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Dave Davies Again Sets the Record Straight on the ‘You Really Got Me’ Guitar Tone

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images
Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

The history of the Kinks is littered with tales of fraternal fighting between Ray and Dave Davies. And while the brothers have never shied away from discussing their feuds, Dave has repeated that it wasn’t an argument between them that ultimately led to the guitar tone on “You Really Got Me.”

In an open letter on the band’s Facebook page, Dave took exception to a passage from Rich Cohen’s new book, The Sun & the Moon & the Rolling Stones, that was excerpted in Slate. Cohen describes Keith Richards‘ guitar tone on “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” as being “akin to the lead on the Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me,’ which, according to legend, resulted from a fight between Dave Davies and Ray Davies. One of the brothers cut a speaker with a razor blade, causing the same sort of snarled line Richards achieved with the fuzz pedal.”

Saying that neither Cohen nor Slate have not responded to his requests for the source Cohen used, Davies looked, once again, to set the record straight. “As I have stated in interviews and print since 1964,” he writes, “I was alone at home in the front room of 6 Denmark Terrace in Muswell Hill North London when I got angry because I was upset about being separated from my girlfriend. I slashed the speaker cone with a razor blade IN A FIT OF RAGE. Ray was not with me. I was alone in my ANGER. IT had nothing to do with a fight with my brother.”

A year and a half ago, Dave accused his brother of spreading this tall tale in Ray’s Sunny Afternoon musical about the band, saying, “My brother is lying. … I am just flabbergasted and shocked at the depth of his selfish desire to take credit for everything. I never once claimed songwriting royalties on ‘You Really Got Me,’ yet this song would not have happened without my guitar sound.”

Now that he has once again told his side of the story, Davies is requesting “an immediate revision of this passage to the book and article excerpt in Slate magazine.”

See the Kinks and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’60s

Next: Top 10 Kinks Songs

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