By Brian Ives
Will the Kinks ever get back together? It’s a question fans have been asking often over the past few years.
The legendary British band have not played together in nearly two decades, although principal members Ray Davies and his brother Dave Davies have talked about why they won’t do it, or why they might do it, often.
One thing that seems to be a sticking point between the brothers: who came up with the tone in the Kinks classic “You Really Got Me.” In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Ray mentioned the oft-told story that he stuck knitting needles into Dave’s guitar amp, which he says helped to create the jagged tone on that song.
But in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, a letter from Dave was published in the “Correspondence: Love Letters and Advice” section.
“I’d like to correct my brother Ray’s statement about the guitar on ‘You Really Got Me,” he wrote. “I alone created the guitar sound for the song with my Elipco amp that I bought. I slashed the speaker with a razor blade, which resulted in the ‘You Really Got Me’ tone. There were no knitting needles used in making my guitar sound.”
In a recent interview with Radio.com, Dave Davies spoke about his relationship with his brother: “Ray and I, we obviously love each other very, very much. We can’t not love each other. Our personalities are so different. I think that we’ve always needed each other, and both resented that we do. ‘I’m on me own!’ But you think about the work in the early days, ‘You Really Got Me,’ the great body of work that we’re fortunate to be involved with, you realize the power we had—or have—when we’re working together.”
We asked Dave to explain what is actually preventing them from working together again. He said that a lot of it boils down to business decisions, and the fact that he wants to be involved in making them.
“There really aren’t any problems, but there are business things that need to be clarified,” he said. “Long gone are the days when you can stick ‘Little Brother Dave’ in the corner. It’s got to be more adult about the whole thing, whatever we do.”
Here’s hoping that they can agree on a way to move forward, even if they both want to claim credit for Dave’s guitar tone from a half century ago.