Ray Davies: A Complicated Life

Ray Davies: A Complicated Life
Reviewer: Sharry Wilson
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Ray Davies:
A Complicated Life
608 pages
International Edition
May 26, 2015
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:

The definitive biography of The Kinks' legendary frontman and one of the most tumultuous tales in rock history.

I had never read a biography about the Kinks before. I knew about some of their history and some of their recordings, but not all. I love detailed biographies and Johnny Rogan is especially adept at this sort of book. Ray Davies does not come off as a very likeable person, although moments of sentiment and caring do show through. I felt great sympathy for what younger brother Dave had to put up with, but then his behaviour was also rather unsettling. He could fly off the handle for no reason (turning into "Mr. Hyde"), and he also acted abusively toward longtime Kinks drummer Mick Avory. The almost constant antagonism between Ray and Dave cast an unhappy veil over the rest of the band. Nevertheless, both brothers realized that they were dependent on each other to make the band a success. Ray eventually decided to pursue a solo career. It was fascinating to read about the band's ups and downs and their forays into different musical directions.