Saturday, December 13, 2014

God Save the Kinks

Ray Davies is pretty much the only songwriter from the rock era who articulates a consistent conservative view, sometimes ironically, but never without affection. To his great credit, I don't think he's ever made any bombastic political statements about his own opinions, but prefers to let his characters speak for themselves. He seems to be more on the libertarian side, which used to be one of the appeals of rock music, before it was hijacked by the left.

The following video was no doubt made without a trace of irony by a clueless leftist, but see if you can spot the raccoon:

From the song:

You keep all your smart modern writers / Give me William Shakespeare / You keep all your smart modern painters / I'll take Rembrandt, Titian, Da Vinci and Gainsborough.

I was born in a welfare state / Ruled by bureaucracy / Controlled by civil servants / And people dressed in grey / Got no privacy, got no liberty / Cos' the twentieth century people / Took it all away from me.

Here's a more recent live version by Ray, minus the Kinks:

Can't wait for this box set to be released next week (I expect the price to come way down, to more like forty bucks). It is limited to the classic years between 1964 and 1971. It traces the evolution from the early garage rock and more derivative R & B, to a creative peak between 1966 and 1971, during which Davies produced a body of work that rivals and probably surpasses anyone you could name, e.g., Dylan, Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards, Brian Wilson, etc.

36 comments:

Gagdad Bob said...

A rare peek behind the scenes of a Raccoon initiation ceremony.

annk said...

Thank you for this! "Living on a Thin Line" (discovered via The Sopranos, of all things!) helped lead me to Christ and your book and blog. Does it ever really matter? Yes, it really, really matters!

Gagdad Bob said...

Hey, we're all God's Children.

ted said...

I always enjoy these Saturday musical musing blogs, and would love to see them more often. When I was a barely a teenager I had a job working at an amusement park. I shared working a ride with this British kid who would boast that his older sister dated Ray Davies. Don't recall much else, but he claimed there was a song Davies wrote for her that made it to an album. Wish I could remember it, and yet it could have been all B.S.

Gagdad Bob said...

Back when I was in high school I made an impulse purchase of Kink Kronicles, even though I knew none of the songs except for Sunny Afternoon and Lola. What a revelation! I was immediately konverted to a Kink kultist, and afterwards they were my first koncert, April 20, 1973.

ted said...

A good seasonal song!

I saw them on the Come Dancing tour and while the show was great, there were a couple glaces between Ray and Dave showing some brotherly tension going on in that tour. Later I heard this became more frequent through the years.

Gagdad Bob said...

Actually, the tension has been there since Dave's birth.

SippicanCottage said...

Bob has good taste.

julie said...

Re. the initiation ceremony, who snuck the camera in there? Not cool, man. This is a private residence!

Gagdad Bob said...

Not cool at all. Could even trigger Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Apparently, the anarchist who made this video doesn't realize that anarchy doesn't mean more freedom or liberty.
What a dumbass.

Love The Kinks!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

What's the name of that film, Bob. Looks like a good one.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Annk.
God works in humorous ways. :^)
Glad to have you aboard.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Raccoons Got To Be Free:
http://youtu.be/WTkZvxxzeAE

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Bob, have you read the Ray's books?

Gagdad Bob said...

No, never really wanted to. If I find out what he's really like, it might spoil the music.

As to the film, if you're talking about Percy, it is rumored to be pretty awful -- low budget indie film about a penis transplant. Everyone seems to agree that the best thing about it is the soundtrack.

Gagdad Bob said...

I did read a biography that came out a few years ago. Meh. He's pretty guarded, so there's only so much you can know. Like Van Morrison that way, only not as prickly. And like Morrison and other great artists, there's always a gulf between the person and the art.

Gagdad Bob said...

Intolerance is tolerance.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thanks for the feedback, Bob.

Gagdad Bob said...

For the uninitiated, the best and cheapest (less than four bucks used) Klassic Kink Kollection is The Ultimate. Two discs, great remastering, and hardly a weak track.

A new collection was just released, The Essential, but the second disc focuses on the 72 - 93 years, when they were much more popular, but at the expense of the intimacy and eccentricity of the earlier years.

Gagdad Bob said...

Good post, including the comments. Didn't someone mention one of John C. Wright's short stories the other day?

Gagdad Bob said...

And of course Wright is absolutely right about the cosmic inversion. A unified field theory of the left. Don Colacho has a number of aphorisms that go to the same idea. One no longer has to be great to be thought great. Rather, all one must to do is tear down the great, which is ultimately to refuse to bow before what surpasses oneself.

julie said...

I appreciate Wright, but his posts do go on...

Gagdad Bob said...

A reminder that the writer who does not torture his words tortures the reader (Davila). Or in other words, WILL YOU GET ON WITH IT?!

Gagdad Bob said...

The economics book by Sowell is the exact opposite. Although over 600 pages, there is hardly a wasted word, and nearly every sentence conveys an insight.

julie said...

lol - Yes, exactly.

ted said...

This is interesting timing, as I was considering some feedback in regards to some good fiction these days. I read nonfiction almost exclusively these days, but every so often I like a good story.

Gagdad Bob said...

How about Feinstein's CIA report?

ted said...

Ha! Now that gave me a chuckle.

julie said...

I used to be a fiction junkie. Then I started reading One Cosmos (and related texts), and my tastes have rather radically changed. Not that I don't still like a good story, but my standards for what makes a good story are higher. Maybe too high. Most recent fiction doesn't make the grade anymore, but plenty of what's old is new to me. I actually enjoyed Moby Dick, for instance. Never thought that would happen.

A lot of people seem to like Wright's fiction; the short stories book Paul mentioned the other day has received high praise. I might pick it up at some point. I read one of Wright's longer books last year, the first installment of a series, but it didn't grab me. There are a few other openly non-leftist authors, too - Sarah Hoyt is the first who comes to mind. Unfortunately, what little of hers I've read doesn't really speak to me, either. Could be that I'm just a crank.

Anyway, I'd recommend looking for old treasures. YMMV, of course.

Gagdad Bob said...

I would start with Jeeves Omnibus No. 1 and then move on to Nos. 2-5.

Anonymous said...

The Kinks wrote and performed my favorite song of all time. For me, the only part of the 2012 Olympics that moved me at all was seeing Ray sing this gorgeous love song to London and life as part of the closing ceremonies.

Gagdad Bob said...

The aesthetic retards at NBC actually cut it out of the American broadcast.

Anonymous said...

Ah, P.G. Wodehouse -- another brilliant Brit export.
I believe that his "Uncle Fred Flits By" may have been the funniest short story I've ever read. And of course, the Jeeves/Wooster stories and books are absolute gems.

mushroom said...

I like fiction, but it's all older stuff. Like Julie, I've read Hoyt, and I'm reading one of Wright's books -- OK, I read the first few chapters -- not sure I'm going to finish it. I have Farewell to Arms and The Once and Future King in the same stack. Wright keeps getting rotated to the bottom.

It's almost like modern science fiction writers are too self-aware, like they're always winking at you or something. You read Howard and, yes, it's "pulpy", but he's having just as good a time as you are.

Gagdad Bob said...

I tried to read a work of fiction earlier this year which come highly recommended from somewhere or someone, Lawrence Durrell's Alexandria Quartet. Couldn't get very far. I wish he'd just left a memo or something, so he could bottom line it for me.