Kinks 'Enormously Gratified' in US
After that spate of first hits and three years of frustrating obscurity, the Kinks have arrived.
The British group is finishing up its first American tour since 1965. Into their sixth week in Los Angeles, head Kink Ray Davies described reception to the band as "enormously gratifying."
Not only had every concert been sold out, he said, but "I think the audiences are more knowledgeable now. When we came here before, we played arenas and coliseums, places like that. It was just the image then, but now the superficials are gone. Now they know there are six strings on a guitar and sometimes they go out of tune and you've got to play a C-vamp to get a G sound on a harmonica, things like that. They know more about what makes up the group. It makes them more understanding."
The Kinks already had played the Fillmore East in New York and large clubs or theaters in Boston, Detroit, Chicago and Cincinnati before coming here for four days at the Whiskey A Go Go.
The Whiskey was the smallest venue on the tour and opening night there nearly broke the club's three-year attendance record, with a line forming four-abreast down Sunset Strip two hours before the band was scheduled to go on. "As crowded as when the Cream did three nights here" was the way a club spokesman described it.
Davies shared the evening's vocals with his brother, Dave, the band's lead guitarist - Dave singing "Milk Cow Blues" (an Elvis oldie), Little Richard's "Rip It Up" and some of his own compositions including "Love Me 'Till the Sun Shines," Ray taking the vocals in "Waterloo Sunset," "See My Friends" and "Fancy." Ray also sang several songs from Arthur, the music for a drama he had co-written for English TV.
Davies said he has a play of his own that may be broadcast in this country next spring. The play is about "a man who's done in little in life but watch it pass him by" and will be on Granada TV in England in January.
In the Kinks three-year absence from the U.S., the band has had almost no American hits. And the last tour itself is generally regarded as a disastrous one. "They'e already asked us to come back again, in February or March," Davies said.
"We're presently planning our next album and we hope to have it finished by the time we return. The way things look, we may record most of it here. Things are looking brighter now."
Author unknown, Rolling Stone Magazine, 12/27/69