Dave Davies FAQ, Part A - Marian College
Dave was 16 years old when he first started touring with The Kinks and 17 when
he developed the guitar solo and sound for "You Really Got Me."
Dave must like big families; at any rate, he is accustomed to them. He is the youngest
of eight children (he has six sisters, some much older, and brother Ray). And he
has two daughters and six sons of his own, and remains close to all of them. In fact,
Dave's son Christian assists Dave and helps operate his website, Dave recently recorded
an album with son Russell, and Dave recorded part of his last album at son Simon's
recording studio in London. Simon's band Mash released its first CD, too.
Dave is a soccer fanatic (Arsenal is his favorite team). Dave is a long-time vegetarian
and has recently given up smoking. Dave currently lives in Los Angeles most of the
time, but he also spends substantial time in London and Manchester, England.
Dave Davies and Ray Davies grew up in the same area and went to school with Rod Stewart,
and all three played on the school soccer team.
Dave has devoted most of his career to working in the context of The Kinks, but he
has made three concentrated forays into a solo career: (a) now, the late 1990s, with
two albums and a band to extensively tour; (b) the early 1980s, when he released
three albums but didnít tour due to Kinks commitments; and (c) the late 1960s, when
he recorded a series of chart singles and an album that was never released.
Dave has increasingly gained attention for his Spiritual Planet website, which is
the latest manifestation of his ever-intensifying spiritual search that began in
earnest in the very early 1980s, when, he says, he felt his "life was leaking
spiritually" and decided to do something about it. Visit the Spiritual Planet
site and see (www.davedavies.com, click on "Spiritual Planet").
The Kinks' first U.S. tour (1965) was nearly their last, despite the fact they were
outselling nearly every British artist in the U.S. except The Beatles. The American
Federation of Musicians (AFM) zeroed in on The Kinks and other British Invasion artists
less powerfully backed than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones; the AFM believed
British artists were claiming too high a percentage of American musiciansí income.
The Kinks were banned from performing in the U.S. for unspecified "unprofessional
conduct" for nearly five years (until late 1969), five crucial years that saw
great changes in rock music (by the time of their return to the U.S., Woodstock was
over and the lives of Hendrix, Joplin, and Morrison were nearly over). Unable to
promote their changing style (from classic singles to classic albums), The Kinksí
U.S. career nearly ended. Luckily, the ban was lifted and "Lola" restored
them to the top of the U.S. charts within a year. Nonetheless, in some ways The Kinks
have never recovered from the ba and the level of success of The Rolling Stones,
for example, is forever out of reach (whether that is a blessing or a curse is another
As teenagers, The Kinks signed contracts that cost them the publishing rights to
their music and control over their recordings. In one landmark decision, their management
contracts were declared simultaneously void (because signed by minors) and in effect
(because it would have been too much of a mess to reverse them). The case is now
studied in British law schools. The publishing-rights lawsuit is still being argue
and it is 34 years old and counting. The net effect is that Ray and Dave Davies have
no control over the licensure of their early songs and that some of their best albums,
such as Face to Face, have been unavailable in the U.S. for 30 years. Dave
Davies's best solo album, 1983's Chosen People, is unavailable in the world
for the same reason.
A critic at Cambridge University, England, recently noted that "Dave Davies
is the only major artist of the British Invasion whose finest work most likely will
be created in the future and the immediate future."
Dave Davies FAQ, Part B - Marian College
Sometimes mistakenly seen as a "60s band" (because they had their first
hits during that decade), the truth about The Kinks is not so clear. In the U.S.,
for example, The Kinks have generated the most revenue in the 1990s (due to straightening
out their band catalog and releasing much of it on CD), sold the most albums in the
1980s, played the most tour dates in the 1970s, and sold the most singles in the
1960s. To highlight this further, The Kinks sold five times more albums from 1979
to 1985 than they have in any other six-year period in their career and perhaps they
are an "80s band"? But they have also (due to CD reissues and Dave and
Ray Davies's solo projects) received more serious press attention than ever in the
The Kinks, considered by many in the industry to be unmarketable because of the diversity
of their work and anti-commercial stance, have a checkered recording-label history
that (along with the legal issues noted elsewhere) renders any "compilation
box set" collection virtually impossible. They have been on Reprise (Warner
Brothers), RCA, Arista, Virgin, Warner Brothers, MCA, and Columbia/Sony; they now
own their 1971-1985 work and license it through independent Velvel. The Kinks (contrary
to some media mis-information) are currently signed to Capitol-EMI, the largest label
in the world, and owe that label one group album.
The last Kinksí last live appearance in the U.S. (to this point) was at the concert
for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Stadium, September 1995. Amidst an
all-star lineup, The Kinks' registered the loudest audience response on the "applause
meters" in attendance.
The name The Kinks is actually an art-school social-political critique of
the then-current Profumo scandal that toppled the Tory government in Great Britain
in the early 1960s. The name, in fact, satirizes the secret lives the hypocritical
well-respected men of the government led.
Dave Davies actually founded the band that became The Kinks while brother Ray was
away at art school. Originally called The Ravens (after the Vincent Price
film of the Poe classic), the name was changed to The Kinks shortly after brother
In seeming mockery of the old "sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll" stereotype,
The Kinks and/or Dave Davies have never written or sung a sex or drug lyric; in fact,
The Kinks have never done a direct love song (although Dave has, solo). Not only
are none of The Kinks dead; none of them has ever been arrested.
The Kinks own and operate their own London recording studios, Konk, which are constantly
booked by current chart acts.
While Ray Davies is listed as composer of the majority of The Kinks' material, Dave
Davies wrote the best Kinks song of the 1980s, "Living On a thin Line,"
which, in typical Kinks fashion, was only released as a single in one country, South
Africa (it was felt the intense moral insistence of the song directly related to
apartheid there). As a result of releasing music in South Africa, The Kinks were
briefly placed on a United Nations list (with Ray Charles) for violating a U.N. boycott.
You should be able to purchase select CDs and Daveís autobiography Kink, among
other things, at his October 6 appearance and bring your cash!
Dave will be at Marian as a solo artist, accompanied by only an acoustic guitar,
an electric guitar, and a Peavey amp. He does, however, have a highly regarded solo
band composed of younger Los Angeles alternative all-stars; they almost appeared
at Marian last summer, but scheduling complications proved insurmountable. Dave has
taken to calling the band, which he originally put together for an End Hunger Network
concert he did, The Ravens, in tribute to his early, pre-Kinks band of the same name.
Pete Townshend, Broadway playwright and leader of The Who, has often said, "Everything
good I've ever done I've nicked from The Kinks."
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