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Re: (TV) Ray / John Lennon's Jock Strap
Beautifully put. As far as writing Ray Davies off as not being "one of the
world's great thinkers" because of the seeming anti-semitism of one song, I
suppose that relegates Mark Twain to the trash bin of history as well? John
Lennon would never commit such a gaffe? It's already been pointed out that
he bashed Christianity on a regular basis, and that he most likely is
singing "Baby you're a rich, fag Jew" on at least one verse of "Baby, You're
A Rich Man". In fact, Lennon relished being offensive. "Scumbag, baby"
repeated over and over as a mantra is the first thing that comes to mind. As
far as comparing Davies' as a writer to rock and roll writers, I think he is
frankly above almost anyone, Dylan and Lennon included, in terms of
lyricism, depth of characters, and melodic inventiveness. As Pete Townshend
once said, he is perhaps more of a novelist than a mere songwriter, having
more in common with Elizabeth Bowen than Dylan, Lennon, or Townshend. To
profess grandly that the Kinks are a spunky little band whose chief
songwriter wrote maybe two songs which compare to the second coming that is
the Beatles professes a profound laziness and ignorance of the genre. And
then to say so without even knowing the sequence in which the records were
released only adds to this impression.
>From: Sam Inglis <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: (TV) Ray / John Lennon's Jock Strap
>Date: Tue, May 23, 2000, 5:03 AM
> Aw, c'mon. The Kinks did psychedelia before the Beatles ('See My
> Friends' was 1965 I think) and got bored with it before the Beatles.
> 'Lazy Old Sun' is as good a piece of psychedelia as anything Lennon ever
> did. The Kinks could rock out convincingly, which the Beatles never
> could ('I Need You' and 'All Day And All Of The Night' piss all over any
> Beatles rocker). And Ray could keep to the fine line between moving and
> sentimental, which Paul ploughed through as if it wasn't there.
> Ray certainly had the odd clumsy moment as a lyricist, but Lennon wrote
> some bloody awful words too, and there are so many Kinks songs with
> really great lyrics. Ray had (maybe still has?) a gift for writing
> apparently plain and straightforward songs about real people and
> situations which were often more complex than they appeared. I'd much
> rather have his kitchen-sink realism than Dylan's sixth-form allegory or
> the later Lennon's childlike mixture of doggerel, spite and naivete
> (yes, I realise that I'm being totally unfair, but they've got enough
> supporters already...).
> He had a way of making observations that seemed slight but could be
> incredibly moving (such as in 'People Take Pictures Of Each Other' or
> 'Waterloo Sunset'). He had a unique ability to understand not only the
> plight of those who suffered under England's class system ('Shangri-La',
> 'Dead End Street'), but also the romance and the sadness of its
> declining aristocracy ('End Of The Season', 'Most Exclusive Residence
> For Sale'). He could mock those who led staid suburban lives, but he
> also understood the insecurity and fear that underpinned those lives
> (see 'Arthur'). He could write songs that were hilariously funny
> ('Dedicated Follower Of Fashion'), whereas Lennon's attempts to be funny
> were just embarrassing (try reading his poetry). And in some cases he
> could be more daring than Lennon, Dylan or whoever -- several of his
> songs for instance hint fairly broadly at a homosexual theme, and who
> else would have written 'Lola'?
> Sorry about the ranting nature of this, but I always thought it was
> criminal that 'Village Green' and 'Arthur' never achieved the same
> status as Revolver or Sgt Pepper, when they are every bit as good (and
> don't suffer from having unlistenable George Harrison sitar music on them!).
> "Casey, Leo J" wrote:
>> As much as I love the Kinks and Ray Davies, I have to agree with Jeff. I
> really don't think Ray Davies is in the same league; he couldn't carry John
> Lennon' jock strap (but maybe Paul's).
>> Leo The Vulgar
>> > -----Original Message-----
>> > From: Jeff Strell [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>> > Sent: Monday, May 22, 2000 7:31 PM
>> > To: email@example.com
>> > Subject: Re: (TV) Ray / Marc /Ziggy
>> > Aw, c'mon. I hate to sound like an old curmudgeon, but let's set the
>> > straight here. Lennon/McCartney shaped a culture, defined a generation,
>> > combined, never wrote a less than memorable song.
>> > Ray Davies and his spunky little band rode the wave. They put out three
>> > miraculous LPs in a row (Village Green, Face to Face, and Something Else),
>> > several other memorable ones. That's more than most other British Invasion
>> > bands can say. But the only Davies tunes that might rank with the Beatles
>> > "Waterloo Sunset" and "Days."
>> > - Jeff Strell
>> > ____________________________________________________________________
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