Divided Anew, Kinks Online
By Charles Bermant
The New York Times - December 17, 1998
The Kinks are the only major British Invasion group aside from
the Rolling Stones to continue to perform and record, and, like many musicians, have
developed a presence on the World Wide Web. True to one of the band's lesser-known
anthems - "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" they have done so in their own
A large part of the Kinks' allure has always been the sibling rivalry between
two of the principals: Ray and Dave Davies, who are brothers. Ray, 54, wrote and
sang most of the band's hits, from "You Really Got Me" to "Come Dancing."
Dave, 51, is known for his histrionic guitar playing and challenges to Ray's leadership.
So it is no surprise that the rivalry continues online, with each brother represented
by separate sites - but linked to each other.
Both sites were set up last spring. They focus on the Davies's solo careers, rather
than on Kinks music. Mercifully, both are free of the annoying practice, seen in
many fan-run Web sites on the Kinks, of substituting the letter "k" when
a hard "c" begins a word. Coincidentally, both sites are operated by Kinks
fans living in Massachusetts.
Chris Locke, a New Bedford Web site developer, was operating his own Kinks fan site
when Christian Davies, Dave Davies's 26-year-old son, approached him with the idea
of an official Dave Davies site. Tony Raine, from the Cape Cod town of Chatham, was
the one to approach Ray Davies. "None of these guys are overly computer literate,"Raine
said. "They are just learning."
The Dave Davies Web site (www.davedavies.com) contains the requisite touring information
and guitar shots, but Davies logs on regularly to answer the most minutiae-soaked
inquiries. Fans are also able to listen to a complete concert. Davies also uses the
online forum to expound upon his Eastern-tinged spiritual beliefs and to hawk a related
album of ambient music, available only from the Web site. And while turning to a
pop star for spiritual guidance may be somewhat misguided, the discourse here is
more substantial than the offerings of some other celebrities.
A recent upgrade of Ray Davies's site (www.raydavies.com) is quite an improvement
over the initial effort, with flashier graphics and fewer blatant misspellings (although
its small white-on-black type does not accommodate the eyesight of the rapidly aging
Like his brother, Ray Davies is using his site to promote his literary leanings,
offering samples that are, for the time being, not available elsewhere. But unlike
his brother, Ray Davies seems to treat the Web as a peripheral activity, a 1990's
version of a 1960's fan club.
"This whole 'Internet thing' just hasn't piqued Ray's interest like it has Dave's,"
said Dave Emlen, a systems analyst for the Rochester Institute of Technology who
runs a Kinks fan page. "But if I had to choose between Ray spending his free
time working on his Web site or working on new recordings and projects, I'd choose
By Charles Bermant - New York Times - December 17, 1998
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