I'm talking about Ray Davies, one of the greatest, indeed, and Friday night he proved it. With a set list full of songs (yes, lots of Kinks era stuff) that an aspiring rock band would give their right arm to have just one of, in no particular order, here is what I pieced together from the set
I Need You
Dead End Street
Till the End of the Day
Too Much on My Mind
Nothing in the World Can Stop Me
Worrying About Her
20th Century Man
I Really Got You
Dedicated Follower of Fashion
All that and I know that I've forgotten quite a few. His accompanist on guitar during the acoustic set was Bill Shanley, who was amazing, and the backing band, which opened with a 12 song set of their own and with whom people didn't get restless for a minute, was The 88, an LA band that has a new wave, Elvis Costello-meets-The Shins quality and musical chops second to none (with more than a touch of Kinks like harmonics). Here is a taste that may give you a good idea why Davies has them backing him:
And here is the whole shebang, Davies and The 88s together on a recent morning show doing "Lola":
Davies was charming, relaxed, and a real jewel of a performer. Rabid Kinks fans knew all the words. I heard two songs I'd never heard before and even they knocked me out. As a poet, his acapella version of "Harry Rag" was enough for me - I was very happy, indeed.
And, oh, yeah, today's LitRock song is an old Kinks tune, deep from their catalog, said to be composed for a TV series in the UK that never came to be. Shangri-La, a fictional place that has made a previous appearance on Issa's Sunday Service.
This week's poem from the archive comes from issue #62 is by small press legend, and former professional wrestler, the one and only C Ra McGuirt.
watching the detectives
C Ra McGuirt
through the great red gate
translated by David G. Lanoue