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Americana The Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff by Ray Davies

Americana The Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff

Biography / Autobiography   

Sue Baker's view...

Written without a ghost-writer – and all the better for it, Ray Davies has written a book that deals with his own life, the life of the Kinks and the relationship both had for America. Love and hate, safety and danger, inspiration and frustration – a volatile relationship that culminated in an induction in the Rock hall of Fame.

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Americana The Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff by Ray Davies

As a boy in post-War England, legendary Kinks singer/songwriter Ray Davies fell in love with America - its movies and music, its culture of freedom fed his imagination. In Americana, Davies tries to make sense of his long love-hate relationship with the country that both inspires and frustrates him, and where he nearly lost his life in a street shooting. Some of the most fascinating characters in pop culture and the British Invasion make appearances, from the famous to the behind-the-scenes players. The book is interspersed with lyrics and also includes photographs from Davies' own collection and the Kinks' archive. From his quintessentially English perspective, Davies - with candour, humour, and wit - takes us on a very personal road trip through his life and storied career as a rock star, and reveals what music, fame and America really mean to him.


'Davies is candid and honest about his personal and creative struggles.' New York Times

'A memoir of certainties rocked by the melodic patterns and syncopated beat of American popular culture.' Guardian

'This is no tired rock story but something far more profound, funny and disturbing.' Irish Times

'A frank account of his own love/hate relationship with America.' GQ Magazine

About the Author

An iconic rock legend, Ray Davies inspired generations of musicians - from the Who and the Clash to the Ramones and Black Sabbath - as lead singer and songwriter of the Kinks. Since the Kinks disbanded, he has embarked on a solo career and continues to tour and record. He has also acted, directed, and produced shows for theatre and television. Davies was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004 and in 2012, his performance of the Kinks song 'Waterloo Sunset' was a highlight of the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. On his most recent album, See My Friends (2011), he collaborated with such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, and Jon Bon Jovi.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Ray Davies

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