Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, the Road: The Story

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Overview

As a boy in post-War England, legendary Kinks' singer/songwriter Ray Davies fell in love with America—its movies and music, its culture of freedom, fed his imagination. Then, as part of the British Invasion, he toured the US with the Kinks during one of the most tumultuous eras in recent history—until the Kinks group was banned from performing there from 1965-69. Many tours and trips later, while living in New Orleans, he experienced a transformative event: the shooting (a result of a botched robbery) that nearly...
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Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, the Road: The Story

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Overview

As a boy in post-War England, legendary Kinks' singer/songwriter Ray Davies fell in love with America—its movies and music, its culture of freedom, fed his imagination. Then, as part of the British Invasion, he toured the US with the Kinks during one of the most tumultuous eras in recent history—until the Kinks group was banned from performing there from 1965-69. Many tours and trips later, while living in New Orleans, he experienced a transformative event: the shooting (a result of a botched robbery) that nearly took his life. In Americana, Davies tries to make sense of his long love-hate relationship with the country that both inspired and frustrated him. From his quintessentially English perspective as a Kink, Davies—with candor, humor, and wit—takes us on a very personal road trip through his life and storied career as a rock star, and reveals what music, fame, and America really mean to him. Some of the most fascinating characters in recent pop culture make appearances, from the famous to the perhaps even-more-interesting behind-the-scenes players. The book also includes a photographic insert with images from Davies's own collection from the band's archive.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

It was songs of Kinks co-founder Ray Davies that made the combine "the most adamantly British of the Brit invasion bands," but the man who gave us "Afternoon Tea" and "Cricket" also nursed a soft spot for the place across the pond. It was, as this autobiography notes ruefully, a place where he and his mates were not always welcome: The Kinks were banned stateside for four years (1965-1969) for general onstage rowdiness. Americana records Davies complicated relationship with a country that in several crucial ways has changed his music career and personal life. (P.S. The Kinks' impressive 1966 to 1996 run was recognized when the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall in their first year of eligibility.)

From the Publisher
"The Kinks frontman published X-Ray, his 'unauthorized autobiography,' in 1994, long before his peers started telling their own tales of decadence and recovery. Americana is alternately a sequel and parallel companion piece to X-Ray, chronicling his later years and his lifelong relationship with the country and culture that inspired him. . . . Davies is candid and honest about his personal and creative struggles. . . . [He writes] 'the immovable "You" is always there, whether you like it or not.'” —The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402778919
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 189,068
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Iconic rock legend Ray Davies inspired generations of musicians—from the Who, the Clash, and the Ramones to Black Sabbath—as lead singer and songwriter of the Kinks. The band's string of top ten international hits include “You Really Got Me,” “All Day and All of the Night,” “Till the End of the Day,” “Come Dancing,” and of course, “Lola.” In 1990, the Kinks were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Davies has also acted, directed, and produced shows for theater and television. Since the Kinks disbanded he has embarked on a solo career and continues to tour and record. Davies was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004, and in 2012, his performance of the Kinks song “Waterloo Sunset” was a highlight of the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. On his most recent album, See My Friends (2011), he collaborated with such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, and Jon Bon Jovi.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    A "must read" for anyone who appreciates music icons

    A musician myself (for 50+ years), it was difficult to put this book down. Not only is Ray Davies a master of diverse song (and prose) writing skills, he is a classic example of a true "British Gentleman". I was truely impressed by his sincere humble perspective on his life in a world of so many egocentric artists, quick to place themselves "on a pedestal".
    I was sorry to finish this book. I could have read a thousand more pages of Mr. Davies' eloquent writings. He is truely among my most iconic idols (musical and otherwise), and a "class act" to say the least.
    GOD SAVE THE KINKS!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    My prejudice is that I love the music of the Kinks and Ray Davie

    My prejudice is that I love the music of the Kinks and Ray Davies. Mr. Davies clearly is one of the best song writers to come out of the British Invasion. However, his ability to turn a tune often doesn't translate into the best prose. While he is very fluent with the language, the jumpiness from topic to topic creates a lack of flow. I enjoyed it more than X-Ray where everything is veiled by its semi-fictionalized main character. Ray had a chance here to really open up and reveal more not only about himself but fellow band members, particularly Dave, the "ban" of the late 60s and the slow dissolution of the Kinks. He does reveal quite a bit about his insecurities, but you can sense that a lot in his song lyrics. He truly is an "Imaginary Man" to cite one of his more recent compositions. Still love you though Ray!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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