Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dave Davies says NO to Kinks reunion

“You don’t need to see silly old men in wheelchairs
singing ‘You Really Got Me.’”

- Dave Davies

Dave Davies can’t make himself any clearer: “Ray’s an a**hole.”

Brother Ray has been talking up the idea of a possible Kinks reunion recently while doing press for his new release, “See My Friends,” a collaborative tribute with other artists to the brothers’ legendary band, which comes out next week.

Ray recently told Gigwise that he thinks his brother is “coming around” to the idea of a possible Kinks reunion (see “Is a Kinks reunion in the cards?” here).

Dave set the record straight with London’s Daily Mail – there will never be a reunion. "I think the music is so beautiful it shouldn’t be tainted," he says. "It would be a shame. You don’t need to see silly old men in wheelchairs singing ‘You Really Got Me.’

Famous for their on- and off-stage fights, the brothers rarely see each other. This week, when asked how his brother was, Ray replied to the Daily Mail: “Don’t know, don’t talk to him. Dave’s a very proud man. I don’t know what his problem is apart from pride.”

It’s been a long time since Dave last saw his brother in person. “You’ve heard of vampires," says Dave. ‘Well, Ray sucks me dry of ideas, emotions and creativity. It’s toxic for me to be with him. He’s a control freak. I hate to say it, but it’s got worse since he met the Queen (Ray received a CBE in 2004). In his mind, it’s given him more validity, more ‘I’m better than you,’ more ‘I’m superior.’ With him, it’s ‘me, me, me.’ He thinks he is The Kinks.”

While Ray seems to thrive on attention, Dave is happy to be a team player and spread the credit around. “When I think of all the beautiful music we made, it wouldn’t have been the same if I, or (Kinks bassist) Pete Quaife hadn’t been there,” he said.

The latest ‘excuse’ for the brothers to feud came earlier this year, when Ray wanted Dave to perform at a memorial for Quaife, who died in June, telling Dave “Even the Mafia get together and make up when someone dies. If only for the funeral.”

Dave refused. “Ray wanting me to come back into the fold is to make him look good. He had an album coming out,” he says. “He’s cancelled the memorial, which again will be my fault. But after Pete died, I had my own private service for him on my website. I asked Elizabeth, Pete’s girlfriend, and his brother David to join me in sending Pete our love and they were happy to. I wrote a few prayers and made my peace with Pete. I wasn’t going to get involved in using Pete as a PR exercise to bolster Ray’s vanity.”

Dave lowers his voice. “We must be careful. We might be feeding Ray’s illness by making him think he’s more interesting than he is.”

“I should have listened to my mum," continues Dave. “Three weeks before she died in the Eighties, she said to me: ‘Make sure you get something for yourself because your brother’s never going to help you.’ I was thinking: ‘We’re family. We look after each other.’ But I don’t think that now. You need to support yourself.”

In 2004, Dave suffered a serious stroke that left him unable to speak, and it has been a long road to recovery. Didn’t Ray support him through that period? “I’m undecided whether he was pleased I was ill, or jealous I was getting the attention,” says Dave. “I stayed at his house afterwards. I was ill in bed and could barely move, but he started saying: ‘I’m sick, I’m sick!’ He was screaming in pain from his stomach. A doctor from Harley Street came round at 3am and said: 'There’s nothing wrong with his stomach.' He just wanted attention.”

Dave concedes that while the brothers worked creatively together, sibling rivalry was simmering away under the surface. “I think Ray has been happy for only three years in his life,” he says. “And those were the three years before I was born.”

The last time The Kinks appeared together was in 1996, shortly after Ray had announced his decision to go solo. Dave says the split was a relief. "I didn’t care. I really didn’t. The last time we were all together was at my 50th birthday party. Ray had the money and I didn’t, so he offered to throw it for me. Just as I was about to cut the cake, Ray jumped on the table and made a speech about how wonderful he was. He then stamped on the cake.”

Whoa. Check out the full interview here.

The The Kinks

The Kinks – You Really Got Me
The Beat Room – 1964

The Kinks – Lola
BBC – Top Of The Pops - 1970

The Kinks – All Day And All Of The Night (live)