INDELIBLY ENGLISH ROCK HEROES The Kinks had a 30-year career fizzing with more drama than most bands could ever endure. But though they are famous for the temperamental relationship between singer Ray and guitarist Dave Davies, there were moments when the brothers’ deep familial bond rescued the group from splitting. In an eight-page MOJO feature on The Kinks’ troubled ’70s, guitarist Dave recalls how, after frontman Ray overdosed on Valium on-stage at White City in July 1973, he helped nurse him back to health at his home.
“When I went in [the hospital], Ray looked like a ghost, a scared little kid in pyjamas,” he tells Pat Gilbert in the latest issue. “We both looked in sync at a pair of boots at the end of the bed and he said, ‘That guy died last night.’ It was a really important moment! It was funny, but it was tragic.”
The guitarist goes on to describe how Ray recuperated to the sounds of Gustav Mahler’s 2nd Symphony, The Resurrection – “a moving piece of music, and a lovely time” – before making the decision to steer the band in a new “theatrical” direction, realised on the fascinating and often overlooked Preservation…, Soap Opera and Schoolboys In Disgrace LPs.
“I met with Dave and said I didn’t want to do this any more,” recalls Ray. “I wanted to explore the idea of rock theatre, something no one else had really done before.”
Read the whole story of The Kinks’ brilliant, embattled and barmy ’70s in the latest issue of MOJO, available now.