Americana: The Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff Hardcover – 3 Oct 2013
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"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)
A frank and revealing Rock and Roll memoir – welcome to Ray Davies’s AmericaSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The Kinks, in particular brother Dave, loom large in the book but while he acknowledges the differences and arguments it's not about their relationship and there's very little dishing of dirt. An excellent read which is entertaining and interesting throughout.
More please Ray.
There is nothing inherently wrong with rock stars using ghosts for their memoirs. These books, composed from hours of recorded interviews, are filled with pleasing anecdotes captured in the speaking voice of the ‘author’ and are often eminently readable. Keith Richards virtually shared credit with his ghost, James Fox. The problem with the ghost-written conceit is that when an artist comes along who actually does write their own book – and in doing so creates a work of dignity worthy of being read – there’s no way of telling the difference by looking at the cover.
In ‘Americana’, Davies tells two stories about his life and work in the United States. The first narrative spans three decades, beginning with the Kinks’ arrival as part of the British beat invasion in June 1965 and subsequently getting banned due to ‘bad management, bad luck and bad behaviour’. What follows is the slow rehabilitation of the Kinks’ credibility through years of touring and some 20+ studio albums until, in 1990, they are officially accepted back into the hearts and minds of America when they’re inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The second story is more recent, recalling the dramatic events surrounding a day in January 2004 when Davies was shot by a mugger in New Orleans. When news filtered back across the Atlantic that the lead singer and songwriter of one of the most influential bands of the twentieth century was hospitalised with a gunshot wound, the obituary writers must’ve been ebullient . . .Read more ›
This isn't really an autobiography (that has gone before) but more of a series of vignettes about travel and Americana. And that's where it fails for me as it moves all over the place. There is no chronological order and it is very episodic and at times I juist wondered what the author was trying to achieve. The book doesn't hang together very well and the writing style is at times rather simple. He refers to the Kinks as though we , the readers, have never heard of them.
Overall a disappointing read that could have been a valuable insight into America and its musical traditions and the pitfalls that the Kinks came up against
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very, very good book. Its written in a captevating way, much better than the usual rock star book. Highly recommendedPublished 1 month ago by Mr. M. Jeffery
Fascinating insight into the life and times of my favourite song writer, couldn't put it downPublished 13 months ago by Glynis Griffiths
An account of this kind may be of value to a lifelong Kinks fan but this particular admirer of their 60s hits found it to be irritatingly tedious. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jaybee
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