(Americana) [PDF/EBOOK] ð Ray Davies

Fe in New Orleans and the bizarre incident in January 2004 when Davies chased a mugger and got shot in the leg for his heroicsFrankly I found AMERICANA hard to follow I often asked Ray in my mind Why on arth did you without finding a satisfactory xplanation in the book A lot of this autobiography seems unnecessarily cryptic and manipulative of the facts and presumably unfair to people than just brother Dave To be honest I think Ray s time would have been better spent in the recording studio making music I love Ray than Elvis Costello the Stones or anyone lse Still I can t say this is a great book on par with X Ray He really seemed to be holding back still unwilling to share himself That s ok I guess He s given nough over the years through his songs I m a big Kinks fan ven up through the Arista years the MCA and Sony years are best forgotten Ray Davies has written some of the most mpathetic and beautiful songs in the rock canon His first book X Ray detailed the origins of the band through Village Green Preservation Society with a good deal of poignancy Unfortunately this volume which covers 1968 through the present is ill formed and lacking in insight Half of the book is about Ray s time in New Orleans and his recovery from a shooting there but he doesn t have anything particularly interesting to say about the city or his own state of mind confused directionless The other half covers his recording career and touring in America but there s only minimal information on the writing and recording of songs in this 40 year period Ray s bandmates some of whom like Mick Avory he played with for twenty years get only a few sentences and his brother Dave only gets a little description Instead Ray is much preoccupied with the Kinks business deals maybe this is why the songwriting and production has suffered so much since the arly 80s Lastly it appears that no one read this book before it was published There is too much repetition of information within the same page paragraph or ven sentence Former Arista promotion man Donnie Ienner was running the company and Donnie had been part of Clive Davis s Arista promotion team Ray Davies memoir regarding his affair with America and its culture is great on so many levels The book works on different platforms The major theme of this memoir is regarding his life or thoughts on America which makes it sort of a perfect travel journal When I hear the two words together Ray and Davies I think of England and Noel Coward I think Davies overall sees himself as rocker but the fact he s probably one of the great songwriters that came out of the 20th Century So yeah of course he rocks but he is one of the great portrait painters of song His Waterloo Sunset Lola and others are classic samples of setting character with a melody On top of that he is one of the great ntertainers in the tradition of British music hall of the 19th and 20th Century The beauty of this book is the character Ray Davies who is not only super British but a very troublesome soul as well He Wears Doubt And Depression As One Would doubt and depression as one would a winter coat during a blizzard It is almost second nature to him and I think he uses that aspect of his personality for the songs he writes To be honest I am not a huge fan of his music done after the late 70 s and this book takes Place Mostly During The Kinks Successful Years In America Which mostly during the Kinks successful years America Which that time they became boring to me music wise but in the 60 s and 70 s he couldn t have been better On a genius level his songwriting was great and now as a prose memoir writer his genius comes out againif there is another character that comes out of this book besides Ray it is the city of New Orleans Ironically A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, enough my other favorite book on this city is by Mod great Nic Cohn whose memoir Triksta is a horror show of a ride Both books written by Englishmen of a similar age and from the same culture wrote incredibly and heartbreaking narratives dealing with both the beauty and nightmare aspect of the city For Ray he chose to live in New Orleans andventually got shot in the leg during a robbery This of course becomes a huge turning point in his life and in a way it is about the cultural differences between the British character and the New Orleans citizen Ray obviously loves the city and its music culture but is of course is shocked by the violence of that culture Him being a victim is both heartbreaking and profound in a way Davies goes from one crisis to another but when he pauses a bit to reflect its a win win situation for the readerAll the usual suspects are in the book his brother Dave and the rest of the Kinks but they re sort of side players in this narrative There is of a focus on people like Bill Graham his road managers and dealing with life on the road while touring America As a narrative it is not A going to B going to C but of a reflection on the people he met in America and how they affected him both as an artist and on a personal level One of the legendary characters that comes out through this book but almost Phantom like is the great Alex Chilton Clearly Davies thinks of him and his work fondly and it is a nice surprise to know that he knew and also thought of him as a fellow artist Alex of course is part of the New Orleans narrativeIf one had to compare this book to another music memoir it would be Pete Townshend s recent autobiography due that both are good writers and observers but I think Ray Davies is actually profound because he has such a strong The Shadow Reader everyday humanlement not only for his songs but I think in life as well. L 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 ven interesting behind the scenes players The book also includes a photographic insert with images from Davies's own collection from the band's archi. It took me a while to truly understand what this book was Ray Davies and the Kinks through their string of albums such as Muswell Hillbillies and the Village Green Preservation Society were always the most British of all the classic rock bands who came to prominence in the 60s and 70s So why was his autobiography called Americana The answer to that uestion is that this is not his autobiography but instead his love letter to the USA or rather his coming to grips with a tenuous relationship that he has had with the country since his first trip there with the Kinks when he says the band was banned for four subseuent years The book begins and nds in New Orleans in 2004 Along the way he deals with many moments in his life when his arly fascination with the myth of the American cowboy clashed with the reality of contemporary America He describes the harrowing gun shot incident and its aftermath difficult both mentally and physically He also writes of the ffects that the time spent there had on his relationships with his wives and children over the years Through much of it he had a guardian angel who pops up in New Orleans at both the start and finish of a fascinating memoir A nice biographical journey through America over three decades Davies comes across as a very normal person who has discovered himself living a rock star s life His sensibilities and observations tend to lean conservative whether or not he is overtly aware of this and as such provide a uniue lens through hitch to view the decades of the 60s 70s and beyond It s hardly great literature but it is good stuff Highly recommended The highlights for me were Davies reflection on touring writing recording and navigating the industry in the 1970 s His depiction of the medical care he received after being shot in the leg was also The Power Of A Choice engaging The story gets a bit choppy at times He hops from deep reflection about what was happening with the band in the 70 s andarly 80 s ahead to the period around the shooting and it can be jarring when you are highly interested in one or the other of the time periods For those who love the Kinks but don t already know a lot about the band s career after Muswell Hillbillies this is a great read Ray is a musical genius and a pretty good book writer to boot During his book talk at Norwich Playhouse on Saturday 10 May 2014 Ray Davies says I didn t use a ghostwriter I could have done This isn t news to me because I ve read it and there s no doubt in my mind he weighed and wrote very wordThere is nothing inherently wrong with rock stars using ghosts for their memoirs These books composed from hours of recorded interviews are filled with pleasing anecdotes captured in the speaking voice of the author and are often minently readable Keith Richards virtually shared credit with his ghost James Fox The problem with the ghost written conceit is that when an artist comes along who actually does write their own book and in doing so creates a work of dignity worthy of being read there s no way of telling the difference by looking at the coverIn Americana Davies tells two stories about his life and work in the United States The first narrative spans three decades beginning with the Kinks arrival as part of the British beat invasion in June 1965 and subseuently getting banned due to bad management bad luck and bad behaviour What follows is the slow rehabilitation subseuently getting banned due to bad management bad luck and bad behaviour What follows is the slow rehabilitation the Kinks credibility through years of touring and some 20 studio albums until in 1990 they are officially accepted back into the hearts and minds of America when they re inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of FameThe second story is recent recalling the dramatic Roll Hall of FameThe second story is recent recalling the dramatic surrounding a day in January 2004 when Davies was shot by a mugger in New Orleans When news filtered back across the Atlantic that the lead singer and songwriter of one of the most influential bands of the twentieth century was hospitalised with a gunshot wound the obituary writers must ve been bullient but they were left unsatisfied because Ray Davies survivedEnough is written in print and on the internet about Ray Davies s accomplishments so I won t repeat them here xcept to say Waterloo and on the internet about Ray Davies s accomplishments so I won t repeat them here The Case for Paleolibertarianism and Realignment on the Right except to say Waterloo is a flawless masterpiece In Americana he calls his song writing muscle the doo di dum dums and describes it as too personal to share anxplanation that will frustrate music theory scholars for years to come Characters and their stories are the lifeblood of his songs and his book introduces the reader to several characters of note over the Kinks career including loyal roadies trusted security minders and foppish managers By no means is this a tell all autobiography There are no insights into the cause of apparent bad feelings between himself and his guitarist brother Dave Davies merely an acknowledgment of them and a tenor of regret Gossip here is limited so readers looking for vicarious sex and drug fuelled Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling experiences will have to golsewhere although the part when Dave Davies and Keith Moon are unable to throw a television out a hotel widow because the window was too small did make me laughInstead Davies builds a picture of years of touring and recording of a relentless pressure to deliver the next show and the next album and how these obligations have taken their toll The road is not conducive to a stable family Monsieur Pain existence and he missed the court appearances of his shooter and by an unkind twist of fate the death of his mother due recording commitments he felt he had no choice but to fulfilThe creative life once chosen does not always go according to plan Anxiety comes. As a boy in post War England legendary Kinks' singersongwriter 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 tumultuousras in recent history until the Kinks group was banned from performing there from 1965 69 Many tours and trips lat. ,

Summary Americana

With the ffort of producing and perfecting work There s a lovely chapter set in March 1978 in New York when Davies admits to having writer s block and struggles ven to leave the apartment Who were music people anyway It s just another business after all and I don t have to put myself through all this I wanted to cry out I am a successful songwriter with many songs to my credit I am an artist I deserve to be heard The reality was that I didn t feel like a songwriter because I couldn t produce at that time uestions kept running through my head What are you trying to prove anyhow You just got lucky a few years ago so why should the world open up to you just because you wrote a few hits in the distant past I thought about going home to get a trade and a day job I was ready to uit the music industry altogether In his talk as part of the Norfolk Norwich Festival a literary vent not a music one Davies says that when he gives a bad performance he walks the streets It s asy to imagine the stream of self reproaches the over analysis of ach mistake the resolutions to get it right next time In the A part of the vening I ask how the creative process has changed over the years He replies he is refined and critical now that it s important to get the bad ideas out as well as the good ones that no matter what Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. else has gone before the writing still begins with a blank piece of paper It is refreshingly honest And this is the real thrill in Americana the honesty with which he deals with the recent pastDavies goes to New Orleans in search of inspiration to soak up blues jazz the spirits of musicians living and dead He stays at a house where he can hear a high school marching band practicing nearby and decides to facilitate a project with themThen he tells the story of being gunned down and it is astonishingAfter being circumspect about the history of the Kinks the reader is taken fully into Ray Davies s point of view the weather on the day the face of the attacker the instinct to fight back that was later the source of victim blaming in the press by New Orleans authorities The wound the shock the miasma of pain relief The fact that for a time in hospital because all his cards had been stolen the medical staff called one of England s famous sons Unknown Purple These chapters are full of intimate detail and stark vulnerability The author wears his heart on his sleeve and whatever can t be said directly is illustrated through selected lyrics See the sun the day has come and the night is just a memory Do you live in a dream or do you live in a reality It is a sincerely attempted self portrait and a revelation Americana is not Davies s first memoir X ray The Unauthorized Autobiography was a playfulxperiment in semi fiction published in 1994 Twenty years later he is using prose to tease out personal truths and as healing the result is a piece of writing of rare and thoughtful uality With perhaps one
Or Two Exceptions Just Kids 
two xceptions Just Kids Patti Smith springs to mind the vast majority of Davies s musical peers are simply incapable of this much depth and self awareness in book formIn the audience in Norwich I suspect I am the only person who has read Americana in advance and is xcited about meeting Ray Davies the author rather than Ray Davies bona fide rock god I want the interviewer to ask about his literary influences not his musical ones but the uestions put are predictable and his musical ones but the uestions put are predictable and pleasing The crush in the book signing ueue after is not conducive to writerly confidences and I sense an opportunity slipping away There are several things I wish to know from this author and only the length of a signature left to ask so I take a leap of faith based on the person I ve met on the page It s a great book I say Are you going to write another Yes he replies What are you going to write about And he tells me As a lifelong Kinks fan but one who likes real bios and not dramatic fictional bios like X Ray I was looking forward to this but it s really not all that Ray Davies may be a genius but he s a very guarded non intimate one and that comes through in his writing You get the feeling that his work thic is unrivaled he lives to write songs but at the cost of ver having a truly meaningful relationship with anyone be it family brother Dave or the various women muses over the course of his life I would however recommend reading this book in conjunction with listening to Ray s most recent solo Glitter Bomb (A Scrapbooking Mystery, effort WORKING MAN S CAFE because a lot of the songs treference very people places andvents Ray describes during his New Orleans soujourn in AMERICANA I had a good friend in England sadly deceased now who considered the Kinks one of the most brilliant rock n roll bands of all time right up there with the Beatles and Pink Floyd I m a longtime fan of the Kinks too but I also rank them as one of the great feuding brothers bands like Creedence Clearwater and the Everly Brothers and Oasis The Davies brothers Ray and Dave who formed the working class band back in 1964 haven t performed together since 1996 and seldom miss a chance to beat Il morto di Maigret each other up in the media I never read X RAY THE UNAUTHORIZED AUTOBIOGRAPHY which is about 20 years old now so I approached this scrapbooky herky jerky narrative with an open mind It s obvious that the Kinks singersongwriter Ray Davies fell in love with America or with its soundven before the band first toured the US as a wavelet in the British Invasion Now aged 69 Ray reflects on the tumultuous history of the band and on his solo career Of special interest is what Ray says about his li. Er while living in New Orleans he xperienced a transformative vent 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 uintessentially English perspective as a Kink Davies with candor humor and wit takes us on a very persona. .