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Ray Davies

A biograpy based on the information in his book X-Ray

Born June 21 1944, he was the seventh child of a seventh child. His recollections of childhood emphasis the idyllic nature of that time in his life when he was "King" of the family home. He recalls memories of writing songs in the front room with his brother to entertain the family. His mother and father enjoyed music and while they had no music training they were enthusiastic performers in the short performances they would put on during family gatherings. Ray was given a guitar by one of his sisters and he recalls taking lessons from a brother in law.

Davies is very selective in the information that makes available about his family. He mentions some of his siblings but not all of them and he does not make clear in some cases whose husband some of his brother in laws are. Instead he creates a mood, and idyllic family life with lots of older siblings looking after him.

After a patchy career at school he left to work in a few short-term jobs before deciding to return to school at the age of 15. At secondary school he seemed to have put most of his effort into winning athletics races. Ray then attended Hornsey Art College. After short time he lost interest in painting and wanted to study film but this was not offered at college so he moved for a short time to another school before quitting his studies.

At this time he got a job playing guitar in a blues band and gets to know some of the bands playing around the London clubs at the time. After a period he decided that he wanted to play the new beat music so he joined the band that his brother had formed with some of his friends.

The Band got a management team and signed a recording deal, deciding to call the band "The Kinks". They had a number one hit with the third single "You Really Got Me". The band followed this up with a string of successful singles, an album and a tour.

While on tour Ray met a young schoolgirl who followed the band around. The formed a relationship and after a few months Rasa told him that she is pregnant. Ray decided to marry her because it was the right thing to do. Ray bought a house near his parents' home and lived in suburbia with his family. Due to his responsibilities as a father he felt that he could not live the rock-n-roll life style any more.

As their musical success increased Ray became more and more concerned over the legal situation regarding his publishing rights. He had meetings in the United States with a legal firm who decided to take up his case of having the original contract annulled. This would allow him to renegotiate a better deal. At this time the Kinks were barred from performing in the United States for reasons that are not made clear. Davies suggests it may have stemmed from a fight he had with an American TV producer regarding the so-called invasion of British groups into the American music charts of this period.

When the Kinks toured Ray's wife remained at home with the children. While away he started a relationship with a stripper from Los Angeles. He visited her often while conducting business in the United States and tried to renew the affair with her when she moved to London.

His wife began to resent being left on her own and their relationship become turbulent. Ray suffered a depressive episode, sleeping for a whole week, ranting and raving at the band's old promoters/publishers. Eventually the contract dispute is settled out of court.

Ray's wife decided finally that she has had enough and left him, getting custody of the children. At a concert soon after he took a near fatal overdose and announced that he was going to quit the band.