The Kinks' Ray and Dave Davies

Also because Ray stomped all over Dave’s birthday cake. Reunion “news” on an afternoon fraught with sibling rivalry: Ray and Dave Davies, the Kinks core gene pool and Mendelian blueprint for Noel and Liam’s bro-bickering, still don’t get along, and their sustained acrimony has all but assured you’ll never get to see a Kinks reunion show evermore. To Dave’s credit, he seems just as cynical and aware of the reputation tarnishing potential of the last few years’ Bands Reunited craze (“It would be a shame. You don’t need to see silly old men in wheelchairs ­singing ’You Really Got Me’”), but really it’s about how much ill-will he has toward his brother: they communicate only via email, and only on business matters, having gone at least 2-3 years without seeing each other. Ray calls Dave a “proud man,” Dave calls Ray “an asshole.” These quotes Dave recently furnished The Daily Mail with are illustrative of his hard feelings. Sense of humor, too:

  • “You’ve heard of vampires. Well, Ray sucks me dry of ideas, emotions and ­creativity. It’s toxic for me to be with him. He’s a control freak.”
  • “We must be careful. We might be feeding Ray’s illness by making him think he’s more interesting than he is.” When asked to identify Ray’s illness: “He’s a narcissist.”
  • “I think Ray has been happy for only three years in his life. And those were the three years before I was born.”

Nicely done, Dave. At least some good has come from their tense relationship, as it’s inspired Dave to study metaphysics and psychology, both because “When I first started to realize what an asshole Ray was, I thought I am going to investigate this.” One could call that turning sour grapes into whine, but at the end of the day, and the interview, Dave says “I could never not love Ray. He’s my brother.” That candid confession of love is tempered by the anecdote about the time Ray threw Dave a party for his 50th birthday (since Ray has most of the songwriting credits and therefore most of the money), only to interrupt, give a speech honoring himself, then stamp all over Dave’s cake with his foot.

If there ever is a reunion, which doesn’t look likely, someone please bring Dave lots of consolation cake. Also: adding Dave’s autobio to my wishlist.

Comments (7)
  1. We’ll always have the Kinks.

  2. Thank God they don’t have Thanksgiving in the U.K. – I’d hate to see what the Davies do to the bird.

    • Thanksgiving with the Kinks! First, Ray prepares the bird alone, and what a bird it is, so uniquely English that instead of stuffing he packs it full of Bangers and Mash! Then he lets Dave be the lead carver of the turkey, but makes fun of him the whole time and eventually unplugs his electric carving knife.

      Then Damon Albarn shows up late to dinner, with his own turkey that looks a lot like Ray’s, but has some of the trendiest modern herbs and spices thrown on top, but what the hell, it still tastes so good that no one really cares.

  3. Oh no! Now who will preserve the village green, if the brothers Davies won’t work together?

  4. “…about the time Ray threw Dave a party for his 50th birthday (since Ray has most of the songwriting credits and therefore most of the money), only to interrupt, give a speech honoring himself, then stamp all over Dave’s cake with his foot.”

    Not even Liam could top that.

  5. my favorite band.
    as long as dave doesn’t create a time machine that’s fueled by brotherly loathing and use it to erase from history what the Kinks recorded from 1964-1971, then i’m not going to sweat it.

  6. Ray has “most of the songwriting credits and therefore most of the money” because he did most of the work. Dave threw in a few good tunes here and there but be real, without Ray’s songwriting the Kinks would have been as forgotten as thousands of other 60s beat combos.

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