Ray Davies, who has his own love-hate relationship with brother
and Kinks bandmate Dave, sees some parallels with those other
feuding British brothers-musicians of the moment.
In fact, Davies says audiences at his hit one-man show, 20th
Century Man - A Musical, which opens a five-night stand at the
Danforth Music Hall next Tuesday, might think he's really talking
about Noel and Liam Gallagher of Oasis.
"When they stopped their American tour, I actually felt sorry
for them 'cause I understood exactly how they felt," says
Davies, 52, on the phone from a tour stop in Stockbridge, Mass.
"There's a part of my show that deals with when the Kinks
came from Europe to America for the first time and we got banned
by the unions in the states. Anyone coming to the show now will
think I've written it particularly with the Gallagher brothers in
mind, but it's actually a recollection of what happened to
Despite that five-year ban by the American Federation of
Musicians, rising from a 1965 appearance on the Hullabaloo TV
show, the Kinks became a hugely influential band around the world
with such guitar classics as You Really Got Me and All Day And All
Of The Night, and Davies is widely recognized as one of pop
music's greatest songwriters.
"We had a huge record success, but were totally unprepared, I
suppose, for the culture change particularly," says Davies.
"We were having lots of contractual problems. My brother was
16 when we made You Really Got Me. We were really young for what
we were doing. And I was barely 20. So coming to America, suddenly
successful, and having to deal with it ... And we're talking about
1965-'66, and it was not such an open-minded place."
Davies' recollections and stories about the Kinks' highs and
lows, his stormy relationship with Dave - "I spoke to him at
the weekend, he's fine," he says - are only part of 20th
Century Man, a two-hour plus evening that includes Kinks hits,
some new songs and interaction with the audience.