Ray Davies: Happy Mistakes That Make a Band Unique

SKF NOTE: Last year I read and very much enjoyed Ray Davies’s autobiography, Americana: The Kinks, the Riff, the Road: The Story. The book tells the stories of Ray Davies rebuilding his life, musical and personal, post-The Kinks.

In this pull quote from the book, Davies touches on a common musician’s life theme: how a musician, if lucky enough, finds a home in a great band, where the sum is greater than the individual players. And how that same musician will forever miss that band, rough edges and all.

The original Kinks band was never renowned for its great individual players. My brother, Dave, was an innovative and powerful guitar player, while I was a fair-to-middling pianist, guitar player, and singer. Drummer Mick Avory seemed to slot into Pete Quaife, who had a certain flair on the bass, but none of use were what could be considered virtuoso musicians. When we came together though, we were a great band. The players on my new demo songs played professionally, but they seemed too perfect. I was longing for those happy mistakes, those errors that make a band unique.

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