So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Kink. Dave Davies

Kink is subtitled "The Outrageous Story of My Wild Years as the Founder and Lead Guitarist of the Kinks." Dave Davies is the younger brother who spent most of his life living in the shadow of Ray Davies, the lead singer of the Kinks and writer of most of their songs. Dave started playing in a band when he was 15 and quickly became addicted to their success and the R&R lifestyle of the 60's. While there is plenty of sex, drugs and rock and roll, this memoir has much added depth. There is a poignant "there but for fortune" scene about half-way through the book where Dave meets Keith Moon in a bar for the last time before Moon dies.

What saved Dave from the fatal excesses of his peers was a strong sense of family, that even extended to his troubled relationship with Ray. They are not the Everley Brothers. Dave knows he is being abused, but he also knows that Ray loves him as much as he loves Ray. He doesn't give up on Ray even when their mom and Ray's shrink tell him that Ray will destroy him.

The other saving grace for this hard-drinking rocker is Spiritualism, a faith that grows stronger as Dave ages and sees him through his bad times. It is surprising and very touching to find such a strong belief in UFOs, psychic energy, yoga, and universal love in a person who has led such a excessive life. Yet his deep compassion, love, and faith shine through his friendships with band members, his close relationships with the women in his life, and his love of his children.

One is left with the picture of a simple working-class man who rises to a whole new level of consciousness and spirit through the medium of music. This is required reading for any Kinks fan, but is also a delightful tale of the power of hope and love that will inspire many others.

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