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Dave Davies

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David Russell Gordon Davies (born February 3, 1947, in Fortis Green, London) is an English rock musician (singer and lead guitarist), most well known for his membership with the English rock band, The Kinks.

Davies founded The Kinks with Pete Quaife in 1963. His brother, Ray, who became the best-known member of the band, joined soon after. The quartet was formed when drummer Mick Avory joined. Davies had a turbulent relationship with Avory, one of the reasons behind the latter’s departure from the band in the mid 1980s, although the two had been roommates in the mid 1960s.

The group disbanded in 1996, but Davies continued to have a steady musical career as a performer and songwriter until a hypertension-induced stroke in 2004 sidelined him.

Although never attaining the fame and reputation of his older brother, who wrote and sang lead on most of the Kinks’ songs, Dave Davies wrote some hits himself. These include “Death of a Clown,” “Love Me Till The Sun Shines”, “Susannah’s Still Alive”, and “Living on a Thin Line”. He is also known for his innovative way of creating the buzzing tone for the power chords heard in the hit single “You Really Got Me” from 1964.

The Kinks were inducted into the British Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in November 2005.

In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Davies 88th on the list of the “100 greatest guitarists of all time”.

In 2004, Davies suffered a stroke in a lift at Broadcasting House, where he had been promoting his then current album, Bug. As of 2006, Davies has made a remarkable recovery. He can walk and talk and play guitar, but has not yet been able to tour, although there are tentative plans to perform at the end of 2008.

In January 2007 Davies released Fractured Mindz, his first album of all new material in nearly five years. It was also his first new studio effort since his stroke in the summer of 2004 besides the track “God in My Brain” (which was recorded and released on the compilation album Kinked in January 2006).

Still, not even a near-fatal stroke in 2004 has kept him from dominating his sibling when it comes to solo records, Dave’s latest a generally lo-fi list of the power anthems and folk-and-blues-rock that made his old band run like clockwork. On this, his first album in five years, the ever-witty and outspoken Davies has plenty to say, spewing anger against Bush and Blair in the rocking “Free Me”. “What kind of man can take us to war with blood and murder for oil?” he demands over a grinding guitar circa Lola vs. Powerman. Kinks fans will likely find additional kinship with the pleasant pop of “Remember Who You Are” and “The Waiting Hours”, as well as “Come to the River”, which rides a monster blues riff that only Davies can brandish. The record even navigates into the experimental, including a spacey instrumental (“The Blessing”) and the spoken-word title song, new territory for a 60-year-old legend that clearly now rides anywhere but the backseat.

Dave’s new album, I Will Be Me (2013), is a return to his groundbreaking guitar sound and innovative songwriting. His classically English voice shows off a new deepness but still hits his famous high notes in this collection. The hard rocking track “Livin’ in the Past,” takes a look at obsession with all things retro but, ever the Mod, Dave surprises with the lyric, no matter what they do or say, the future’s here to stay! He takes a look back with “Little Green Amp,” a playful, punk homage to days when his jagged, blues driven sound wave ripped ahead of the British Invasion through stereos the world over. “Cote du Rhone (I Will Be Me),” an uncensored look at ugliness in the world today, is as angry and biting as ever with an innovative heavy yet slide guitar tone. Soothing lyrics and sounds of Jonathan Lea’s sitar playing on “Healing Boy” show Dave’s sensitive side. In a recent radio interview he said, “rock music is a positive force for good.” This hopeful and optimistic vision manifests and bridges themes personal, social and universal in I Will Be Me.


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