that perspective of, 'Let's get the song working.' So we get on really, really well."

The quartet is currently gearing up for a national tour to promote Unfinished Business (Velvel), a two-CD anthology of Dave's recordings, with and without the Kinks, spanning the period from 1963 to the present day. Though Dave rarely contributed more than one or two tracks to any Kinks album Unfinished Business presents a strong case for his talent as a songwriter - and makes you wonder why he waited until the early 80's to record a solo LP.

"I did a couple of solo singles," he says, "but I really didn't enjoy them that much. I liked being part of a band, the idea of four or five guys together against the world. In the Kinks, we knew when we'd done something right, ever when the record company people would be like, 'Sorry, guys we've got to go!" Still, he admits that by the mid-90's, the band was really just going through the motions

"Yeah, I think Ray and I both needed to get away." he says. "It can be very constricting being in a band for that long - you know what everyone's going to do next, and how they're going to do it."

Though Dave is currently involved in several creative projects, including writing the screenplay for an animated film, he says he's "really looking forward to touring again with an actual record to promote. Despite all my various interests, I really still like to get up on stage and play. I'm a musician after all!




By Dan Epstein, Bam - February 12, 1999


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