This is an extract from a longer review with the same title.
I'd originally entitled this `Kink' vs `X-Ray' but realised that this helped to perpetuate a sense of competition between the brothers. I know that Dave doesn't want to play that game. And the two books relate in a complementary way, one illuminating some of the shadows in the other but still retaining the chiaroscuro: put them together and you get the full picture.
You might think from reading their autobiographies and from their constant skirmishes that all the Davies brothers have in common is a love of malted milkshakes. Dave makes his own version with Horlicks and Haagen-Dazs. Music brought them together despite their differences and kept them together through thick and thin. There are many of us who hope (against hope) that one day it will again.
'I probably shouldn't tell you this, but Ray phoned up someone at our office and said: Have you seen Dave's book? They said they'd seen bits and pieces. He said (adopts serious, pained tone): You know, I think this is going to be the end of the Kinks this year.'
This comment manages to imply that the Kinks have an end every year. Not sure whether Ray's reaction is caused by Dave's personal criticisms of Ray (as prevalent as his appreciation of his talent) or the fact that Dave's revelations will somehow affect the reputation of the band, leading to its dissolution.
This started off as an attempt to compare Kink with X-Ray, focusing on certain events covered in both books to see how different the brothers' perceptions and preoccupations are. But, for the moment, I want to concentrate on an overview of `Kink', and in particular, what it says about the early days of the Kinks.
I have already written about X-Ray and stated that it's in no way a straightforward read. Dave's book is much more open, more even-handed and seems at first glance much more transparent. But you should never judge a book by its cover or rely on your first impression. As I delved further, I realised that Dave happily disclosed much of his bad behaviour, was occasionally remorseful but sometimes proud. He's able to hide in plain sight, by appearing to `show and tell' but the book does not 'tell all', Dave understandably remaining reticent where some family relationships are concerned. Nevertheless, Kink still provides more detail than X-Ray, particularly on the things that mattered to Dave back then (girls, cars, fashion) with the added advantage that it hasn't been mixed with fiction (these are the facts as Dave remembers them) and that it takes us beyond 1973 into the 90s. Ray is rumoured to have another book in the pipeline and we can be sure it will be hard to fathom but fascinating. Oh and Dave's includes an index which helps any reader, reviewer, confirm facts, names, dates, as they go or as they return (something which Ray's `work of faction' mitigates against) and photographs, including one of Dave as a very cheeky-looking eleven-year-old. I bet he could get away with murder, something confirmed by his mother's comment `you were such a lovely little boy, but what a sod you were'. I don't know if I can write that in a blog. I think it's ok if I write it with an English accent.
For more, see my blog on the book: (...)