Dave Davies Accuses Brother Ray of ‘Lying’ About the Kinks’ ‘You Really Got Me’ Guitar Sound
Most Kinks fans have heard the story of how Ray Davies invented the Kinks’ groundbreaking ‘You Really Got Me‘ guitar sound by stabbing an amplifier with a knitting needle — just as most Kinks fans have heard that it was actually Dave Davies who came up with that scuzzy fuzztone, when he slashed his amp with a razor blade in a fit of frustration. The knitting-needle version is making the rounds again, courtesy of Ray’s ‘Sunny Afternoon’ stage musical, and Dave wants to make sure everyone knows his side of the story.
“My brother is lying,” states Dave flatly in a recent Facebook post. “I don’t know why he does this, but it was my Elpico amp that I bought, and out of frustration I cut the speaker cone up with a razor blade, and I was so shocked and surprised and excited that it worked that I demonstrated the sound to Ray and [Kinks bassist] Pete [Quaife] … Ray liked the sound, and he had written a riff on the piano which formed the basis of the song ‘You Really Got Me,’ and I played the riff on my guitar with MY new sound. I ALONE CREATED THIS SOUND.”
Flatly denying that Ray ever “stuck a knitting needle or anything else in my amp,” Dave continued, “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.”
Speaking with ABC News Radio about the ‘Sunny Afternoon’ scene depicting Ray’s supposed involvement in the ‘You Really Got Me’ guitar sound, Dave mused, “Where the hell that knitting needle thing came from I have no idea.” He did, however, allow that he’d reached a compromise with Ray before the musical launched, saying the original script was even less accurate. “I decided to let it go because it does work dramatically better. Like, you see me doing all the invention of what I did, but I thought, like, the first version …totally took away my creative invention of that amp and that sound. But now at least it’s presented as a more realistic event.”
What all this means for the much-discussed potential Kinks reunion is anyone’s guess, but Ray recently revealed that the brothers have written some new material. Here’s hoping the rest of the world gets to hear it sometime soon.