Hillbilly Kinks Ride Again - In The U.S.
By Richard Green
N.M.E. - January 1972
AMERICA is a very important place just now to the Kinks, who are
enjoying a run of success in that country akin to the fan mania that surrounded them
here at the height of their career. Even if they tried, it seems they could not put
a foot wrong, though several critics don't see it that way.
The Kinks were just a name to most Americans until early this year when they went
over and showed 'em just where it's at. Since then they have made a number of return
appearances and are to go again next year.
Just how this uplift came about was explained to me by Dave Davies at his local in
Highgate, London, after a lengthy photo session. All the Kinks were there making
merry and the interview was a little slow to start due to the jollity.
When we finally got underway, Dave told me "All of a sudden, people wanted to
see groups like the Zombies and us and when we went over there was a lot of interest
in the group. We didn't get a very good reaction from some of the critics, though,
because they couldn't understand why we messed about on stage.
"The thing is, we take music seriously, but what's the point of going on stage
and just standing there? We joke and have a laugh and they couldn't see why we did
it. But later they began to come round."
He calmed down sufficiently to turn back to me and add "What we usually do in
America are short tours of about four weeks. We base ourselves in New York and work
out to places from there so that gradually we're reaching most places
Dave likes American audiences and American venues. He finds that in Britain there
just aren't enough
of the right places to play.
"We do a few universities here, but where else is there?" he asked. "There's
the Albert Hall and places, but in most of them the acoustics are so bad they're
just not worth playing. We've done a lot of big halls in the past few years but they're
just not good enough."
I asked Dave about the strength of the bands' following in Britain.
"We get written off once a year then we come up with a hit and everyone starts
wanting to know again," he commented. "If we put a record out and it's
not a hit people start writing things like 'Are The Kinks Finished?' Then we get
back in the charts and they change their minds until we start falling off a bit.
'Lola' was the last time that happened - they were all quietly thinking we'd had
it until that came out."
Records are obviously of great importance to the Kinks and with a new album titled
"Muswell Hillbillies" out, I wondered how they felt about making albums
and seeing them through.
"I think we'll do better now that we've signed with RCA. We left Kinney because
they have so many groups doing the same thing as us that they just couldn't spend
as much time on us as we wanted," Dave explained.
"RCA haven't anyone else like us and we'll do well there. I had to say that,
didn't I? But really we enjoy making albums and we always do our best to make them
as strong as possible. We think they're more important to us than singles anyway.
"All those cheap albums that Pye put out don't do us any good. The new one is
the kind of thing we want people to hear."
By Richard Green - N.M.E. - January 1972
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