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Ray Davies Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (29)  | Personal Quotes (12)

Overview (4)

Born in London, England, UK
Birth NameRaymond Douglas Davies
Nickname The Godfather of Britpop
Height 5' 11¾" (1.82 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Ray Davies was born on June 21, 1944 in Fortis Green, which is located in Muswell Hill, north of London, England. He was the seventh of eighth children, and with his younger brother Dave, he was one of the only two boys in his family. In 1963, he joined Dave's band The Ravens on rhythm guitar and vocals. He later rose to the position of chief songwriter and singer. Between 1964 and 1965, The Kinks released other hits such as "All Day and All of the Night", "Til the End of the Day", "Tired of Waiting for You", and others. Unfortunately, like most brothers, Ray and Dave Davies often were prone to sibling rivalry, and could act violent towards each other and the rest of the band. This behavior may have contributed to the American Musicians Union issuing a four-year touring ban against them. Since this would prevent them from enjoying, the prosperity of the British Invasion that their contemporaries enjoyed, Ray decided to seek a new direction in songwriting.

His songs would reflect on his childhood and the days of the British Empire, when the class system was going strong, and poverty was great. This style was evident on The Kinks' next four albums, "Face to Face" (1966), "Something Else by The Kinks" (1967), "The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society" (1968), and "Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)" (1969). In 1970, they released perhaps their most famous LP, "Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Part One". This record spawned their trademark "Lola", along with other great songs such as "Apeman", "Get Back in Line", "Powerman", and others. "Muswell Hillbillies" followed the next year, which was perhaps their last commercially successful album. From the 1970s in the early 1990s, the Kinks' career proved to be a roller coaster of commercial success, and failure. Perhaps part of the reason for this was the bitter rivalry between Dave and Ray Davies which could never be fully resolved.

The band went through a revolving door of backing musicians, and in the mid-1990s, the Kinks separated. Today, Ray Davies performs solo. He has four solo albums to date and is also involved in theater and television. In early 2004, he gallantly chased after a thief who stole his girlfriend's purse, and was shot in the leg. A week before that, he was awarded Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music. He has since recovered and continues to perform. His influence has been significant. He has gained a considerable following in his own native Britain, and Pete Townshend from The Who has credited him as his favorite songwriter. In 2017, he was awarded Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the Arts.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Eli Rosen

Spouse (3)

Yvonne Gunner (1 November 1974 - 1981) ( divorced)
Rasa Dicpetri (12 November 1964 - 1973) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Pat Crosby (? - 1993) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (5)

His introspective songwriting method.
Songs often deal with the changing values of his native England and the decline of the British Empire.
Often wrote songs about the music business.
Sizeable gap in between his front teeth.
Distinctive English accent

Trivia (29)

Rock musician (The Kinks).
Older brother of Dave Davies.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of The Kinks) (1990).
Fathered a child, Natalie Rae Hynde, with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders while still married to his second wife.
His song "Apeman" was covered by former Marillion singer Fish on his album "Songs From the Mirror" (1993).
Sadly, he has barely been on speaking terms with his brother and musical collaborator Dave since they recorded their last album as The Kinks in the early 1990s.
He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2003 Queen's New Year's Eve Honours List for his services to music.
In 2003, when a mugger stole his girlfriend's purse, he valiantly chased the man but was then shot in the leg by the thief.
Has another daughter with dancer, Patricia Crosby: Eva Davies.
Uncle of writer/producer, Lawrence Kane, who helped Ray recover from his gunshot wound in New Orleans.
Davies was in many ways unique among the frontmen in British rock bands from the 1960s. He never got into drugs or affiliated himself with "hippie" culture (nor did his band), although The Kinks did present themselves as hard-drinking. Davies was also never a Lothario in the ranks with his contemporaries, and he married at a very young age. By all accounts a quiet, unapproachable type off stage, Davies had a series of nervous breakdowns as a young man, which led to him being hospitalized twice.
Director Wes Anderson originally intended to have the whole of Rushmore (1998) set to songs by The Kinks. Anderson changed his mind when he wanted to use a series of songs by other bands from the "British Invasion", although he kept the Davies/Kinks song, "Nothin' In This World Can Stop Me Worryin' 'Bout That Girl".
His British rock contemporary Pete Townshend has said that Ray Davies is probably his favorite songwriter of all time.
The Kinks' single, "See My Friends", was the first British songs (and possibly Western) to integrate a Indian, sitar-like sound. This song and, shortly thereafter, the similarly sitar-based "Fancy" preceded the first Beatles song with an Indian feel, "Norwegian Wood", by a year.
One of the most admired British songwriters, his songs have been covered by hundreds of artists. Well known versions of his songs include The Jam's "David Watts", The Pretenders' "Stop Your Sobbing", The Stranglers' "All Day and All of the Night", David Bowie's "Where Have All the Good Times Gone" and Van Halen's "You Really Got Me".
When The Kinks opened a show on the same bill as The Beatles, The Beatles (in particularly John Lennon) behaved rudely and dismissively towards them. However, when The Kinks released their more introspective album "Face to Face", Lennon was said to have listened to it obsessively.
The original name of The Kinks was The Ravens.
The Kinks were voted the 64th Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artists of all time by Rolling Stone.
With four to five band members at one time, there have been 11 members of The Kinks, with only Ray and his brother Dave Davies having belonged since the founding of the group. They have gone through two drummers (Mick Avory and Bob Henrit), three keyboardists (John Gosling, Gordon Edwards and Ian Gibbins), and four bass-guitarists (Peter Quaife, John Dalton, Andy Pyle and Jim Rodford).
In an early stage of The Kinks, before Davies was willing to be the lead singer, they recruited Rod Stewart (who grew up in the same area as the Davies brothers, Muswell Hill) as a singer. After a couple of weeks of trying to be a band, Stewart and the future Kinks found that they did not get along that well, with their musical tastes being too different, and parted ways.
"Very Gothic, creepy and silent. Uptight and fearful of everyone." - Marianne Faithfull's description of Davies and The Kinks.
Winner of the 2006 Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.
His song "Waterloo Sunset" won the 2005 Q Classic Song Award.
The Kinks were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame for their outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture (November 16, 2005).
Is a huge fan of and considers himself in the tradition of William Blake.
Despite its heavy guitar sound, he actually wrote "You Really Got Me" on his parent's piano.
In 1973, Davies attempted suicide by overdose following the breakup of his first marriage. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
He was born in Muswell Hill, London, England. He and his brother Dave Davies have six older sisters. They resided on Denmark Terrace in Fortis Green, London, England.
He was awarded the Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Queen's New Years Honours List for his services to the Arts. He is a musician in London, England.

Personal Quotes (12)

If I had to my life to do over, I would change every single thing I have done.
We had a singing family. If we had been in Appalachia, we would have been a Country and Western family. We had all that inbreeding, too - the Second World War was quite a time.
When in doubt, trust your paranoia.
The Kaiser Chiefs are funny, "Employment" was good, though I'm not quite sure whether they're supposed to be The Pretty Things or The Rolling Stones.
Keep you nose clean and your chin up, even if it requires surgery.
Obviously, the person who shot me, I think he was a career criminal, he knew what he was doing it was premeditated, he knew what he was doing. It made me really sort of think about the issue of gun control. I'm not a violent person. I'm an athletic person, I'm a competitive person. That kind of violence is abhorrent to me. I get passionate, I get angry but I wouldn't think of doing that to anybody. I went through a phase in the hospital, I nearly died at one point because of complications with my heart. But I actually felt sorry for him to have actually reached that point. He wasn't a desperate guy but he kind of looked scared. We had eyeball contact. It made me think, not so much about gun control but what actually drives humans to actually do that, to get in that spectrum. It's a bigger, bigger bigger spectrum than this. It leads to warfare, why people fight, why people have wars, all these horrors going on in the world, it just opened up all these questions that are still unanswered and I still haven't come to terms with it yet. I was very lucky to escape.
Every song has its own voodoo attached to it.
I think the inspiration for a lot of those early songs, I didn't realize it so much until I finished the book and read the proofs back, was a big family influence on me. Obviously, when you are starting out you don't really see that, it's only when you look back and you appraise things, I guess you see where the real inspiration came form.
[on British rock music in the mid-1960s] I think because it was the first time that music had been done on such a scale with lots of bands coming from, basically working class origins and making music and not being particularly pretty. You know the pretty boy image really wasn't the thing. The Hollies were great to us, they helped me a lot and very supportive and in a way I suppose The Beatles were as well.
Well, it's good. I think the similarity is that I think they're writing songs. Music goes in phases and in England it goes around fairly quickly. The fashions come in and out and I think what they are doing is writing songs about things they know about, which is where they come from and the local stories. I think that's where the similarities with the Kinks is because I think our early records were like that. For a long time, particularly in the 1980s, I think English bands were trying to sound like, writing about American experiences or drawing on things out of their own experience and knowledge and that tends to make the music sound different. I think lyrically Blur and Oasis, they're are very similar in that respect.
[on writing his unconventional biography] I didn't want to write an ordinary autobiography because it just didn't interest me, recounting things that I remember that happened. I thought if I had this device of using a young journalist, who basically is me anyway, meeting myself when I'm seventy years old, that would be a nice way to get the young and the old approach. So the older guy is looking back and the young kid really is experiencing everything for the first time and rock music does that. Every time you go out and play stuff, every show has got to feel as though it's the first time you're doing it. So that made it entertaining for me to write and also let me stand back and let me observe myself and look at myself more objectively, I think.
I think Dave [brother Dave Davies], as a guitarist, he doesn't get the credit he deserves. He's an erratic player but he gets inspired and he plays some great things. Dave invented that sound and it was really great, that's why the part of the book I like and the part I do on stage is recounting when we did that song, when we recorded that because it was a pivotal moment to our band.

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