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Americana: The Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff
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Americana: The Kinks, the Road and the Perfect Riff [Format Kindle]

Ray Davies
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

As a boy in post-War England, legendary Kinks singer/songwriter Ray Davies fell in love with America - its movies and music, its culture of freedom fed his imagination.

In Americana, Davies tries to make sense of his long love-hate relationship with the country that both inspires and frustrates him, and where he nearly lost his life in a street shooting.

Some of the most fascinating characters in pop culture and the British Invasion make appearances, from the famous to the behind-the-scenes players. The book is interspersed with lyrics and also includes photographs from Davies's own collection and the Kinks' archive.

From his quintessentially English perspective, Davies - with candour, humour, and wit - takes us on a very personal road trip through his life and storied career as a rock star, and reveals what music, fame and America really mean to him.

Biographie de l'auteur

An iconic rock legend, Ray Davies inspired generations of musicians - from the Who and the Clash to the Ramones and Black Sabbath - as lead singer and songwriter of the Kinks. Since the Kinks disbanded, he has embarked on a solo career and continues to tour and record. He has also acted, directed, and produced shows for theatre and television. Davies was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004 and in 2012, his performance of the Kinks song 'Waterloo Sunset' was a highlight of the closing ceremony of the London Olympics. On his most recent album, See My Friends (2011), he collaborated with such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, and Jon Bon Jovi.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Ray Davies, toujours le meilleur 7 janvier 2014
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
C'est un plaisir de découvrir les impressions d'un grand songwriter sur les tournées avec son groupe, les Kinks, mais aussi sur ses vagabondages aux Etats-Unis. Particulièrement émouvant et intéressant lorsqu'il évoque sa tournée solo juste après les attentats du 11 septembre 2001, et l'accueil chaleureux que les américains meurtris lui ont fait à cette occasion.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.2 étoiles sur 5  26 commentaires
32 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Ray Davies is a genius, of course. But ... 8 octobre 2013
Par William Ashbless - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
A follow-up to 1994's "X-Ray," this continues the seminal British band through their "American" dominated Arista Records years.

This period's best known albums included 1979s Low Budget (featuring "Catch Me Now I'm Falling" and "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman)"), the live double LP "One for the Road," 1981s Give The People What They Want ("Destroyer," "Better Things") and 1983s State Of Confusion ("Come Dancing," "Don't Forget To Dance"), The book also covers Ray's getting shot in the leg in New Orleans, which could have killed him.

[NOTE: I used "Uncut Magazine Presents THE KINKS, Winter 2012 (Ultimate Music Guide, No. 12)" as a reference while I was reading this book, for background on the albums and singles talked about -- highly recommended, and available here on Amazon.]

This is all very interesting reading. There are many amusing stories involving "life on the road," and loads of name-dropping. The reader also gets a sense of the record business (and Davies' distaste for the corporate side of things), but Ray also is quite clear that he was a rather difficult person to deal with. Davies, even while among the band and the crew and the fans, paints a picture of a rather introverted person offstage. Some of this rings true and some less so -- one gets the impression of Ray being less than fully involved in record company negotiations, for instance, which is a bit hard to believe.

The writing style varies from casual and chatty to the personal and revelatory. It's a much more straightforward work than the thinly diguised fiction of "X-Ray."

Many readers, though, might have been craving a bit more. While there is much that's "personal," there is less that is "intimate," if that makes any sense. I was hoping for more about the clearly difficult duality of being "band leader" and "lonely artist." This has been one of the fascinating issues for the Kinks and Mr. Davies throughout the decades, and I wanted to learn about that. Further, beginning in the early 70's, there began a strong musical-theater element to the Kinks albums and shows -- even intermittantly through the arena-rock Arista years. What were the forces that made Ray want to stage elaborate shows ("Preservation," "Schoolboys in Disgrace," "Soap Opera"), and how did he perceive fan reaction and the less-than-stellar commercial success? There's only about a page devoted to this interesting period.

And of course, one might expect much more insight into the legendary love-hate relationship between frontman Ray and his little brother, lead guitarist Dave Davies. It simply cannot be ignored or minimized that the Ray/Dave relationship is the core of the Kinks. This rivalry seems central to the Kinks successes -- as well as their shortcomings -- and I am still left with the feeling that much more could be said here. Having read "Americana," I know a lot more about Ray Davies, but I still don't really know him.

The loyalty of the die-hard Kinks fan is legendary (I am certainly one, and have been since 1976). So there will be a wave of 5-star reviews for all things Ray Davies. And this is almost -- but not quite -- deserving of that unbridled praise.

Well worth the time for lovers of rock and roll.
19 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Superb Memoir From A Great Artist 11 octobre 2013
Par gizmo13 - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Ray Davies' Americana is one of the greatest achievements in a stellar career leading the fabulous Kinks, striking out as a solo artist, and developing countless interesting projects for film, stage, and publishing.

Unlike the clever gimmicks employed in Ray's excellent first autobiographical book, XRay, Americana gives us a pure first person account, in amazingly comprehensive and honest detail, of Davies' experiences in America. There is rich detail about his life after the millennium in New Orleans, leading up to the shooting incident and recovery, with lots of information about that crime that has never before been disclosed. This recent history is told on a parallel track with the amazing history of the Kinks in America, beginning with their ill-fated 1965 tour and the subsequent ban that kept them out of the States until 1969.

The detailed anecdotes of how the Kinks gradually re-introduced themselves to America and eventually became one of the few hugely successful touring bands from the British Invasion period in the States during the 1970's and 1980's is fascinating, and filled with many priceless anecdotes about interactions with American music business giants like Bill Graham and Clive Davis. But Ray's loving memories of lesser-known figures who played roles in the Kinks' saga are perhaps the most touching. There is no mean-spirited score-settling material in this fuel for the infamous feud between Ray and Dave, or invective toward anyone else.

Ray's writing here is characteristically sharp, incisive, and beautiful. As I got closer to the end of the book I found myself slowing down, because I did not want the book to end. Americana is indispensable to any fan of Ray Davies and the Kinks, and will make a surprisingly good read even to the uninitiated. Spectacular.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Very disappointing 11 décembre 2013
Par Jersey Kid - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I eagerly awaited arrival of this book, having enjoyed every other book Mr. Davies has written. After beginning it on the day it arrived, I made it about halfway before putting it aside.

It's written in numerous styles, ranging from condescending (about "my band, The Kinks [a phrase he uses every time that stupendous outfit comes up]); to whiny self-confessional (about his writing block that seems to have extended for years and his notorious/infamous/self-destructive relationships with women); to disingenuous (a chapter that is simply his tour itinerary for a year); to stunningly informative (the day he was shot and almost died). The problem with this approach is that one never really gets into the flow of the narrative. It's as if the book was created from a series of stories told at some bar by an inebriated author who veers from topic to topic in his discourse.

Understand, I wanted to enjoy this book. I wanted to be entertained and informed. I wanted to continue to admire Ray Davies from afar as I have since the first time I saw The Kinks. As it is, I will continue to love the music - right up to and including `Other People's Lives' - but I'm not likely to buy another book by him....unless it's X-Ray 2.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Interesting Memoir But A Bit Uneven 2 janvier 2014
Par J. Taylor - Publié sur
Ray Davies is one of the most thoughtful and interesting musicians of our time ... and his memoir Americana really reflects that -- at times. He goes into fascinating and harrowing detail about his mugging and shooting at the hands of a New Orleans low-life, for example. Very riveting stuff. But, in the very same book, he totally glosses over some key events in Kinks (and therefore his) history. I was very much looking forward to reading the 'real story" behind the ban slapped against the Kinks touring in the late 60s. Instead, it's sloughed off in a random sentence here and there. But later on, Ray dives into the details again, to tell his side of the story regarding an infamous conflict with legendary concert promoter Bill Graham. So there's a bit of uneven-ness throughout the book.

Still, when Ray is riffing, the pages fly by and there is a definite "can't put it down" quality to the book. Ray is very much the gentleman -- perhaps too much the gentleman times using "composite"names or omitting names altogether to protect "the innocent." While I admire his gallantry, it does leave the story a bit incomplete.

Ray's genuine, authentic first-person narrative is far preferable to the "fictionalized autobiography" he attempted in X-Ray.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Falls way Short 17 février 2014
Par HeyNow - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Ok, I am HUGE Kinks guy. Love Ray's post-Kinks work. Others Peoples Lives could be on my top 25 of all time list. X-Ray - his "unauthorized autobiography" pretty much rose to the standard of literature; incredibly rare for genre of rock bio's. This one simply goes in the other direction. Just seems like very little point to it. Does a Kinks/Davies guy learn anything new in here that's worth knowing? And is there any reason here that a non-Kinks/Davies person would want to read it? Do we learn anything new about the inner-dynamics of the band or his mates? Anything new about the times he writes about? (Ok, he was shot and recovered in New Orleans - that's worth ten pages) Kinda interesting; the opening paragraphs of most of the chapters are well-written, in a college-essay kinda way. But then the writing in each falls way off. Having read and loved X-Ray, and loved his music, can't help thinking that there is a really good book left in Ray. This absolutely is not it. If you want to learn something about the story of the Kinks, are dying to spend a couple of bucks, and don't alredy have 'em; buy the Lola and Schoolboys albums. Or Storyteller, though it's not as good. They're kinda autobiographical. Or X-Ray. But, really, don't bother with this one. And, by the way, it even tends to confirm what I've long-suspected; although Ray is a really gifted musical artist, he's probably a bit of a jerk. That's ok; we don't have to love our artists as people. Hey, Ray; get into the studio. And in a few years when you feel like telling us what life on the road was like - try again. I'll buy it again.
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