It was fascinating to read about the band's ups and downs and their forays into different musical directions. View all 6 comments. Jan 05, Pete daPixie rated it really liked it Shelves: biogs , poptastic. Johnny Rogan has quite an impressive list of popular music biographies. I have previously read his 'Van Morrison-No Surrender'. Anyone who was intimately associated with the Kink kontrov Johnny Rogan has quite an impressive list of popular music biographies.
ROCK HISTORY – RAY DAVIES: A COMPLICATED LIFE BY JOHNNY ROGAN – POWER OF POP
Anyone who was intimately associated with the Kink kontroversies over the previous fifty years have contributed to Rogan's work. The journey is accompanied by relevant social and 'poptastic' histories. With over seven hundred and fifty pages of text, notes, discography and index, this publication blows away Davies' autobiog 'X-Ray'. Rogan takes a sharp scalpel inside Ray's psyche and readers will be amazed how Dave Davies, Pete Quaife and Mick Avory remained Kinks for as long as they did.
Not described as the definitive biography without reason. Jun 20, Malcolm Frawley rated it really liked it Shelves: owned. Joined the hip through their music they could barely stand sharing the stage times, yet were band mates for 30odd years. Recommended for baby boomer music fans. Mar 21, Betty C.
As a lifelong Kinks' fan, I knew I would enjoy this book.
I was impressed by Johnny Rogan's detailed research, and especially enjoyed the early chapters, which gave a real feel for the Davies family and the background the brothers come from. I however agree with some reviews that criticize Rogan for constantly going back to the theme of Ray's supposed cheap streak. It may be true, but some of the jabs on this subject seemed gratuitous, and perhaps other aspects of his personality could have been As a lifelong Kinks' fan, I knew I would enjoy this book.
It may be true, but some of the jabs on this subject seemed gratuitous, and perhaps other aspects of his personality could have been more fully developed. Their chaotic, larger than life, family, schooldays and the beginnings of their interest in making music. What was also obvious was that Ray, even as a young boy, was often silent and withdrawn and his behaviour suggested cause for concern — this is a recurring theme of the book, as is the constant, infamous warring with younger brother Dave and his reputation for meanness… Although there are parts of the book where you feel that the author does tend to continually mention negative traits, I felt it was important in order to understand the unfolding story of the Kinks as a band.
The violence on stage, the constant arguing and issues in the studio, all seemed to work against the Kinks getting the real success they deserved. A disastrous visit led to the Kinks being banned from the US for four years, with management issues and lawsuits all combining to halt the Kinks progress in the mid Sixties. Ray Davies was obviously temperamental to put it kindly , his first marriage was unravelling and his behaviour in the studio, and on tour, stifled creativity in other band members. By the end of the Sixties, the Kinks were virtually a forgotten act. With failing singles and havoc on tour, they had cult — but not commercial — success.
If the Seventies had mixed success, the Eighties led to criticisms of the bands relevance, more personal issues and the humiliation of being turned down for Live Aid. This book takes you through all the roller coaster rides of the Kinks as a band and Ray Davies life. You have the terrible year of , when Ray Davies was shot apparently, despite such a shocking event, he was still able to complain about having his new trousers cut in order for paramedics to examine the wound and Dave Davies suffered a stroke.
The trauma of touring and the constant warring between the brothers — such as when filming a promo film and the band were meant to pretend to attack Ray Davies, leading to Dave Davies getting so carried away that he eventually had to be dragged off his brother.
The violence between them was often ugly and it had a huge affect on the band and those around them. There is also much about the volatility of Ray Davies — his personal attacks on those around him and yet his obvious emotional vulnerability. Of course, at the end of the day, it is the music that stands. Ray Davies need not doubt that his music, his song writing and his talent, will last forever.
In one part of the book, there is a story about Davies falling down drunk on stage. Members of the audience rushed onstage to right him and gently help him back on his feet. He said he realised then that audiences can love performers for their weaknesses. Despite all of Ray Davies faults, most of which he wryly acknowledges himself, he is respected and loved by his legions of fans.
His music overrides any personal issues, but I am still glad I have read his history and I enjoyed every moment of his interesting life and career. View all 8 comments. Aug 19, Allan Heron rated it it was amazing. As is always the case with Johnny Rogan's biographies this is a hefty tome packed with detail but which nevertheless has a narrative that doesn't drag at all.
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Researched over many years it reveals Davies and all his foibles, many of which are far from pleasant. Needless to say, there's a particular focus on his relationship with brother Dave, who almost matches his oldet brother for unpleasantness.
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Despite all that, we still have a superb catalogue of songs which will live down the ages. This book As is always the case with Johnny Rogan's biographies this is a hefty tome packed with detail but which nevertheless has a narrative that doesn't drag at all. This book is the best attempt to capture the odd character that composed them. For every one person who says something negative about working with or knowing Ray I know 10 or more people who could say the exact opposite, myself included.
This book was written with a search and destroy mission and hatchet in hand not a pen, and an author who builds his reputation on writing that way has no business being an author and should be ignored. I will add or ever will be too! FranK Lima. Frank Lima , Apr 9, Hey Frank! As we discussed on FB, we'll have to agree to disagree on this. The book seems to have polarized Kinks fans into two camps which I'm still struggling to understand why Yes the 2 camps are ones that are casual kinks fans and have no real ties or emotional involvement with the band, Ray and the songs and those that actually do and also know the truth and facts -.
Does this one cover a lot of significant bases not covered in the other books? Folknik , Apr 9, Folknik likes this. Location: Glasgow. Last edited: Sep 14, DrBeatle likes this.
Location: Amstelveen NL. DrBeatle , Sep 14, Truthfully, they had been a spent force for years. The book is flecked with humour too, such as the time the brothers found themselves standing side by side at the funeral of one the many managers they had over the years and wondered aloud if he had faked his own death in order to escape their warring.
Review: Ray Davies: A Complicated Life - a creative powerhouse riddled with ambivalence
But when one strips away the soap opera from the story, the music is left and that's ultimately what Davies will be remembered for. He was barely out of his teens when he wrote 'You Really Got Me' and 'All Day and All of the Night' and was just 22 when he penned the gorgeously reflective 'Waterloo Sunset' which, for most of us, captures the idea of Swinging Sixties London best.
Anybody picking a top 10 of great Kinks songs would likely include a pair from - the cross-dressing anthem 'Lola' and the hippie-baiting curio 'Apeman' - but, in truth, nothing released after that could match their best tracks from the s. Looking back, it's clear that Davies had peaked artistically at the ripe old age of 26 and he never came close to matching those highs again.
Ray Davies: A Complicated Life --> my book reveiw
Although, given their due at the time, The Kinks had the misfortune to release their best work when both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were in their pomp. It was only in the s when Village Green was properly appraised. It helped that many of the bands who were helping to make Britpop a brief global phenomenon were then in thrall to Davies and The Kinks.
That was especially the case for Blur's Damon Albarn, who would duet with Davies on a memorable TV recording of 'Waterloo Sunset' and whose songs were, at least in part, indebted to vintage-era Kinks.
Davies can't help but have noticed that the lyrics of Blur's 'Country House', which beat Oasis' 'Roll With It' to the number one spot in the summer of , repeated the title of his own composition, 'House in the Country'. Unlike some of his peers, Davis never quite enjoyed a late artistic flowering, and although he continues to perform with regularity, his shows are shrouded in a cloak of nostalgic yearning. That is, when he's bothered to make an effort. Several of Rogan's interviewees contend that Davies has a self-destructive streak and there was evidence of that at a truly abysmal concert in The O2, Dublin, back in when it appeared as though he would rather be doing anything else.