Niagara Gazette — In the 1980s The Kinks were headlining arenas and dominating MTV with an ode to their past “Come Dancing.” Few bands have been fortunate enough to enjoy two major commercial peaks nearly 20 years apart, but that is exactly what The Kinks did, in 1964 with “You Really Got Me” then in 1983 with the aforementioned “Come Dancing.”
A year later, guitarist Dave Davies — who will be performing at The Bear’s Den this Saturday — penned one of my favorite Kinks songs, “Living on a Thin Line” which appears on their 1984 release, “Word of Mouth.”
“To me it epitomized everything about The Kinks, being on a tightrope, everything was a gamble, one minute you are a big success and the next minute nobody knows you. That’s the nature of the music business, one minute you’re everybody’s hero and the next minute nobody cares. One day you have a lot of money, the next you’re broke,” Davies said during a recent telephone interview.
That tension was also driven by the complex relationship between Dave and his brother Ray Davies. Together, rock music’s most famous siblings produced a vast catalogue of music that influenced an entire generation of musicians. They were a band that always tested the limits with songs like “Lola” about a transvestite or producing theatrical masterpieces like “Schoolboys in Disgrace.”
“Ray and I come from a very eclectic background. We grew up with older sisters whose favorite artists were everything from Perry Como to Fats Domino to Elvis, Little Richard and Hank Williams. They were all inspirations and we drew from those artists. We also had a broad mind about different styles of playing, heavier players like Chet Atkins and The Ventures and then there was Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt, James Burton and early Ricky Nelson. We drew from all of those elements.”