Most people don’t consider The Kinks to be an important or as great a band as The Beatles. Or as cool – a notion the picture in the new issue of NME of Ray and Dave Davies dressed as schoolboys, brandishing a slingshot and snooker ball, probably supports.
But to me The Kinks were always as great a musical presence in my life as John, Paul and the gang – probably greater. For the issue our writer Matt Wilkinson met both Ray and Dave – via two interviews hundreds of miles apart, as they still pretty much hate each other – to go over their legacy. And while it might not feature psychedelic India adventures, porn star ‘taches or excessive acid trips like The Beatles’ did, The Kinks’ ride was just as thrillingly bumpy.
Namely because Ray and Dave were at each others’ throats like slapped Rottweilers for most of their time together. “Why can’t he just say, ‘I would not have been where I am today without Dave’?” Dave asks in the piece. While Ray argues that “If I hadn’t had Dave as my brother I would have found someone like him.” Still a way off to papering over those brotherly cracks, then.
You kind of get the impression that Liam and Noel are going to be firing such missives at each other through NME’s Oasis retrospective features a couple of decades down the line, too. But sibling combativeness can clearly aid creativity and then some, have a listen to these while you’re reading the feature, and ask again where The Kinks feature in your internal musical league table. Champions every time, for me.