The Different Dave Davies

By Richard Green

Record Mirror - August 26th 1967

Gone is the rampaging looner of old, the very sight of whom would strike fear into the hearts of publicans and club owners thoughout the land.

In his place is a quiet, soft-spoken, much more sensible and almost gentle being.

This is Dave Davies '67. Really.

Dave and I met 'neath the shade of a chestnut tree in serenest Highgate and sat on wooden benches and sipped ale.

"I'm more nervous now," he began, "I've been straightening myself out and I've got nervous. I had a period of about six months when there was nothing. None of the people meant anything and all the clubs were getting me down. There was just air.

"I've got a couple of friends who helped me and I've been doing a lot of writing. I wrote the first chapter of a book, then I found I couldn't phrase things, so I gave it up.

"I've written a lot of songs. That's really all I'm good at, I suppose. I sussed the saxophone out. It's only there now to bring me down. I got it to broaden my musical knowledge, then I realised my musical knowledge didn't need broadening."

Despite the fact that he'd only had five hours sleep, Dave didn't look too bad. The reason for his lack of rest didn't actually please him.

"We had to go to Cornwall," he sneered. "We thought we'd do a few dates, but it's not worth it. All that way. God!

"We're not doing any more for a few months. I want to go to America for a week, I haven't been for about 18 months and I want to go to L.A. So we'll record and have a holiday."

I asked Dave if it was true that he'd turned down "Dee Time".

"I wasn't keen on doing it, there's no audience, is there?" he replied. "The last time we did it, it was an insert. I like playing to audiences. But one-nighters are different, aren't they? You make more mistakes and you've got to do more."

Our glasses were re-charged and Dave told me: "I'm making my own beer. I was walking down the road and I saw a sign 'Do It Yourself Beer', so I got some. It's twelve and six and you get a packet of hops and things.

"It takes about four days and it tastes like Cornish beer. I almost killed myself when I was bottling it. It started to froth up and by the time it went down, I was high on the fumes."

Dave has also taken to table tennis and visits a local youth club with friends when it is closed to other people. That, and a number of other things, are part of his "getting myself together" process.

Dave admitted that he was surprised when "Death Of A Clown" reached No. 3.

"I was surprised when it reached 23," he laughed. "It's not all that good, is it? We're certainly not going to rush and do a follow-up, that'd be ridiculous. Singles are murder.

"I'm doing an EP this weekend, though. It'll probably be two of my songs and two that I've written with Ray. If an LP comes out of at, I'll do one. It depends on whether we get the right theme."

The Kinks' next single will be "Mr. Pleasant", which has been released in other countries already. Dave described it as "an Edith Plaf sort of thing" - and that must be worth listening to coming from the Kinks.

Just because it was a warm day, it began to rain, so we went inside where a strange lady wearing a white overall thrust a piece of paper at Dave and said: "I want your autograph, 'cause you're one of the Kinks aren't you? Did you have some of my soup? If you did I'll give you some more."

"What was she on about!?" Dave asked as we reached the comparative safety of my car.

"Is it alright if I look in here? I like looking through glove boxes."

By Richard Green - Record Mirror, August 1967

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