Dec 082014


Recently, NPR’s Fresh Air program ran what, to me, was a wholly unsatisfying and slightly annoying interview with Ray Davies. I looked forward to listening to Terry Gross’ interview with the Kinks’ leader for all the wrong reasons:


  10 Responses to “The Babies Davies”

  1. diskojoe

    While I’ve been a Kinks fan for 37 years, I never really thought of them being superior to the Beatles. To me, the Beatles exist on another plane above everyone else. You can argue w/the Stones & Who being better than the Kinks & they were probably better in exploiting the US market.

    I also get tired about Ray & Dave being interviewed w/many of the same questions, especially involving a possible reunion. If they decide to reunite, great, I’ll get a ticket, but if they don’t, I’m happy w/the records & the fact that I last saw them live right next to my home town.

    As for the quality of the outtakes question, there were a bunch of them in the last Kinks box set called Picture Book that came out in 2008 & they weren’t really all that good. I think that if Ray had some decent unreleased songs, he would probably use them to write other songs & to release anything that he can’t salvage for one reason or another.

  2. These are heartening words!

  3. I do remember an interview, probably in the long departed Musician Magazine, where Ray vehemently denied the Jimmy Page rumor, although with a slightly snarky tone about that solo being Dave’s greatest moment which no one should ever deny him.

    I listen to Fresh Air pretty regularly, but I’m really not sure how I feel about it. Since reading an essay about Fresh Air by Curtis White in Harper’s about 10 years ago, I’m always waiting for the big Terry Gross Money Shot question that always involves the death of a parent, sibling, or near death experience of the interviewee. It’s so consistent and routine that it’s uncanny…no, hilarious. The full article is hidden behind a subscriber firewall at Harper’s but is liberally quoted here.

    I would warn you not to read this if you want to listen to Fresh Air with a straight face ever again.

    I also wish Dave Davies interviewed Ray because, in addition to the name goof, I think he’d be way more objective.

  4. That was a good read, geo. I don’t know if you heard her interview with Ray, but she went for the money shot with Ray. Yesterday I heard a rebroadcast of her recent interview with Chris Rock. She got lost in possibly her worst trait: that of “challenging” an artist on views that don’t represent her own. Chris Rock’s new movie must have a part where he and the other comedian characters start riffing on a gay joke. She tried to corner Rock on his “gay bashing.” I thought Rock handled it well, but she wouldn’t let up, she wouldn’t actually discuss it with him or hear his point of view, which was, essentially, comedians make jokes. They’re not philosophers or politicians. They’re trying to get laughs. He said he’s personally not homophobic, and he felt no remorse for having added that joke to his film. Gross continued to characterize this seemingly minor part of the film as “bashing.” Her passion and humanity are part of what make her great, but also part of what makes her act wear a bit. She tried a similar attack on Chuck D years ago for some anti-Semitic statements that one of the Public Enemy crew made. I think the guy got booted for his remarks, but that wasn’t enough for Terry.

  5. misterioso

    Wow, I never would have thought “You Really Got Me” was inspired by Gregorian chants, either. And that’s because, you know, it isn’t.

  6. Ha, I forgot about that! Now the interview was even more disappointing.

  7. Oh I did hear the Money Shots, cause there were a couple of them.

    What I loved about this Curtis White essay was that it drew attention to something that, even as a regular listener of Fresh Air, I had never noticed and, once revealed, is impossible to miss. It really has increased my enjoyment, if not my respect, for Fresh Air; it’s sort of an NPR T.J. Hooker moment everytime she does it.

  8. There’s an outstanding Hooker reference!

  9. cherguevara

    Her Gene Simmons interview was a disaster!

  10. Wow, is this thread in my wheelhouse!

    The Kinks were an early favorite – I got on the bandwagon with Arthur. And they were the headliner at my first concert back in 1971 (was it the Spectrum, was that opened yet? maybe the Spectrums’s predecessor) with Philly’s own God opening and Edgar Winter second billed.

    That concert was my first indication that God wasn’t saving the Kinks, at least not in their live incarnation. That was my first taste of all the lousy live habits they have displayed in any live recording I’ve heard – sing-a-longs, the dreaded day-o, and Ray generally treating his songs with no respect.

    I recently purchased the Lola vs Powerman reissue. I loved that album but see in retrospect that the Kinks slide downward, which I had previously dated from Muswell Hillbillies (an album I now find unlistenable) began with this album.

    And I’m more than sick with the Dave-Ray feud. Each of them trots out the desire to get back together whenever they have some solo project to promote. It’s a minor league Mike Love- Brian Wilson thing just not as funny.

    I at least feel a little sorry for Dave. He’s probably got little to no money while Ray must be rolling in it (there’s a poll question – who has more songs licensed to commercials, Ray or Pete Townshend?).

    Of course, I doubt that there’s much money to be made in a reunion tour as I question whether there is much of a market there. I doubt they’d be playing arenas. I think it would end up being sad.

    I know you’d have to pay me to go see it.

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