Dave “The Rave” Davies

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I have been a Kinks fan since the early 70’s. I have seen them live 14 times from 1977-1995. Ray Davies has toured solo since 1996 and I have seen him 8 times. His brother, Dave Davies has also toured and I had seen him 3 times until 1998. Sadly, Dave suffered a stroke in 2004 and has not toured until this week. He is on a short romp through the states and opened at City Winery, a small upscale venue in NYC. I was fortunate to attend the 3rd show last night. My nephew, and fellow Kink Kultist, Nick Mancuso, along with his friend Mike were with me.

These old rockers are getting on in years. The general public has a bad habit of poking fun of them because they are old and washed up and should make room for the new stars. But I ask them “like who?” Who are the new stars? I can’t think of too many artists that will be around in their upper 60’s to tour and be even close to relevant. So, I say to these wise guys. Shut the hell up. I don’t care that he is old. He is bringing me back to the days when music mattered and artists were true artists, not manufactured pop stars that burn out after their sophomore album. Where will Phillip Phillips be in 50 years? I know where I will be. Dead.

Dave had some issues last night. The effects of the stroke, nearly 10 years ago, were painfully evident. However, there were moments of pure rock n roll heaven. He played the usual Kinks staples, “You Really Got Me”, “All Day And All Of The Night”, “Tired Of Waiting For You”, and a few very deep cuts that neither the Kinks nor Ray Davies performed live, such as “Young And Innocent Days”. “Death Of A Clown”and “Strangers”. It was also fun to see him do a few songs that Ray includes in his repertoire, like “See My Friends” and “Where Have All The Good Times Gone”. I can honestly say that Dave’s versions of these two songs were far better than his exalted brother. Dave has always been in the shadow of the extremely talented Ray, but like George Harrison, Dave has a catalog of great songs that were mostly ignored, even by the Kinks. Dave also sprinkled in a few from his NEW album. Yes, a 67 year old washed up rock star, stroke victim has a new album.

I say, instead of mocking these guys, let them inspire us. I give Dave a lot of credit for attempting this. It was great to see him. It was like hanging out with an old friend, albeit one in ailing health. At times, I was truly concerned for him.

Dave Davies is a true pioneer, credited with inventing the heavy metal sound, recognized by his peers, mostly ignored by the rock mags, critics and the general record buying public.

I can only hope he continues on his road to recovery and I sincerely hope this tour will reinvigorate him enough to pick up the phone and call his brother.

God Save The Kinks

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