Friday, March 03, 2006

Poet of the Working Class

Ray Davies is alive and well and coming to a town near you

In the 1960s there were the Beatles and the Stones. And the Kinks, but the Kinks could never come to America cause Ray Davies got caught with two joints and was not allowed in. The Stones were, I dont know why. But whereas the Stones came to the US and became Superstars, and well, the Beatles broke-up, the Kinks continued on in England, with Ray Davies writing some of the most touching, memorable, humble and lovely music of the mid-late 60s, not for the beautiful people or the charts or to break through our social consciousness but to capture the day-to-day struggles of the common person. But don't get me wrong, the Kinks' music swung more than the Beatles or Stones did, and the Kinks were punk before punk.

Then came the 70s and the Kinks hit Lola made them Superstars as well. Ray Davies wrote an autiobiography, which itself was a breakthrough in literary style. I know the word is overused but he is a genius. The ability to see him here in DC will be like seeing Dylan Thomas or John Lennon or someone's whose art and ideas and perceptions on our lives touch and resonate, and of course who has influenced every single pop/rock musician who has followed whether they know it or not. His autobio more or less said he had had enough of our modern life so its good to see him out and about. After all he's just a person like the rest of us.