ON THE TURNTABLE: The KinKs- “Then,Now and InBetween”
The other day someone posted a piece on their blog about a few clunkers that The KinKs put out as albums, specifically during this “Preservation: Act 1 and 2” “School Boys In Disgrace” and “Soap Opera” days. I agreed wholeheartedly that these albums basically stunk, except for one or two songs taken out of context so to speak. However, from the moment I heard “You Really Got Me” on WMCA-AM 570 radio in New York I knew this was a band that would be ingrained in my brain. What great riffs, words, energy. After the union band was lifted (1969)and The KinKs were allowed to return to the United States I had the pleasure of seeing them at the Fillmore East opening for SPIRIT. It was a night to remember, even though the reviews were dismal, I was astounded, and over the subsequent years I’ve seen the band 10 times and RAY DAVIES (solo) 5 times. Each show was unique and truly an adventure. Even during the “clunker” years aka their “theatrical period” a live KinKs show was fantastic. While the “theatrical period” records were difficult to enjoy, I take you back to the “classic” years as they are called now.(I hate that phrase)
1964: WMCA-AM (New York’s Top 40 radio) plays “You Really Got Me” by The KinKs- September 0f 1964 to be exact.Two weeks later I bought the single along with THE ZOMBIES ‘She’s Not There” at the local W.T. Grants. A few weeks later I had The KinKs “All Day and All of the Night” with the incredible b-side “I Gotta Move” and THE ZOMBIES “Tell Her No”.
Spring of 65:
The Kinks – first lp was released in 64 but I was a singles man at that time. By 65 I was into the harder stuff…albums. I bought the second (US) album “KinKs Size” first which had “Tired of Waiting/ All Day and All of the Night/Gotta Move” Then,having throughly enjoyed the second I bought the first US “You Really Got Me” album. On that collection I played “Stop Your Sobbing” over and over.“Kinda KinKs” was their next US release but I held off. But at Christmas i received “KinKs Kingdom” with its “Well Respected Man” and “See My Friends”.
In 66/67 I picked up “Face To Face” which featured “Dandy/You’re Looking Fine/Sunny Afternoon”. Then ,“Something Else By The KinKs” (1967) where virtually every track is a winner to KinKs fans…David Watts/ Death of A Clown/Love Me To The Sun Shines/Waterloo Sunset
But the “game changer” is/was “The KinKs Are The Village Green Preservation Society “ of January 1969. This was a masterpiece in my mind. (Note:just bought the 50th Anniversary Edition- all formats and it is still as fresh as it was then.)
About this time the band is working out their problems with the unions (American Federation o fMusicians) having received a ban in 1965 blackballing them from performing in the States.Years later,Ray Davies mused, “In many respects, that ridiculous ban took away the best years of the Kinks’ career when the original band was performing at its peak.”
1969: IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE KINKS WILL RETURN TO THE USA…but by this time it is five long years even THE DAVE CLARK FIVE, THE HOLLIES and HERMIT’S HERMITS had more Top Ten hits in the US than The KinKs. To most in The States, THE KINKS were forgotten, it being WOODSTOCK and all.The KinKs were now a “cult band”, a cult to which I was happily a card carrying member. An ad in the VILLAGE VOICE (August 69) encouraged the record buying public to send in $2.00 to REPRISE RECORDS to fund a campaign entitled GOD SAVE THE KINKS. My two bucks went in. A few weeks later I receive a box set complete with (fake) grass from The Village Green, a puzzle, a sticker, a GOD SAVE THE KINKS badge (which I still have) and included in the box was what is now, one of my most prized records “Then, Now and InBetween” . The ‘campaign” was done to help rejuvenate their careers in America . A few weeks later “Arthur” is released with the gems “Brainwashed” and “Victoria”.
The KinKs tour the US with a stop at Fillmore East October 18,1969.I am there, OH ,YES. Then,1970: Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround,Part one: and everything changes…LOLA…L…o…l…a…LOLA.
Next Time: TICKETS TORN IN HALF: The KinKs