Ray Davies is best known as the face of the Kinks, principal songwriter and spokesman for the band. This documentary is about his younger brother.
First screened by BBC4 in July last year, this slightly unusual documentary paints an intimate portrait of Dave Davies, lead guitarist for the acclaimed North London band. Davies himself does almost all the talking. This is not so much a profile of a rock musician as a nostalgic trip down memory lane from a personal perspective. Len Goodman would enjoy this programme.
There is much archive footage in black and white, and plenty of music, from the Kinks and others. Among other things, Dave relates an amusing anecdote about how his brother became the band's vocalist, though it wasn't quite so amusing for the other guy at the time.
As with so many rock bands and itinerant musicians, there were well documented struggles with drink and worse, especially during the 1960s and 70s.
Not mentioned in this programme is the fact that in 2004, Dave Davies suffered a stroke, and although he recovered, it is clear from his demeanour that he is a man whose mind is in better shape than his body. He relates an experience he had when The Kinks were in New York, he heard voices telling him to jump out of his hotel window. This is reminiscent of the experience of Nile Rodgers with cocaine psychosis. As somebody told him "That's the coke talking to you, man".
Fortunately, Davies did not jump out of the window, and now lives out in the wilds of Exmoor on the coast. In his retirement he has become something of a philosopher. As he told unseen interviewer Julien Temple: There is no such thing as failure; all you do is have an experience.
The original line up of The Kinks: Pete Quaife, Dave Davies, Ray Davies, Mick Avory.
Of the rivalry with brother Ray he says it never struck him that there was any rivalry between the two of them until it was brought to his attention by others. He is he says, thankful to have Ray as a brother, "even though he's an arsehole".
The Kinks on SongFacts can be found here.
The Kinks can be found here.
Davies himself can be found here.