Dave Davies - Hold My Hand

Beat Instrumental - February 1969

In terms of actual appearances, the Kinks have wound down almost to a halt. They've been doing cabaret work, plus an occasional concert on the Continent, but mostly their view is that the opportunities for theatre and cinema work in Britain is "almost at a stand still".

Which leaves Dave Davies in an interesting position. His fourth single as a solo singer, Hold My Hand has just come out. He's pinning his hopes on it making the charts - and if it does, he'll be almost certainly lining up work for himself in London clubs, as a solo cabaret attraction.

Let him explain for himself. "My last record, Lincoln County, was a bit of a mix-up. It was put out, then withdrawn, then it was put out again, and withdrawn again! By the time it really DID come out, third time lucky, it was unlucky. It was too late - no television, no radio, no nothing. The problem hadn't been with the record ... but the difficulty was over when exactly a new Kinks' single was due out. We didn't want the two to clash.

"But recently I've been writing furiously. I'm supposed to have my first solo album out in February and so far I've got six or seven tracks completed. All my own material - I've got a bug about this writing business. Quite a few groups have asked me for special material to suit them, but, that's not as easy as it might seem to other writers.

"I find it difficult to write when I want to. Some people can sit down and just write - I could never do a whole musical, for instance, because I doubt if I could write the songs to fit the story. I try to feel a song and do what I want to with it, but it's not easy doing some thing specially tailored for somebody else. My way is just to keep playing, just fiddling around, and wait and see what comes out of it.

"But at least writing and playing around helps get a more individual sort of thing going. This is happening to all the group. Ray has a hand in just about every side of the business right now, and Pete has started writing. And Mick, I think, wants to do some drumming with other groups. We remain very much a group - we rehearse at least twice a week, for instance - but we have time to do our own individual things.

"So if Hold My Hand does click, I'll be free to do my own cabaret act if I want. I would use all new material, except maybe, a couple of the Kinks' hit records, but given a different treatment so that it suited a solo voice. Probably work with a small group. I'd love to have a go at this sort of act, but you know how things get talked about, then flop off.

"Ray has wanted to do some solo singing, too. But he wrote a song for the Alf Garnett movie and they naturally wanted him to bring out a record on it because it would be a good seller. But he somehow just didn't want to do it. I think he's a bit afraid of being typecast as a solo singer.

Personal freedom

"No, this personal freedom within a group seems to be a very good thing. Maybe it's becoming a new trend, but I hope not because I hate to be involved in anything that is trendy. I think there's a lot of good stuff coming out of today's group scene, mind you, but all the same, just looking at the charts makes you feel a bit ... sort of insecure. More insecure now than a couple of years ago.

"The Scaffold getting to number one with Lily The Pink, for instance. I mean, it's hardly a predictable number one, is it? The way I see it, there is a chance of anything at all making the charts, just so long as it comes out at the right time."

Dave paused momentarily. "I suppose this is a very good thing, really. Anything stands a chance of registering, so it makes everybody work that little bit harder to do what they can to stay in the charts. It's just that I find it strange - you look ahead at what might happen during 1969 and find out that it could be anything at all. No distinct pattern anywhere.

"I'm very much the sort of person who'd rather live for today than tomorrow, so I don't find myself looking ahead very far. But I'm so excited about this new single. If it goes well, I'll probably get such a boost to my ego that I'll go out and develop some startling new talent to unleash on the world.

"Anyway, just writing songs takes up a lot of time. Do you realise I've not even played football for a couple of months? I'm forced to play the odd game of table-tennis in order to keep even slightly fit."

Beat Instrumental, February 1960

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