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

5.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client

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Longueur : 322 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Page Flip: Activé Langue : Anglais

Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"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)

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.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 5824 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 322 pages
  • Editeur : Virgin Digital (3 octobre 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00F5W7PS8
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Composition améliorée: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°299.603 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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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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Amazon.com: HASH(0x89864240) étoiles sur 5 53 commentaires
41 internautes sur 43 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x897ae21c) étoiles sur 5 Ray Davies is a genius, of course. But ... 8 octobre 2013
Par William Ashbless - Publié sur Amazon.com
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.
22 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8941b738) étoiles sur 5 Superb Memoir From A Great Artist 11 octobre 2013
Par gizmo13 - Publié sur Amazon.com
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 book...no 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.
20 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8940d804) étoiles sur 5 Very disappointing 11 décembre 2013
Par Jersey Kid - Publié sur Amazon.com
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.
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x8beb9930) étoiles sur 5 Interesting Memoir But A Bit Uneven 2 janvier 2014
Par J. Taylor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
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 ...at 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 
HASH(0x8af96120) étoiles sur 5 The British Invader invades America again…and again 6 décembre 2014
Par BOB - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
'Americana' is not the first autobiography written and published by Kinks frontman Ray Davies. In the mid-90's, he wrote a fascinating memoir entitled, 'X-Ray.' It had the most creative approach to an autobiography that I've ever encountered. Written in the 90's it took place in the early 21st century (probably a time that has now passed) from the point of view of a young journalist assigned to track down reclusive rocker Davies in his studio and try to get him to disclose his private life for an expose. Most of the book, of course, was the first person recollections of this aging rocker and it provided a Boswell/Johnson framework, all imagined from the Johnson figure. I highly recommend it.

In 2013, the year 'Americana' was published, Ray was already older than the imagined reclusive aging rocker of 'X-Ray' so it would be interesting to revisit that projected elder statesman as portrayed by his younger self. 'Americana' is more straightforward i.e. all told from the point of view of the 'I' narrator, Ray Davies. However, it weaves back and forth in time, from the mid-sixties, when The Kinks first went on tour in America, to 2004 New Orleans, where the part-time resident Ray is shot in the leg by an on-the-run mugger.

When I first heard about the idea for 'Americana' I had a few trepidations. This most English of the British Invasion songwriters was largely distinctive because of his depiction of life in Britain. Why would he devote an entire book to experiences in America and neglect the majority of his life as it picked up where 'X-Ray' left off in 1971? I didn't want him to lose his distinct Britishness. I needn't have worried. You can take the Englishman out of England but you can't take the England out of the Englishman. Ray's encounters with the United States and their different way of conducting business continually provide at least a slight nationalistic culture shock for Ray, even up to the present day.

Unlike Charles Dickens, the British writer with whom he has been compared (and not just by me), Ray Davies feels no condescension and repugnance toward America, as Dickens felt, possibly even more intensely after his second visit. Ray acknowledges the debt he owes to American culture in providing him with a musical and cultural foundation (as it did for all the British rockers of that generation). 'Conquering America' is what the Beatles always saw as one of their major career goals and The Kinks and other 60's contemporaries felt roughly the same way. Unlike The Beatles, The Kinks were not the focus of mass adulation and press attention before they even left British soil. The Kinks were relatively unheralded by comparison, shuttled into package tours with other acts to play brief sets like assembly line performers. There was the raucous behavior in motels but how could that in itself result in the four-year ban from performing in America? The Kinks had nothing on The Who with their trashing of motel rooms and damaged property. Of course, if The Who had arrived before rather than after The Kinks the story might have turned out differently. To this day, Ray is not clear as to why The Kinks were banned from performing in the United States. Perhaps dancing cheek to cheek with drummer Mick Avory rather than 'grooving' with the go-go dancers on the NBC-TV show 'Hullaballoo' might have had something to do with it? Either way, there were misunderstandings due to bad management, cultural clashes and perhaps offending the wrong people at the wrong time. Therefore, at the end of the 1965 tour, The Kinks did not return until late 1969. In the intervening years they produced their greatest albums and when they returned in November of '69, promoting that most British of albums, 'Arthur, or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire' they were starting from the very beginning, attempting to make an impact and make inroads into the musical mainstream.

The tale of their rise and resurgence in the U.S. throughout the next decade can be seen in retrospect to be quite triumphant, considering the business changes, the record label disputes and the ever-present interpersonal squabbling, the centerpiece being the lifelong sibling rivalry between Ray and brother Dave. By the end of the 70's, the band had already made career-changing albums for RCA and negotiated a lucrative deal with Arista. Executive Clive Davis promised that he would take them back to the top in the U.S. He kept his promise as by the early 80's, The Kinks, in the era of MTV, were even more popular than they'd been at their U.S. peak in 1965. What went up inevitably had to careen back down as the interpersonal struggles continued to dog the band and they descended into a commercial slump in their final years in the late 80's through the mid-90's.

Interspersed with the earlier accounts of life on and off the road with The Kinks in the 70's through the 90's are chapters set in New Orleans, In the late 90's, Ray was searching for fresh inspiration, discovering new 'characters' to inspire his songs as they once had in the earlier Kinks years. New Orleans provided plenty of inspiration as well as local color and in the course of this book almost becomes a major character, exerting its seductive tug and pull only to retaliate with a voodoo vengeance. At one point he wants to start a music program with a high school marching band. He wants to record but New Orleans, known as such a musical capitol, is notoriously scarce when it comes to great recording studios. The Big Easy is a home of 'live' more than 'recorded' music.

Eventually, Ray reaches the account of the incident that changed his life. In January 2004 he was feeling remarkably upbeat, enthusiastic about returning to England to record his new album, full of the inspiration he gleaned from New Orleans. He was walking down the street with a younger female friend, a club owner he calls J.J. (not necessarily a real name) when a mugger pushed him down and snatched J.J.'s purse, which happened to include not only J.J.'s belongings but all of Ray's identification and credit cards. Something in him snapped and he had an "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more' moment and ran after the mugger, who got in a getaway car and fired a shot at Ray. Luckily, Ray moved to the side and the bullet entered his leg rather than his chest or abdomen.

He follows with the post-traumatic recovery, physical and emotional, of the rest of the year, which included an obligatory meeting with the Queen to receive his C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire). He includes a photo of him walking with the medal and a cane in one hand, holding his young daughter's with the other. He includes darkly humorous accounts of doctors coming in to give him a prognosis and, inevitably, interjecting that they're big fans. One of the assistants even asks Ray to autograph his X-ray.

For obvious reasons, the shooting forced him to slow down and reevaluate his life and his outlook toward himself and his songwriting, which he has always needed as therapy. While Ray reveals many of his deepest hopes and fears, he is remarkably circumspect about details of his private life. He alludes to at least two ex-wives and two to three children and uses fictional names for important women such as Rory and J.J. By necessity, he has to name drop his most famous alliance with Pretenders singer Chryssie Hynde. However, even here he says little about their relationship other than that The Pretenders had opened for The Kinks and at some point, Ray and Chryssie (who recorded at least two songs written by Ray Davies) got involved. Ray invited her to sing on one of The Kinks' encores, to the vociferous objection of brother Dave. Ray doesn't even speculate as to the core of Dave's resentment beyond saying that if Dave had asked his female companion at the time to sing with The Kinks, Ray would probably be just as upset.

Speaking of Dave Davies, Ray doesn't write much about their relationship other than mentioning the well-known fights and sibling conflicts and the fact that Dave had started removing himself from The Kinks for the last few years to focus on his solo career and only flew in to lay down his guitar tracks onto the recordings. Nor does Ray mention Dave's own health crisis the same year as the shooting when Dave had a stroke and had to relearn how to play the guitar.

Ray admits that he has probably spent far too much of his life viewing other people as potential characters for songs, recasting them in his own private scenarios. He had seen himself as 'The Storyteller' and even created the show that inspired the ongoing VH-1 series. The shooting forced Ray to begin viewing other humans as existing in a flow of time rather than in a structure with a beginning, middle and end. While he is far from viewing his life as nearing its end, he has become one of his own characters. He has delineated very carefully the portions of his own story he wishes to reveal to the rest of us.
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